Anyone visiting the Walt Disney World Resort or staying at any one of the Disney Resort Hotels can take advantage of the 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 the Walt Disney World Resort, to Orlando International Airport or to the Disney Cruise terminal at Port Canaveral.
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 and restaurants.
However if you wish to travel to a mall, an offsite restaurant or somewhere like Universal Studios, you cannot use the Minnie Van service and will have to either drive or use an alternative taxi service.
How The Minnie Van Service Works
The distinctive “Minnie Mouse” red and white polka dot themed Chevrolet Traverse vans are driven by uniformed Disney cast members and seat six guests including up to two complimentary versatile forward or rear facing Graco 4Ever 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 check prices, book and pay for your ride, right from within the app.
You can even contact the driver if you are unsure of where to meet and keep a track of where your Minnie Van is from the map inside the app.
To book a vehicle for a wheelchair or ECV, you need to speak to someone at the hotel Bell Services desk or call (407) 828–3500 and note these vehicles only accommodate four passengers. Larger vehicles are being considered.
The service is available between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (subject to change) each day and the fare for each journey is based upon distance traveled. 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 World Transportation offers complimentary water taxi, monorail, bus services and ultimately the Skyliner gondolas around Walt Disney World, you can also pay for regular Uber, Lyft or other taxis if you want a more personal service.
Note that the airport shuttle and cruise terminal shuttle services cannot be booked through the Lyft app at this time. Instead you need to make a reservation by calling (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939–7529.
Minnie Van Advantages & Disadvantages
Whilst the Minnie Van service is more expensive than 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 where you then have to catch the monorail or take the ferry
- You have more chance of beating the rush if you are aiming to arrive at the park at rope drop compared to the bus services or trying to get back to your hotel after the fireworks
- 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 or catch any Disney buses
- You can have up to two complimentary child seats whereas this is typically an add-on cost with taxi/ride-share companies assuming they even have them available
- Minnie Vans come with air-conditioning and phone charger ports
Another advantage is that you are driven by a knowledgable Disney cast member who should be able to answer your questions and help if you have any problems.
There are no disadvantages as such but it has to be viewed as a luxury service with prices typically about twice that of other taxi/ride-share services. However if there are five or six of you in the party then the price differential with a ride-share will most likely be less as ride-shares may bump you into second tier pricing.
Minnie Van Service Rollout
The “Minnie Van” service has been rolled out in phases starting with resort hotel guests and then anyone visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.
In June 2019, Lyft became the official rideshare partner of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California and announced they had carried over 1 million passengers.
Minnie Van Service – Within Walt Disney World Resort
The Minnie Van 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. It was then rolled out in stages, firstly to the other deluxe Walt Disney World Resort hotels and two of the moderate resorts, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. It was then made available at the first of the value resorts, Disney’s Pop Century Resort before being made available across the entire resort by May 2018.
When first introduced the single ride fare was $20 but in February 2018 that increased to $25 per trip and then in September 2018 the fare structure was made variable based upon distance, much like any other taxi or ride-share scheme.
Minnie Van Orlando International 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 one way flat fee of $150 excluding gratuities. The service operates between 6 a.m. and midnight (subject to change).
Like the original service around Walt Disney World, the airport shuttle service was only available to Club-level guests staying at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts or Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. It had to be arranged through a Concierge Cast Member and was not available when travelling from the airport to the hotel, for this guests could still use the Disney Magical Express Service.
It was gradually rolled out across all Walt Disney World Resort hotels and now offers trips both to and from the airport for the same flat fee. The airport shuttle Minnie Vans seat up to six people and six medium-sized suitcases including up to three complimentary child car seats and there is a 24-hour cancellation policy.
If you have more suitcases you need to check the extra bags in advance at Resort Airport Services/Check-In.
The service is not available for guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Four Seasons Orlando, Disney Springs Resort area hotels, Walt Disney World Gateway hotels and Walt Disney World Good Neighbor hotels.
It is also not available for trips to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB).
Minnie Van Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal Shuttle
The latest destination which started in September 2018 offers transportation between the Walt Disney World Resort hotels and the Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal to connect with Disney Cruise Lines with an each way flat fee of $240 excluding gratuities, again with a 24-hour cancellation policy.
Again, each vehicle can seat up to six people including up to two complimentary car seats and you are dropped off right at the terminal entrance.
Whilst expensive if there are only say two of you, for a party of six it is only $30 more than the cost of the Disney Cruise Lines shuttle for six people.
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.