Update Facts: Minnie Vans
Update: Minnie Vans Facts
Minnie Vans are the new colorful transportation system on the Walt Disney World property. Unlike the name suggests, Minnie Vans aren’t vans but customized Chevy Traverses. The Minnie Vans a Minnie Mouse signature red with the recognizable white polka dots, and if the paint job isn’t noticeable enough the “vans” also what a Mickey Mouse transportation logo on the sides and roof.
The Minnie Van transportation system was recently announced at last month’s D23 expo, as another more convenient way to get around the massive property of Walt Disney World, and guests could try out this experience just a day after the expo ended. During that trial run, it was running free of charge to guests at the Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. They also announced vehicles that support ECV and wheelchairs.
I even did a little research on Minnie Vans and gather the most FAQs and answered them for curious guests. You can follow the link here.
A little note on that article, it was made during the free trial period, I say that because since the Minnie Vans are now officially in operation there are some things to update on. Once the Minnie Vans have run for a while and work out all the kinks, I will gather all the information together on one page. Until then, here are the new updates.
Lyft + Disney
July 31, 2017, is the official date that Minnie Vans has become fully operational and have started to charge a fee. Just like the trial version, the service is only available to guests at the Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk Resort hotels. Contrary to the free trial service in the weeks before, you must be a paying guest at any of those three resort hotels. The standard flat fee is $20 per ride, not per person and it is for one-way travel.
In the past article, I touched briefly on how you access this service, at the time I thought it was an actual rumor, but it is indeed true that Disney partner with the Lyft services to access the Minnie Vans. It is official that Disney has partnered with Lyft ride-sharing services. What does this mean for you, it means that to call and request a Minnie Van downloading the Lyft app.
A few key facts to go over before delving into the application. Since the Minnie Vans are accessible through the Lyft app, this does not mean that Minnie Vans are run by Lyft drivers. Disney places cast members in this position that are already super knowledgeable about the property and with Disney. So, no matter what, you will be getting the famous Disney hospitality when you ride in a Minnie van.
Next little tip, in the last article I stated that Minnie vans had VIP drop offs and picks up. I didn’t delve right into it other than the drivers can get you close to your destination. For all park drop offs, Minnie Vans have access to the bus stops, so you know you will be able to get as close as possible to the park entrance. Unlike other transportation methods where you must be dropped off at the transportation depot and connect to the monorail. For example, when going to the Magic Kingdom, bus stop #11 is designated for the polka-dotty “vans”, which is the closest stop to the entrance.
Now, let’s talk about the Lyft application. This is where things get a little complicated. If you download the app right now, you will not be able to access the Minnie Vans. Unfortunately, the Disney-Lyft partnership is still in a testing phase when it comes to the app. To gain access to call a Minnie Van, as I said before, you must be a guest at any of the selected hotels (Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club), and be able to prove this when going to guest relations at the front desks of the three hotels. A cast member must unlock this function for you.
From my understanding, this isn’t a little secret either. Disney wants you to use this service so the selected resorts have many advertisements and directions for this feature.
I was going to show a small video on how to call for a Minnie Van through the app, but since the services through Lyft are so new and you need an activation to use the program, I will wait until it gets more popular.
If you are not familiar with Lyft, it is very much like Uber. They are both ride-sharing applications, with one press of a button you can access a map of your location and call a car to you. Also through the app, you can see on the map how close these drivers are to your location, and once you ping for a driver an instant estimated arrival with show up, along with how much it would cost. These services are very handy for when you want to get somewhere fast and for cheap. Knowing where the nearest driver is also calmed a lot of people’s nerves if they are ever in a hurry.
Integrating the Minnie Van program to Lyft, I believe is still a very smart idea. The technology that Lyft has, works seamlessly with what Disney is trying to accomplish, which is fast and reliable transportation in and around the property. By adding cast members to this roster, it only furthers Disney’s mission to offer hospitality, warmth, and magic to any guest’s vacation.
Uber and Lyft regular services will still be available on Walt Disney World property. So, if a group of 4 or less would like a cheaper ride, there is still that option. The Minnie Van/Lyft service provides a fast and reliable way for families/groups with children and/or guests with mobility needs to also get around. Disney always has a history of thinking of every one of its’ guests.
Hope you found this article a little more enlightening and maybe made you consider about using the service in your future Walt Disney World vacation. I like to talk about the Minnie Vans because I believe that they will be a vital part of the park, and a very smart decision to have. I know I will use them with my small family, the next time we go. We all could use a little Minnie in our lives.
If you are ever interested in how the Lyft application works, please leave a comment down below. If it will help any future Minnie Van riders, I will gladly do it. Remember, I don’t have access to finding a Minnie Van, but I can definitely make a tutorial on how to use the app.