I’m at my Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, now what? That is probably the number one question upon arrival at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” Here are a few tips and tricks to ease the mayhem, known as Disney Transportation!
Let’s begin with a bang:
•There is NO courtesy Resort Hotel to Resort Hotel Transportation at Walt Disney World Resort, unless you’re using your legs or your own coinage for the Minnie Van, Uber or Taxi service. Example– Polynesian Village Resort to Wilderness Lodge Resort. The only transportation provided courtesy of Disney is from a Disney Resort Hotel to the 4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs and back to a Disney Resort Hotel. THE ONLY EXCEPTION (KINDA) IS DISNEY’S SKYLINER HUB AT CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT TO THE ART OF ANIMATION, POP CENTURY AND RIVIERA RESORT. But really, its only beneficial if you’re staying at one of the four resorts and just going between them. Same as a few others, if it just so happens to be on same route to & fro!
•The only way to reach a Disney Resort is from one of the 4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs. Example– If you have a dining reservation at the Polynesian Village Resort and you’re staying at the Art of Animation, you have to take a Disney bus to the nearest Disney Theme Park (Magic Kingdom) and get on the proper Disney transportation to the Polynesian Village Resort. It’s a great way for visitors to explore different Dining, Shopping and Resort Hotels. TIP– allot at least one hour for travel time if you have a dining reservation at a Disney Resort Hotel.
•With that said, there is also no courtesy Park to Park Transportation available. Example– you cannot hop on a bus at Magic Kingdom Park and go directly to Epcot. If you want to Park Hop for free, you will have to go to a Disney Resort Hotel and then get onto the proper transportation to the specific Theme Park you are going to. Sometimes it’s a combination of bus, monorail, boat or walking. This is nutty, but I don’t make the rules…….I wish I did, then the Castle would be MINE!
•Disney Transportation is clearly marked as to where it’s going and if you’re unsure, just ask a friendly Cast Member or Guest Services for help. If taking a Bus or Water Taxi just double check with the driver as to where they’re going. The only dumb questions are those not asked (in my case, not always true- ba dum ching!)
•Disney Transportation is handicap accessible and has space for motorized devices and baby strollers. If you have one of the two, don’t worry, you will be seated first on Disney transportation. Trick– Baby Strollers can ride in the Monorail without folding them up, assuming they are not ginormous; also motorized wheelchairs can drive-on in most Disney Transportation vehicles. Approved Stroller size- 31” wide & 52” long or smaller.
•Bus Transportation usually runs about 45 minutes prior the parks open and 2 hours following parks close in twenty minute intervals. Always make sure to check the times guide. Boats typically run 30 minutes prior to parks opening and 1.5 hours after.
Also, The expansive Disney Resorts will have an INTERNAL BUS within the Resort itself, taking you on a predetermined loop to the Lobby, Shopping and Dining facilities!
Disney’s fun courtesy shuttle the MAGICAL EXPRESS will whisk you away from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to your select Walt Disney Resort Hotel and vice versa. TIP– This service is not offered at Orlando Sanford International Airport.
RESORT Loop Monorail
The Resort Loop Monorail connects to the Contemporary Resort, Ticket & Transportation Center, Polynesian Village Resort, Villas & Bungalows and the Grand Floridian Resort & Villas to the Magic Kingdom Park only. You can jump on or off the monorail at any of these locations. (Please, only when stopped, haha)
Express EPCOT Monorail
Located at the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) next to the Polynesian Village Resort, Villas & Bungalows, it takes visitors directly to EPCOT and vice versa. TIP– If staying at the “Poly” you can walk to the TTC on a peaceful paved path if the monorail is down and take the Ferry instead. (10 minutes on average)
Express MAGIC KINGDOM Monorail
Located at the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) next to the Polynesian Village Resort, Villas & Bungalows, it takes visitors directly to Magic Kingdom and vice versa.
Sail to and from the Polynesian Village Resort, Villas & Bungalows, Grand Floridian Resort & Villas, Contemporary Resort/Bay Lake Tower Villas, Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge Villas and Fort Wilderness Campground/Cabins to the Magic Kingdom Park and back.
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Water Taxis take you to Disney Springs and back.
Old Key West Resort (DVC) and Saratoga Springs also have Water Taxis that carry visitors to Disney Springs and back.
Strollers will have to be folded and stowed out of the aisle.
Water Taxis are small and not mobility friendly!
Friendship BOATS (8 total)
4 Friendship docks are located at Epcot Park on World Showcase Lagoon, two in World Showcase Plaza and the other two in World Showcase- Morocco & Germany. The boats travel between Future World and World Showcase. Beginning at 11am and ending World Showcase Plaza at 7:15pm and the countries at 7:30pm
Boardwalk Inn & Villas, Swan and Dolphin Resort, Yacht Club and The Beach Club Resort & Villas also have Friendship Boats to/from EPCOT International Gateway (back door to EPCOT) and Disney Hollywood Studios. Last boat from EPCOT is 9:30pm. If you can’t make that one, you’ll have to walk the pedestrian pathways back to your resort or take the bus transportation.
Strollers can stay open in the back of the boat in the wheelchair parking if room available.
Larger and mobility friendly!
Hop on one of two twin Ferry Boats that take you directly from the TTC to Magic Kingdom Park and back. The Richard F Irvine and the Admiral Joe Fowler along with the Kingdom Queen Class- Joe Potter! They will operate 1.5 hours after park closing, including extra magic hours.
Resort Hotel to Theme Park BUSES
Depending on which park you are going, you will load one of the 4 Theme Park/Disney Springs/2Water Park Buses at your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel designated bus stop.
There is Bus Transportation from each and every one of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, even if there are other modes of Transportation.
Example– Grand Floridian has Water Taxis, but they also have Buses and the Monorail. Buses are the primary mode of transportation at Walt Disney World Resort, over 300 Buses all together.
Disney’s SKYLINER Gondola System
Whisks you away from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in a gondola style getaway cart in the sky. The Resort destinations are Disney’s Riveria Resort (DVC), Caribbean Beach Resort (SkyLiner “HUB” Transfer Station), Pop Century & Art Of Animation Resorts and Vice Versa. (ONLY) They fit 10 peeps on average. If not real busy, your FAM can usually ride without others…..
Stroller Friendly (Folded up)
Disney Cruise Line Buses (*Additional Cost$$)
If you have planned a Land and/or Sea Disney Cruise Line package you can enjoy the Disney Cruise Line Bus from Orlando International Airport and select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels to Port Canaveral Cruise Port. Or you can purchase individually.
Value Resorts– All-Star Movie, Music & Sports Resort Hotels share a bus route and only have Bus transportation to Theme Parks, Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs
Pop Century and Art of Animation have their own buses. Plus, Disney’s NEW SkyLiner transportation to & from Epcot & Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park.
Fort Wilderness CAMPGROUND- Disney bus transportation to all four Theme Parks, Water Parks and Disney Springs. Water Taxi service is available from Settlement Marina at Fort Wilderness to the Wilderness Lodge/Boulder Ridge Villas (exception), Contemporary Resort/Bay Lake Tower Villas (exception) and MAGIC KINGDOM PARK and back.
Moderate Resorts– Caribbean Beach & The Riveria Resort (DVC) have Bus Service to Theme Parks, Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs, plus Disney’s NEW SkyLiner transportation to & from Epcot & Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park.
Coronado Springs – Bus only to Theme Parks, Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs.
Fort Wilderness CABINS – Disney bus transportation to all four Theme Parks, Water Parks and Disney Springs. Water Taxi service is available from Settlement Marina at Fort Wilderness to the Wilderness Lodge/Boulder Ridge Villas (exception), Contemporary Resort/Bay Lake Tower Villas (exception) and MAGIC KINGDOM PARK and back.
Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter Resorts have Bus Service to Theme Parks, Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs, but they also have a Water Taxi Service to one another and to Disney Springs! *(only to one another, because it’s in the same direction (loop) to Disney Springs)
Deluxe Resorts– Animal Kingdom Resort & Villas only has Bus Service to all of the Theme Parks, Water Parks, ESPN Complex & Disney Springs. Kind of a negative for a deluxe, but they make up for it with live animals in a safari setting, lol.
Boardwalk Inn & Villas, Swan & Dolphin and the Yacht & Beach Club Resort & Villas have Friendship Boats to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. A bus would take you to the remaining two parks- Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Park. Trick– If you’re feeling extra energetic you could Walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Fort Wilderness Campground/Cabins, Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge Villas, Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower Villas, Polynesian Village Resort, Villas & Bungalows, Grand Floridian Resort & Villas have Water Taxi Service to the Magic Kingdom Park, plus Buses and the Monorail.
Walt Disney World Resort Areas:
Magic Kingdom Resorts– Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower Villas, Polynesian Village Resort, Villas & Bungalows and the Grand Floridian Resort & Villas.
They are all on the Monorail Line, as well as a stop at the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC). Fort Wilderness Campground, Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge Villas are also considered Magic Kingdom Resorts, but they are NOT on the Monorail Line.
Epcot Resorts– Boardwalk Inn & Villas, Swan & Dolphin Resorts, Yacht Club, Beach Club Resort & Villas, Caribbean Beach Resort and Riviera Resort.
Hollywood Studio Resorts– Pop Century and Art of Animation Resort.
Animal Kingdom Resorts– Animal Kingdom Resort & Villas, All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, Coronado Springs Resort and Gran Destino Resort.
Disney Springs Resorts– Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Treehouse Villas and Old Key West Resort.
It can be quite confusing navigating Disney Transportation. Walt Disney World Resort is not the type of place you want to wing it, but with proper research and advance planning you’re sure to start your family’s trip off right!
Have a magical journey!
(Information current when published, this info can change at any time)