Disney sure knows how to make money from a red van with white spots.
Minnie Vans were first announced 2017 at the D23 expo and started to run internally shortly after. After trialling at select deluxe resort locations, the idea and fleet has now doubled (actual number of cars is unknown to the public) and now includes pick ups from all resorts (excluding the three Allstars) and pick up/ drop offs to MCO. The Chevrolet cars can hold up to 6 people and include 2 car seats, or 4 people and 4 medium sized suitcases.
The pricing for a Minnie Van trip changed this past Friday (14/9/18), initially the pricing was $25 on any one way trip anywhere on property, excluding airport transfers. Under the new structure, pricing starts at a flat fee of $15 and goes up by $2.50-$3.00 per mile. Considering Disney now covers 43 square miles, now the further the journey, the more you pay.
A one way trip from MCO to Disney/ Disney to MCO will now set you back $150 one way. A Lyft or Uber can cost around $20-$25 for the same journey.
The hours of operation are 6.30am-12.30am. You would book your Minnie Van by downloading the Lyft app, I did this and the next few steps before leaving the UK for our trip, I had to enter a few personal details including name, mobile number and preferred method of payment. These include, Apple Pay, PayPal or linking a credit card. I went for PayPal, I simply entered my details and it is linked to the app.
Since the price hike we were unsure of using and paying for this service as previously we had planned to use a Minnie Van to take us from our resort to our early morning breakfast reservation at Boma in AKL, but for the purposes of review writing and expieriencing everything we can during this trip we decided to do it.
We stepped out of our room and ordered the Minnie Van to pick us up from the main lobby, it takes us around 5 minutes to walk from our room to the main lobby and the closest Minnie Van was 6 minutes away. Perfect.
(Regular car price on the Lyft app, as you can see there is a massive difference)
(The quote for our Minnie Van)
(The Minnie Van on its way, the app tracks the drivers journey)
The app notifies you when the car is on the way and arriving. Our driver was lovely, very chatty, asked us questions about our trip and we all talked for the whole journey, while Disney songs were playing in the back ground.
(Our final price for our journey, cheaper than quoted)
Overall the experience was great, using the app, ordering the Lyft, the journey and payment were extremely easy. However, you are paying for the novelty of a decorated car and under the new pricing structure it just does not seem worth it anymore unless your journey is under 3/4 miles to keep the cost around $25/26 and with that being said we will probably not being using this service again.
I would never deter anyone from using a Minnie Van if you are after the experience. However if you have an early morning breakfast reservation or if you have a tickets to a late night party and just want to get back to your hotel, then I would recommend using a regular car from Lyft or Uber for up to 1/5 of the cost.
Have you used a Minnie Van? Would you use a Minnie Van under the new pricing structure? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.