Disney Springs direct bus service returns to theme parks

Changes are coming to Walt Disney World's bus routes, making it easier for guests to visit the rapidly-expanding Disney Springs shopping and dining district.

Disney Springs Town Center

Disney Springs Town Center

More than a decade ago, Walt Disney World eliminated all round-trip bus service between its theme parks and shopping district, then dubbed Downtown Disney.  The reason for this move was seemingly tied to parking fees charged across property.  Downtown Disney--now Disney Springs--has always provided free parking to visitors while the theme parks charge rates which currently start at $20 for cars and SUVs.  By providing bus service between Downtown Disney and the parks, guests had an easy method for avoiding those parking fees: leave their vehicle at Downtown Disney and take a bus to their theme park of choice. 

Now that direct bus service is set to make a (partial) return.

Starting Sunday, August 28, 2016, Walt Disney World will provide one-way bus service from each of its theme parks to Disney Springs.  This service will begin at 4:00pm daily and end at 11:00pm or 2 hours after the park close, whichever is earlier. 

No transportation will be provided between Disney Springs and the theme parks.   

The Downtown Disney / Disney Springs bus policies have frequently generated criticism among resort guests, particularly those who frequent nearby Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.  Some of the more frugal theme park guests have been known to take advantage of complimentary parking at Disney Springs, walking over to Saratoga Springs to catch a bus to their final destination.  

Elimination of the closest surface parking spaces at Disney Springs may have curbed this practice to some degree.  The closest parking is located in the new Lime Garage.  With a walking distance of roughly 3/4 mile between the Lime Garage and nearest Saratoga Springs bus depot, the journey takes guests around 20 minutes moving at a leisurely pace.  Wait time and the bus ride itself add to the journey.  

At this time, Disney has no plans to offer service which originates at Disney Springs and runs to its theme parks.  

Reader Comments
Re: Disney Springs direct bus service returns to theme parks -- Brad1972
2016 Aug 25 10:05:50 AM
I think this is a nice compromise. It will certainly make it easier (and more attractive) to have dinner at Disney Springs after a day of touring a theme park, as it eliminates the need to go back to your resort before proceeding to DS.

I'm not sure it will help much (or at all) the problem of those "frugal" park visitors who park at DS and take the SSR busses to the theme parks.
About time -- jedz007
2016 Aug 25 02:11:15 PM
I think this is great. There have been a number of times where I have not gone to Downtown Disney\Disney Springs simply because it takes TOO much time to go the hotel then transfer to another bus to go to Disney Springs. I don't see the need to go back to the parks. This is a nice way to end the day before heading back to your resort of choice.
Re: Disney Springs direct bus service returns to theme parks -- DuckTalesWooHoo
2016 Aug 26 11:39:35 AM
I think I will go check out Disney Springs one evening next week. I read a good review for that new hamburger place down there and I have wanted to check it out ever since. I've just been wanting to give it more time to seem more like a Disney place and less like a construction site. Is it pretty neat down there? I mean not like a disaster site? I know that Disney always does a good job keeping things looking as spiffy as possible even when they're doing construction but I just figured the construction was pretty over the top down there.
Re: Disney Springs direct bus service returns to theme parks -- kazrak
2016 Aug 26 12:39:18 PM
This would have been extremely handy on our last trip. My daughter and I were trying to get to La Nouba from Studios, and ended up using Uber because the boat to Swan/Dolphin and then bus from there was just taking too long.
Disney Springs Bus Service -- Blueslegend
2016 Aug 26 01:30:28 PM
Sounds tailor made for those staying off site to get a free ride from a park to Hotel Plaza Boulevard! or am I too cynical?

Email

Related Content