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  1. #1

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    Talking WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    My first post!!

    So my fiancée and I are big Disneyland people (in fact we got engaged there!) but this is our first trip to WDW. We are going in early October, so thankfully we have some time to prepare. My question is in regards to the Disney resort transportation system. We are looking at staying at the Pop Century resort to save some money, but I am a little worried about the buses. I have heard all kinds of scary stories about how they are overcrowded, how you might have to wait for a second bus, and how it could take up to an hour to reach a park. My biggest concern is our early morning breakfast at the Magic Kingdom - where the reservation is actually before the opening of the park.

    Is it worth it to stay in a Disney resort and take the buses? Or should I stay off property and rent a car instead?

    Would REALLY love some input from all of you WDW veterans. Thanks!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I would try as hard as I could to stay at a moderate resort instead. They're still big, but they're not as big as the value resorts (therefore less competition for the bus), and they're closer to the parks. Specifically the Caribbean Beach is a decent location close to Epcot and Disney Studios. Their is normally not a huge price difference, but it depends on the time of year. Also, whether you stay at a value or moderate resort, you've got to get a preferred room. The preferred rooms are close to the lobby and bus stops, and if you get a regular room, it really sucks to half to walk half a mile (no exaggeration, it really is that far to some of the rooms at a value or moderate resort) from the bus to your room AFTER having walked around Epcot all day. If you do stay at the Pop Century, I would for sure get a car, because otherwise it can easily take over an hour from the time you're standing in line waiting for the bus to get to the Magic Kingdom until you're actually there entering the park. Actually I'd probably get a car at either way. Also, be sure to check on the rates at the Swan and Dolphin, every once in a while they're about the same price as a moderate, and they are the absolute best location at WDW.
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  3. #3

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    We just came back from a 7 Day vacation at the Pop Century had zero problems, but there are a lot more people at the value resorts with kids vs. the Moderate or high value resorts.

    The buses only get over crowded during peak times when families are going to or leaving the parks. If you plan your schedule to avoid those times you'll be fine. We did that for majority of the our visit and buses were barely full most of the time.


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  4. #4

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I respectfully have to disagree with much of what Big D wrote. For one thing, Pop and CBR are almost next to each other so it takes the same amount of time to get from each resort to the parks. In addition, Pop has only bus stop whereas CBR (which I love) has several so it actually takes LONGER to get to and from the parks from CBR.

    I also think that if you are budget conscious, you should not rent a car. The buses and other free transposration are very efficient. Driving won't save you much time because you have to go through the toll plazas (even if you don't have to pay), park the car and usually take the tram to the park. It's just as fast or faster to take the bus. The only time having a car is a major plus is if you are going from one resort to another since there is no direct transportation and transfering busses can take quite a while.

    Lastly, while you might get a nicer room for the same price at the Swan or Dolphin, they are not Disney owned and operated so they lack some of the perks of staying in Disney resorts. These may or may not matter to you (everyone is different) but you should check them before you book.

  5. #5

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    You could also stay on property AND rent a car. Just a thought. Have a great trip, take lots of pictures, pack sunscreen AND an umbrella as we Californians think "warm = dry and sunny" not "warm = wet and tropical."

  6. #6

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    One of the biggest perks of staying onsite is you get a car free vacation.

    While they can get busy, it's not always like that. Usually at park closing or after fireworks, and in busy seasons. Buses come every 20 minutes, and when it's crowded and the buses fill up they run more often.

    For pre opening breakfast reservations, they run special Character Meal buses, starting at about 6:30. They run less often than 20 minutes so make sure you catch one giving you plenty of time to get to your park. Sometimes they go to multiple parks, or resorts because they aren't very busy.
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  7. #7

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    The last time I stayed at WDW was two years ago, but we stayed in a Value and it worked great for us! It was over spring break, so one of the busier times of the year, and we never waited more than 10 minutes for the bus. We made it to rope drop at all of the parks. We didn't have a preferred room, so it was a bit of a walk, but nothing to freak out about. Overall, I loved our vacation at our value resort and I would go back again! I wouldn't let the crazy rumors terrify you too badly. Enjoy your vacation!
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  8. #8

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I would stay on property sans car. The buses are not that bad. Yes, sometimes they might be busy and such, but I've never experienced them to be down right horrible. I have stayed at POP in Oct and had no concerns overs the buses.

  9. #9

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    For value resorts, Pop has the best transportation because it has its own bus. If you stay offsite and rent a car you have to pay for parking every day which adds up quickly because parking is insanely expensive. If you stay onsite and rent a car you get free parking for the length of your stay.
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  10. #10

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I've given up on staying on property and not using my car. Anywhere the monorails don't go, I just drive myself.

  11. #11

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I've been to WDW many times, average one trip every other year since the 80's. I have stayed both on and off property. I prefer on property. It just seems more like a vacation when I do.

    If your worried about walking to a bus stop, why are you bothering to go to Disney? You will be walking all day everyday anyway right? I have never had that long a walk to a stop and I have never requested preferred rooms. As for crowding, as stated above, avoid the busy times and your fine. Getting to your breakfast might be crowded, but if your worried about it you can have the front desk call you a cab for that morning to be sure your there on time.

    Good luck, and have fun!

  12. #12

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I've been twice over the last few years. Once I stayed at Pop and had a great experiences with the bus. Never waited too long, and the only times I found the bus full was at night after park closing. 2 years later we stayed at Caribbean beach and I really disliked using the bus system while staying there. There are I believe about 8 or so different stops at the resort. We were right on the first stop in/out of the resort (depending on which way the driver drove around the loop). For some reason we found we were always the first ones up to be picked up and the last ones to be dropped off meaning we were on the bus about 15 minutes just travelling around the resort.

    I would definitely consider staying at pop century or even art of animation in consideration with bus service. As well, a benefit of staying on property is the use of the extra magic hours. I always take those into consideration when planning which parks to spend which day at, and they are a very helpful perk that not everyone uses.

  13. #13

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    It's worth it to me - not having to drive is one of the top three reasons I choose a WDW vacation in the first place.

    Anyway, every minute I spend waiting for a bus is a minute I don't have to spend schlepping to or from a parking lot.

  14. #14

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I stayed at Pop Century in 2009- my only trip to WDW so far. We used the buses no problem for the first week. There was only one night it was really crowded, and Sweet Caroline was playing on the bus, and the whole bus was singing the chorus together. I think that's the most fun I ever had on a bus (sober) lol. We had a early morning breakfast in the park, and took the bus there with plenty of time before breakfast to take photos on mainstreet before the park filled up. We rented a car for the second week to visit other theme parks in the area and it was fine too. I can't remember what we had to pay for parking- if anything- at the hotel. We found great car rental info at mousesavers.com.

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  15. #15

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    Re: WDW Transportation System - worth it to stay in Value Resort?

    I'd say no. There's a good chance you can rent a car and stay at a better hotel for the price of being in one of Disney's poorly decorated motels. You're then not stuck anywhere and free to move and explore.

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