General DVC

Getting Around Walt Disney World in the COVID-19 Era

Several years ago, in an attempt to get from Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort to The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian for a massage appointment, Amy and I had a collective travel time of over an hour and a half and came away with manicures instead of massages (don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it). You’d think we would have learned our lesson regarding Disney Transportation at that time, but here we are many years later still trusting those Disney buses to get us where we want to be on time.  

COVID-19, however, presents another added twist to the complexities, or should I say, inconsistencies, of Disney Resort Transportation. With new social distancing measures in place and limited transportation options, guests will likely be waiting even longer to get where they want to go.

Here is a quick recap of some of the measures that are being implemented:

  • Disney transportation has implemented multiple physical distancing measures throughout transportation loading zones and queues. These measures also extend onto buses, monorails, and boats where capacity is being limited for the safety of cast members and guests.
  • Masks are required at all times while onboard Walt Disney World Transportation. 
  • With park hopping unavailable at this time, complimentary transportation between theme parks is not currently occurring.
  • Disney has temporarily suspended monorail service between the Transportation & Ticket Center and EPCOT.
  • Minnie Van Service is temporarily unavailable.
  • Ferryboat transportation is available from the Transportation & Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom.
  • Water taxi transportation is limited and, in some cases, unavailable at this time.
  • Boat transportation from Cresent Lake to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will resume on July 29th.

For many Disney Vacation Club Members, another added layer to this is the limitations that now surround using Disney’s Magical Express for transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. Guests choosing to use Magical Express are currently required to retrieve their luggage at the airport. Airline check-in has also been suspended, requiring guests to now manage their luggage both onto the bus and at the airport.  

With all these restrictions and limitations associated with resort transportation, we have heard a lot of chatter recently regarding alternative ways to get around the Walt Disney World Resort. Car rental is the best alternative method of transportation, but also presents its fair share of changes due to the ongoing pandemic:

  • Self-service parking remains available for members and guests.
  • Valet is temporarily unavailable.  
  • Guests are asked to please use cashless payment options.  
  • Cars will be parked in every other parking space to promote physical distancing.
  • Parking trams have been temporarily suspended.

Disney Vacation Club Members and guests can enjoy standard self-parking for free while staying on property at a DVC Deluxe Villa. Members will also receive standard theme park parking as well as part of their stay. Parking fees apply for other Disney Resort hotel Guests. 

Earlier this week, we took this debate to our DVC Fan Facebook Community and asked: With the currently limited transportation options and social distancing measures on buses, monorails, etc… what your plan is for your next Walt Disney World vacation?

To our surprise, the results on this were pretty split down the middle!  

Amy and I have decided to give the car rental a try when we arrive at Walt Disney World in a little over a week. With a six resort split-stay planned, we think having transportation under our own control will be beneficial and take out the unknowns surrounding Disney Transportation.  

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Do you typically utilize Disney Transportation or do you rent a car when on property? Has COVID-19 changed these thoughts or plans?

Paul Krieger

Amy and I are new Orlando, Florida residents where we live with our dogs Odie the greyhound and Hermès the Spanish galgo. We are DVC owners at Animal Kingdom Lodge, BoardWalk Villas, Grand Californian, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian, Disney World Annual Passholders, and love educating Disney Vacation Club members on how to both use and maximize the value of their DVC points!

One thought on “Getting Around Walt Disney World in the COVID-19 Era

  • For me, it wouldn’t be a Disney vacation if I had to drive myself around.
    If needed, I’ll happily wait a bit longer for the buses, boats, monorails & skyliners.
    Disney transportion, including waiting at the bus/boat/monorail stations, is a huge part of the Walt Disney World Experience.
    I rented a car on my 1st trip way back in 1991.
    I’ll never do that again.

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