by J. Scott Lopes
AllEars Guest Blogger
Over the last several months, Disney has been offering a new transportation method that guests can use to travel around Walt Disney World. Using the Lyft app (a ride-share service that is similar to Uber), guests can order a private ride in a brand-new Minnie Mouse-style polka-dotted vehicle. According to the Disney Parks Blog, “with [the] Minnie Van service, Disney cast members will then whisk you away to wherever you want to be at Walt Disney World Resort”.
This “Minnie Van” service, which started on July 31, 2017, currently has 25 leased vehicles and 70 cast members. Under this program, you can only be dropped off at any Disney location, but not at some of the independently operated properties. Pricing for this service is a flat fee of $20, regardless of origin or destination. This can be a little more expensive than a regular Lyft economy car, but is a good deal for the convenience of a larger vehicle and other amenities.
To start using the service, you will first need to stop by the concierge desk at a Disney resort, where they will send you a text message with a special link to enable the Minnie Van service on your Lyft account. (I recommend signing up for a Lyft account and installing the app ahead of your visit to save time.)
Once you receive the text, open the link which will then open the Lyft app to enable the Minnie Van car type.
From there, you can then request a ride by selecting your vehicle type…
.. and then the pickup and drop-off location…
..and then requesting the pickup and paying for the ride.
After payment, a driver is contacted and once assigned an ETA is displayed along with the vehicle number and license plate.
Once the vehicle arrives, you will also receive a text to confirm the vehicle information, so there is no need to keep the app open.
Once inside the vehicle, there are charging cables in case you need to charge up your phone, and they also have Disney music playing on the radio.
Tipping is not required, but if you do I was informed that they have a process in place to cross-reference the vehicle to the driver and shift in order to get the tip to the correct driver.
One of the nice things with this service, according to my driver, is that you are able to go directly to the Magic Kingdom front gate, bypassing the Ticket and Transportation center. If choosing this as a pickup location, the app will instruct you to get on the monorail to go to the TTC. My driver said to ignore this because that would be for regular Lyft vehicles. Minnie Vans pick up at bus stop 11 at the Magic Kingdom bus depot.
Another plus is that the vans keep two car seats on hand to accommodate younger passengers. I was told by a new mom in my group that they are a top-of-the-line car seat, which is usually not offered in a Lyft economy car.
According to my driver, the Minnie Van program has been so successful that Disney plans to expand it, purchasing 60 additional 2018 model-year vehicles.
I hope he’s right! I thought this service was great and highly recommend that you take a ride in a Minnie Van on your next visit to Walt Disney World!
About the Author:
J. Scott Lopes is a long time Disney fan who first went to Walt Disney World as a child in 1989 and has enjoyed traveling to Orlando ever since. He is interested in all things Disney Parks related and especially interested in the Walt Disney Imagineering division and all of the work and detail that they put into everything that they engineer.