Ask The Disney Moms – Transportation Options at Disney’s Moderate Resorts

Ask the Disney MomsReader Question from Verna

We are planning a trip and have kids ages 4 and 9. We are looking at the Coronado Springs or Port Orleans Resorts. Which has the best transportation options to get to the attractions?

Hi Verna!  This is a great question!  So often we look at the resort that has the themeing or dining that we like the best, but overlook things like getting to the parks.  I’m so glad you asked!  I know you only mentioned Coronado Springs and Port Orleans, but I’m going to go ahead and throw Caribbean Beach in the mix just for our other readers.

There are a few factors that come in to play here, but my personal opinion is that Port Orleans, specifically Port Orleans French Quarter, has the best transportation of the moderate resorts.

Port Orleans French Quarter is a favorite resort for my family.  The size of the resort makes it easy to get around the resort internally, and with only a single bus stop serving the resort it makes getting to and from the Disney Theme Parks relatively quick and painless.  While there are times that the bus is shared with Riverside we found these to be during the slower times of the day, and rarely an issue.  When they do share a bus the pick-up at French Quarter is typically first, and while it does add time to your commute you will almost always have a seat on the bus.  With a toddler I find that a huge selling point for me.  Additionally, you can take a boat to Downtown Disney rather than the bus which is a nice and relaxing change of pace.  My three-year old considers the boat ride an attraction itself.

Port Orleans Riverside features the same transportation options as French Quarter, but has four internal bus stops before departing the property for the theme parks.  It can take about 10 minutes just to get off the resort property which increases the time it takes to get to any of the parks.  Riverside also features the boat to Downtown Disney.  Riverside does also offer the option of upgrading to Royal Guest Rooms, which can definitely be fun for children.

One nice thing about the Port Orleans Resorts is that they share amenities.  This means that you can take advantage of the pools, playgrounds and food courts at both locations, and the restaurant at Riverside, regardless of which resort you are visiting.

Coronado Springs is  one of Disney’s convention resorts and is often home to business conventions and tends to have fewer families staying there.  It is also much larger than Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside.   The resort is build around a 15-acre lake, with 4 bus stops situated around the lake for park pick-ups.  The lake also makes internal transportation to and from the dining area take a bit longer.  While it is a lovely resort I would hesitate to recommend it to a younger family.

Caribbean Beach, while not a convention resort, is also situated around a large lake, and is in fact so large that they have an internal shuttle that runs just to take guests around the resort.  I would recommend this resort over Coronado Springs, as the dining and pools are simply perfect for children, and the Pirate themed rooms available are very cool.

Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach feature only bus transportation to all other guest areas.

It is important to note that none of the Disney Resorts feature transportation to other Disney Resorts, save those that they share bus service with.  So, when making dining reservations this is definitely something to keep in mind!

I hope this answers your question!  If you should have any further questions just let me know!

Have a wonderful trip!



1 comment for “Ask The Disney Moms – Transportation Options at Disney’s Moderate Resorts

  1. 13 August, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Alison!

    Visiting other resorts for meals can be done if the planning is in place. There are important things to consider when booking these meals, such as what time you will be dining. If you do not want to rent a car or take a taxi you will most likely need to avoid early morning dining. Consider that the buses to the parks will begin running about an hour prior to park opening, and then you would need to transfer to another bus, boat or monorail to get to your dining destination. You would need to give yourselves a good 90 minutes to ensure you were able to get to your morning reservation. There are no buses that go from a resort to the Transportation & Ticket Center. If you are headed over during the day or in the evening you will simply take the bus, boat or monorail to that resort instead of Art of Animation, and then return to the park to catch the Art of Animation boat back!

    It is easiest with the Polynesian since you can bus to Magic Kingdom and hop the boat or monorail to get over the Polynesian. Animal Kingdom Lodge would be relatively simple from Animal Kingdom. For Port Orleans your best bet would be to take the Downtown Disney Bus and then the boat from Downtown Disney.

    I hope this helps!

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