Walt Disney World has added a new service to their plethora of transportation options. The Express Transportation allows you to park-hop aboard VIP buses that pick you up backstage of designated locations in each park.
Here is a review and full information of our journey through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks in one day via the new Express Transportation VIP buses.
Stop by any guest relations location, the front desk of your Disney Resort Hotel, or Express Transportation locations within the parks to add Express Transportation to your Park-Hopper Pass or Annual Pass. You must have a park-hopper option on your ticket to qualify for this service. Annual Passes are basically park-hoppers so if you are an Annual Passholder, you qualify for Express Transportation. The fee is $15 for one day, or $24 for up to seven consecutive days, per person. Children under the age of three are free. After purchasing your add-on for Express Transportation, you will be handed a Check-In map that includes the locations for all four parks. One important note here is that locations are within the parks. You do not need to exit the parks, or re-enter the parks at front entrances, after your initial arrival through Security Checkpoints at your starting park of choice. We began our journey at 8:00am in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.
After riding Expedition Everest twice, meandering along Discovery Island Trails, exploring the Tree of Life Garden, and riding Kilimanjaro Safaris we decided to journey from Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom. The first buses depart from the four parks beginning at 10:00am. Depending on which park you are starting from, and which park you are heading to, will determine the time of the bus departures. Buses depart either on the hour and half-hour, the tens and forties, or the twenties and fifties. So essentially, there is a bus leaving one park, or another, every ten minutes. We arrived at the check-in podium, outside the entrance of Kilimanjaro Safaris, at 9:52am and we were told that the first bus going out would be the Magic Kingdom bus. Cast Member Debra checked us in. There was a small glitch, as her technological equipment could not identify two of us as having tickets. My receipt had been done incorrectly at Guest Relations as well. However, Debra whipped up some Disney Magic, and manually entered our tickets and information so we would not continue to have any issues at the next park. Her efforts on our behalf worked like a charm and we did not, in fact, have any additional issues the rest of the day. I Love experiencing Disney Magic at its finest as presented by the amazing Cast Members!
After the issue was resolved, we were escorted by another Cast Member backstage to catch our bus. One important note here is that photography backstage is forbidden. The Cast Members who escort you will remind you, and there are signs clearly posted to this effect. We were the only passengers on this first VIP bus to the Magic Kingdom. Our journey took us a total of 23 minutes from pulling away from the backstage bus stop, to being dropped off backstage of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at the Magic Kingdom. This journey would have easily taken over an hour to exit Animal Kingdom, take a tram to our car, drive to Magic Kingdom parking, ride the tram to the Transportation and Ticket Center, hop the monorail or boat to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom, go through security, scan our bands, and enter the park. We basically by-passed six of the above mentioned steps to park-hop in a standard fashion. Score a point for Express Transportation because we were off to a great start!
We spent about 2 1/2 hours at Magic Kingdom. We rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, had lunch at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, saw the noon-time showing of Mickey’s One Upon A Christmastime Parade, and rode Jingle Cruise. We returned to the check-in podium between the Buzz Lightyear Meet-and-Greet and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We checked in and waited less than five minutes before being escorted by a Cast Member backstage to catch the VIP bus to Epcot.
Our journey aboard the VIP bus from Magic Kingdom to Epcot took a total of 19 minutes. Cast Member Daniel handed out “protein canes” (aka candy canes). We shared this bus with one other family. I believe it would be highly unlikely we could ever get from Magic Kingdom to Epcot, via standard transportation methods, in 19 minutes. Score another point for Express Transportation!
We entered Epcot on the East side of Spaceship Earth near the restrooms. We had a bit of rain at this point so we rode Journey Into Imagination With Figment, The Seas With Nemo and Friends, sampled the Beverly at Club Cool, and had a snack at Feast of the Three Kings in Showcase Plaza at the entrance to World Showcase. We then made our way back to the check-in location.
After checking in at the podium we had a 10 minute wait for the next bus to take us to our fourth park of the day; Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Again, we had this bus all to ourselves. Our journey from Epcot to Disney’s Hollywood Studios took a total of 13 minutes! It would have easily taken us 13 minutes to exit Epcot and get to our car. Yet here we were, already walking towards Toy Story Midway Mania to utilize our Fastpasses. Score another point for Express Transportation!
After riding Toy Story Midway Mania, we walked over to the former Streets of America to check out Star Wars Land Construction progress. We then spent some time at the Club Disney Relaxation Station in the Sunset Showcase building where Club Villain takes place. The Sunset Showcase building is located beyond Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and directly across from the Express Transportation check-in podium. We had a 15 minute wait for our bus back to Animal Kingdom.
We shared the bus from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Animal Kingdom with two families for a total of 13 people. This was the highest number we had seen the entire day. Our journey took us 21 minutes after which found us in front of the Tree of Life to conclude our amazing journey. Score yet another point for Express Transportation!
At 4:15pm we had come full-circle on our journey of experiencing four parks in one day via the new Express Transportation VIP buses. We found ourselves right back where we had started just 8 hours prior. After taking our final picture, in the same place where our journey began, we headed home.
The buses are all equipped for electric scooters and wheelchairs. If you have a member of your party who uses one of these modes of transportation, then the Express Transportation VIP Buses are an excellent option if you wish to experience more than one park per day of your visit. The time savings alone makes this option worth the cost.
If you are traveling with young children in strollers, and wish to experience more than one park per day, this is absolutely the best option for you as well.
Whether you are visiting for one day, or one week, the Express Transportation Service will save you a lot of time. The most-asked question we had was if the cost is worth it. We answer with a whole-hearted, “Yes!” While we realize most people will be looking at doing two parks in a day, we wanted to try our hands at accomplishing four parks in one day. We have never tried visiting four parks in one day, but we now know that we would not want to try it the traditional way after the fun and awesome experience we had with the Express Transportation Service. Hopefully the cost will not go up as this service gains popularity. Our journey through four parks in one day via the Express Transportation VIP Buses was worth the cost, the effort, and the time. That’s A Wrap!
Will you utilize the Express Transportation on your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort?
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