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Full Review: Traveling in Style in an Accessible Disney Minnie Van

Authors Note: Some of these tips were in the WDW Tip of the Week on May 20, 2018.  If you already read that tip, skip ahead to the heading “Here’s How it Works” where you will find a more detailed explanation of the Accessible Disney Minnie Vans at the Walt Disney World Resort.

 

Have you seen one of these red with white polka dot Minnie Vans traveling around the Walt Disney World Resort?   Did you ask yourself, “Are those just for Cast Members or can anyone ride in them?”  The answer to that question is – anyone who wishes to utilize this new service can hail one via the Lyft app for Apple or Android devices.  Or if you require an accessible Minnie Van, you can call 407-828-3500 to make arrangements for your ride as the Lyft app does not have the option to specify if you need an accessible vehicle.

All Minnie Van vehicles are owned and operated by Disney. A unique feature of these vans is that they are driven by Disney Cast Members that have been trained on the various routes within the property – no GPS needed.  As of this posting, the point-to-point cost for any Minnie Van on property is $25.  The vans can be used from any WDW resort to any of the parks, Disney Springs, or other resorts.  WDW Resort Club Level Guests can use a Minnie Van to take them to the Orlando International Airport for a higher fee of $150. The regular Minnie Van is a Chevy Traverse which can seat up to six people. There are even forward and rear-facing car seats for children of various ages that the CM can install for you at no extra charge.  The accessible vehicles are the larger Ford Transit. We did notice that the Ford logos are all covered while the Chevy logos are visible on their vehicles.

 

Minnie Van pamphelet photo - copyright DisneySo why pay to be transported on property when you can use free Disney transportation?  Unlike the buses, Monorails or watercraft, you don’t have to transfer at the Ticket and Transportation Center or a park to change your mode of transportation.  For example, last year prior to the Minnie Van launch, I wanted to travel from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to the Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and I had to take a bus to Magic Kingdom Park and then take another bus out to the Beach Club.  Not only did I have to transfer vehicles, but I had to wait in the cold and rain for the next bus to arrive.  All in all, it took about an hour to make the one-way trip.  On my most recent trip in January, I made the journey from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to the Beach Club Resort using an accessible Minnie Van in less than a half hour.  That included using the van’s lift and having my wheelchair secured into the vehicle.  Plus, the CM was very friendly, knowledgeable and we had great conversations during our rides. We were able to charge the ride directly to our resort room with a simple tap of our MagicBand. Not only is it convenient, but it is the most magical way to travel around the Walt Disney World Resort.

Accessible Minnie Van Lift on Accessible Minnie Van Accessible Minnie Van Boarding an Accessible Minnie Van

Here’s How It Works

Download the Lyft App

Before you even arrive at your WDW resort you can download the Lyft app to your Apple or Android phone (see the links above).  Once you are at your resort lobby, you will be able to access the Minnie Van option.  The CM at the front desk can help you if you need an access code.

Lyft app in Apple Stor   Lyft app screenshot - copyright Lyft   Lyft app screenshot - copyright Lyft  Lyft app screenshot - copyright Lyft

 

Request a Ride

When you’re ready to request a ride, simply open the Lyft app, request a ride, and make sure you choose the Minnie Van option. You will be able to see where the various Minnie Vans are and you will be given a number for your van.  This helps as they all look the same.

Lyft app Minnie Van screenshot - copyright Lyft and Disney Lyft app Minnie Van screenshot - copyright Lyft and Disney

 

Request an Accessible Minnie Van

For an accessible vehicle, you will need to call 407-828-3500 and speak with a friendly Cast Member working at the Minnie Van dispatch center.  It is recommended that you call at least 30 minutes prior to when you need the ride since there are fewer accessible vans available on property. They will ask basic information such as where you are located and where you want to go.  You will need to give them a cell phone number so that the friendly Cast Member driver can call you when they are at your pick-up location.  Plus, you will need to set up how you wish to pay for the ride since this will not be done via the Lyft app.  We chose to have the rides charged to our resort room.  On our first ride, we simply used a MagicBand to tap and pay.  On other subsequent rides during the same vacation, we were automatically in the system and were not asked for a MagicBand.

Minnie Van pamphlet - copyright Disney Minnie Van pamphlet - copyright Disney

 

Pay for Your Minnie Van

To pay for your ride you can use the Lyft app which is linked to your credit card or you can use Apple Pay.  We actually used our MagicBand to pay on our first trip.  On subsequent trips, our resort room was automatically charged for the accessible vehicle. Tips are frowned upon by Disney as this is a Disney paid position, unlike the Disney’s Magical Express drivers who are contracted out from Mears Transportation.

Paying for a Minnie Van

Once your Minnie Van arrives, you can hop in and enjoy your magical journey to your destination.

Accessible Minnie Van

For the most up to date information on the Walt Disney World Minnie Van service click here.

Minnie Van

Please note that the cost and options referred to in this article are subject to change without notice.

 

(Minnie Van card & pamphlet © Disney. Lyft app screenshots © Lyft. All other photos from the author’s personal collection.)

 

To learn more about Andrew, aka Disney on Wheels, and read his recent posts for WDW Radio, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post

 

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