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.
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
Disney’s Magical Express
Update: Disney’s Magical Express is retiring at the end of 2021. The last day of operation is December 31, 2021. Check out this post on What is Replacing Disney’s Magical Express and When? for details.
The Disney Magical Express Airport Shuttle for Walt Disney World Resort Guests is a chartered bus that brings you from the Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World Resort. This service only runs through the end of 2021. Read our Disney’s Magical Express Guide for all the details.
To and From the Disney Parks
For clarity, Walt Disney World offers complimentary 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.
Tranport 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.
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!
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 Skyliner Gondolas
The Disney Skyliner Gondolas are only accessible from certain resorts within the Walt Disney World property.
- Art of Animation & Pop Century Resort
- Caribbean Beach
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Hollywood Studios
- EPCOT International Gateway
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.
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 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!