If you are staying within the Disney property and don’t have plans to travel outside of it, it makes much more sense to utilize Disney’s free transportation system within the property rather than spending unnecessary money on car rentals.

Disney is over 30,000 acres, so you really should be able to stay within the property and have a great time, unless there is something in Orlando you just have to do while here that is off property.  In that case, an inexpensive car rental may be the choice for you.  For this article though, I am going to go over Disney’s free transportation system as the best option for navigating the property.

Disney recently added another aspect to their transportation system called Disney Magical Express.  In a nutshell, that is just complimentary transport to and from the airport to your hotel.  When disembarking from your plane you would find the Disney Magical Express help desk at the airport. Checkin there and then wait to hop a bus to your hotel.  Expect to wait 10-45 minutes for your bus depending on the time of day.

The great thing is that they will even pick up and drop off your luggage at your hotel for you as well, so you don’t have to wait in the luggage line.  If you purchase your Disney package through the Disney site, they will send you tags to attach to your luggage, and it will go straight to the Disney bus and on to your hotel.

Now of course there are other transportation options you can use, such as vans, shuttles, cabs, and limos.  However, you can expect to pay a pretty significant amount of cash for these services, so the complimentary transportation is a nice way to avoid that.

Once inside Disney property, they are fairly good about getting people to and fro between the parks and resorts.  Outside of every resort property is a Disney bus stop and Disney buses run every 15-20 minutes.

Just be certain you double check you are on the right bus for where you need to go, as each bus is assigned to only one or two hotels and they then travel directly to a park.  That means very little stop-and-go for you.  Every bus has the park name that it serves painted across it, and you can always ask the driver if you are uncertain.

On return trips, every park has a bus stop outside of the gates, and there are numbered posts that indicate which hotel that bus goes to.  So to board, you just find the appropriate line for your hotel and wait for the bus to arrive.  Generally wait times are only about 10-15 minutes for buses.  The exception is after big shows or events, and large crowds are exiting the park at the same time.  This can cause your wait time to increase to as much as 40 minutes or more.

To travel from resort to resort, you would simply hop on the bus for the closest park destination to your hotel, and then once you arrive at the park hop on a new bus headed to the other resort.  Think of it a bit like a lay over on an air plane, or transferring flights.

In general, Disney buses begin running an hour before each park opens, and an hour after each park closes.  They also run all day about every 20 minutes, although it is possible they run a bit faster than that most days.  Regardless, despite taking a bit more time to wait for public transport, it’s a heck of a lot easier and cheaper than wasting money renting a car when you really don’t need to!