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Some time ago, I talked with a friend who said he and his wife took buses to drive around WDW, and I thought that was cool because it cost $0.00. Then, I saw a video on Instagram that said the same thing! So, here is how you could visit most DVC resorts and theme parks for nothing. You would still need to pay fuel to get there, and food/drink.
  1. Park at Disney Springs parking garage, Orange is preferred because it is so close to the bus loop.
  2. Pick a DVC resort to go to, and take that bus to the resort. Leave that bus, walk over to the stop for any one of the theme parks.
  3. Take that bus to whatever theme park (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, etc).
  4. Get off the bus, then walk over to another DVC resort bus.
  5. At that resort, transfer to another theme park bus, and at that theme park, transfer to another DVC bus.
  6. Keep doing that until you've seen all DVC resorts. At the end of your excursion, you will have seen all DVC resorts and all theme parks.
  7. In addition, you could add either the Monorail rides and/or Skyliner rides, also costs nothing.
  8. As an added bonus, take a bus to Magic Kingdom so you will get there around 7:45pm. Walk through security. Walk towards the closed kiosk on your left, then face the ticket gates, do not go in. You'll be able to see and hear the 8pm MK fireworks show, you can't see the castle though.
  9. There are no theme park to Disney Springs buses, but you could hop on a Disney Springs "neighborhood" bus (OKW or SSR or Port Orleans), then get on the Disney Springs bus. Most buses including Disney Springs end around midnight, unless the park closes late.
You can vary any of these, and it is suggested that you have a checklist so you can check off each resort. Does WDW care? No, Disney would look at this as you going to spend money at WDW in the future.

TS
 

Janann

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Thanks for the info! What time do the buses start running from the Orange parking garage to the resorts?
 

TheHolleys87

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Thanks for the info! What time do the buses start running from the Orange parking garage to the resorts?
Buses to resorts from DS start running roughly between 9 and 10. BTW the bus stop is next to the Orange garage, not part of it. This map might be helpful - https://www.disneysprings.com/disney-springs-map/.

If you look at a map of WDW overall, you'll also see that some resorts are grouped near enough together for you to walk or take Disney transportation between them. For instance, many people ride from DS to MK, then take the monorail or the small boats to visit the Contemporary, Poly, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Ft. Wilderness. If you return to MK, you can take a bus to one of the Epcot area resorts - Boardwalk or Yacht & Beach - and walk or take the Friendship boat to vist all three of them plus the Swan and Dolphin. Then Skyliner to visit Riviera, Caribbean Beach, Pop and Art of Animation, then Skyliner to DHS and bus to Coronado Springs, bus from CSR to AK and bus to the All Stars, then bus back to AK and bus to AKL. From AKL, bus back to DS, then walk back to the lake and take a boat to SSR, OKW, or Port Orleans - unfortunately, you'd have to return to DS between each one.

It would be pretty difficult to do all of this in one day, but you could do it over several days or just visit one group of resorts.
 

DeniseM

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Just to clarify - you aren't actually entering any of the theme parks - correct?
 

rickandcindy23

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Sounds kind of fun, but it would be more fun at Christmas. Grand Floridian has the gingerbread house in the lobby that is always impressive. The decor at Disney is always festive.
 

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I would like to visit all Disney resorts during Christmas season.
 

pedro47

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You are just riding Disney buses around from theme park to another theme park to the main ticket gate correct?
 

elaine

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We've done something like this--we usually make it a 1/2 day with a quick service meals and/or drinks. We're usually at a DVC Resort, but Disney Springs works also. Here are our variations:
1. Bus to MK (from DHS you'd need to get to a resort 1st--it's a short walk to SSR Congress park area to grab a bus), walk (new paved path) to Grand F, boat to Poly, monorail to Contemporary (might have to swap at MK), boat to Wilderness lodge, back to DS.
2. Bus to DHS, walk to Boardwalk, Yacht Club, around lake, head to Friendship Entrance to Epcot (walk or by boat), then take gondola to either Carib Beach or Riviera, then back to DS or gondola/bus back to a park and then bus to WDW hotel.
3. We've also taken various boats from Disney springs to resorts (OKW, SSR, Port Orleans) to have lunch and walk around for some exercise--or walk the path to OKW from DS and then take a boat back. OKW has a fun Key West vibe to have a drink by the pool before heading back to DS via boat.
 

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We just did that last week:
  • Disney Springs bus to Port Orleans (we normally take the boat but didn’t this time).
  • Had Beignets
  • Bus to Magic Kingdom.
  • Boat to Grand Floridan
  • Monorail to Poly via Comptemporary
  • Watched fireworks on Poly beach
  • Monorail to Magic
  • Bus to Riveria
  • Saw the end of Epcot fireworks @ Riveria bus stop
  • Bus to Disney Springs
We did some shopping at the resorts & springs & had a great ‘free’ evening. @simpsontruckdriver had the night off, so we didn’t visit Epcot. Otherwise we were going to say hi & thank him for all his Disney info/tips.
 

TheHolleys87

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I would like to visit all Disney resorts during Christmas season.
This is the way to do it! Park at Disney Springs, use Disney transportation (buses, boats, monorail, Skyliner, walking paths) to travel from place to place. Take a resort bus back to DS when you’re done.
You are just riding Disney buses around from theme park to another theme park to the main ticket gate correct?
Not just buses - boats, monorail, Skyliner, walking paths too.
 

pedro47

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That give me an idea for taking photos of the Disney Resorts and theme parks without paying a dime to enter any Disney properties.
 

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Also you can take the boat to Old Key West and then take the buses to the theme parks and get out of the park parking fee

Thanks,
Daniel
 

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Grand Floridian
 

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AnnieBets

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Mom and I would ask nicely at Grand to park in handicap spot and watch fireworks. Would eat at quick service, watch fireworks and listen to music and people watch in lobby.
 

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AnnieBets

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Outside Magic Kingdom.
 

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Deb & Bill

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There are times of the year when you cannot go to the Polynesian beach to watch fireworks unless you are a guest of that resort.
 

TheHolleys87

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There are times of the year when you cannot go to the Polynesian beach to watch fireworks unless you are a guest of that resort.
Usually just 4th of July, Christmas and New Year’s, when the MK fireworks are extra special. On those dates I would consider watching from near the ferry dock at the TTC. It’s almost a straight-on view of the castle, they pipe in the music, you can see the fireworks that are set off around the lagoon, and best of all, when they’re over you can hop on the parking tram and get out ahead of the crowds.
 
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Usually just 4th of July, Christmas and New Year’s, when the MK fireworks are extra special. On those dates I would consider watching from near the ferry dock at the TTC. It’s almost a straight-on view of the castle, they pipe in the music, you can see the fireworks that are set off around the lagoon, and best of all, when they’re over you can hop on the parking tram and get out ahead of the crowds.
Or, like I mentioned, but I found a better spot: Under the monorail "track" is a kiosk no longer used which sits across from the MK entrance. Stand under the track next to the kiosk, you can see the top of the castle and hear all the music. It's free!

TS
 

TheHolleys87

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Or, like I mentioned, but I found a better spot: Under the monorail "track" is a kiosk no longer used which sits across from the MK entrance. Stand under the track next to the kiosk, you can see the top of the castle and hear all the music. It's free!

TS
Sounds good, especially if you’re the bus driver and guaranteed a seat on the bus! :LOL:
 

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Did a similar thing with my teenage daughter in Feb, 2024 on a short weekend trip when we did not want to pay the ridiculously high price for a two day theme park ticket. Wandered DS for a hour or so in early morning for shopping and eating (Gideon's Bakehouse always a hit!). Took a relaxing ride from DS to Saratoga Springs on the complementary boat transportation. Got off the boat at Tree House Villas and walked around that amazingly lovely resort. Took the bus from Saratoga to HS. Hopped on the Skyliner and rode it the whole route (need to do transfers) to the back gate of Epcot. A very enjoyable ride. Wandered over to Boardwalk Villas and walked the boardwalk for lunch and shopping. Took the bus back to our original starting point at DS. What an enjoyable day for both of us. With no schedule and ride times we absolutely had to make we took the time to explore stores and art galleries we never stop in when we are rushing around trying to get the most experience for our money on a Disney trip. Found free Disney experiences that were just as good.
 

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Does anyone figure out an optimal route to tour all Disney resorts via bus/boat/skyline from DS? Is it doable in 1 day?
 

TheHolleys87

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Does anyone figure out an optimal route to tour all Disney resorts via bus/boat/skyline from DS? Is it doable in 1 day?
Yes, it's doable, depending on how long you spend at any given resort. Here's one possible route - I'm not sure there's an "optimal" route.

From DS, catch a bus to Pop Century or to Art of Animation. Walk from that one to the other across the Generation Gap bridge. Walk back to the bridge and catch the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach Resort. Then from CBR, catch the Skyliner again, this time toward Epcot, and get off at Riviera. Take the Skyliner again to the Epcot IG, and from there walk or boat to Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan and Dolphin, and Boardwalk. From Boardwalk catch the bus to Animal Kingdom, which you'll need to use as a hub - bus from AK to Animal Kingdom Lodge and back, then to the All Stars and back, then to Coronado Springs. From Coronado Springs, take the bus to Magic Kingdom and then the monorail to Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian, returning to MK. Finally take the boat from MK to Wilderness Lodge, and then the boat from there to Fort Wilderness. From FW you can take the bus back to DS. You'll also have to use DS as a hub to bus or boat to Saratoga Springs, back to DS, bus or boat to Old Key West, bus or boat to Port Orleans and walk, bus or boat between Riverside and French Quarter sections there.
 
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