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Using Uber, Lyft, and Minnie Vans can be a great option for getting around Walt Disney World!
We use these Ride-Hire Services in certain circumstances during our Walt Disney World vacations. They are a great addition to the other Transportation Options that are available for free. Let’s get right into it, first with the basics, then on to Disney World specifics, some tips, and some discounts.
Uber, Lyft, and Disney’s Minnie Vans are Ride-Hire Services (these are traditionally called Ride-Share Services, but no one really shares these…).
A smart phone app is required to use these services. All aspects of your ride are handled through the app. You’ll set your pickup and destination locations, get a fare estimate, driver ETA, and make payment (including tip) through the app.
Depending where you are at Disney World, your ride can pick you up right where you are, or at a nearby designated location. The same is true for your destination, they could drop you right where you want to be or at a drop off location.
How to use Ride-Hires
Install the Uber and or Lyft app on your phone. Do this at home and complete the setup process including adding your method(s) of payment. Minnie Vans are hired through the Lyft app.
When you are ready to ride
- Open the app. It will show you the vehicles for hire in your area on a map
- Enter your destination in the Search Field
- You’ll be shown, your route, estimated fares based on the different Car Categories, and estimated drop-off times
- On Uber scroll down to see all the Categories. On Lyft swipe to the right, Minnie Van will be to the far right
- Select your ride Category and you’ll be assigned a ride/driver
- Confirm your pickup location. The app will usually default to the nearest designated pickup location or the front of the building you are in. You can also use your present location if you are in a good spot, or put a pin on the map where you decide to wait.
- Select your payment method and confirm your ride
- You’ll then see your ride on the map with an ETA. You can follow their progress if you are staying inside where it is cool!
- For Uber and Lyft you’ll receive info about the driver and car – Driver’s name, picture and rating, car type and color, and license plate number to safely identify the correct ride. For Minnie Van you’ll just get car info, plus the large Minnie Van number painted on the car
- You have the option to text or call your driver to assist with locating you if you think they may have an issue. They also have the same options
- When the car arrives confirm it is the right one and hop in
- When you arrive at your destination, just say thanks and hop out. Payment to the driver is automatic, though tips are not, so don’t forget to add one plus rate your driver.
Each company has several levels of cars available with different prices. Here are the Uber and Lyft types, cheapest to most expensive:
- UberX – Affordable, everyday rides for up to 4 riders
- Comfort – Newer cars with extra legroom for up to 4 riders
- UberXL – Affordable rides for groups up to 6
- Black – Luxury rides with professional drivers for up to 4 riders
- Select – Premium rides in high-end cars for up to 4 riders
Most Uber levels offer a Family Option with car seat service for $8 extra. Note a car with a carseat has to be in the area. Florida law requires children under 5 to ride in car seats.
- Lyft – Standard Lyft car for up to 4 riders
- Lyft XL – SUV for up to 6 riders
- Lux – Luxury car for up to 4 riders
- Lux Black – Premium black car service with leather seats for up to 4 riders
- Lux Black XL – Premium black SUV with leather seats for up to 6 riders
- Minnie Van – Chevrolet Traverse Premier mid-sized SUV, which offer three rows of seating. The second row features captain’s chairs (two full size seats), and the back row can seat three, giving each van a guest capacity of six
- There are also several larger Minnie Vans which are able to carry up to 2 ECV scooters each (these must be ordered by phone (407) 828-3500 you may call 45-60 minutes prior)
Each Minnie Van comes with 2 Graco car seats (in the luggage area) which the driver is qualified to install properly.
For way more info on Minnie Van Service see our Minnie Van Post
Using Ride-Hires at Walt Disney World
Here are all the ins and outs of using Uber and Lyft at Walt Disney World.
Like other areas of the country, these Uber and Lyft use Surge Pricing. They charge more when their services are in high demand. Minnie Vans do not, though they are higher to begin with.
Surge pricing occurs at peak times like theme park opening and closing.
The Magic Kingdom
- Uber and Lyft cannot stop at the Magic Kingdom, instead their designated stop is at the Transportation and Ticket Center
- Minnie Vans pull right up at the Magic Kingdom Bus Terminal, just steps from the entrance
The Transportation and Ticket Center is across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the magic Kingdom. A monorail or boat ride is required to get to and from the theme park.
- For Uber and Lyft , use the Contemporary Resort parking lot as a pickup/drop-off location. It is just a couple minute walk from the Magic Kingdom
- The pickup/drop-off location is at the near corner of the Journey Parking Lot
- Alternate locations are the BoardWalk Inn and Beach Club Resorts
When exiting Epcot via the main entrance you’ll see signs pointing the way to the Journey Parking Lot. You’ll head straight out the entrance towards the parking lots. Stay on the left side of the Tram Road.
The BoardWalk Inn and Beach Club Resorts are the closest 2 Epcot Resorts to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance. While the walk to the two resorts is about the same, the BoardWalk is located closer to the main road (for shorter, quicker drives) than the Beach Club which is farther back on the Epcot Resort loop.
- Pickup in the evening is a breeze when you walk out the International Gateway to one of the Resorts. You’ll experience much shorter waits for pickup here.
- Both pickups and drop-offs are much smoother at the Resorts!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- The pickup/drop-off location here is straight out from the entrance, right across from the new Skyliner Station
- None needed, with the new awesome location, Hollywood Studios is now a very easy theme park to use ride-hires
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- The pickup/drop-off location here is straight out from the entrance
- None needed, Animal Kingdom has been a very easy theme park to use ride-hires for a long time
Disney World’s Resorts
At Disney World’s Resorts your pickup and drop-off can be wherever works best for you. Except for pickups at the Coronado Springs Resort which must be at the main building.
- For pickups set a pickup spot at the sidewalk next to the parking lot closest to your room.
- For drop-offs, just tell your driver your building number and they will drop you right by it
- The Resort’s main building is always an option as well, if that suits your needs
Uber, Lyft, and Minnie Vans all service Shades of Green and other non-Disney Resorts on property. From Shades, you might text your driver to let them know you are at Shades of Green, not the Golf COurse next door, some have gotten confused.
Disney Springs has 1 drop-off and 2 pickup locations located at the far east and west of the venue.
- West Side – Drop-off and pickup are at bus loading zones 8 and 9, between the parking lots past Cirque du Solei.
- East Side – Pickups are at the loading area behind the Christmas Shop.
- Uber and Lyft Driver’s waiting areas for both east and west stops are on the west side
- Minnie Van Home Base is in the West Side Parking lot
Pickups are much quicker on the West Side due to drivers having to drive the full length of the area through traffic (with stop lights) to get the the east pickup location. Gauge how far you are from the West Side when requesting a pickup, it might be quicker to walk to the west even if it isn’t closer.
- There is a pickup/drop-off spot near the entrance to both water parks
Cost and Discounts
Average costs for a ride at Disney World are an about $8 to $13 for Uber and Lyft and $30 to $35 for Minnie Vans.
The Minnie Vans are definitely an upgraded experience, both in price and guest experience. Minnie Van drivers are Disney Cast Members, who’s primary job is guest experience. They open and close the vehicle doors for you, install car seats if needed (at no extra cost, but do tip better for this), and engage in great very friendly conversation if you desire (they can be a wealth of knowledge). Plus you’ll enjoy Disney music on the vehicle radio themed to your destination!
Every trip We’ve taken on the Minnie Vans has been a wonderful experience! We’ve used Uber and Lyft more that Minnie Vans over the years and have had 1 or maybe 2 friendly drivers, the rest have ranged form totally quiet to surely. If you are not accustomed to, or have misgivings about Ride-Hires, the Minnie Van Service is the way to go. It’s a totally safe and fun experience.
Here are a couple of discounts for you.
They are both for new accounts with either Uber or Lyft, so have someone in your party who perhaps doesn’t have one start a new account.
Uber – Free ride up to $15 by signing up for Uber via this link (or use the promo code steveb14703ue if the link doesn’t work). This promo is for your first ride only, any value not used expires so make it count (long drive across the full property, or during surge pricing).
Lyft – $5 credit towards your first ride when you sign up for Lyft using this link. This promo is for your first ride only.
Paying for a ride at Disney World isn’t a regular thing when there are so many free options, but it does have its time and place.
As mentioned, there is no Disney transport between resorts, so if you are heading to a special dinner or character breakfast at one, this is the way to go.
If you have to be somewhere at a specific time and it looks like a long wait for Disney Transport, grab a Ride-Hire.
And there are times when you just might not want to get on a crowded, standing rom only bus with lots of sweaty people…
Do you use Ride-Hires at Disney World? Do you have any tips or trip reports? Let us know in the Comments Section below!
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility GuideThe Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
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