When you think of Walt Disney World, if you picture your local theme park, think again! Because of Walt Disney’s original idea for E.P.C.O.T. (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), Disney World is really more like a large city, with its own local city works department, fire department, roads and transportation. There are many ways to get around Disney World, including buses, taxis and even your own car, but where’s the fun in that? Here are 8 Cool Ways to Travel Around the Walt Disney World Resort.
1) Disney’s Magical Express – If you fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and have reservations at a Disney-owned resort, you can take advantage of this free service to/from your hotel. Disney will even take care of picking up your luggage after you land, freeing you up to get started on the fun! The bus service is remarkably efficient. Count on about 90 minutes from the time you step off your plane until you arrive at your resort hotel. Along the way you can enjoy a welcome video with information about all the fun you’re about to experience. Have your camera ready to take pictures as you cross under the “Welcome to Disney World” sign, officially placing you in the Disney “bubble” for the duration of your trip. If your hotel is not the first drop-off, you can scope out other hotels for future vacations!
2) Monorail – If you are a day guest, or you drive your own car to the Magic Kingdom, one of your options for getting to the park is Disney’s monorail system. There is nothing like riding the monorail through Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and then seeing the Magic Kingdom right there in front of you! It’s truly awesome! For a longer monorail ride, take a trip from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot. Along the way, you can see some of the undeveloped land within the Disney World Resort. As an added bonus, the monorail takes a loop around Future World before dropping you off near the Epcot gates.
3) The Ferry to Magic Kingdom – Another option for getting from the Magic Kingdom parking lot to the park is the two twin Magic Kingdom class ferries, the Richard F. Irvine and Admiral Joe Fowler, along with the Kingdom Queen class, General Joe Potter, which transports guests daily between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Magic Kingdom. *Bonus tip: The boats usually have a shorter line than the monorail.
4) Boats – Because Disney World is in Central Florida, where the water table is high, water is everywhere! Boat transportation is abundant around the resort. Not only can you get from one place to another, but riding the boats is a lot of fun! Among the options are Friendship Boats across World Showcase lagoon in Epcot and transportation from Epcot to the Epcot area hotels and on to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can also take a boat from the Port Orleans resorts, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs resort to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), where you can enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment. In addition, boats are available to/from the Magic Kingdom to the nearby resort hotels.
5) Boat rentals/parasailing – At several of the Disney hotels, you can rent your own boats to roam around the Disney waterways. Pontoon boats are available for families and individual water craft, called “Water Mice”,s are available for up to two people. If you want a bird’s-eye view of the Magic Kingdom, try parsailing at Sammy Duvall Watersports at the Contemporary Resort.
6) Amphicars – For a fun ride around Disney Springs, rent an Amphicar that drives on land and water! For $125, you can take a 20 minute tour around the area. Your tour comes with a Captain who will ensure the best photo ops and point out notable landmarks. The Amphicar tours are available daily and walk up reservations can be made at the Ship’s Store, adjacent to the Boathouse Restaurant.
7) Characters in Flight – Characters in Flight gives you an eagle’s-eye view of the Disney Springs area, with sweeping, 10-mile panoramas of Disney World, as seen from a giant tethered balloon – Aerophile – that takes guests 300 feet into the air from the waterfront. The 72-foot-diameter balloon, which features a red, yellow and blue color scheme with flying characters Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Buzz Lightyear, Dumbo, Jasmine and Aladdin, can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute “flight” by day or night. Riders can catch the flight daily for $18 ($12 for ages 3-9).
8) Segways – At the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, you can take a tour called Wilderness Back Trail Adventures. Tour participants can take a Segway X2 Personal Transporter to view the scenery of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Wilderness Lodge. The Adventures tour lasts two hours. The cost is currently $96 per person. Some discounts are offered to Passholders, DVC Members and Disney Visa Cardholders — be sure to ask when booking the tour.
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!
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