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Bus Service issues at Walt Disney World

by John Hughes
(New Jersey)

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“Just returned from Disney. I love Disney and have been over 40 times, but the last few visits have not been the best. Transportation is a disgrace e, with waits of over an hour for buses. Also the crowds were extreme, with cheerleaders everywhere.

I don’t want to write this to complain, I am hoping you may have a source you can inform of the transportation issue, our last trip one wait was over 2 hours, with some buses for resorts coming to empty stalls 3 or 4 times while those that are full don’t see any for over 1/2 an hour.”

Transportation is an issue

The next bus board at the Pop Century

Morning waits at the Pop Century usually aren’t too bad – Photo by Cliff Wang

Hi John, transportation has been an issue for quite a while at Disney and it does seem to be getting a little worse. Especially the bus service. This is one of lot of things at Disney that Disney is struggling with.

There’s been consistent degradation of services at Walt Disney World for a long time. There’s been a lot of Cast Member lay offs that have lead to a cleanliness problem (that I talked about a few weeks ago) and just things are not up to the Disney standards we’ve come to expect. Bus service is just another one of them.

Dad’s Disney needs to clean up the parks rant

I gotta say it has to be very, very difficult to move 150, 200,000 people around every day. Sometimes more than that. To be able to move them all day long, move them from hotel to hotel, to park to park, it’s a big, big task. But they used to do it better. Literally they just used to do it better than they’re doing now.

Some or the problems comes from where you’re staying. Some of the hotels do better than others. The hotels book their bus services by projected crowds. Sometimes some hotels do better than the other hotels.

Coming out of the parks at night can be a real problem. If you’re going to one of the Value Resorts, you’re going to see lots of buses at night coming to the parks. If you’re going to one of the Moderate Resorts, you’re not going to see quite as many. If you’re going to some of the Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts, especially Animal Kingdom Lodge, the old Key West, if you’re trying to get to those resorts, it’s even harder because they don’t run as many buses to the Value and Moderate resorts. They just don’t.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The bottom line is, Disney knows they have a problem with transportation. They work on it all the time. They’re always thinking about it, always looking for new ways. The Skyliner going into the Pop Century, the Art of Animation and Caribbean Beach Resort, I don’t know how that’s gonna work. We’ll have to see if it makes things better or worse. Probably gonna relieve some buses where they can be used other places. That would be my hope. My guess is, they’ll just lay those people off and it won’t help all that much.

John, you’re correct that something needs to be done. Let’s try this…

Disney, hey Disney listen, I know you listen to Dad. Listen to this. You need to get your act together. Prices go up for us and your services go down. That’s not a good recipe for success. Fix it!

There. That should help.

Have you ever had issues with bus service at Disney World? How about great service? Let Dad (and Disney) know below in the comments.


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Comments for

Jun 26, 2019 Poor poor bus service
by: Jan

I believe I have spent more time waiting for buses then riding on rides. Empty bus stops and the bus stops there and pulls away with out anyone. And then another bus shows up at the same spot. First thing in the morning there should be more then 2 buses for Riverside for amyone of the parks. We finally ordered a Lyft to make our reservations.

Apr 28, 2019 Disney bus service
by: Anonymous

Just returned from Disney April 27,2019 after not being there since 2011, saw a lot of changes. Number 1 was the bus service from resorts to parks. I saw a lot of empty buses just passing up lines of people who were waiting long,I also saw buses that were not full pull away with people waiting. I also don’t understand why the double buses only have room for 2 scooters or wheel chairs in the front, they should accomodate at least 2 more in the back since there are so many guests using them these days. I must admit that every bus driver I encountered was very helpful in assisting me on & off the bus with the scooter. Also the Magical Express bus that brought us to and from the airport did not have a stool at the bottom step which was a big drop to the ground. Being very short myself and with 2 knee replacements I was almost unable to make it down with no assistance from the bus driver(she just stood there & watched).Disney bus service needs better customer service!

Dec 22, 2018 Bus service
by: Milton

Just left EPCOT bus 5066 dec 22 2018, 8:30pm. Bus to pop century, Driver left my wife on scooter ,bus had room for 3 , the driver hooked up 2 scooters. Driver did not talk to my wife, just waved his hands in a manner that was a sign of frustration. New driver showed up and started yelling at passengers. Disney has buses , but obviously is not using them.

Dec 07, 2018 fec 5thweek
by: david

bus service has been terrible this week. over 40 minutes each way between stars resorts and parks. NEVER coming back Also resorts charge 13 a day to park car at motel. Disney gone greedy and cheap now! No more Disney.

May 05, 2018 Redirected in the rain!
by: Anonymous

The monorail was down so we had to take a bus from EPCOT to the transportation center in order to transfer to the resort monorail. We were staying at Grand Floridian. When we got to the transportation center they sent us out in the rain and back through security again instead of funneling us through. The cast members were generally rude about it too. There were no signs either. Surely this happens a lot. There should’ve a better plan.

Mar 20, 2018 Low wages are part of the problem
by: Anonymous

Part of the problem is that Disney keeps raising their prices and their profit margins but don’t pay the bus drivers (or any of the costumed cast members for that matter) very well so they quit and move on. In fact, the drivers have been without a contract since September 2017. Now I read that Disney gave out a $1000 bonus to all cast members from the corporate tax cuts, except of course for anyone who is currently under contract negotiations.

Disney is saying if they don’t accept their current offer by August 2018, they won’t get that bonus. They hire and train new drivers all the time but until Disney starts to pay the drivers what they deserve, nothing will ever improve, they will continue to leave because they can’t feed their families. It’s a never ending cycle that seems to get worse.

Mar 12, 2018 Saratoga Springs service
by: Greg

We stayed at Saratoga Springs last November and the bus transportation was terrible. It seemed like we spent a combined total of 1 full day just waiting to get picked up. And then several stops just to leave SS. Our next stay, for our 50th anniversary, will be a monorail resort.

Mar 10, 2018 That’s disappointing…
by: Anonymous

We have been to WDW several times but will be staying on property for the FIRST time when we visit again in September 2018. Reading this is disappointing, although I’ve heard the ground transportation stinks. If it turns out that we have a bad experience in September, we will probably go back to staying off property and paying the parking fee. Time, as always, will tell.

Mar 06, 2018 Two hours from EPCOT to Polynesian
by: Dori

We had a late dinner reservation in EPCOT (8:30pm) and left the park late. It took us two hours to get from EPCOT to the Polynesian via bus. In retrospect, we should have taken the monorail but we hoped to catch a direct bus from The Boardwalk Inn, thinking we would save time by exiting through the International Gateway. Our only option was to take a bus to Disney Springs (which stopped first at The Dolphin & Swan) and then WAIT again for a bus to the resort. We had a lot better luck with Lyft but, of course, we paid extra. In the future, If avoid busses when at all possible!

Mar 02, 2018 Too many bus stops!
by: Disney Diva Mom

Our worst bus service was at Saratoga Springs. The resort is huge and has only 1 bus that makes multiple stops, which is time consuming and frankly- not magical. For us, time is money. You don’t want to stay at a nice resort and then spend far too much time on a bus. I would not stay there again because of this. They need to have more than 1 bus for that huge resort.

Had a vey similar experience at Caribbean Beach. It’s also very large. The best bus service we had was at Port Orleans French Quarter. I’m sure that is because it’s the smallest Disney resort. Love that resort! Will not hesitate to use the new Minnie van system on our next trip in Nov. Staying at Bay Lake Tower will help though being able to walk and use the monorail! Now that’s magical!

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