by Military Diva
In recent years Disney World has had to increase security checks at all of their parks. As a result, many people have shied away from the Park Hopper ticket option and opted to remain in one park the entire day. Who wants to wait in another security line opening bags and removing metal when they can be spending that time enjoying the entertainment or another Disney treat? Thanks to Disney World’s new Express Transportation, park hopping has become easier than ever. Guests now have a seamless way to travel directly from one park to another in record breaking time.
To begin, let me explain the various Disney World tickets:
- Magic Kingdom One Day Tickets– can only be used on one day and for Magic Kingdom Admission only. Seasonal pricing is $107 for Value dates, $115 for Regular dates and $124 for Peak dates.
- Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom One Day Tickets-can only be used on one day at one of these three select parks. Seasonal pricing is $99 for Value dates, $107 for Regular dates and $119 for Peak dates.
- One day Park Hopper Tickets– can be used at all four parks during one day. Guests have the ability to “hop” from one park to another during their selected use day. Seasonal pricing is $162 for Value dates, $170 for Regular dates and $174 for Peak dates.
- Magic Your Way (Multi Day) One Park per Day tickets-purchased in 2-10 day lengths. Guests may only visit one park per day. Pricing for a two day ticket begins at $199 (per day pricing decreases as more days are purchased). Seasonal pricing does not apply. Tickets expire 14 days after first use.
- Magic Your Way (Multi Day) Hopper Tickets– also purchased in 2-10 day lengths but allows guests to “:hop” between all four parks each day of use. Pricing for a two day ticket begins at $259 (per day pricing also decreases as more days are purchased). Seasonal pricing does not apply. Tickets still expire 14 days after first use.
- Park Hopper Plus Option-add on purchase that grants admission to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Tickets must include park hopper to add this option. Number of visits vary based on number of theme park day tickets purchases. Pricing is $15 per person.
*Pricing does not include taxes, military discounted ticket options or Annual Passes.
Disney World’s Express Transportation is only available for those using Park Hopper tickets or Annual Passes and requires an extra fee. Currently Express Transportation is $19/person per day or $29/person for a 7 day pass. (This fee has recently increased from $15 and $24 and is not yet updated on park brochures.)
Express Transportation passes can be purchased at the following locations-
- Disney World Park Guest Services and ticketing booths
- Concierge desks at Disney World Resorts
- Concierge desks at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin
- Disney Springs ticketing windows
- Express Transportation check-in kiosks.
This add-on option will be conveniently loaded onto guests’ Magic Bands and ready for immediate use. When arriving at the first park of the day, guests will be required to travel through bag check/security. However, when ready to head to the next park, guests only need to locate the designated Express Transportation kiosk at the appropriate time, scan their Magic Bands and wait to be escorted to the VIP bus.
The bus will depart on time (very scheduled- no late arrivals!) and head for the next park. Guests are driven directly to a private entrance of the second park, escorted inside by Cast Members and left at areas inside the main park gates- sometimes deep within the parks.
Zero extra ticket scans, Zero bag checks, Zero security checks! As long as guests remain within the parks or escorted by Cast Member/ Express Transportation, security is bypassed each and every trip!
So where can guests access Express Transportation?
- Magic Kingdom Express Transportation- near the exit (rear) of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Epcot’s Express Transportation- east side of Spaceship Earth
- Hollywood Studios Express Transportation- courtyard of Aerosmith’s Rock & Roller Coaster
- Animal Kingdom’s Express Transportation- front of Kilimajaro Safari.
I had the pleasure of using this service during a recent trip. I was able to move between Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom (Buzz Lightyear and Kilimanjaro Safari) in about 22 minutes.
During a short half day trip I was able to enjoy Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade and a few rides, transfer to Animal Kingdom for the Festival of the Lion King, a bit of outdoor entertainment and Rivers of Light, then back to Magic Kingdom in time to grab a Main Street spot for Wishes.
Prior to Express Transportation this full schedule would not have been possible without a lot of rushing and running! Not a fun idea with a large group or several children.
Express Transportation runs on a tight schedule and like all things Disney, works best with some pre-planning. This service is available from 10:00 am to park closing, runs on 30 minute schedules that vary by route, and can be used as often as guests like during the days they have purchased. It is recommended to arrive 10 minutes prior to departure.
While not posted in the parks, Cast Members are happy to provide you with the schedule. This is the current schedule from Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. (I have been told by Cast Members that this does not change, but I would recommend always asking.)
- Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom departs on the hour and half hour
- Magic Kingdom to Epcot departs at 10 after and 40 after the hour
- Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios departs at 20 after and 50 after the hour.
- Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom departs on the hour and half hour
- Animal Kingdom to Hollywood Studios departs at 10 after and 40 after the hour
- Animal Kingdom to Epcot departs at 20 after and 50 after the hour.
(Epcot and Hollywood Studios offers similar scheduling, please check with Cast Member when purchasing.)
With these Express Transportation options guests now have the ability to move between main areas of parks within a very short time. Travel between Epcot and Hollywood studios averages 13 minutes while travel between Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom (the longest travel time) averages 22 minutes. This is a wonderful option for those wishing to access their favorite attractions across several parks or for families with several children and room in their budget. Trying to hold onto young children while opening bags and emptying pockets is a hassle I am happy to pay to avoid!
If you have room in your budget and the desire to “Hop” between Disney Parks, be sure to try out Disney World’s Express Transportation for your next trip. This is one of the best extra fee options Disney has offered in awhile!