Literally one of the most common questions I get when someone has been accepted to the Disney College program is, “Should I bring my car or should I just use the bus system?”
Since a majority of CP’s are poor college students, taking a car can be a burdensome cost. Especially when you live on the other side of the country!
Let me start by answering in the clearest way I possibly can: YES, BRING YOUR CAR! There is no true debate over it. You probably already have car payments and monthly insurance bills, so you might as well use your car to the fullest advantage while living your dreams at Walt Disney World!
Now you may be thinking, “Katelyn, you’re just biased because you brought your car!” Let me stop you right there. I experienced both having a car and not having a car. You see I am from a small town in Idaho, where the word traffic has no true meaning. There is no rush hour; there are no traffic jams. So when my cute 18-year-old self drove into Orlando, Florida for the first time, I was terrified! The multiple lanes, the sheer amount of cars on the road was intimidating. Simply put, I was overwhelmed.
I promptly parked my car at The Commons apartments and vowed to never drive in the Florida traffic, for fear of my life. Instead, I would use the complimentary bus system… that should work, right? WRONG! You see, although it is extremely courteous of the Disney company to provide transportation for their college program participants, the bus system is awful.
reasons why the bus system is so absolutely dreadful...
- The bus system is time consuming. What would take me a quick 15-minute drive in my car became a 1-2 hour journey on the bus system (and that’s just one way). Then after work, you have to take that journey once again! Hopefully there is a seat open when you get on, otherwise you’re standing for most of the ride... after your 6-8 hour work shift...Yay! Oh, and you wanted to visit the parks on your day off? Go ahead, ride that hour long bus ride. All the while the park is filling up, and you are about to miss your FastPass.
- Have you heard the rumors about busses breaking down on the highway? Or that one that caught a small fire? Those are all true stories! Although it may not happen ALL the time, you do hear of busses breaking down often.
- Want to travel anywhere outside of Disney property? Good luck with that! The only bus that will really take you anywhere outside of Disney property is the one that goes to the grocery store.
- The bus system is extremely unreliable. The bus schedule says it should show up at 6:45 am…but will it really? You have to make sure that you take an early bus, just in case one doesn’t show up on time .
Do you feel like you’ve heard enough about the bus system? Yeah, me too.
why bringing your car is the best idea ever!
- Bringing your car gives you flexibility with your schedule. Instead of leaving 2 hours before your work shift starts, you can leave around 30 minutes beforehand and still make it on time. It’s a miracle!
- Bringing your car gives you the freedom to visit any park you want to. You can even do so before or after work because you have the time! As an employee, you get free parking at all Disney parks! So you don't have to pay $20 every time you park.
- Did you see on Instagram that a rare character has a surprise meet and greet in EPCOT for the next few hours? With your can, you can go straight there, in time to get his or her autograph!
- It means not having to live by the strict (yet unreliable) schedules of the busses. You also don’t have to figure out the labyrinth of bus routes, which trust me, avoiding that is a BLESSING. The numerous bus lines are SO confusing.
- Bringing your own car means you can go shopping at Walmart, any time of the day you want to. Or go shopping literally anywhere you want to!
- It means you can travel around Florida on your days off (Shout out to my favorite frozen Butterbeers in Universal’s Harry Potter theme park! And the beautiful Florida beaches)!
THE PROS OF BRINGING YOUR CAR GOES ON AND ON...
Yes, Florida traffic can be intimidating at first for any of you who are from small backwater towns like I am. But the absolute necessity to avoid the bus system forces you to adapt quickly.
When talking to fellow alumni, those who did not bring their car state that it has been among one of their biggest regrets! Give yourself the opportunity and freedom to live your dream in Florida by bringing your car.
If you live on the other side of the country, like I did, make a trip out of it! My dad and I stopped at Indian cliff dwellings, the Alamo, and any other interesting landmark we saw while on our way. It will make the trip bearable, and dare I say even fun!
If you guys have any additional thoughts or questions about the logistics and benefits for bringing a car, feel free to ask in the comments below! We are happy to help make your Disney College Program the best it can be, in all aspects!