One of the little details that makes a big difference on vacation is transportation. Having an easy, convenient and fun way to travel between locations on vacation is a huge relief and allows guests to truly relax during their trip. Disney knows that details matter, so they thought ahead and perfected Disney transportation to ensure guests enjoy seeing the resort property on their way to the parks and arrive at their destination promptly. This article introduces each of the Walt Disney World transportation options to provide a crash course for folks planning a Disney vacation.
1. Friendship Boats
Disney’s fleet of Friendship Boats are a fun way to travel to the parks. Epcot area resorts along the Disney BoardWalk (BoardWalk Resort, Yacht & Beach Club, Swan & Dolphin Resorts) have Friendship Boat access to Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway entrance to Epcot. Speaking of Epcot, guests looking to kick back and take a break in the parks can hop a Friendship Boat from the Morocco dock in World Showcase and ride across the bay to Future World instead of walking around World Showcase to reach the front of the park.
2. Ferry Boats
Walt Disney World also has its fair share of ferry boats. These adorable boats are smaller than the Friendship Boats and run at numerous spots around the property. Several ferry lines run from Bay Lake area resorts to the Magic Kingdom. Guests from the Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort and other Bay Lake area resorts can head to the park via ferry. Guests staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resort enjoy ferry access to Disney Springs via the Sassagoula River Ferry.
This iconic ride is so much more than just a transportation method. When guests think of Walt Disney World they think of the monorail. The Walt Disney World monorail services two theme parks, three hotels and the Transportation and Ticket Center. Resort guests staying at the Contemporary Resort, The Grand Floridian Resort or Polynesian Village Resort enjoy direct monorail access from the convenience of their resort. This monorail line runs directly to the Magic Kingdom but Epcot bound guests can change monorail lines at the Transportation and Ticket Center to hop on the Epcot bound monorail. Even if your travel route on vacation does not necessitate it, we recommend you not miss a ride on the monorail during your Walt Disney World vacation.
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Disney buses are a tried and true way to make it to anywhere on the Disney property. Buses run to Disney resorts, all theme parks and water parks, Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Be sure to take a look at the transportation options at your Disney resort before booking. While all resorts have bus service to most parts of the property there are exceptions for resorts offering alternate transportation methods. For example, Bay Lake area resorts like The Grand Floridian do not run a bus to the Magic Kingdom since guests can travel to that specific park by monorail or ferry.
5. Minnie Vans
NOTE: The Minnie Van service is currently on hold. We will let you know the service is scheduled to resume!
If you are prioritizing a quick and uncrowded trip on the property consider taking a Minnie Van. These adorable Minnie Mouse themed minivans zip around the property quickly and transport guests directly to their destination with minimal to no wait time. Minnie Vans are an additional cost to use and are powered by Lyft. Simply reserve a Minnie Van from the Lyft app, confirm your pickup location, hop in and relax. Most guests use free Disney transportation for the majority of their vacation. However, the convenience of calling a rideshare after a long day in the parks or arriving on time to a last-minute dining reservation at a resort is unmatched. Guests looking for a quicker trip to the airport can even use a Minnie Van to travel to the Orlando International Airport when vacation is over and it’s time to fly home.
The newest mode of transportation at Walt Disney World is the topic of conversation. Disney’s Skyliners debuted in fall 2019 and guests have been lining up for this new highway in the sky ever since. Think comfortable sky bucket meets convenience and Disney magic and you have the Disney Skyliner. These Aerial Gondolas seat around eight people comfortably, are fun bright colors and covered with Disney characters. Disney Skyliner has service to Hollywood Studios and Epcot International Gateway in World Showcase. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort and Riviera Resort all have Skyliner stops at the resort.
7. Magical Express – Honorable Mention
Disney’s Magical Express is a fantastic perk of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. While this bus does not transport guests around the property during vacation, it is an easy and free way to travel to and from the airport. Simply book a seat on the Magical Express after confirming your resort reservation, follow the signs in the airport to the Magical Express line in ground transportation when you arrive and let Disney do the rest. The Magical Express is a much easier way to travel to and from the Disney property than navigating Orlando traffic by car.
8. Walking Trails – Honorable Mention
When the Florida weather is beautiful and you have a bit more time to spare, consider navigating some of the walkable portions of the Disney property on foot. Guests of the Contemporary Resort are a short walk from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot area resort guests have a beautiful walk from the Disney BoardWalk to Epcot International Gateway.