disney bus dos and don’ts

Js on a bus
Big J and Little J on the bus one evening.

Little J was a bus fanatic when he was itty bitty. Hardcore. One of his first words ever was “bus!” He had a die cast set of 3 Disney buses that he carried around everywhere with him (he even slept with them). We used to joke that he would be fine with going to Disney and skipping the parks completely, so long as he was able to ride the buses all day long. In honor of his birthday week (my baby turns 7 on Thursday!), here is a list of dos and don’ts for riding the Disney bus transportation.

heather and katie
Heather & me on the way to Animal Kingdom.

10. Don’t forget to check the schedules.

Buses run from hotels to the parks 45 minutes before park opening and up to an hour after park closes, and they run from the parks to hotels up to 2 hours after park closing. Great! The thing is… do you know when the park opens?! Make sure you check the schedules and if you’re ever unsure, ask a Cast Member! They’ll be happy to help you figure out the best time to be where.

sleeping j
Big J asleep on the bus after closing down the parks.

9. Do give yourself plenty of time!

Disney has a good system in place and in general the buses run a pretty consistent 20 minute loop, so you shouldn’t have too long of a wait. Unfortunately, things happen – traffic, or difficulty getting the bus loaded, etc – and sometimes there will be a longer wait. If you have important reservations, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be… especially if you might need to do a bus transfer!

8. Don’t stand in front of the yellow line.

First off, yes, you can stand while the bus is in motion. If the bus isn’t full and there are seats available, it is highly recommended to use the seats, but standing is allowed. And for the bus to be full to capacity, many people will be standing. At the front of the bus is a yellow line, and all guests must be behind that line for the bus to be allowed to go. I’m like 99% certain that is actually a state law, and the bus drivers are very strict about it!

michael and katie
Michael & me on the bus.

7. Do offer your seat up.

Okay, please use common sense with this one. If you need a seat, stay seated! And of course no one ever has to give up their seat (unless seated where the bus has signs saying that you must give up that seat for a scooter/wheelchair, and the driver says that they are loading one)! But if you’re an able-bodied person with a seat and you see someone who looks like they might need a seat, please consider offering it. When I went to Disney big fat pregnant, I didn’t mind standing, but it still made me feel good about humanity when someone would offer to stand and let me have their seat. This is not a necessity, but it is simple kindness – which we all know goes a long way!

6. Don’t eat, drink, or smoke on the bus.

Yeah, so this is pretty self-explanatory. You are allowed to bring food and drink onto the buses, you just aren’t supposed to consume them. To be honest, I see people drinking from their cups or bottles all the time, but since the official rules say don’t, you really shouldn’t! And nobody wants to be on a bus with someone smoking – and that does include the vape things.

5. Do fold your stroller before trying to board.

All strollers must be collapsed before you’re allowed to board the bus. I know that can be a hassle at times, but those things take up so much space! In my search for the Perfect Disney Stroller I always made sure to check out how easily a stroller folded up and how compact it was when folded. Also of importance is how easy is it to haul when folded – most, if not all, of my strollers could still roll when folded, but Alyssa’s Thule didn’t (or if it did, I never figured out how) which meant it had to be carried on and off the bus.

big j converse
Chicco Cortina stroller folded up flat!

4. Don’t bring the car seat.

If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler, there is no need to bring a car seat on the bus. There are no seatbelts to install a seat with! Same goes with a booster seat. If your child is too young to sit alone, you can hold him or her in your arms.

3. Do ask for transportation cards!

I adore freebies, and Disney transportation cards are just really cool. Not everyone that you ask will have them, but if you ask everyone then you’re sure to get some at some point. Each internal transportation line (buses, boats, and the monorails) has its own set of cards, with fun facts about the different lines. We’ve been collecting these for years. There are also transportation coins and transportation safety cards!

transportation goodies

2. Don’t forget to thank your driver!

Unlike with Disney’s Magical Express, you do not tip the park bus drivers! A smile, ‘thank you’, and ‘have a nice day’ go a long way, however. As Michael always tells the Js: “manners never go out of style.” It is sad but true that the drivers will have to deal with rude guests at times, so taking the time to politely say thank you is sure to be appreciated.

1. Do sit back and enjoy the ride!

I’m not a fan of driving at the best of times, so I find it very relaxing to be able to have someone else drive me from my hotel to the parks. The drivers are very good at what they do, and the trip is generally a very smooth one. Enjoy being able to chat with family or look at ride wait times on your phone, and soon you’ll be at your destination!

toof and little j
My SIL and Little J on the bus in 2013.

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