Many Walt Disney World guests have wonderful vacations without using a private car (their own or a rental). It’s certainly possible to arrive at Walt Disney World via a service such as Mears Connect and use only Disney’s free on-property transportation system of boats, buses, monorails, and Skyliner during your stay – never entering a car.
There are, however, some circumstances when hopping in an automobile can greatly improve the quality of your trip. For example:
- You’re going directly from your hotel to distant hotel for dinner.
- You’re staying off property and don’t have your own car.
- You’ve made bulky purchases in the parks and don’t want to struggle carrying these on a bus.
- You’re exhausted and don’t feel like waiting an unspecified amount of time for a bus.
In these situations, using a ride share service like Uber or Lyft will get you where you want to go, much faster and more directly. If you’re at your hotel, then you can call a ride share directly to your location. But at the theme parks there are designated pickup points for ride shares. These are the only places at the parks where ride share drivers are allowed to pick you up. Here’s your guide on how to find them.
Note: The signage you’ll see below only mentions Lyft. Lyft is Disney’s official ride share partner, which is why they’re on the signs, but Uber uses the same spaces and works equally well. Just go with whichever one arrives faster or has the lower cost, depending on your needs. See the end of the post for information on Minnie Vans.
At EPCOT, exit the park and follow the monorail track toward the parking lots. Keep toward the left monorail track as you move away from the park. (If you’re walking near the Disney buses, you’re heading in the wrong direction.) When you get to the end of the red pavement, move left under the tracks. Then look for pale purple tent with a few benches and a wheelchair return station. This is the pick up point.
Depending on where you are in the park when you decide you want to get the ride share, you may also want to consider exiting the park at the International Gateway located between the UK and France pavilions in the World Showcase. Walk about five minutes to the Beach Club hotel and call your ride share from there. You can wait in the air-conditioned lobby until just before your car arrives.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Hollywood Studios, exit the park and head in the direction of the Skyliner station and bus depot, looking for the ride share signage. The ride share pick up spot is at bus slips 51-54.
At Animal Kingdom, exit the park and head toward the parking lot (this is to the left as you exit).
The ride share situation is slightly trickier at Magic Kingdom than the other parks, because there is no pick up at the park itself. Instead, you’ll first have to take the monorail or ferry to the Transportation and Ticket Center. At the TTC, head left as you face away from the Magic Kingdom – in the direction of the signs for the buses. You’re not going to the main auto parking lot, stick to the signage for buses. Keep to the left of the bus area and walk past the taxi stand. Pass a small picnic area and look for the ride share signs.
A good alternative to going to the TTC for your ride share pickup is to walk to the Grand Floridian or Contemporary hotels from the Magic Kingdom and call your ride from there. This is likely a faster option and, as with hotel pick ups near EPCOT, you’ll be able to wait indoors with air-conditioning until just prior to your car’s arrival.
Minnie Vans are a special form of ride share, available within the Lyft app. These red polka-dotted cars have Disney-trained drivers and are more expensive than other forms of ride share. One perk of using a Minnie Van is that the drop-off and pick up point can be closer to the parks than other ride share methods. If you’ve called a Minnie Van, look for special pick up signs for this service.
At Animal Kingdom, Minnie Van pick up is in the Disney bus depot.
At Epcot, Minnie Van pick up is in the parking lot in the center of the Disney bus depot.
At Hollywood Studios, Minnie Van pick up is at bus depot, closer than the regular ride share slips.
And – saving the best for last – at Magic Kingdom, Minnie Van access is directly at the park, rather than at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Just go to the bus depot directly adjacent to the park, on the left as you’re facing away from the park.