Hello again, readers! I’m Aly Miller from San Antonio, TX and today I’m tackling a question from Lou’s overflowing inbox! I love the parks in the early mornings, so I’m often first in line for transportation via the Walt Disney World buses! Alistair writes:
“Hi Lou, I’m writing to you from rainy Buxton Derbyshire in the UK. Firstly, I just want to say a big thank you for all the hard work you put into your podcasts. I’ve been a fan for around 12 months now and I absolutely love the show. Please keep up the good work, you inspire me daily. My question for you (when you open up the inbox) is… Do you know what time the resort buses start running in a morning? My family and I are visiting at the end of August (staying at Coronado Springs) and are aiming to sample rope drop at The Magic Kingdom for the very first time. We don’t want to leave too early, but at the same time we don’t want to leave too late. Hope you can help. Thanks for everything. Alistair Grzegorzek”
Alistair, I’m so glad you love the show as much as I do! My family and I are big fans of the early morning dining reservations and rope drop. There’s something incredible about seeing the main drag of the parks with very few people in them, fresh and clean in the morning right as the park opens up for the day. Pro tip – there are often character Meet and Greets that happen in the pre-opening hours at Magic Kingdom in the Town Square area that aren’t available other times of day. I’ve seen Pluto, Stitch, Daisy Duck, and Minnie Mouse at various times.
At Magic Kingdom specifically, Disney will allow guests inside the park starting about an hour before park opening, and Main Street, U.S.A. shops (including the bakery) are open. There is a welcome show that happens on the Castle Forecourt Stage right at opening time, and after that, guests are permitted into the other areas of the park. Of course, guests with dining reservations are granted access to Be Our Guest Restaurant via a check-in process on the left side of the hub as you’re facing Cinderella Castle, near the bridge to Liberty Square.
As for the Walt Disney World buses, the official Disney site (and most of the transportation information) says that buses run from resorts starting 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to official park opening. I’m relatively sure that’s also the answer you will get from Cast Members on the phone and on site. However, in my experience, I’ve seen buses running 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to official park opening. I’ve even taken a bus from Disney’s Pop Century Resort to Magic Kingdom in time for an [8:30] AM breakfast reservation (but be ready to hop in a cab or Uber if you miss the early bus or it’s full!). As with most experiences that differ from the official Disney communication, you should never count on those early buses. If you want to be on Main Street at [8:00] AM, I would recommend being at your resort bus station by [7:15], waiting to see if a bus arrives by about [7:40]. You can also check the expected arrival time on the monitor near most bus stations, but be aware they can sometimes reflect information that is not up-to-date or changes as time goes on. Should a bus not be there by the time you want to leave, you can take alternative private transportation (cab or Uber, at your expense), or will just have to wait for the very first bus. Hope you have a great time and enjoy rope-drop at the parks!
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To learn more about Alyson and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.