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Disney Transportation 101 – 10 Tips For Getting Around Disney World

Some people subscribe to the adage that “getting there is half the fun.” While this point is certainly debatable, we can all agree that once we are at our destination, we want it to be as stress-free as possible. With Disney World comprising over 25,000 acres of land and waterways, getting around efficiently is essential. The following our are top ten tips for getting around Disney World!

10 – Disney’s Magical Express – if you are arriving in Orlando via the air and are staying on property, you can take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express. This shuttle service provides transportation from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the various resorts on Disney property. They also take care of collecting your bags, loading them on the bus, and turning them over to the resort staff. It is a great way to start your vacation by allowing someone else to do the driving.

9 – Bus Transportation at the Resorts – Disney has an impressive fleet of buses to provide transportation to the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, and the resorts. Sometimes it will take a little finessing to make it where you want to go. For example, there are no buses to transport you from resort to resort, so you’ll have to hop a bus to a park first and then transfer to the other resort’s bus. Be sure to allow for adequate time to do this, especially if you have a dining reservation at another resort.

8 – Don’t Be Afraid to Explore – on a recent trip, my family and I were trying to get to Magic Kingdom from Hollywood Studios, but the line for the bus was MASSIVE. Instead of waiting for two or three buses to transport everyone in line ahead of us, we hopped on a bus to the Contemporary (which had a very small line). Once we got off the bus, we were able to explore a little of the Contemporary grounds before making the short walk down the pathway to the Magic Kingdom.

7 – Monorail at the Magic Kingdom – be aware that there are two lines that service the Magic Kingdom: the express loop and the resort loop. Most people who are not staying at the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, or the Contemporary use the express loop because it stops only at the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center. However, if you are arriving at rope drop or a particularly busy time, hop on the resort loop. You’ll have to stop at two resorts before getting to the Magic Kingdom, but you’ll end up waiting in a much smaller line!

6 – The Ferry Boat – another option you have to reach the Magic Kingdom are the ferry boats that cross the Seven Seas Lagoon. While a slower option than the monorail, it provides some spectacular views of the resorts surrounding the lagoon and an amazing approach to the Magic Kingdom.

5 – More Than One Way – at some resorts, there are multiple ways to reach the same destination. For example, at Port Orleans French Quarter, you can take a bus to Disney Springs or you can take a boat down the Sassagoula River. Take some time when you check into your resort to learn about the different transportation methods at your resort.

4 – Friendship Boats – these boats are featured at Epcot to shuttle guests between the entrance of World Showcase to stops either at Germany or Morocco on the other side of the lake. It can certainly save your arms and legs if you are carrying something heavy or if you want a new and different view of the countries of World Showcase. The Friendship Boats also provide transportation from Epcot to the Boardwalk Resort, the Yacht and Beach Clubs, the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I love taking the boat and sitting outside and enjoying the view of the resorts of Clear Lake.

3 – Know The Schedule – transportation to and from the parks from the resorts begin roughly 60 minutes before park opening and continue 60-90 minutes after park closing. This can ensure that you are there for the festivities of rope drop and that you can enjoy one last ride after seeing the nightly fireworks.

2 – Use Your Legs – if you are staying at a resort that is close enough, don’t be afraid to walk. If you are staying at any of the Epcot resorts, you can easily can entrance to Epcot through the International Gateway and are not that far from Hollywood Studios either. You can also walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary Resort.

1 – Remember, its FREE! – all forms of Disney transportation are free. You don’t need to be a guest in a hotel to be able to use them (except for Disney’s Magical Express). Navigating on Disney property can be difficult or frustrating and expensive if you bring your own vehicle, so leave the driving to Disney!

Disney has made transportation around property as easy as possible with myriad methods of travel. What is your favorite way to get around Walt Disney World?

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!



About Tyler

Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!