By: Amy Kawa
Walt Disney World has expanded its Minnie Van transportation service to include rides to (but not yet from) the Orlando International Airport from select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. The service runs from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and costs $150.00 per trip. The vans can accommodate up to to six guests and three car seats. Guests choosing to take the Minnie Vans are still encouraged to utilize their resort’s airline check-in if their airline qualifies for this service in order to cut down on checked luggage inside the van.
Previously, Minnie Van service was only available for point-to-point transportation within Disney property.
Currently, the new Minnie Van airport service is only available to guests staying on the concierge level of Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. If the trial run is successful, it is expected the service will be rolled out to additional resorts in the coming months.
Dreamer Amy’s Take: While this is certainly an added convenience, I really just don’t get it. Again, as has been the common theme with several posts lately, if someone wants to pay a good chunk of money for something that is absolutely unnecessary, more power to them. Go for it! It’s your vacation, and you do what you want!
Disney is the master when it comes to keeping you in the “Disney bubble” from literally the moment you leave the Orlando airport to the moment you return when your vacation is over. A huge part of that bubble is how Disney has mastered the art of guest transportation. They have created this intricate system of buses, monorails, ferries, trams, and now Minnie Vans, that move guests around Disney property, and perhaps their most impressive feat, creating Disney’s Magical Express system, where a simple luggage tag and scan of your magic band allows you to check your bags at your home airport, board a Disney bus once you land at the Orlando Airport that will take you right to your Disney Resort hotel, and then have your checked bags magically appear in your room later that day. Upon your departure, a package will be hanging on your door with all of the details on how you will check your bags and board another Disney Magical Express bus to take you back to the airport for your flight back home. Get this one folks… that whole system – the buses, the monorails, the trams, the people that move your bags – it’s all FREE for guests!
To me, the Minnie Van service seems redundant and unnecessary. Sure, the Magical Express requires you to leave your Disney Resort hotel three hours from your scheduled departure flight for the airport, but that is the time “travel experts” recommend to get through TSA and to your gate inside the massive MCO anyway. So, to me, the only added benefit of taking a Minnie Van instead of the Magic Express is maybe getting another extra hour (at most) at your resort or in a Disney park. Is that extra hour worth the $150 price tag? Maybe, someone in your family gets motion sick or doesn’t like crowds (although you will be going on a plane, so that point seems silly)? Maybe you missed your Magical Express bus and still need to get to the airport? All of these scenarios would call for a Minnie Van, but when Disney already does such a remarkable job with resort transportation (really, their transportation system is truly incredible and Disney should be commended for it ever day), why mess with a good thing to the tune of $150?