I know about the price difference, i only have a couple of questions...
1) I know the Tundra has the guide but does the shuttle has any pre-recorded message or at least the driver say anything?
2) I think i've read from one of the posts that you have to get your ticket the day before from the park if you will take the shuttle. We will be arriving at Fairbank airport at 5:00PM, any chance that we can still pick-up our shuttle tickets? Is there anyway that we can get the ticket on the day of the tour?
3) is the parking hard in the shuttle bus pick-up area?
My opinion, the TOURS are NEVER worth the triple cost going less into the park than the shuttles. I have also NEVER had a driver who did not know Denali Park extensively and offer plenty of narration.
NO not true- you can pick up your tickets the morning of the shuttle, arrange to have them either mailed to you or given to the driver. Absolutely YOU NEED RESERVATIONS, peak season, there is NO walk up space and unless you have a couple days to play with, make your bus choice in advance. You CAN call and get seats 2 days before as they open up held back seats. i have done this by calling when the reservations open at 7am.
I'm confused about your arriving Fairbanks and picking up shuttle tickets??? Are you not touring and seeing Fairbanks???
Doesn't affect you at this point, but for clarification. Its the Tundra Tour that requires you to physically pick up tickets in advance (day before for morning tours and morning of for afternoon tours). They don't determine what tour you are on or what time you will go for the tundra tour until a few days b efore your tour(as opposed to the shuttles), so you can't get it far in advance. The pick-up spot isn't open when many of the early morning tours leave, so thats what requires you to do it the day before ... alternatively, you can buy it from Denali Park Resorts for an extra fee and it will be waiting at the front desk of one of the bigger hotels in the area (princess, etc)
As you've found, shuttle tickets can be mailed to you if you order them in advance.
karen, unfortunately we will not be touring Fairbanks...the only reason i chose theat airport is so i can drive directly to denali after we arrive at 5:00PM...would that be a problem?...until what time is the daylight?
i only have 3 nights before the cruise and we will be using 2 nights at denali
Don't forget you will need snacks, lunch and drinks for shuttle bus. There is no food in park. We took small ice chest on shuttle w/o a problem. Also binoculars, although we have been lucky enough not to need them that much, since we had telephoto on camera or animals were close.
As you know, this is a less than ideal plan. I also strongly suggest you stop at Fred Meyer- on Airport way, but in the other direction you need to go for Denali Park and pick up your food/drink. You may also need to eat here since there is not much on the 2 hour+ drive to Denali park. Fairbanks airport is small, you should be out of there by 6pm. If you aren't in there is Sept. you will have daylight until 10pm+++.
3755 AIRPORT WAY
FAIRBANKS, AK 997094610
IMO, Shuttle bus definitely. We did both since we wanted to see wildlife and we had the time. The first day we did the all day shuttle bus to Wonder Lake. We were warned to prepare for mosquitoes. No mosquitoes were found (we were there in August of 2004) Our bus driver, Gloria, was better then the tour guide we had on the next day with the Tundra Tour. She drove slower when animals were present, and was so knowledgeable. I would do the Wonder Lake shuttle again anytime.
Enjoy your trip!