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Test Bus Route Goes Direct from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

If you haven’t heard, we’re now testing an experimental bus route between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney to add convenience to your Walt Disney World Resort visit.

Bus Direct from Disney's Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney

Direct service from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney West Side is now happening daily. The buses run from 3 p.m. – 1 a.m.*, each day.

As regular Disney Parks Blog readers know, we’re always trying new things here at Disney Parks. And this latest test was actually started after some guests shared feedback asking for direct bus transportation from Disney Parks to Downtown Disney. Given the typically earlier closing time of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that park seemed like a natural fit.

The experimental bus route between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney is currently running until October 31, 2013.

*Operating hours subject to change.


  • Is it still operating?

  • will this continue through the holiday season?

  • Awesome blog. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work. Hope to read another amazing blog posting from your end.

  • Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
    Bus hours: 3:00 – park close
    (Which was 5:00 on that day)

  • It is a Two-Way bus. It is for anyone. The point is to provide more evening parking for Downtown Disney because the construction has made an already-bad parking situation become even worse.

  • This makes a lot sense. As an guest of a Disney hotel, I can now add DTD to my itinerary after AK. Then from DTD, I can choose my options to return to my hotel.

    It’s obvious that its only for guests that stay at a Disney Resort Hotel. They (bus) will not be going back to AK.

  • From what I have heard, it is my understanding that it IS a One Way trip at the moment to avoid misuse. This may be incorrect., However, even if you got to the Park after the Bus Hours started, you would still be expected to pay to use that lot. I have left AK many times around 5 pm and headed to DTD for dinner and shows so this is just a fabulous idea!

  • My assumption is that the main reason they are trying this is because of the new construction that is happening and will continue to happen at DTD as they convert it to Disney Springs. People who drive around property and want to go from the park to DTD for the evening may have worse parking issues than usual over the next few months (years?). With increased bus service to & from DTD, this may alleviate some of the parking headaches they anticipate will be coming.

  • Ok – So I arrive at Animal Kingdom at 3:01pm. Do I still have to PAY to park, or have the attendants been told to let those of us heading to Downtown Disney to pass free?

    p.s. to the above posters. Of COURSE this is a round-trip service. Otherwise there’d be a whole lot (literally) of people stuck at Downtown Disney trying to get to Animal Kingdom to get their cars.

  • Sorry, I’m still really confused. If this bus is one way, who would be going from AK to DD at 1AM?

  • This is perfect. On our annual trip we always plan Ak until 1 pm then DTD for Earl of Sandwich! After lunch it’s DTD rest of the day. AK being a 1/2 day park this will help, our family’s planning.

  • This should help the crowds on the Saratoga Springs busses for those using their busses to get to Downtown Disney – GREAT IDEA! Hope to see this at other parks down the road too!

  • I think testing new bus routes is a great idea but I don’t understand why it would useful to go between Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney. Wouldn’t it be easier to drive to Downtown Disney? Or if a guest didn’t have a car, wouldn’t is still be easier to just take a bus from DD directly to their resort?

    Maybe it has something to do with overflow parking for Downtown Disney?

  • The bus is ONE way, so NO it is not for people who have parked their car at AK. Its for resort or offsite guests who have bused to AK, and want somewhere else other than their resort/hotel to go after the park. This is great for both onsite and offsite guests as it means more people can get to DTD without visiting T&TC or a resort meaning those people will spend more money, great idea for bus users (we are car users).

  • I know Disney doesn’t like the idea of guests using DTD as an all-purpose late-nite “bus depot” (mostly because of some cheaters who park in DTD for the day to avoid the park and hotel lots)–
    But seeing as it’s the only buses that go to the parks -and- resorts, it’s become indispensable for resort guest who want to go to from the parks to a different resort for dinner, and back to their own in the evening, etc., after the earlier parks close, during the spring and fall. Hope nothing interferes with this valuable spot, just because of a few complaints.

    (Besides, it’s fun to spend that extra little bit of late-night shopping around the Marketplace, especially if you’re taking the boat shuttle back to Riverside or French Quarter.)

  • Amanda- if the bus will be going from AK to DTD, then I would think the bus would have to go BACK to AK from DTD to pick up guests again… and why would they be picking up guests from AK at midnight? Seems to me that the bus would be going back and forth.

  • Why?

  • Jim, the hours puzzled me too. But I think it is because some people would leave their cars parked at Animal Kingdom, use the bus to Downtown Disney for the evening, and need a way back to their car.

  • As far as my understanding goes, the bus only goes from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney, not Downtown Disney to Animal Kingdom. I seriously doubt there will ever be a bus from DTD to AK only because it stops a point of revenue. However, the bus has been successful so far from what I’ve seen and heard!

  • Jim – I’d guess this might for guests that bus over instead of driving to DTD, therefore they’d need to get back to DAK to get their car.

  • I LOVE it!!!! More flexibility to go from Park to DTD and skip the trip back to a resort

  • I think this would come in handy for a park that normally closes much earlier than others and guests are looking for another place to visit. I am a little confused on why service would continue until 1 am for a park that normally closes by 7pm?

  • Love the option. Hopefully it will expand. We would love to have an evening meal at Downtown Disney without having to return to our resort to catch a bus to Downtown Disney.

  • Disregard my comment. Missed the part about it being from 3 pm to 1 am.

  • That’s a good idea!

  • So, does this mean that people will be able to park for free at Downtown Disney and bus to AK?

  • Do you have to show a resort Key to the World or Magic Band to ride? Or can anyone park in DTD and use this?

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