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When planning your vacation to Walt Disney World Resort, transportation shouldn’t be a huge worry because Disney offers plenty of ways to get around property. You can hop from place to place using one of the free transportation systems, either by bus, ferryboat, monorail or Disney Skyliner). For the majority of the time, that’s how we like to travel around the parks, hotels and Disney Springs.
But we frogs also like to treat ourselves every once in a while, and we’re so hoppy that private Minnie Vans are an option for those times we’d rather not wait for a delayed bus or transfer monorail lines. These colorful ride-share vehicles really add to that "only at Disney" experience.
Here's how it works and what you can expect out of this luxurious, personal ride experience.
Disney initially introduced Minnie Vans in 2017 to provide a personal, on-demand car ride service as a way to move around Disney property. At first, they were only available at select Disney deluxe resorts, but since its expansion in summer 2019, anyone can now request a Minnie Van to go anywhere around Walt Disney World Resort, including the following:
Previously, you could even book a ride to and from the Orlando International Airport or Port Canaveral, but this service has not returned yet. (For trips off-site, you’ll need another way to get there, and there is no direct service between the airport and Port Canaveral.)
Froggy parents, a huge plus is that Minnie Vans come equipped with complimentary car seats for your tadpoles. Lily still hasn’t quite outgrown the need for one, so we love this service’s perk! Disney has partnered with Lyft for this service, but unlike regular Lyft rides or similar rideshare apps such as Uber, the Minnie Van drivers are exclusively Disney cast members. That way, it eliminates any concerns about who’s behind the wheel. You’ll be able to spot a Minnie Van easily because of its cute design — a bright red car with white polka dots! They all look the same, but each has its own number displayed on the outside window so you can tell which one is yours.
To make pick-up and drop-off easy, Minnie Vans will generally stop near or at the bus stations. There should be signs to point you in the right direction, but you could also ask a cast member if you need extra help. For example, when we picked up our Minnie Van at EPCOT, we had to go to the bus loop. We didn't have to wait very long and could track our driver's route through the app before she stopped behind the taxis. We double-checked that the identifying number was correct.
Our driver got out of the car to open the doors for us. She let Tad take the photos that he wanted while we got Lily strapped into her car seat without any problems in record time. And then, we were off! Our driver was very friendly, and we engaged in conversation for most of the ride. She mentioned that all drivers go through eight hours of car seat training and ADA training each, and they need to know how to get around Disney World property without a GPS. The AC was turned up high, which allowed us to cool off before our visit at Magic Kingdom.
Each Minnie Van is also equipped with multiple phone charging cables. This came in handy for my phone's low battery! Minnie Vans also have umbrellas (red, naturally), a special Disney-themed soundtrack related to your destination, and of course, Disney trivia courtesy of your Minnie Van driver. (Lily loved talking about her favorite princesses, and Tad asked a million questions about Galaxy's Edge as we passed the black spires of Batuu!) You can also ask for an Official Disney Transport Collector Card, which offers up even more fun facts (such as how many polka dots are on each Minnie Van).
At the end of the ride, you have the option to tip your driver through the Lyft app. You could also give a cash tip, or none at all. It's up to your discretion, but it is not required or expected.
The Minnie Van service within Disney World works with the Lyft rideshare app. For our first-time use, the Minnie Van option popped up immediately. But if it doesn't show up, you may need to activate the Minnie Van option, which you can do through the My Disney Experience app when you're on property or at the front desk of your resort. When you need a ride, you simply open the app on your smartphone and select your Disney destination. Verify your pick-up location, and tap on the Select Minnie Van option (you may need to swipe through the vehicle options until it’s displayed). Once the ride has been confirmed, the app will show a map that tracks your Minnie Van en route and lets you know its identifying number.
Prices vary based on the distance between your pick-up location and your destination. You will see the total cost before you confirm the ride. Like a regular Lyft ride, you pay through the app. Minnie Vans operate from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily. Regular Minnie Vans seat up to six people. Accessible Minnie Vans are also available to book through the app — tap "Select Access. Minnie Van" (short for accessible). They seat up to five people with space for two wheelchairs and one car seat.
Currently, only club-level guests can request Minnie Van shuttle service to and from the airport. Instead of booking through the Lyft app, you must arrange a Minnie Van shuttle ride between your Disney hotel and the airport through Disney Signature Services by calling 407-939-7777 or emailing [email protected].
If traveling within the U.S., request a pickup at least two hours before your flight departure. For international flights, arrange a pickup at least three hours before departure. You may book your shuttle ride up to 60 days in advance.
Minnie Van shuttles can accommodate up to six guests, six medium-sized suitcases and up to three car seats. It costs $199 each way (gratuity not included) to take a Minnie Van shuttle to the airport. Operation hours are from 9 a.m. to midnight for flight departures, and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for flight arrivals.
In 2018, Disney started testing out and offering Minnie Van trips to and from Port Canaveral for Disney cruises, but this option has not yet been available since the Minnie Vans' return in 2022. Similar to the airport shuttle option, you’d need to call ahead and arrange a Minnie Van ride by contacting Disney Cruise Line Embarkation Services at 1-800-395-9374. The previous one-way trip cost was $240, excluding a tip for your driver.
Treat the Minnie Van service as any other Disney splurge. Generally, you won’t want (or need) to use a Minnie Van for every single trip during your vacation. After all, that would quickly add up, and you can always ride the bus, ferryboat and monorail for free! But there are definitely some great benefits in certain situations when you may want to consider requesting a Minnie Van:
It doesn't matter if you're an individual or part of a group. Anyone can request a Minnie Van! Although, we'd especially recommend the service for the following guests:
We think the Minnie Van service rounds out Disney World's transportation options. Let us know in the comments if you have additional questions about riding in a Minnie Van.
Related: The Complete Guide to Disney World Transportation
Is there somewhere we can park the car as an offsite guest to use the minnie van service for early dining reservations at Magic Kingdom?
When staying at Old Key West or Saratoga Springs, will Minnie Vans pick-up at your building, or do you need to go to the Hospitality House?
Minnie Vans have multiple pick-up locations at the hotels, and you can select one that is closest to your building.
Just a quick question. Are the Minnie vans still able to transport ECVs?
Thank you so much
Yes! There is still an option for "Select Access. Minnie Vans" on the Lyft app, and they are able to accommodate ECVs.
So if I’m staying at RP at universal, and going to mickeys not so scary with my kids one night, to avoid the TTC, could I take Uber/Lyft to say…..Disney springs and then take a shuttle bus or Minnie van to magic kingdom?
Or is there a better way that you’d recommend?
And what would you recommend doing to get back to RP (again, trying to avoid the TTC-especially at the end of the event)? Walk to contemporary and take Uber/Lyft from there?
Any suggestion would be much appreciated! Thank you!
If you really want to avoid the TTC, then we have the same suggestions as you — get dropped off at Disney Springs and either take a bus (which could take a long time) or a Minnie Van (which would be pricier than a regular Uber/Lyft). However, we still think that taking an Uber directly to TTC will be the cheapest and most efficient option (you would get dropped off at the bus terminal at TTC, which is close to security, the monorail and ferry boat). As for the return at the end of the night, you could walk to the Contemporary and get picked up there (but we wouldn't recommend getting dropped off at Contemporary, as security is much more strict about drop-offs).
We are coming to Orlando for a cruise via another cruiseline but before boarding we HAD to stop at Disney for a short stay. We are arriving on a Thursday night around 10pm and are staying at Art of Animation. Can I reserve a Minnie van prior to arriving at the airport? Also, will a Minnie van bring us to a cruise port that is not Disney or will we have to find another way to the port? Thank you.
The Minnie Van service used to be available for airport transfers and trips to Port Canaveral, but upon returning in summer 2022, Minnie Vans are currently only available around Walt Disney World Resort (we have updated the post to make this more clear).
Will they pick up at any Disney Spring hotels?Or should we be at the front of Disney Springs for pickup? For example we are staying at the new Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Bunea Vista.
Currently, Minnie Vans pick up and drop off at the theme parks, Disney Springs, Disney hotels and only select partner hotels (Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Shades of Green, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel and Walt Disney World Swan Reserve).
We have used Minnie Van three times in the past two days. Yes, they are more costly than Uber or Lyft, but they can drive places Uber and Lyft cannot. We were staying in our motorhome at Ft. Wilderness, and the drivers can pick up/drop off right at your site. The drivers are friendly, courteous and have access to the back roads. We found it well worth the extra money to use Minnie Van.
Hi..my family and I are fixing to stay at Fort Wilderness in our fifth wheel. Can you tell me, what did the Minnie Van service cost you...say...from the campground to one of the parks? I'm just trying to get a rough idea.
We really love the Minnie Vans when staying at the Fort - it's an added cost but they can come right to your site, which we find to be well worth it when we aren't driving to the parks or taking the boat :) We usually pay about $37 (before tip). For large families or those with small kids, we think it's an excellent service.
Thanks for sharing your experience with the Frog Pond!
Is it possible to book a Minnie van in advance if you know you would like to use their service to get to breakfast dining reservation at another hotel? If so, do you know how far in advance you can/should book?
I just called Lyft to book ahead for ECV van for November and was told I couldn’t book an advanced reservation. They said I have to get on the app the morning of a minute before 6:30am once I’m at Disney springs ride share location then select it.
While you can schedule regular Lyft rides ahead of time, the app does not allow Minnie Vans to be scheduled in advance.
Just called Disney and the Minnie Vans aren’t doing airport transfers yet. They said to keep checking back, but sent me to the MCO website for more info.
Thanks for sharing, Craig!
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