"Is staying at one of the monorail resorts the best idea for getting around parks? What do we do for one of these resorts if we want to go to Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios? If we choose to get a car to these parks not connected by the monorail, are there fees involved for the parking?"
The Contemporary is pretty cool - Photo by Cliff Wang
Cheryl, it's a good question. I say that a lot don't I? It is a good question, though. If you're staying on the monorail, the transportation to the Magic Kingdom is pretty special. You've got the monorail, you've got the little launches that go to the Magic Kingdom. Great ways to get the MK. Getting to Epcot, if you're staying at the Polynesian, you can actually walk over to the Transportation and Ticket Center and catch the monorail to Epcot.
If you're staying at any of the other hotels, you've got to ride the monorail around to the Transportation and Ticket Center, change, and then go to Epcot. That's really cool. It really is. It's really cool. I love the monorail. It's my favorite ride at Walt Disney World. I just love being on the monorail.
But. Getting to Hollywood Studios, getting to Animal Kingdom, is pretty much like staying at any of the other resorts. You get on the bus, and you go on the bus to Hollywood Studios, you can go on the bus to Animal Kingdom.
The good thing, the buses typically aren't really full. The bad thing is the buses are shared. The Contemporary, the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, typically they are using the same bus. So there are multiple stops. Not always, but typically. It's kind of not the best. But it's almost 50/50 exactly. Half the parks you have great transportation to, half the parks you have maybe not so great transportation.
Now. A car at Walt Disney World, I always recommend having a car at Disney World, that's because I'm a car freak. I'm a drive myself kind of freaky kind of guy. we've done without a car a few times and it's OK but, we like having a car.
Parking is free for resort guests. When you come into the hotel, they're going to give you a little piece of paper, you put that on your dashboard, and you can park at any parking lot at Walt Disney World, including the parks. So you can park in the park parking lots, you can park at other hotel parking lots. You can park in your hotel parking lot. So, that is all taken care of. Parking is free.
One thing I would recommend you do is get in touch with my partners over at Destinations to Travel. They can help you figure out the best options for your vacation. They know how to get around at WDW and can help you build a plan for your trip. Give them a shout.
The bottom line is, transportation from a monorail hotel... great transportation to Magic Kingdom, good transportation to Epcot, and reasonable transportation to the other parks. Buses, will take you everywhere you want to go.
Minnie Vans were just announced and are testing. Minnie Vans are vans decorated up to look like Minnie Mouse. They are driven by Disney drivers and go between all Disney locations. They cost $20 per trip. They look cool.
Uber, taxis ... it doesn't cost much to Uber between the hotels and the parks. All those things are available. You just gotta make your decision on what is best for you. For us? We like having a car. We like that freedom. Even when we stay on the monorail, we like having a car.