Getting Around Walt Disney World
If you are a first time Walt Disney World guest; or haven’t been in a while, you’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself with the different types of transportation at Walt Disney World. I am a firm believer that maximizing your time is the key to having a fantastic Disney vacation. And taking the proper mode of transportation is going to be a factor in that.
It’s the first ride of the day!
Walt Disney World has several transportation options and some of them may be your first “ride” of the day. Hopping on the Monorail, Skyliner, Boat or Ferry is (in essence) a ride. And I know for my family, but our trip isn’t complete without a ride on the Monorail (and now the Skyliner).
Depending on where you’re staying, your only option in the parks may be the bus. Which is (I’ll say it) boring. If you’re traveling from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom, your only option is the bus…However, it will be a welcomed ride if you’ve been in the parks multiple days and your feet are exhausted and you just need a place to sit for a little.
So lets go over all the different modes of transportation at WDW and when and where you’d use them.
So like I said, WDW has multiple transportation options. These options include:
- Bus transportation
- Monorail transportation
- Disney’s Skyliner transportation
- Water transportation
- Ferryboat, Water taxi or Boat
Most first time guests, or those who have never stayed on Disney property, think that the Disney busses are only for guests staying on property. All of these options are complimentary and available to anyone, not just Disney resort guests!
Probably one of the most iconic things at Walt Disney World, behind Cinderella Castle, is the Monorail. The Monorail has 3 separate lines that will take you to either Magic Kingdom or Epcot. The Magic Kingdom line has 2 of the 3 lines. The 3rd line is the Epcot line; which only stops at the entrance of Epcot and the Tickets and Transportation Center.
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The “Monorail Loop” is the route that the Monorail takes from Magic Kingdom to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). You can either take the Resort Monorail line; that goes from Magic Kingdom, then Disney’s Contemporary Resort, then the TTC, then The Polynesian Village Resort, then The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and finally back to Magic Kingdom. Or you can take the Express Monorail line; which will only take you to the entrance of Magic Kingdom or to the TTC.
- It is important to know which line you are getting on because if you are staying at one of the resorts on the Monorail loop or you are attempting to visit one of those resorts, you will want to make sure you get on the Resort line. Or if you don’t wish to stop and just want to get to the TTC or Magic Kingdom, hop on the Express line to skip the resort stops.
Whether you’re staying at a Disney resort, traveling between parks or to Disney Springs, sometimes taking a Disney bus is the only way to get there. Each resort has it’s own bus that will take you to any of the 4 parks. At each park’s bus station, there will be a big board with all of the resorts and other parks listed with a designated number so you know where to wait.
Remember you can take a Disney bus anywhere on property, not just if you’re a guest at a specific resort. Say you have a reservation at a resort’s restaurant. You can leave a park and hop on a bus and arrive at that resort. Or if you just want to walk around different resorts on a break day, no one is going to be asking for ID or to scan your magicband.
- Just remember if you hop from a park to a resort that you are not staying at, there will not be a bus to take you directly to your resort. You will need to take a bus (or some other form of transportation) back to a park and then transfer on a bus/boat/skyliner to get to your resort.
Water transportation comes in a different forms. Like I mentioned above, you can take a
Ferry (travel between the TTC to Magic Kingdom)
Water Taxi (travel between the Magic Kingdom and the resorts on the Monorail Loop & Disney’s Fort Wilderness/ Wilderness Lodge)
Boat (travel between Hollywood Studios to Epcot, stopping at The Swan & Dolphin, Boardwalk and Beach & Yacht Club)
- There is another boat line that travels between Disney Springs, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs and both Port Orleans resorts but it is currently not operating.
Again, all of these options are open to everyone not just resort guests. If you’ve never used any water transportation before and are uncertain of where the water launches are, there is a conveient map that shows you all the different lines and where they run at the bottom of the water transportation page.
Disney’s Skyliner Transportation
The newest form of transporation is the Skyliner. The Skyliner is a gondola system that connects guest from Hollywood Studios to the International Gateway at Epcot (the backside of Epcot closest to the UK Pavillion). Traveling from Hollywood Studios you will have to disembark at the Transfer Station (at the Caribbean Resort) and either take the Epcot/Riviera line or you can head to the Art of Animation or Pop Century on that line. Both lines are marked very clearly and there are multiple Cast Members there to assist if you are unusre.
As always, this is available to anyone. You don’t even have to be going in to the parks that day and can hop on the Skyliner at any of the stations and ride it anywhere you please. Resort hopping is one of my favorite things to do on a break day and taking the Skyliner is a fantastic way to do so.
So I hope this helped you familiarize yourself with all the different options on how to get around Walt Disney World. Depending on where you’re going, there may be multiple modes involved or just multiple ways to get there and what your preference is.
If you have any questions on transportation, please drop a comment below and I will be sure to respond as quickly as I can.
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin