Getting there, and getting around is half the fun. That's especially true when visiting the Walt Disney World Pop Century Resort in Florida. What options do you have as far as transportation goes at the Pop Century Resort?
You can easily stay at the Pop Century Resort without a car. This is because on-site guests at Walt Disney World can use the extensive transportation system that has been put in place. While this transportation system consists of buses, boat, and even a monorail, guest staying at the Pop Century hotel will primarily be using the bus system.
While the Pop Century Resort is not completely isolated from other parts of Walt Disney World, it is not within walking distance of any other hotels or theme parks. Bus stops directly out front of the main entrance will be your first stop and your ticket to the rest of Walt Disney World. You can generally get to the bus stop in about 5 minutes from any part of the Pop Century grounds.
The bus system runs all day, from an hour before the first theme parks open, until usually an hour after they close. Expect extremely heavy volume and extra wait times if you are trying to get on a bus right around and after closing time.
Each theme park has its own bus stop, one each for the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney MGM Studios, and the Animal Kingdom. In addition, there are two other bus stops. One will transport you to the Downtown Disney area where you can go shopping, visit Disney Quest, or see the Cirque de Soleil show. The other will take you to the Disney water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
How long does it take to get to the theme parks from the Pop Century Resort. Of course things will vary based on traffic, but you usually travel time to the theme parks wont exceed 15 minutes. Current estimates from the Pop Century Resort to the bus stop drop-off locations are as follows:
Magic Kingdom-12 to15 minutes
Epcot- 8 to10 minutes
Animal Kingdom- 9 to 12 minutes
Disney MGM Studios- 5 to 7 minutes
Downtown Disney-10 to 15 minutes
Now there won't always be a bus waiting for you when you get to the bus stop, so add the time you wait for the bus to the numbers above. Generally you won't have to wait long for a Pop Century bus, 15 minutes is the longest I have ever waited, but after the morning rush, it may be a little longer than that.
Is the bus system better than renting a car? While a lot of that is based on your individual preference, the bus system works out well for most families. Traveling to the theme parks is usually easier on the buses because they drop you off close to the entrance. Driving and parking a rental car to the parks adds time as you either have to walk all the way to the entrance or wait for a tram to pick you up.
This is especially true at the Magic Kingdom, where the parking lot is located behind a lake that is in front of the Magic Kingdom. If you drive from the Pop Century Resort and park at the Magic Kingdom parking lot, you then have to take a boat or the monorail just to get to the entrance of the park. Even if you have a car, I recommend taking the bus when visiting the Magic Kingdom.
Finally, if you are flying in to Orlando and your considering renting a car because of the cost of a taxi to the Pop Century Resort, there is now a free alternative. All guest staying on site at Walt Disney World properties are eligible for Disney's Magical Express service. This service, currently offered at no charge, transports visitors from the Orlando airport directly to the Pop Century Resort, or any other on-site property you might be visiting. Disney then collects and brings your checked luggage to your room a few hours later.
Overall, visitors to the Pop Century Resort have multiple transportation options, but you can't beat the free options provided by Disney.