OK, this part might be boring for some of you, but it might also be helpful for a few people. The handling of transportation is probably my biggest problem with a Disney wedding. It was also the most confusing part, so I’ll put in everything I know and see if it helps anyone. Also, I will try to find some pictures – any pictures just to make this post more interesting…

The Schedule

We are having a charter bus pick up guests at the 4 hotels in our room block and take them backstage at Epcot for the ceremony. Patrick and I will ride in a limo to the ceremony because we’re getting there early to take pictures. After the wedding all of us will be transported by Friendship Boat from the dock at Morocco to the dock at BoardWalk Inn for the reception. At the end of the reception, our guests will be taken back to the 4 resorts on the bus, and Patrick and I will take one of the public boats from BoardWalk Inn to the Beach Club. That night, another charter bus will pick everyone up at the 4 hotels and take them to the dessert party in Epcot and back.

Don’t get on this bus, wedding guests – it’s going to Animal Kingdom!

The Bad News

Disney has a five-hour minimum for the charter bus, which I think is very sneaky – it’s too short a period to cover an entire ceremony and reception and too long to justify having the bus come twice: just to pick up for the ceremony and drop off after the reception.

Because we want to add the Friendship Boat, we have to pay to keep the bus sitting idle from 8:30am when the ceremony starts til 2pm when the reception ends. Of course, we weren’t forced to add the boat, but we would have had the same problem if our reception were also in Epcot and guests were walking to the site, so we aren’t the only ones being fleeced.

Our alternatives are the one-way bus and town cars. However, the one-way bus only picks up at 2 hotels. Of course if we’d known about this at the beginning, we would have only blocked 2 hotels. But we didn’t find out til after our save-the-dates had gone out listing 4 hotel choices. Grrrr!

The town cars are only an option on paper. When you ask for one, they tell you that the company they contract with is unreliable and will step over your grandmother to take somebody to the airport, even if the driver is scheduled to pick up your guests. So why does Disney contract with this company? Oh yes, because they are in cahoots with the bus company….

Evil town car stranding wedding guests

The Dessert Party

This is the one event for which most brides seem to skip the bus. However, all but 5 of our guests have never been to Walt Disney World and have no idea how to get around. We felt weird asking them to use Disney’s bus system to get to the party, especially since there are no resort-to-resort buses, and they can’t take the Epcot bus because they don’t have admission and we all need to meet at International Gateway.

The Breakdown

<—— (That’s me having a breakdown trying to figure out cheap transportation)

One-way Limo to Ceremony: $144.45
Pre-Ceremony/Post-Reception Motorcoach (8-hour charge [for 4 hours’ use] @ $89.25/hour): $714
One-way Friendship Boat to Reception: $250
Dessert Party Motorcoach (5-hour charge [for 3 hours’ use]): $446.25

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2 Responses
  • Cliff
    July 17, 2013

    When Disney says charter or charter bus transportation required for in-park events such as epcot ceremonies, does that automatically mean motor coach for five hours or can that still be several one way vans?

    • Carrie
      July 17, 2013

      I wish they would change their terminology—they just mean that you have to hire transportation through them; it doesn’t have to be a chartered trip. It can be one-way or round-trip, and it can be any of the various forms of transportation they offer.

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