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Thread: Walt Disney World test drives Express Transportation

  1. #26
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    From another review it sounds like they space the three shuttles at roughly 10 minute intervals which would make scheduling difficult. Shuttle to MK from one park would probably leave at a different time than the shuttle for MK from another park. I think it's just going to be hit and miss.

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  3. #27
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Ok, I have half of the times. I'll post times from the other two parks when I get them. These are departure times, you should arrive at least 5 minutes prior to this time.

    From DHS to:
    Epcot :00 & :30
    DAK :10 & :40
    MK :20 & :50

    From Epcot to:
    DHS :00 & :30
    MK :10 & :40
    DAK :20 & :50


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  4. #28
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    One more park:

    From MK to:
    DAK :00 & :30
    Epcot :10 & :40
    DHS :20 & :50


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  5. #29

    Thanks for the confirmations. I think you have now covered all the possible combinations, since the times are the same between any 2 parks, either direction.

    This makes sense, with 6 possible paths at 2 buses a piece (for some reason it didn't occur to me to do the math until now), the main question in my mind is if this becomes popular enough that Disney can justify running 12 buses on these paths for most of the day.

    I was never on a bus with more than 5 or 6 people, and for my last trip I was alone (my first was only 2 people).

    I did EPC to DAK and back on Saturday and EPC to DHS and back on Sunday. I was contemplating trying DHS to MK and them MK back to EPC, but missed the bus to do that by a few minutes.

    While my trips were at least a little quicker than I could have walked (EPC/DHS) or driven (EPC/DAK), I'm not 100% sure I'm a full believer in it being a huge advantage yet (for me). These first 2 days I was not yet in an on-property hotel, so I was constrained by my car being in my original park for the day, I ultimately had to return to that park.

    I will say that since I had early day FP+ for EPC in the morning, I was able to get a FP+ for TSM from 6-7PM when I arrived around 3:15 PM (surprised a bit by that - my ipod was flaky today, so I had to wait until I was actually at DHS to try to book a 4th FP+). Didn't do much else other than a Star Tours stby since I had other "missions" for the day in other places .

    -Dave

  6. #30
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    Thanks for keeping us posted!

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  7. #31
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    Thanks for the confirmations. I think you have now covered all the possible combinations, since the times are the same between any 2 parks, either direction.
    Yeah, I knew there was a pattern there but hadn't really looked for it yet, but here is the whole list anyway. Just remember if you are using these times that they are departure times and you should be there before that time.

    From DHS to:
    Epcot :00 & :30
    DAK :10 & :40
    MK :20 & :50

    From Epcot to:
    DHS :00 & :30
    MK :10 & :40
    DAK :20 & :50

    From MK to:
    DAK :00 & :30
    Epcot :10 & :40
    DHS :20 & :50

    From DAK to:
    MK :00 & :30
    DHS :10 & :40
    Epcot :20 & :50



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  8. #32

    I heard that they plan to end this service very soon, has anyone got confirmation? I will be bummed. It was a lifesaver for us.

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  9. #33
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Hadn't heard anything, but since they offer the annual pass add-on I wouldn't think they could shut it down for at least a year, or they would have to offer some refunds. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if they end it somewhere down the road. I rarely rode with anyone else on the bus.

    Last edited by quackinup; 08-15-2017 at 08:23 AM.
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  10. #34
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickeygirlforever View Post
    I heard that they plan to end this service very soon, has anyone got confirmation? I will be bummed. It was a lifesaver for us.
    I read on another site that it was being discontinued, I *think* immediately. To bad, I would have used it on our next trip.
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  11. #35
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
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    found it -
    looks like it ends on August 23rd

    https://www.wdwinfo.com/news-stories...ation-service/

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  12. #36
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    Yep.. its over.
    People who have used it said they liked it a lot.
    They also have reported that they were usually the only people on the bus or with maybe one or two other families.

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  13. #37
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    Yep.. its over.
    People who have used it said they liked it a lot.
    They also have reported that they were usually the only people on the bus or with maybe one or two other families.
    Yeah, that was my case. Probably rode 20-25 times and only shared the bus maybe 3 times. I still wonder what they will do with people who bought the one that good for the run of their annual pass.
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  14. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by quackinup View Post
    I still wonder what they will do with people who bought the one that good for the run of their annual pass.
    If I am not mistaken, you could only buy it for the day or for a week (7 days.) There was not an annual pass option.
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  15. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    If I am not mistaken, you could only buy it for the day or for a week (7 days.) There was not an annual pass option.
    Yeah, there was, but I was mistaken how long it was good for. Annual Passholders could buy a Summer Pass for $59, but it was only good for June 5 - August 10, so that would already have ended.
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  16. #40
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    Ah. Well... was going off the info on post #1, which is what I think most people were familiar with.

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  17. #41
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    I was going to try it out on my trip in September. Too bad it's not sticking around.


  18. #42

    I sort of figured this might happen, especially when they offered the $59 passholder thing for the (approximately) 2 months. I didn't ride nearly as many times as quackinup did, but I think I did use it 6 or seven times back in May(would need to check my notes for the trip report I never wrote ). I think there was ONE bus that had nearly 20 people on it (after I made my May 8th post while on my trip), but that was the exception. I had several that were either solo or less than a half dozen people.

    I didn't understand what audience they thought that $59 might attract. It's probably a pretty small subset of out of towner passholders who might have had 2+ weeks worth of visit planned during that time frame(since you could get a single week for $29). I am guessing most locals tend to drive between parks if they hop since they have a car on site anyway, but maybe I'm mistaken in that assumption.

    I guess I'll never get to use my wallet sized cheat sheet I made for the bus times... too bad. I probably would have considered giving it one more try in the fall.

    express_times_graphic.jpg

    -Dave

  19. #43
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    Thats a pretty cool little cheat sheet, Dave...

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  20. #44

    I suppose it's hoping too much that the new Minnie Vans would allow for pickups/dropoffs at those locations for passengers who are theme park hopping? I would assume not, because then each entrance/exit area would need to be staffed. But since those are pay per use and on-demand they wouldn't have the same need for minimally occupied buses, drivers, or wasted gas. It would have been nice to go between parks without having to deal with security checkpoints at each location on our next trip.


  21. #45
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I think there was ONE bus that had nearly 20 people on it (after I made my May 8th post while on my trip), but that was the exception. I had several that were either solo or less than a half dozen people.
    Wait, when I was there in May I saw one bus unload about 20 people (as I was waiting for my solo bus). We may have crossed paths lol
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  22. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    Thats a pretty cool little cheat sheet, Dave...
    Thanks! I generated it after walking around with a list of the times during my trip and figuring there had to be a better way that would be a quick glance to figure it out. Once I realized the pattern, that graphic was born. Sorry I didn't think to post it earlier in the summer, I originally intended to share it here in case anyone else may have benefited from it, but then I got sidetracked and forgot until the thread popped back up with the cancellation news.

    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    I suppose it's hoping too much that the new Minnie Vans would allow for pickups/dropoffs at those locations for passengers who are theme park hopping? I would assume not, because then each entrance/exit area would need to be staffed. But since those are pay per use and on-demand they wouldn't have the same need for minimally occupied buses, drivers, or wasted gas. It would have been nice to go between parks without having to deal with security checkpoints at each location on our next trip.
    That might be interesting. I probably still wouldn't use a Minnie Van under the normal fee schedule (unless I wanted to hop to or from MK), but I would maybe consider it if they offered some sort of discount on the general $20 if you bought a block of trips up front. That could get me to consider ending my tradition of always getting a car and driving around at my own whim. I'd have to do the math for any given trip (anticipated hops @ $20 vs rental cost, combined with loss of other conveniences of having a rental car).

    I wonder if letting the Minnie Vans run there could also be an undue strain on the backstage areas they need to drive through? The buses were only 2 per hour at any park stop (four traffic impacts if you count both incoming and outgoing, I guess). I wonder if a random string of Minnie Vans continually accessing the areas could be too much impact on infrastructure (security gates, impact to other backstage traffic, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by quackinup View Post
    Wait, when I was there in May I saw one bus unload about 20 people (as I was waiting for my solo bus). We may have crossed paths lol
    It's possible I'd have to check my notes to see what day or park to park path that trip might have been. I realized from your posts we were there the same week.
    -Dave

  23. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    I suppose it's hoping too much that the new Minnie Vans would allow for pickups/dropoffs at those locations for passengers who are theme park hopping? I would assume not, because then each entrance/exit area would need to be staffed. But since those are pay per use and on-demand they wouldn't have the same need for minimally occupied buses, drivers, or wasted gas. It would have been nice to go between parks without having to deal with security checkpoints at each location on our next trip.
    The thing is ... and this is just my own opinion... the MV program is really intended to get from a participating resort hotel to another point on property. (Resort to resort or other non park property such as for golfing, spas, etc. for the most part.) It seems like that is its real intent and not necessarily park to park transport, though it may offer that as well. (Its so new - not a lot of reports yet.) And at the current rates, I think it would be somewhat expensive to do it more than once or twice per trip. In reality, you can get from park to park using regular buses - as they have stops for them - and they run about as often than the express service did. The big difference is that the express service kept you within a "security bubble" where you did not have to go through security again at your park destination. Also, the current MV stops at parks is still outside of security, so even if you did use them to park hop, you are having to go through security again.

    My additional speculation is that Disney may be re-assessing the express transport option to include vehicles smaller than a full sized bus. Think: 15 passenger van or maybe a mini-bus. But then you would have to deal with logistics involving strollers, car seats, ADA options and the like.

    The express service was really not a bad idea.... just under marketed and under utilized for the possible operational costs.
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  24. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    .......................... The big difference is that the express service kept you within a "security bubble" where you did not have to go through security again at your park destination. Also, the current MV stops at parks is still outside of security, so even if you did use them to park hop, you are having to go through security again.

    My additional speculation is that Disney may be re-assessing the express transport option to include vehicles smaller than a full sized bus. Think: 15 passenger van or maybe a mini-bus. But then you would have to deal with logistics involving strollers, car seats, ADA options and the like.

    The express service was really not a bad idea.... just under marketed and under utilized for the possible operational costs.
    Good point on the security bubble impact. Though as Minnie Van service matures, it might not be an insurmountable task (thinking like a subset, maybe even a "Mickey Van" variant that could be for only park to park if there is enough demand).

    I'd agree it's too complicated for the Minnie Vans as they are supposed to operate now. It would be too much for the cast members doing the driving to deal with, especially since by necessity any van doing a park to park run would not be able to make any stop along the way due to the security implications (and that seems like a prominent feature of the MV service)... that would be hard to explain to riders once underway and would be a huge hassle for the CM to deal with.

    If they do consider bringing back Express in some shape or form, they need to try to enhance it so there is at least one "final bus" from every park to every other park after the conclusion of the normal operating hours. Possibly even a final run to a parking lot for a park that closed before the park you are coming from.

    I realize that's hard to estimate for the specific situation of a new popular ride that could have a 2 hour wait if you get on line 5 mins to park close(i.e., Flight of Passage, etc.), but at least the general nighttime entertainment shows should be supported. When I was told the last bus from AK to my return park was in the middle of RoL (or it left 5 minutes after the end of the show, point being there was no way to make it and see the show), I passed on trying to see it that night (had a FP+ the next day).
    -Dave

  25. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by quackinup View Post
    Wait, when I was there in May I saw one bus unload about 20 people (as I was waiting for my solo bus). We may have crossed paths lol
    I checked my notes, it was May 9, 2:10 PM bus from MK to EPC. We arrived at EPC ~ 2:30. If you were leaving Epcot around then, maybe we did cross paths.
    -Dave

  26. #50
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I checked my notes, it was May 9, 2:10 PM bus from MK to EPC. We arrived at EPC ~ 2:30. If you were leaving Epcot around then, maybe we did cross paths.
    Ahhh, must have been 2 groups of 20 that week lol. I was in AK that morning, and switching resorts in the early afternoon. Was probably sitting in the lobby at Boardwalk Inn around that time. Wait!!! If I remember right I walked back to Boardwalk from EPC so still maybe possible.
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