All You Need To Know About Minnie Vans
After the many announcements coming out of D23 two weekends ago from the parks panel on 7/15/2017, two almost slipped under the radar from all the major changes that would be happening to Epcot. Ipcot?
I’m talking about the two new modes of transportation that would be integrated into Walt Disney World, the Skyliner gondolas and the Minnie Vans. The Skyliners won’t be accessible for a while until the 50th anniversary in 2021, but the Minnie Vans would be up and running before anyone knew it. In fact, quietly Disney unleashed 20 “Minnie Vans” right under guests noses on 7/17/2017. Hidden under sheets in the Test Track lots, these polka dot beauties were waiting for their trial run.
For those wondering what “Minnie Vans” are, they are an Uber/Lyft like transportation service inside the Walt Disney World Resort. The pun is used because they take after the color scheme of the famous mouse herself, Minnie. D23 even had a spot in the expo where you can look at the new Minnie Vans, take a picture with them, and even receive a limited edition pin.
When the “Minnie Vans” was debuted, they didn’t look like anything that anyone saw on the show floor of D23. The pink was gone for red, ears were missing, and it wasn’t even a minivan at all. The “Minnie Van” is a Chevy Traverse with the red and white polka scheme on the exterior, making it very easy to spot from far distances. Also, a neat little Minnie Mouse logo on the passenger and driver doors.
The trial period went on for a week’s time after D23 ended, and was available for guests staying at Yacht Club, Beach Club, and Boardwalk Resorts and was free of charge. A guest could simply ask at any of these front desks for them by name and would arrive at the front doors of the three resorts. Even though the service is limited to 3 resorts, you could be driven anywhere on Walt Disney World property. Minnie Vans also give guests VIP pickups and drop offs, which means that instead of using the bus stops for the resorts, they will take you the closest spot to your hotel room. You will also get closer drop offs to Disney Springs and some of the parks.
The Minnie Van drivers will be wearing either a dark gray button up shirt, or vest with a Mickey printed on the right side of the garment. When asked why they wear Mickey instead of Minnie, they answered so Mickey is always with Minnie. Isn’t that the most adorable thing you ever heard?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Many questions were asked and answered, and I collected the most common asked questions to help get the rundown of the adorable Minnie Vans.
How do you call a Minnie Van?
As of the trial period, you must go to the front desks of Yacht Club, Beach Club, or Boardwalk Resorts and ask for a ride.
After the trial period, there are many ways that this could go about. There is the obvious MY Magical Experience app from Disney. Some have said that Disney will use the app through Lyft. Others say there will be an entirely new app from Disney to use just for the Minnie Vans. We will have to look to Disney News Blog for an answer real soon.
How much does this service cost?
To ride the Minnie Vans, it will cost a $20 flat rate. Not per person, but per ride.
Can I Tip/Are tips expected?
Tips are already included in the $20 fee. The drivers are actually supposed to reject any form of tipping.
How many guests can fit in a Minnie Van?
You can fit up to 6 passengers in the Chevy Traverse. Great price for big groups or families.
Will the Minnie Vans be ADA accessible?
No, the Chevy Traverse does not that have that ability, but there are a couple of vans that recently debuted to have ECV and Wheelchair accessibilities that will hold 4 passengers plus the ECV or wheelchair passenger. This van will also have the same $20 fee.
Should I bring my own car seat/Are there car seats?
There are 2 car seats on request. During the trial run, most Minnie Vans had two car seats situated in the trunk.
These car seats are produced by Graco and look like they are the 4ever all-in-one model, which can be forward or back facing and can be positioned into a booster seat.
How long does the service run for?
The Minnie Van service will run from 6:00 am to 12:30 am, with the possibility of running later due to parks staying open late for special occasions.
Who runs the Minnie Van service?
Disney employees are the drivers of the Minnie Vans, so you are actually getting cast members driving you around the resort.
What happens to Uber/Lyft/Taxis/Is Disney getting rid of Uber/Lyft/Taxis?
There is no confirmation on this answer and will be my own opinion. I don’t see any reason why Disney would “forbid” other companies from coming on to Walt Disney World property and doing their job. This service is just another transportation option for guests to use by Disney and frankly is smart of Disney to take advantage of. I personally don’t think anyone has anything to worry about not getting that cheaper Uber/Lyft ride, especially since there has been talk that Disney would use the Lyft app system.
Why would I use the Minnie Vans when Uber/Lyft is so much cheaper?
I believe that Minnie Vans are appealing towards families or groups that are visiting Disney. With the larger passenger number and the ability to have car seats and ADA accessibility, it speaks to the groups of people that would otherwise have to rely on the bus or monorail. If you are traveling solo or in a couple, no I don’t think this service will appeal to you as much.
Overall, this is a great addition to the transportation systems available at the Walt Disney World Resort. With attendance growing each year, and most likely going to sky rocket with the addition of Star Wars Land (Galaxy’s Edge) and Toy Story Land in the next couple years, it will be a nice refreshing option and keep guests moving.
Is it that innovative? No, but it is a great move by Disney to take this opportunity and providing more perks while getting the job done. I’m surprised they haven’t thought of this sooner. (From browsing through the internet, they have in the 80s which looked like an airport shuttle) The price may be a little high for an all-around flat rate, but with a group or a family that fly to Orlando to vacation, this could be a great convenience to get to the other side of the resort in a hurry. Once it goes live, I’m sure this will be the most popular mode of getting around the resorts.
What do you think of the Minnie Vans? Do you love them or hate them?
Tell us why in the comments!