Direct Bus Service From Theme Parks to Disney Springs Begins August 28

Disney will begin offering bus service from Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom on Sunday August 28th. Buses will run from 4pm to 11pm or up to two hours after a Park closes, whichever is earlier. It’s one-way service, so buses will not run from Disney Springs to the theme parks.

The website usually recommends visiting Disney Springs earlier in the day and then closing down a Park instead, but this will certainly make dinners and evening shopping a little easier for those that no longer have to transfer to a resort before taking another, often crowded, bus to Disney Springs. The advantages of visiting Disney Springs earlier is that it’s much less crowded, much easier to walk up to most restaurants for a meal without a reservation, several restaurants offer less expensive lunch menus, and wait times at the theme parks typically drop as closing time approaches. With Star Wars Galactic Spectacular and Rivers of Light(?), you may find yourself eyeing a couple more late evenings in the Parks than previous trips.

But with few exceptions, the Disney Springs restaurants are the best version of that type of cuisine on property. Morimoto is the best Asian restaurant. BOATHOUSe is the best steak restaurant. Frontera Cocina is the best Mexican restaurant. I can see some afternoon escapes from Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom, where the culinary landscape might not be as interesting as Animal Kingdom or Epcot, in a lot of people’s futures. It will also hopefully reduce crowding on resort buses to Disney Springs.

Good news.

Comments

  1. jenny682 says

    This is good news. Trying to fit in Frontera Cocina in our trip , so many new places t try since our last trip.

  2. Boski says

    Is there a Frontera Cocina review? I seem to remember the twitter posts about it but I don’t recall reading the review.

    • josh says

      No haven’t really gotten around to Disney Springs. I am not sure the experience is unique enough that I would make it my one meal at Disney Springs, but the menu is relatively reasonable and the recipes are straight from the Bayless restaurants that are very popular in Chicago.

  3. Adam says

    You have Boathouse as the best steak on property? Now I’m looking forward to my dinner there in a few weeks even more. I have always put Yachtsman in the top spot.

    The Bayless restaurants are indeed wonderful. I have one near my office in Chicago and it is excellent high end Mexican cuisine.

    • josh says

      I am probably the biggest BOathouSE advocate of someone that isn’t paid to say positive things. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s a more casual, brisk atmosphere than Yachtsman. That’s not necessarily “bad” but it’s not your typical, high end steakhouse experience. But the variety of price points is nice with absolutely no pressure whatsoever to “go big” and the beef they use is better than anything Disney is offering these days. If you were to subtract five years, Yachtsman might have been able to compete.

    • Barry says

      +1 for boathouse here too. It’s the best steak I’ve had on property and also offers a much more varied menu for those in your party not wanting a $50 entree.
      I also found the menu and relaxed atmosphere a bit more kid friendly than Yachtsman etc

      • Sarah says

        I completely agree about the variety on the menu. A lot of people seem to freak out when they see the cost of the steaks, but there are more reasonable items. My cousin and I went to Boathouse for lunch on our last trip, and I took Josh’s recommendation and ordered the filet sliders. They were fantastic and cost less than many quick-service burgers on property.

  4. Lynne says

    Whoa! This is fantastic! I wasn’t planning on checking out Disney Springs during my November trip, but now getting over there will be way easier for me.

  5. Disco Stu says

    I thought they wanted to stop people from parking for free and then riding a bus to a theme park, rather than paying $20 to park at the theme park and riding a tram to the front.

    • Erica says

      There is no bus service to the parks, only to Disney Springs. I suppose if you really really wanted to work the system, you could figure it out .

  6. Aaron says

    Do you think this will be as good of option as say Uber from the parks to DS? I suppose you have a slight wait for Uber anyways….

  7. Catherine says

    Great news about the buses!

    There are so many new dining options at Disney Springs! Is there an easy way to tell which restaurants/quick service locations accept the Disney Dining Plan? It seems many of the new ones don’t (at least not yet) and I was wondering what the easiest way to find out as we’re wandering around DS?

  8. Christina Baugh says

    I guess this is good but if I can’t get back to the park easily I’m probably not leaving for a early dinner and heading back for fireworks. This plan makes little sense to me. But thanks for tips on the boathouse, I’ve never been but will be trying it in November!!

    • Andrea says

      I would think this would work well – bus to DS for dinner, then a bus back to a close resort at the park of your choosing. Quick walk from Contemporary, Beach Club, etc. AK would be trickier, and HS is a bit longer from a resort, but still a very nice option! .

      However, it’s a little bit like saying “we aren’t offering anything new in the park you paid $100+ for today, but here, take a bus and see where the new stuff is WAY over there. And then find your way back”.

  9. Carole says

    Do you have any idea whether this is a one-park > Disney Springs loop or whether it’s going to be a meandering route? I couldn’t find more info, but this could be a great option for our family this fall.

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