Guests staying at certain Disney Resort Hotels can take advantage of a new on-demand “Minnie Van” service to travel point-to-point around the Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney Parks has collaborated with ride-share company Lyft to allow guests to book six seater minivans through the Lyft mobile app to take them to anywhere within Walt Disney World (but not off property).
This means you can take a Minnie Van to the four main theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios), Disney Springs, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon and of course all the Disney resort hotels.
However if you wish to travel to a mall, an offsite restaurant or somewhere like Universal Studios, you cannot use the Minnie Van service.
How The Minnie Van Service Works
The distinctive “Minnie Mouse” polka dot themed Chevrolet Traverse vans are driven by uniformed Disney cast members and each also has two versatile forward or rear facing child seats/booster seats with or without backs. There are also similarly decorated vehicles for guests with special needs such as those requiring wheelchairs and ECVs that will not fit in the regular minivans.
To access the service on your Lyft app you either have to activate it via the My Disney Experience app or get a cast member at the hotel Bell Services desk to activate the service which then allows you to book and pay for your ride, right from within the app.
The service is available between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (subject to change) each day and there is a $20 flat fare for each journey. There is no charge for the child seats unlike some other services, tipping is not required and there is no “surge-pricing” like after the evening fireworks.
Whilst Disney offers complimentary water taxi, monorail and Disney bus services around Walt Disney World, you can also pay for regular Uber, Lyft or other taxis if you want a more personal service.
Minnie Van Advantages
Whilst the Minnie Van service is about twice the cost of a normal Uber or Lyft ride, it does offer a number of advantages.
Using the Minnie Van service you typically can get closer to your destination as they can you drop you off at places other taxis are not allowed and in many cases a lot quicker.
- When travelling to the Magic Kingdom you are dropped off near the bus drop-off point right outside the main entrance rather than the Ticket & Transportation Center
- You can be dropped off outside individual resort hotel buildings
- You can also get to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue or Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness a lot quicker using the Minnie Van service as you do not need to walk from Pioneer Hall
Another advantage is that you are driven by a knowledgable Disney cast member who should be able to answer your questions.
Minnie Van Service Rollout
The service was initially announced at the D23 Expo 2017 and when launched in July 2017, it was only available to guests staying at Disney’s Boardwalk and Yacht & Beach Club resorts but is being rolled out to other hotels and is now available at all deluxe Resort hotels plus the moderate resorts, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the first of the value resorts, Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
By the summer of 2018 it is expected to be available to all guests staying at Deluxe Villa/DVC resorts.
Currently guests registered at the following hotels can use the Minnie Van Service:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort & Bay Lake Tower
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (from February 12, 2018)
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Minnie Van Airport Shuttle
In February 2018, Disney started trialling a one way Minnie Van service from Walt Disney World to Orlando International Airport (MCO) for a flat fee of $150 available between 9 a.m. and midnight.
At this time the airport shuttle service is only available to Club-level guests staying at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts or Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. It must be arranged through a Concierge Cast Member and is not available when travelling from the airport to the hotel, for this guests can still use the Disney Magical Express Service.
Disney is also considering offering a service to the Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal to connect with Disney Cruise Lines.
Disney Express Bus Transportation
On December 7, 2016 Walt Disney World introduced a new express bus option to get guests from one park to another quicker. The park-to-park service cost $15 per person for one day or you could buy a multi-day pass for $24 which gave you up to seven consecutive days of transport. In February they increased the prices to $19 and $29 respectively.
To use the service you had to have the park-hopper option on your admission ticket. The Express Bus Transportation started at 10:00 a.m. each day and ran every half hour until the parks closed.
The special express buses picked up and dropped off guests in backstage areas of the parks so bypassing having to exit and enter each park through the potentially crowded main gates and bag-check areas thus cutting down transit times.
The bus stops were located near Buzz Lightyear in the Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Rock ’n Roller Coaster in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The trial ended on August 23, 2017 and is now effectively replaced by the Minnie Van service though now you have to exit and enter each park by the normal entrances.