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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cruise to Resort--Using Disney Transports

On our grand Summer 2011 family vacation, we let Disney transport us from the moment our plane touched down in Orlando.  We used Disney transports to get us from the Hyatt at Orlando International to Port Canaveral—click here to read more—and were transported on a lovely Disney Cruise Line bus, operated by Mears. 

We then used Disney transport to go from Port Canaveral to our Walt Disney World Resort.  We thought we would once again be transported in luxury on a Disney Cruise Line bus.  But that didn’t happen.  Here’s the story:

After disembarking the ship with Key to the World Cards, Passports, and Custom forms in hand, we headed down the escalator just after exiting the ship, to the big luggage room.  I quickly found a porter and told him our bags were in the “red Mickey” section.

Off we went to secure our bags.  Found them!  The porter loaded them on his oversized two-wheeled hand cart and we zig-zagged through the queue to customs.  It was great to visit with our porter. . . how many days do you work at the port?  How long is your day?  He said the crew of porters work every day any ship, for any cruise line, is in port.  He said they arrive quite early, say 4:00 am, and start taking bags off the ship so that when the first guests disembark between 7:00 and 7:30 am, the luggage is in the luggage room.

We made it through customs without any issues and them outside the port terminal.  I explained that we were headed to a Disney resort and it was confirmed by a code on our Key to the World Cards.

A Disney Cruise Line Cast Member then directed us to a white van.  Huh?  The beautiful Disney Cruise Line busses were loading right beside us.  There were already 4 guests in the van and we were next.  The porter and van driver quickly loaded our bags. 

Well, since I had anticipated riding in the Disney Cruise Line bus, which had a restroom, I had waited to use the bathroom until after we got through the disembarkation process.  Now, I was looking at an hour and a half ride without a bathroom.  Nope, not going to make it. 

The van driver directed me to a security guard.  I then had to go through the metal detectors at the entrance to the port terminal, up the stairs and use the restroom.  I was the only guest on that floor of the building!  I quickly made my way back down the stairs and to the van.  A Disney Cruise Line bus was already pulling away from the port terminal. 

By the time I returned to the van, it had been decided that I would ride in the front, next to the driver.  We would make the ride to Orlando stopping at 3 resorts—Pop Century to drop off two of our passengers, Caribbean Beach to drop off 2 more, and we would be the last stop at Port Orleans French Quarter.

Another issue. . . on the Disney Cruise Line bus, movies would be playing.  The boy would be somewhat entertained.  No movies on the van. He was able to entertain himself with his DS. I was three rows in front of him in our white van!

Not having expected this turn of events, I asked our driver how this happens.  He said that the van is typically there and fills up first, early, to get guests to the Walt Disney World Resorts.  He was surprised that the big bus filled up first and took off.  He told us that riders on the van had to be over 6 years old.  Okay, we met that requirement.

It ended up being a lovely drive/ride.  Our driver allowed me to take the following pictures from the front seat of the van. 

We saw parts of Orlando that we hadn’t seen before and possibly would not have seen from riding in the bus.  We made it to our stop, Port Orleans French Quarter before 10:00 am.

Disney continued to transport us using Disney Transportation to/from the parks—busses, boats, and monorails.

Disney’s Magical Express transported us from our resort to Orlando International for our return flight home.  Yeah, there’s a story with this one too, but I’ll save it for another time.

Disney does its best to transport guests in a safe, timely, and efficient manner which is another reason we keep coming back.  There’s no added cost of rental cars or car services when traveling to Disney.

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