The buses at Walt Disney World aren’t exactly magical, per se. But, if you mention the late-night bus ride back to the hotel to someone who’s been to Disney a few times, you’ll likely see their eyes roll back in a wistful haze. There’s a kind of ritual to Disney’s buses, and that cannot be denied.
Yes, they’re hulking and slow. Yes, you will have to squeeze in tightly with perfect strangers and sweaty theme park comrades. Yes, that moment at night when they turn the lights back on before you disembark is hell incarnate.
But even still, Disney’s buses are iconic. The feeling of anticipation when riding one in the morning and the sense of calm peace that washes over them on the return trip at night is hard to forget.
Plus, they’re free — that does a lot.
What’s not to love about the parking lot tram? Aesthetically, it looks similar to Disney’s rides — with rows for each group and air gate-style doors on the outside. It moves briskly, but not terrifyingly fast. The drivers and spotters offer great narration and helpful information.
For many people, this is the first “ride” they’ll experience at Walt Disney World, and as such, it makes a pretty great first impression. It’s custom built by the company — meaning it isn’t some off-the-shelf tram you’d find at a local fairground. It feels special, and that puts it right in the middle of our list.
5. Minnie Van
If we’re talking about luxurious methods of transportation, it’s impossible to beat the Minnie Van. With the comfort of an SUV, the charm of a unique paint job, and the convenience of bus stop access, Minnie Vans are the ultimate way to get around Walt Disney World.
The drivers are insanely knowledgeable, with themed music and fun conversation. The vehicles are virtually guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. And, they almost certainly will get you to your destination faster than any other method.
They are expensive, however, and arguably not worth the cost — which drags them down into the middle of the pack. Still, they’re fun, and good on Disney for trying something fun.
With one transit concept, Disney simultaneously paid homage to an iconic attraction of the past and planted a marker for where urban transportation could move in the future. The Skyliner is a brilliant hack to the Disney property, connecting high-traffic areas with a fun and efficient mode of transportation.
Yes, the lack of AC is troubling and, yes, it is limited to just a small area of the Walt Disney World property. But still, this gondola system is so clever and so unique, that more than makes up for the potential deficiencies.
Plus, it’s just plain fun.