Hilton Lake Buena Vista - Buses / Magic Bands / General Questions

BrianJ844

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
My wife and I are thinking staying at the Hilton in Disney Springs (I think Hilton Lake Buena Vista), in order to use Hilton points that we have, for a trip this December. I just want to make sure I have my facts straight as I have never stayed offsite before.

I know there is a thread for the buses for the Disney Spring area and I will dive deeper into that thread but I think I recall reading that the Disney Spring area buses do not run after hard ticket events which I assume Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is one. Therefore, we would have to take an Uber back from that? Also, it sounds like the first bus of the day would only get us to the park 20 minutes or so before it opens I seems?

I know we do not get magic bands free offsite (correct?) but we have Magic Bands from a trip we took in April of 2018. I assume those can those be reused for our park entry, fastpasses and whatnot? Any tips on getting those tied to our account or is it pretty straight forward / already on our account (sorry haven't check yet, this post now has me thinking about this).

Any other tips or general information that we need to know for staying offsite in the Disney Springs area? I know we get the 60 day FP and the EMH but not the shuttle from the airport.

Thanks,
Brian
 

writerguyfl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2015
I know there is a thread for the buses for the Disney Spring area and I will dive deeper into that thread but I think I recall reading that the Disney Spring area buses do not run after hard ticket events which I assume Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is one. Therefore, we would have to take an Uber back from that?
Correct. The Disney Springs Hotels buses do support those events. After an event, you'll need to provide your own transportation back to the hotel.

Also, it sounds like the first bus of the day would only get us to the park 20 minutes or so before it opens I seems?
More or less. Each bus goes to two theme parks.

One Bus: Hilton Lake Buena Vista --> Holiday Inn Disney Springs --> B Resort and Spa --> DoubleTree Suites --> Theme Park 1 --> Theme Park 2
One Bus: Hilton Lake Buena Vista --> Holiday Inn Disney Springs --> B Resort and Spa --> DoubleTree Suites --> Theme Park 3 --> Theme Park 4

The stops at each hotel are usually quick, unless there are multiple ECVs to board. If you're going to Theme Park 1 or Theme Park 3, you'll arrive between 30 and 35 past the hour on the first bus. For Theme Park 2 and Theme Park 4, you'll get there roughly 45 minutes after leaving the Hilton Lake Buena Vista.

The combination of Theme Parks varies. That said, Magic Kingdom has always been the first on any route. But, the stop is at the Transportation and Ticket Center. So, you'll need to go through security and transfer to the monorail or ferry. That means you'll arrive at the park entrance just a few minutes prior to park opening.

If you absolutely, positively need to be waiting in line for Rope Drop, you'll need to arrange your own transportation.

I know we do not get magic bands free offsite (correct?) but we have Magic Bands from a trip we took in April of 2018. I assume those can those be reused for our park entry, fastpasses and whatnot? Any tips on getting those tied to our account or is it pretty straight forward / already on our account (sorry haven't check yet, this post now has me thinking about this).
If you're buying your tickets direct from Disney, you won't need to do anything. Your old Magic Bands will automatically get linked to your tickets.

That said, Magic Bands do two things. For tickets and FastPass+ access, an old band will always work because no power is needed.

Some attractions are set up to "plus" the experience by using data sent wirelessly from the Magic Band. It's pretty minor stuff, like possibly having your name appear on a screen at It's a Small World. But that functionality requires the battery inside the Magic Band to be working. For a band from 2018, you should be fine. I believe the life span of those batteries is roughly 2 years.

(Personally, I don't care about that stuff. I'd never spend money to buy a new band just for that thing. But, everyone is a little different. Maybe that matters to you, so that's why I mentioned it.)

Any other tips or general information that we need to know for staying offsite in the Disney Springs area? I know we get the 60 day FP and the EMH but not the shuttle from the airport.
As long as you have proper expectations, you should be fine. By that I mean the Disney Springs Hotels are "regular" hotels and not Disney Resorts. Since many of them are mid or highrises, chances are good that you'll see Interstate 4 from your room. That fact doesn't bother me...but other people don't like seeing the "real world" when on a Disney vacation.

My wife and I are thinking staying at the Hilton in Disney Springs (I think Hilton Lake Buena Vista), in order to use Hilton points that we have, for a trip this December.
For what it's worth, the Hilton Lake Buena Vista hotel is only an average hotel. I spent 40+ nights there over the past 6+ years. I never had a great stay. There were always problems. Sometimes they were minor (no housekeeping service) and sometimes they were major (broken toilet that took 3 calls and over an hour to get fixed, being woken by leaf blowers used by the landscapers prior to 7am...that happened on two different stays).

Personally, I would feel disappointed to spend the 50,000 points/night that they typically require. For the same price, you cam usually get the MUCH nicer Hilton Bonnet Creek resort. There, you'll still get the 60 day FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours. The transportation is a little different, but it works for "all day at the parks" people or planners. (If you're a "wake up whenever and go without a rigid plan" person, the continuous transportation of the Disney Springs Hotels is better.)

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth as a former Hilton Honors Gold member.
 

Melissa Perez

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Any other tips or general information that we need to know for staying offsite in the Disney Springs area?
The only thing I'll add to above is we took advantage of Disney buses back to DS after 4pm most days. It's a little bit of a walk but typically gave us the opportunity to grab dinner and do shopping (my favorite disney activity).
 
  • BrianJ844

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2017
    Sorry to dig up an old thread but I have a few more general questions that should hopefully easy to answer for those that frequent these haunts.

    1. I was reading the 'Walt Disney World Date Based Ticket System' thread and just want to be clear. If we purchase a 5 day ticket and our first day in the parks is say Dec 11, we don't have to select Dec 11 when purchasing our tickets, correct? If say December 10 or 9th is cheaper, we could go with one of those as long as our entire trip still fits in the ticket window, it that okay?

    2. In the case mentioned above, would our fast passes be 60 days before Dec 11 in this case or Dec 9th? And then our fast passes would only allow us to book for 5 days in the 8 days window or could we mistakenly book all 8 (even though, I agree, why would we want to).

    3. If we get the 'one park per day' ticket, could we use the Christmas Party ticket as a version of a park hopper? Meaning could we use our 'one park per day' ticket to get into say Animal Kingdom and then go over to Magic Kingdom after 4?

    4. Lastly, does anyone have an idea of why Animal Kingdom closes at 6:00pm on December 11th but every other day around that 8:00pm?

    If I need to make other post in different threads for these, I can do if needed.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     

    FrostyNaples

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2017
    Having just stayed at this Hotel at the beginning of the month for the first time, you can take advantage of Minnie Van's (if running during your times of need) and or utilize Saratoga Springs Congress Park Bus Stop (about a 12 min walk +/- your abilities, for you Disney Park Buses.
     

    osufeth24

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2019
    If you're going to the Christmas party, instead of ubering, you could take a bus to Disney Springs and walk back to the hotel if you're up to it. That's what we did when we stayed at the Wyndham.
     
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