What You Need to Know About Disney World Transportation

What You Need to Know About Disney World Transportation

Walt Disney World Resort offers guests on property FREE transportation to and from the theme parks, Disney Springs, and the Water Parks.  Whether you are staying at a Disney Resort, or just visiting for the day, you can get around property by bus, boat, skyliner and even Monorail- ALL FOR FREE!

The Magic Kingdom Ferry
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

This convenient perk allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride without the hassle of navigating the congested roadways, worrying about parking, and parking fees, or who’s going to drive after a long day at the parks.

Where Are You Going and How Are You Going to Get There?

ALL Walt Disney World resorts and some good neighbor resorts offer bus transportation to and from the parks, Disney Springs, as well as both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (Disney water parks).  You can catch those buses just outside the main entrance of your Disney hotel in a designated covered area usually every 20 minutes or so. 

Resort bus terminals provide up to the minute bus arrival times at each location
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Side Note:

The larger resorts have internal bus loops with a few centrally located bus terminals in addition to the main entrance stop.  Those resorts include Caribbean Beach, Old Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs, and Coronado Springs.  This allows guests to hop on the bus without having to make a long trek to the main entrance.  Just be aware that buses from these larger resorts with multiple bus stops can fill up with guests quickly, and you may have to wait through more than one bus cycle to get on.

Disney Buses are a great way to get around property with some drawbacks
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

In addition, some of the resorts share bus transportation depending on the crowd level.  For example, sister resorts such as the All-Star Value resort share the same bus route when crowd levels are lower. 

When it’s Time to Get Back to Your Resort

The Disney Bus terminals are located just outside of each theme park, the Springs, and the water parks.  There is a guide for guests to reference that connects the resorts to a numbered bus stop.  Again, buses run approximately every 20 minutes to and from each Disney resort.  The buses will start running from resorts approximately 1 hour prior to park opening and will continue to run for 1 hour after the parks close.

The bus directory at all the park terminals makes it easy for guests to find their resort bus home
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Disney Buses Might Not Be Magical!

The bus system is ideal in theory, and under the best conditions it’s a smooth system.  However, the crowd levels truly affect this system and guests have been known to get frustrated with overcrowded buses, wait times and long routes.   

For the most part, the longest time you may spend on a bus to your destination is about 15 minutes.  That is about the average length of travel from the furthest points on property.  Obviously, that can change with traffic, crowd levels, or unforeseen circumstances. 

Disney Bus Transportation can be busy after the fireworks at Magic Kingdom
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

It’s very important to consider travel time if where you need to be is time sensitive.  I recommend giving yourself at least 45 minutes to an hour of travel time if you are using the bus system.  If you are visiting during a particularly crowded time, you may want to consider giving yourself even longer.

Inside a Disney Bus
photo: @thewanderingwayfinder

You Can’t Get There from Here with The Bus!

Disney World Bus Transportation is primarily for trips between the resorts to the theme parks, Disney Springs and the 2 water parks.  You can only catch a bus from one theme park to another after 2pm when park hopping begins.  You CAN NOT get a bus from Disney Springs to any of the parks.  Lastly, travel from one resort to another takes some creative planning if you want to use the bus system. 

To reach one resort from another by bus, you must hop on one from your resort to a park, then take a second bus from the park the resort you plan to visit.  When you are resort hopping you may want to consider the other transportation options discussed below.

The Skyliner Opens a “Whole New World” of Disney Transportation

The Disney Skyliner opened in 2019 and connects Epcot, Hollywood Studios and what are now referred to as the “skyliner resorts”.  As a result, you can move easily between multiple resorts using this mode of transportation.  Those resorts include Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and the Riviera. 

Disney’s Skyliner has given guests access to more resorts, parks and amenties
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Not only can you glide through the air in an open-air gondola above property traffic directly to your destination, but because of the location of the Epcot station you also have easy access to the Epcot area resorts.  Those include the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, Disney’s Boardwalk resort and the Swan & Dolphin hotels. 

The Downside of the Skyliner

Even though the skyliner at Disney World has opened options for transportation on property there are some things to know.  For one thing, the skyliner will shut down for inclement weather.  In Florida, that’s a big deal.  There is bad weather quite regularly even if it’s only for a short time.  It can put a crimp in your plans to get from one place to another.  Keep an eye on the weather!

The skyliner takes guests above the traffic of the roadways and provides a quick route to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Also, since it has opened those resorts mentioned above that have easy access to the skyliner have reduced the amount and frequency of their bus transportation to and from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. 

Lastly, the skyliner stations at the resorts and outside the parks can become very crowded at prime travel times.  The lines do however move quickly because the gondolas are loading and moving continuously.

Disney World’s Boat Transportation.

From some resorts, you can take a lovely boat ride to the parks and Disney Springs.  The Epcot area resorts mentioned above have regular boat transportation to and from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.  The boat route is shared between the resorts and includes the Swan and Dolphin hotels which are not Disney owned but on property. 

Disney Boat Transportation from the Epcot area resorts

Sassagoula Float Works operates boat transportation between Disney Springs and some resorts as well.  While this transportation won’t take you to the theme parks or water parks, it is a lovely way to travel between both Port Orleans resorts, Old Key West, or Saratoga Springs resorts and the Disney Springs district. 

The Sassagoula Float Works boat at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

You may also take a boat right to Magic Kingdom at Wilderness Lodge or Fort Wilderness campground and cabins. 

Boat transportation to Wilderness Lodge
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Lastly, if you do drive to the Magic Kingdom, you will park at the Transportation and Ticket Center.  From there, you have your choice of taking a Ferry to the park or…THE MONORAIL!!

The Magic Kingdom Ferry Boat takes guests from the TTC parking area to the gates of Magic Kingdom
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Disney World’s Most Iconic Form of Transportation

Disney’s Monorail will get you around!  From the Transportation and Ticket Center where you park your car to the gates of the Magic Kingdom to the three original Disney resorts-The Contemporary, The Polynesian, and The Grand Floridian.  It will also get you to Epcot from the Magic Kingdom area. 

Disney World’s Monorail delivers guests from the TTC and 3 resorts to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

It’s that quintessential Disney symbol high above our heads, soaring around like a futuristic tram car.  That was the idea back in the 1970s when the monorail was put into place.  Disney Imagineers added this mode of getting to the theme park to excite children and adults to even just travel to the Magic Kingdom. 

Staying at the Contemporary?  The Monorail sores straight INTO the resort to the main concourse area.  Talk about convenience and excitement!

The Disney Monorail stops and unloads inside the Contemporary Resort
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Disney Transportation Also Has a Ride Share Option

In 2018 Disney World introduced “Minnie Vans” as a ride share options through partnership with LYFT.  The Minnie Vans service is exclusive to Disney World property and can only be used within its boundaries.  However, the vans offer spacious rides with car seats available for little ones if needed. 

So, when you are looking for personal, quick, door to door service, as opposed to calling for a taxi or Uber, you can take an adorable polka dotted “Minnie” van for the magical touch. 

photo: @thewanderingwayfinder

If you have any questions about the Disney World Transportation options on property or if you would like to share more information on the subject, comment below! 

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