The Walt Disney World Property is so large, you are bound to have to use transportation at least two to four times a day to get around. Using Disney’s methods of transportation allows you to kick back and leave the driving up to one of Disney’s awesome cast members. It is a great way to relax before you depart too. It’s important to ‘know before you go’, so here are ten things they don’t tell you about Walt Disney World Transportation (whether you’re using theirs or your own)!
10. Theme Park Parking Lots
Prices are sky high nowadays at the Walt Disney World resort theme parks, so be prepared to at least spend $20 per day if you’re parking your own car. Trams are available to escort guests to the parks from the parking lots and vice versa. What many Disney goers don’t know is that the parking lot reaches full capacity on major holidays very early in the day. If you are traveling by car and you plan to visit during a holiday, be sure to have a ‘plan B’ if you reach the gates and see a ‘closed’ sign for parking so you won’t be disappointed. In addition, when visiting the Magic Kingdom, you will actually park your car at the Ticket and Transportation center. From here, you can hop on the monorail or take the tram to the Magic Kingdom. For this reason, you should allot more time on your itinerary for transportation to the park.
9. Use The Resort Busses
If you’re staying on property, you will want to consider the complimentary busses that are offered at every Walt Disney World Resort instead of your car. The busses take you to and from all four theme parks, both water parks, and Disney springs. For this reason, This is the most common form of transportation amongst Disney guests (and also the reason why busses are the bulk of this article). Traveling with others may not be something you’re interested in, but you will save $20 each time you visit parks, and believe it or not, the bus rides can be fun. Busses for each theme park arrive every 15-20 minutes at each resort. This may seem like a long time to wait, but it is worse when you’re in your own vehicle because of the amount of time you spend from the car to the tram and then to the park. Be sure to find out when they arrive in the morning and when the last bus leaves the parks to ensure that you won’t miss it if you’re an early bird or a night owl. If you do miss it in the evening, you can always call a taxi to take you back to your resort (if it isn’t without walking distance).
8. Be Prepared To Wait For Busses
If you can avoid boarding the busses during rush hour (in the morning, or right after the fireworks or last show of the night) you will benefit in not having to wait. During these times, it is very common to have to wait for two to three busses until you can hop on one due to the huge crowds in line. Once you are able to board one, you may even have to stand the entire ride. This isn’t so pleasant after having been in the parks all day. If you can wait until after rush hour in the morning, or if you can wait around the park for an additional half hour to an hour before boarding to return to your resort, you won’t have to worry about waiting for busses and chances are, you will be able to sit.
7. Park Hopper Busses
If you plan to park hop, be sure to catch the busses at the parks to do so. Each park has a designated bus that will take you to another park of your choice. This is a lot easier than having to take your car to two parks in one day and having to pay for parking. Lines for these busses usually have little wait time because many guests that park hop choose to do so at different times of the day.
6. Resorts Sharing Busses
There are a few resorts on property that have their own busses that pick up guests and take them directly to their park of choice. Other resorts though, share busses. For example, if you are staying at one of the All Star value resorts, the busses will go to each one of the three resorts before actually heading over to the parks. This can be inconvenient if you are in a rush or would like to sit because chances are, if you don’t plan accordingly, you may be late for a reservation and after picking up guests at three different resorts, your chances of having a seat are limited. Other resorts that share busses are Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge, Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, and the Swan and Dolphin.
5. Internal Bus Service at Resorts
Many resorts are spread out over several acres of land making it challenging for some to get to the lobby, pool, restaurants, or any other area quickly. Resorts like Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans, For Wilderness, Saratoga Springs, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Old Key West, all offer an internal bus system that transports guests around the resort. Guests will be dropped off at a few bus stops along the resort path. The good news about this is that you don’t have to walk such a long way. The bad news is that you may have to wait a while to get to your destination due to the multiple stops along the way. Keep this in mind as an option if you’re tired of walking and are not in a rush.
4. Ferry Boats
There are a few resorts that offer boat rides to parks as well. Boat rides are a great way to travel around since the views are beautiful and the water is relaxing. Ferryboats arrive every 15-20 minutes to resorts that offer them. The Magic Kingdom resorts all offer ferryboats to the Magic Kingdom and back. The Swan and Dolphin, Boardwalk Inn, and Yacht and Beach Club all share boats that take you to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, and the Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter offer boat rides over to Disney Springs. Be sure to ask your resort if they offer boats as a second method of complimentary transportation.
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The Monorail is probably the most beloved method of transportation by guests. The monorail is a classic way to travel and is a must-do by many no matter where they’re saying. For those who are first timers, It is important to know that the monorail doesn’t travel to all of the theme parks and is only accessible from the Magic Kingdom resort area. If you plan to park at the ticket and transportation center, you can take the monorail to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom. You can also park hop to these two parks if you would like to. Just board the monorail back to the ticket and transportation center and then hop on the other monorail to the other park. If you are staying at any of the Magic Kingdom resort hotels (with the exception of the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campgrounds) you can hop on the monorail and head over the the Magic Kingdom. Since the monorail stops at each of these resorts, it is a great way for guests to explore the other hotels and dine at them for a unique experience.
Believe it or not, sometimes walking is the best way to go. If you are staying at a resort that is very close to a park, your best bet may be to walk. There are also tons of pathways for walking at each resort. For example, if you’re staying at the Yacht and Beach Club, Swan and Dolphin, or Boardwalk, it is much easier to walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios than waiting for a bus or boat. You can also walk to the Magic Kingdom if you’re staying at the Bay Lake Towers or Contemporary Resort. There are also walkways to resort hop, for example, from the Art of Animation to the Pop Century and from the Boardwalk to the Yacht and Beach Club to the Swan and Dolphin. Be sure to ask the lobby of your resort for the walkway trails as a second method of transportation for you to enjoy.
1. Walt Disney World Railroad
On my last trip to the happiest place on earth, I couldn’t believe that my friends didn’t know about the Walt Disney World Railroad. Located at the entrance of Main Street U.S.A, this majestic railroad and train resembles the manner of transportation that Walt Disney enjoyed more than any other method. Even though riding this twenty-minute train all around the Magic Kingdom is relaxing in itself, this classic beauty makes a few stops at Frontierland, Fantasyland, and of course, back at Main Street U.S.A. Not only will the scenery be beautiful, but it’s a great way to give your tired feet a rest and take in the magic!
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