[do] Wichita Party Buses
You might be the guy or gal who gazes lovingly at it rolling through Wichita on a Tuesday night, longing to be part of the fun. Or you might see them lining Douglas in Old Town on Saturday night, as mostly-conscious passengers pile out. Whether you’ve been on one or not, you’ve probably seen or heard of a party bus. And if you’ve never been on one, but are curious, I’m here to answer your questions.
What exactly is a party bus?
Generally, it’s a bus that’s been converted to accommodate a more social, fun atmosphere. The rows of seats are removed and new seating is installed along the edges of the bus, leaving room for walking and dancing. The sound and lighting are upgraded, and handles and poles are installed to increase your chance of successfully walking and dancing while the bus is moving. Bottom line: The purpose is to get all of your friends in one vehicle with a designated driver, hit the locations of your choice, and have a good time.
What do I need to consider if I’m a passenger on a bus?
First and foremost, you’ll need to bring your own beverages, adult or otherwise. An experienced passenger (and drinker) knows cold beverages don’t stay cold on their own. So pack a cooler. If you plan to walk around or dance, you need to plan to spill, especially if you’re drinking out of an open cup. In fact, it’s best to make peace with getting spilled on before you board the bus. And due to all the aforementioned spilling, expect a somewhat slippery floor. And finally, a disclaimer: I’ve been in situations where passengers (including myself, ahem) aren’t back on the bus at the designated time. In these cases, the person renting the bus will have to choose between you and paying another hour for the bus. In most cases, you’ll be hitching a ride home.
Where and how often will the bus stop?
This is up to the person who pays for the bus. The bus will take you wherever you want to go. You can stop 10 times, you can stop twice. I personally like a lot of time on the bus for three reasons: First, drinks are cheaper on the bus than in bars, and you don’t have to wait for them. Second, my friends are in close proximity, listening to music we choose. Third, if you have a lot of people on the bus, sometimes loading your friends back on the bus isn’t the timeliest transaction. So it’s easier to pick two or three choice destinations.
How is it legal to drink on a bus but not in a car?
Buses are similar to limos in this aspect. And from what I understand, the companies have a liquor license. Much like a school bus, passengers stay away from the driver. And because you’re not allowed to have an open container in public, open containers aren’t allowed off the bus.
What should I consider if I’m going to rent a bus?
First, determine the date of your party and how many people will be attending. Buses come in different sizes and have varying amenities (such as air conditioning) you may want to consider. Second, determine your pickup and dropoff point(s). I’ve found it’s generally easiest to have one pickup and dropoff point for all passengers. But if the final destination isn’t a home, the third thing you need to consider are alternative driving plans. For example: Safe Riders. Those of us who plan to drink with reckless abandon will appreciate a reminder to call and reserve our ride before we’re standing in a parking lot at 2:30AM. And finally, a good driver might be something you wouldn’t initially think of but is the key to the best night. If you’ve never rented a bus, ask around. I’ve only had one bad experience with a driver, but it was one too many. But when you get a good driver, as most are, encourage your passengers to throw in a tip at the end of the night.
How much does it cost?
The cost depends on the company you pick, the specific bus type, the time of day, the day of week, the number of hours, etc. The two bigger companies in Wichita are Unified Party Bus and Party Express. I believe there are other companies in town, but I’ve never been on them and my attempts at research didn’t return much. So if you know other companies, feel free to put their information in the comments section.
Otherwise, what was your most memorable (or most embarrassing) party bus experience?