Minnie Vans at Disney World
Review of Minnie Vans at Disney World
One nice aspect about visiting Disney World is that Disney offers free transportation throughout the Disney World Resort. The downside? Disney buses can be slow and unpredictable. If we are traveling between two resorts or in a hurry to get to a park, we sometimes opt to take an Uber. In the past, we avoided Minnie Vans because they are more expensive than standard Uber or Lyft trips. However, we recently took a Minnie Van and were pleasantly surprised by the experience. This post provides information about the Minnie Van service at Disney World and details our recommendations for using Minnie Vans during a Disney vacation.
How Is A Minnie Van Different from Uber/Lyft?
Minnie Van is a ride service that easily transports guests throughout Disney World. Minnie Vans are requested through the Lyft App, and in many ways are similar to your typical Uber or Lyft experience. One unique aspect about Minnie Vans is that they only pick up and drop off within the Walt Disney World Resort. But, there are two exceptions: trip between Disney World and the Orlando International Airport (MCO) or Port Canaveral for a Disney Cruise. For the airport or Port Canaveral routes, call ahead to schedule the trip. All of our Minnie Van rides have been within the Walt Disney World Resort.
While you order Minnie Vans through the Lyft App, the ride selection is different from the standard Lyft options. Be sure to select the Minnie Van car option when in the Lyft App if you want to request a Minnie Van. As we discuss below, the Minnie Van ride price will be higher than a standard Lyft ride.
Number of Seats and Amenities In the Van
Minnie vans fit up to 6 adults, so it is comparable to an Uber XL. This is nice if you are traveling with a larger group. Minnie Vans also have two car seats in the back of the Minnie van at all times, which can be helpful if you have little ones. The seats are very comfortable and the van is extremely clean. The only amenity in the Minnie van is charging cables. The cables cover a variety of phone types and can be handy if your phone needs some time to charge during the ride.
Reasons To Take A Minnie Van
Minnie Vans are an easy and enjoyable way to get around Disney World. If we had no budget, we would take Minnie Vans all of the time. The exceptions being if we wanted to enjoy a monorail ride, boat ride, or walk to the park. If you have no budget, we say take a Minnie Van instead of a Disney bus.
Unfortunately, most of us do have a budget. Since Disney offers free transportation between all of the theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs, it is often hard for us to justify taking an Uber. It is especially difficult to justify the more costly Minnie Van.
While we have had some really friendly Uber and Lyft drivers, they do not compare to the Minnie Van drivers. Minnie Van drivers are Disney cast members. This aspect guarantees a knowledgeable and friendly driver that makes the experience very enjoyable.
Since the diver is a Disney employee, you can pretty much guarantee that they will not get lost. We have had several Uber drivers get lost, particularly when going to Animal Kingdom. We have never had a Minnie Van driver get lost and expect that this rarely, if ever, happens.
Traveling To Or From Magic Kingdom
The Minnie van is much more convenient than Uber or Lyft when traveling to or from the Magic Kingdom. The Minnie Van drops you off right at a dedicate bus station near the entrance to Magic Kingdom. Uber and regular Lyft are not allowed in this area. Instead Uber and Lyft will drop you off at the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Being dropped off at the Transportation and Ticket Center is a lot less convenient because you then have to take an additional boat or monorail to get to Magic Kingdom. For us, a better option is to take the Uber or Lyft to the Contemporary Hotel and then walk to Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary. This option still requires more time and a longer walk to get to the Magic Kingdom when compared to the Minnie Van. For us, the ability for Minnie Vans to drop off and pick up right at the entrance to Magic Kingdom is one of the biggest benefits of Minnie Vans over standard Uber or Lyft.
If you are staying at a large Disney resort, Minnie Vans can pick you up at your specific resort building. Since the majority of our Disney hotel stays are at the Swan and Dolphin, this benefit does not apply to us. However, if you are at a Disney resort with several buildings, such as Saratoga Springs, the Minnie Vans are able to pick you up directly at your resort building. If you want to take a standard Uber or Lyft, you will have to go to the main hotel building (where check in is) to be picked up. This can sometimes be a long walk from your hotel room. If you want to save on walking or if it is really hot out, the fact that Minnie Vans can pick you up right outside of your hotel room is a nice benefit.
Reasons NOT To Take A Minnie Van
While we think Minnie Vans are the nicest way to travel around Disney World, we rarely use Minnie Vans. Why? The main aspect is the cost. We use free Disney transportation as frequently as possible to help save on the cost of our vacation. If we want to get to another hotel for dinner, we will transfer buses or take an Uber because it is less expensive than the Minnie Van.
The cost of the Minnie Van ride will depend on the distance being traveled. Through the Lyft App, you can request a Minnie Van to any destination within Disney World. Your pick up location must also be within Disney World. When you go to order the Minnie Van, you will see the total cost for the trip. Lyft promotions are currently able to be applied to Minnie Van rides.
Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom
If you take a Minnie Van to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, or Epcot, you are guaranteed to get a great driver and clean car, but you are paying a lot more for those aspects. Minnie Vans drop off and pick up at the same location as standard Uber and Lyft at Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. Because of this aspect, we have never taken a Minnie Van to one of these parks. If we do not want to wait for the bus, we order a regular Uber or Lyft because it is cheaper.
We will take a Minnie Van or Uber to get to the parks when the arrival time for the Disney bus is blank or if the Disney bus is not expected to get to the hotel bus stop anytime soon. However, we have had it happen where we order the Uber or Minnie Van and the bus pulls up at the same time as the van. That is the worst because then you paid for something that you really didn’t need.
Is It Worth It?
For us, the answer is a big “it depends.” First, Disney offers free transportation between all of the theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. So taking an Uber, Lyft, or Minnie Van while traveling within Disney World is already a convenience more than a necessity. We would still chose normal Uber or Lyft almost every time we do not want to take the traditional Disney World transportation because it is substantially cheaper.
So if you are in a hurry to get to Magic Kingdom or want the most convenient option, then the Minnie Van is it. The Minnie van is also a great option if you have someone in your party that does not do well with walking and doesn’t want to wait for a bus. It is also great if you have kids that need a car seat or if you have 6 adults. If it is just the two of us traveling, we almost always pass on the Minnie Van option.
Our Overall Recommendation
For us, we really only consider using a Minnie Van if we are going to the Magic Kingdom from our hotel. Even still, we will wait and take a Disney bus if one is reasonably close by. If you have no budget for your Disney trip, then heck yes use those Minnie Vans non-stop. If you have any questions about Minnie Vans or if you want to share your experience with Minnie Vans, please leave us a comment below!
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