Staying on Disney property while at Walt Disney World? One of the benefits of choosing to stay at a Walt Disney World hotel is that you get free Disney transportation while there. It can get a little confusing, so here is our quick and dirty, not too wordy guide to transportation at Walt Disney World.
- 1 How To Get Around at Walt Disney World
- 2 To and From the Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World
- 3 To and From the Disney Parks
- 4 Transport by Monorail
- 5 Transport by Boat Service
- 6 Disney Skyliner Gondolas
- 7 Disney Walking Paths
- 8 Transportation from Disney Springs to Walt Disney World
- 9 Driving to Disney
How To Get Around at Walt Disney World
One of the biggest mysteries of any Disney Vacation is based on the question “Do you need a car at Walt Disney World? And while we sometimes recommend driving a car to Walt Disney World we are also big advocates for just taking the plane there and planning to be stranded at Disney for your vacation. Don’t worry, it’s actually quite liberating and not that scary. Here are all the ways you can get to and around Walt Disney World.
To and From the Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World
Getting to and from the Orlando International Airport ( MCO) to Walt Disney World isn’t difficult. But, it does cost something. You can choose a ride-share service, like Uber, for a flat rate cost for whoever can fit in the car you choose in the app. Or you can pay a per-person fee for a service like Mears Connect.
To and From the Disney Parks
For clarity, Walt Disney World offers complimentary Disney transportation across the entire Walt Disney World Resort. This includes transportation to and from the following: Disney Resorts, Disney Parks, and Disney Springs.
Buses are available at every Walt Disney World Resort. They are the most common type of transportation there and for many resorts, they are the only kind of transportation.
Buses are scheduled to come every 15-20 minutes, however, I will tell you from experience, this is pretty untrue much of the time, especially if you’re going during peak season. If taking the buses anywhere, allow yourself about an hour or so of travel time. Buses can be taken from the resorts to the Parks, Water Parks, and Disney Springs. Buses generally cannot be taken from one resort to get to another resort. You will have to change buses in order to do this(or take the monorail. If you’re taking the bus, be prepared to wait and be prepared to stand.
Transport by Monorail
You can travel to and from the parks and select Disney resorts via Disney Monorail. The Resorts Monorail stops at the following places which we break down below: Magic Kingdom, Transportation Ticket Center (TTC), The Contemporary Resort, The Polynesian ( and Shades of Green), The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The EPCOT Monorail stops at the Transportation Ticket Center (TTC) and EPCOT.
First time at Walt Disney World? Then you may be asking yourself what the monorail is. As WDW states, “it’s a highway in the sky!” In all reality though, it’s kind of like a subway system but built above ground. The monorail is available to be taken at The Grand Floridian, The Contemporary, and The Polynesian, which creates one loop that will take you to Magic Kingdom. Check out our post on taking a Free Disney Day on the Monorail.
A second loop will take you to Epcot and the TTC, or Transportation Ticket Center. If you want to go from one loop to the other, simply switch monorails at the TTC. The TTC is also where you will take the monorail to get to Magic Kingdom if you drove to the Park. While the monorail is generally faster, keep in mind that sometimes they are delayed by general maintenance and sometimes they break down. Always allow enough travel time to accommodate these possibilities.
Disney Resorts with Monorail Access
Staying at a Disney Resort with Monorail Access is pretty magical when you consider that you can technically get to both Magic Kingdom, and EPCOT via monorail. Here are the Disney Resorts with Monorail Service.
Transport by Boat Service
Depending on where you are going, you may be able to take a boat to the parks, your resort, and even other resorts.
Ferry Boat to Magic Kingdom
When visiting Walt Disney World once you park at the Transportation Ticket Center (TTC) you can take the Ferry instead of the Monorail to go to Magic Kingdom. Your choice! Check out all the Disney Resorts that offer Boat Service.
Boat Service from Magic Kingdom
Boats at EPCOT
While you cannot get a boat from anywhere except Hollywood Studios to EPCOT, you can take boat service to and from one side of the World Showcase ( at the port of call shops) to the other ( America Pavillion). This is especially helpful if you have kids or can’t walk long distances, or just need a break! Just grab a boat.
Boats from EPCOT to Hollywood Studios
You can also grab a boat from the International Gateway at Epcot ( between France and the UK) to the Boardwalk Resorts (Boardwalk Inn, The Yacht Club or The Beach Club), the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and Hollywood Studios.
Port Orleans Boat to and from Disney Springs
If you’re staying at Port Orleans Riverside or Port Orleans French Quarter, you can also take a boat to Disney Springs. While boats are definitely the least crowded of the options, they are also the slowest. Allow for about an hour of travel time to get to your destination.
Disney Resorts with Boat Access
Walt Disney World Resorts with Boat Access are many. From boat transport to Disney Springs, to Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, here are the resorts that can take you there by boat.
To EPCOT and Hollywood Studios
To Disney Springs
To Magic Kingdom
- Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- The Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney Skyliner Gondolas
The Skyliner is a great way to skip the crowds and see the views while you travel across the sky. Check out our quick guide to the Disney Skyliner Gondolas. The Skyliner Travels to and From both EPCOT Park and Hollywood Studios.
Disney Resorts with Skyliner Access
The Disney Skyliner Gondolas are only accessible from certain resorts within the Walt Disney World property.
Disney Walking Paths
Walt Disney World is covered in walking paths. From helping resort guests get to the parks, to hidden spaces like the BoardWalk, you can find Disney Walking Paths at Walt Disney World of all shapes and sizes. Luckily, there are a few Disney Resorts that offers walkway into certain parks. Here’s where you can find Disney Resorts within Walking Distance of Disney World Parks.
Resorts Within Walking Distance to Magic Kingdom
Resorts Within Walking Distance to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios
Transportation from Disney Springs to Walt Disney World
One of the most confusing elements of the Walt Disney World Transportation Options is its bus service to and from Disney Springs. If you are staying in a Hotel Near Disney Springs, then you’re probably wondering if that gets you closer to the parks. The answer to that is NO. Staying at a Disney Springs Hotel does not get you within walking distance of Walt Disney World Theme Parks. That said, we do have a list of Disney Resorts within Walking Distance of Walt Disney World, but even then that’s only specific parks.
If you’re staying at a Disney Springs Hotel, how do you get to Walt Disney World Parks? If your Hotel doesn’t have a shuttle to each Disney Theme Park, this is what you can do. In order to get to a Disney World Park from Disney Springs you can take any Disney Resort Bus from the Disney Springs Bus Depot. But choose wisely. Because once you arrive at the Disney Resort, you will then have to transfer to a Disney Parks Bus, from the resort. So which Disney Resort Bus should you choose? Here’s A quick breakdown, of the resorts closest to each park, that provide you the shortest bus ride to the park you’re trying to get to.
From Disney Springs to Magic Kingdom
Once at Disney Springs, you can grab a bus to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Resort, OR Disney’s Contemporary Resort. All are on the Disney Monorail Line, which stops at Magic Kingdom. To get the closest you can choose the Grand Floridian Resort Bus and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom. OR choose the Contemporary Resort and take the walking path, about 5 minutes to the Magic Kingdom gates.
From Disney Springs to EPCOT
If heading to EPCOT from Disney Springs, you will want to get a bus to any of the Disney BoardWalk Resorts. These include Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club, and the Boardwalk Inn Resort. All of these are within walking distance of EPCOT Park’s back entrance, known as the International Gateway. The get the closest to this Epcot gate, choose the Disney Beach Club Bus, then walk through the lobby and out onto the BoardWalk.From there, you simply turn left at the beach and walk until you reach the gates of EPCOT.
From Disney Springs to Hollywood Studios
Disney Springs to Hollywood Studios means grabbing one of the buses to the Disney BoardWalk or to one of the Swan and Dolphin Hotels. Any of these resorts will get you close to the gates, but there are options. To get the closest, but without walking, you can choose the Disney Swan and Dolphin Bus. This gets close to the walking path between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios but also gets you close to the boat dock. You can then transfer from the bus to the boat heading to Hollywood Studios or walk the path. Alternatively, you can also choose the Beach Club Resort Bus, and head towards the Skyliner Gondola station just outside the EPCOT gates. Then take the Skyliner Gondola to Hollywood Studios. Both options get you to Hollywood Studios from Disney Springs.
From Disney Springs to Animal Kingdom
By far the easiest Disney World theme park to get to from Disney Springs, Animal Kingdom Park only has one nearby resort. And that’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This Deluxe Resort at Walt Disney World is a great place to stop anyway for up-close views of animals roaming the savanna and a bite to eat at Sanaa. To get to Animal Kingdom Park from Disney Springs simply take the Animal Kingdom Lodge Bus, and then transfer to the Animal Kingdom bus once you’re at the resort.
Driving to Disney
In a hurry and don’t want to wait that long for a ride to get where you’re going? Here are some of your alternatives if you decide to bring a car to Walt Disney World.
Uber. Uber has gotten a lot more expensive since we first started taking it on property. And it’s a little tricky to use at WDW. But it’s a good option if you’re in a pinch.
WDW’s Minnie Vans. Yep, it’s a van dressed up like Minnie. Super cute, but also a little pricey. About $35 one way will get you anywhere on the property you’d like to go. Service from the airport is also available. It’s all accessible in the app.
Drive. Driving allows you the most freedom when you’re at Disney, but keep in mind, traffic can be stressful. You’re still in Orlando. If you’re an annual pass holder or if you’re staying on the property, the $20 parking fee will be waived.
Disney Transportation Options at Walt Disney World
So what questions do you still have about transportation at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .