Walt Disney World opens its Minnie Vans to everyone

June 1, 2018, 11:29 AM · Walt Disney World's "Minnie Van" on-property car service is now available to all visitors at the resort. Disney started testing the service last year, inviting guests at select Disney resort hotels to use the cars for getting around the resort.

The Minnie Vans are red, polka-dot Chevrolet Traverse midsize SUVs, driven by Disney cast members and hailed (and paid for) through the Lyft app. Each ride costs a flat $25 and will take you and up to five other passengers from any point to another on the Walt Disney World Resort property. (Disney started testing a $150 Minnie Van ride to the Orlando International Airport for club-level hotel guests earlier this year.) The Minnie Vans come equipped with two car seats for little kids, and wheelchair-accessible Minnie Vans also are available.

Minnie Van

Are Minnie Vans worth the cost? We analyzed your Walt Disney World transportation options in a post last year. The cheapest option is to use Disney's free transportation system, but what you don't pay in money you might end up paying in time. Some trips across the resort require multiple connections as you transfer between bus routes. Other trips might leave you waiting in long queues for the next bus, boat, or monorail train.

Minnie Vans will take you straight to where you want to go, with your own, private ride. That can make the service especially handy for getting to early morning restaurant reservations or getting back to your hotel at the end of the day, when the kids are spent and no one wants to face another long wait. It's a pay-per-use service, so it can be a better deal than a rental car for people who won't need to be on the road that often and who want to avoid the new nightly parking charges at the resorts.

What about Minnie Vans versus a "regular" Lyft or Uber ride? I see two scenarios in which the Minnie Vans could provide a better deal. First, if you really need those car seats, all the Minnie Vans have them, while you might be waiting a long while on a regular Lyft driver who can accommodate that. Second, while the Minnie Vans' $25-per-trip charge is more than you will pay for any trip across the resort on a regular Lyft or Uber during normal hours, it might be a deal when the parks are closing on a busy day and surge pricing goes into effect.

And, I suppose, there's always the novelty value of riding around like a boss in those polka-dot cars, too.

Replies (5)

June 1, 2018 at 12:12 PM

It seems mostly privileged people would use these and soon they will be the only ones able to afford disney

June 1, 2018 at 2:52 PM

This could actually be a factor for those in Value resorts. Pay less for the room but pay for Minnie van a couple times during stay if need to get somewhere requiring bus changes. No car rental or resort fee cost as Robert said. Only use when you choose. Now I could choose between off-site hotel to save money and rent a car OR Value resort and use Minnie van for on on-site rides and Lyft for offsite.

June 1, 2018 at 4:16 PM

All of Disney's parks and resorts are a privilege. Disney does frequently overcharge, but compared to taxis, uber, and Lyft, the price is not too much higher. I'm not going to deny Disney caters to the wealthy, but most of the people at Disney's theme parks are not millionaires or billionaires. They're people that love Disney, and count their pennies to be able to afford to go there. Disney caters to the upper class because they have the most money to spend, but they are far from an an experience exclusively for the wealthy.

June 1, 2018 at 9:50 PM

Just checked my ride history and an early morning Lyft from Caribbean Beach to Animal Kingdom for a Tusker House ADR before buses started running cost $14.06 including tip last October. Just to give people an idea of what comparable costs might be.

I don’t think the $25 Minnie Van is especially egregious.

June 2, 2018 at 6:52 PM

If you need to get somewhere fast a time or two during a stay this might be the best option. But $25 a crack can add up quick! I can afford the fair but never like to spend my hard earned money that I don’t have to when it could be allocated to food, souvenirs, etc. But my visit at the end of April this year was frustrating at times when the free bus system can take 30-60 minutes to get you to your destination. Does anyone know the average time is spent using the Minnie Vans? Can you make a quick decision to get one and get around within 30 mins or less?

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