Q. I have an 8 am Dining Reservation. Will there be a resort bus to take me?
A. These days people are arriving at the parks earlier than ever. Whether you have a coveted Advanced Dining Reservation an hour before the parks open, want to be at the Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours or are trying to secure a spot on Jedi Training Academy, most of us will have at least one day during our visit where we need to get to the theme parks pretty early.
This can be very nervous-making for Disney newbies particularly when it comes to figuring out how you are going to get from your Resort to the theme parks at the crack of dawn. This isn’t helped by the fact that a lot of websites will state that the buses and other transportation links start running an hour before park opening – which in theory would make it impossible for you to make an 8am breakfast for a 9am park opening.
But rest assured that if Disney is offering dining reservations or early park admission, there will almost always be buses to take you. In most instances, the buses will start running to the theme parks about 2 hrs in advance. For an 8 am breakfast reservation, regardless of the theme park, my family is usually at the bus rank from 7am. Sometimes those first few buses in the morning show up straight away. Other times you may find yourself waiting a nail-biting 15 -20 minutes. So, always give yourself a wide window. I wouldn’t chance heading to the buses at 7:20 for an 8am reservation on the off chance that you may just miss a bus and your next one might not show up until 7:40.
If in doubt, speak to Guest Services at your resort. I’ve always found them to be really helpful in providing detailed information regarding early morning resort bus arrival times.
What about boats and monorails? Do they run early as well? Yes. There will always be ways to make sure that you get to the parks on time. The monorail usually starts running around 7 am but do stay up to date on construction as this can have an impact on running times. The boats run on a similar schedule. Again when in doubt check with your resort front desk and they’ll advise you of the service (s) that will get you to the park of your choice on time.
My bus didn’t show up and I’m running late for my reservation. What should I do? Even with the best plans, things can go wrong, buses fill up and skip you, congestion can slow things down etc. That’s why it’s important to allow yourself a wide window to get to the parks in the morning especially if trying to make an early morning dining reservation to ensure that you arrive at your restaurant with plenty of time to spare.
However, should you find yourself running late for dining reservations, here’s some quick info on what to do: Click here for information on Disney’s late arrival dining policy.
And remember that if the buses aren’t going your way, you always have the option of calling a taxi. Typically there are several on standby at your resort that can get you to your destination quickly or you can also take advantage of Disney’s Minnie Van service via Lyft. Yes, both of these options come at an additional expense, but if you get to the point where being late for your dining reservation is putting a damper on your Disney day then a taxi may be just the thing to calm everyone down – trust me!
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