Disney is a magical place that has everything you need for a perfect vacation. And that includes transportation options. Every park and hotel has some form of complimentary transportation for guests to enjoy to make their trip as easy as possible. There are also options that aren’t complimentary, but that may save you some time. Keep reading to learn more about getting around Walt Disney World.
The newest transportation option on the block at The Walt Disney World Resort is the Skyliner, also known as the gondolas. Touted as the “Most Magical Flight on Earth,” guests are provided a new transportation option in the Hollywood Studios/Epcot area.
The main hub is located at the Caribbean Beach Resort.From here, guests can take the Skyliner a few different ways. You can head directly to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, head to Art of Animation or Pop Century, stop at Disney’s Riviera Resort or keep going to Epcot. Keep in mind, if you want to head from Epcot to Hollywood Studios, you would just transfer at the Caribbean Beach Resort station. The Skyliner takes guests over wooded areas and water filled areas that are usually a barricade to getting around. The Skyliners aren’t just a boring ride either. Disney had to Disney-fy them of course! A large number of the gondolas are wrapped in covering that feature classic Disney characters.
“Please Stand Clear of the Doors, Por Favor Manténgase alejado de las puertas.” If you have ever been to Disney World and taken a ride on the Monorail, you’ve probably heard that famous line. A favorite transportation option among guests, the monorail connects Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Guests staying at one of the Monorail resorts in the Magic Kingdom area don’t need to leave, just walk outside and they are headed to the parks. These resorts include Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
The other stop in the loop is the TTC, otherwise known as the Ticket and Transportation Center. The TTC is where guests can park their cars if they are driving and take the monorail to either MK or Epcot. For guests already on the monorail from one of the resorts or MK, you can transfer monorails at this station and head to Epcot.
The Disney Buses are the most easily accessible and widespread transportation on Disney property. All resorts have a bus that goes to some or all of the parks or Disney Springs. Bus stops are conveniently located at the front of the resorts allowing guests to be whisked away to the magic. For the resorts that are widespread, such as the value and moderate resorts, you may be able to find multiple bus stops around the resort. While the buses are the most popular, they can get pretty insane with lines during peak times. For example, Magic Kingdom after fireworks or the nights of the Halloween/Christmas parties. In these cases, I would recommend another form of transportation.
Also, the buses do run on a constant schedule, but sometimes you will have to wait a while for a bus for your resort/park to show up. With that being said, if you find a relatively empty bus, it’s a great way to get some AC and have a pleasant ride to the parks.
You might be saying, a boat? At Walt Disney World? Well yes, there are actually a few boat options around the WDW resort. First, you can take a boat from the TTC or any of the aforementioned monorail resorts to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Guests staying at the Wilderness Lodge also have access to boat transportation to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Plus, you can resort hop via boat as well. Boats are also popular along Disney’s fictitious Sassagoula River. Guests staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter, the Treehouse Villas, Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West have access to ferry boat service to Disney Springs. If you want, you can also take this ferry boat to visit one of the other resorts on the line. Lastly, guests can take a boat from Epcot to Hollywood Studios, with stops along the way at Disney’s Beach/Yacht Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and The Swan and Dolphin Resorts. While both parks are within walking distance of these resorts, sometimes it’s nice to just hop on the boat and sail on over. The boats are a nice alternative to taking buses or the monorail and usually offer pretty unique views.
Minnie Vans by Lyft
While this option is not complementary, it does sometimes offer a convenient option for guests who just don’t want to wait. Disney’s Minnie Van service is offered through the ride sharing service Lyft. Although they are apart of Lyft, if you specifically request a Minnie Van, a Disney Cast Member will whisk you away in a Minnie Mouse adorned car. Unlike other ride sharing services at Walt Disney World, Minnie Vans have access to the bus stops at the parks, especially Magic Kingdom, where you normally have to be dropped off at the TTC if you are in a LYft. While an option like this might be a bit pricer, maybe between $20-$40, you are gaining that convenience factor. On those nights where there are late night events at MK or if you stay until closing, the bus stops and monorails can get pretty insane. By simply calling a Minnie Van, you can hop in your chariot and be back at your hotel in a flash. Other ride sharing services do operate in the WDW areas as I mentioned, just be sure to double check where they can drop you off/pick you up.
Disney’s Magical Express
Oh, Disney’s Magical Express! To those who frequent Disney we also know it as the Tragical Express on our way back to Orlando International Airport. Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary transportation option available for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resorts. Upon booking your trip, call Disney and let them know your flight information, which they will then book you on the Magical Express. Disney will mail you your confirmation letter as well as colored tags if you choose to label your luggage. This means you wouldn’t have to go to baggage claim, as Disney would do that for you. This is not mandated so if you want to pick up your own luggage, go for it, just don’t use the tag. Therefore, when you leave your aircraft, there are signs around Orlando International Airport directing you to the Magical Express section. Here there are stations set up with Cast Members. You are required to tap your Magic Band which will show them which resort you are staying at. They then let you know your lane for waiting based on your resort.
Once onboard, your whisked away to the Happiest Place on Earth! Honestly, one of the most exciting parts of a WDW vacay is driving to WDW on the Magical Express while watching all the videos and shorts on the in bus TV. The Tragical Express aka the Magical Express’ return visit to MCO, picks up in front of your hotel. The day before your departure, Disney delivers your pick up information to your room. Us Disney people call it the Tragical Express because we are headed in the wrong direction. Disney’s Magical Express service is a huge perk of staying at WDW resort and is very helpful!
There you have it, all of the wonderful ways you can get around the Walt Disney World Resort. If you’ve visited Disney before, do you have a favorite mode of transportation? Let me know in the comments below!
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