Walt Disney World Transportation 101

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Walt Disney World is a massive vacation destination covering over 40 square miles. Getting around the resort on your own could easily add considerable cost to your trip. Luckily, staying at an on-site Walt Disney World hotel can save time and money by utilizing the numerous complimentary transportation options provided for resort guests. All guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel have access to resort-wide transportation that can get you almost anywhere on property for free!

Jumping Fountains and Monorail at Epcot

Monorail

The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail System offers three separate lines that run through select areas of Walt Disney World Resort. The Magic Kingdom Resort Line, the Express Line, and the EPCOT Line. The Resort Line runs a loop around Bay Lake making stops at each Deluxe Resort as well as the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and the entrance to Magic Kingdom. The EPCOT Line runs from the Ticket and Transportation Center to that designated park and back. The Express Line uses the same loop as the Resort Line but only makes two stops at the Ticket and Transportation Center and Magic Kingdom.

Resort Line Monorail Stops (in order)

  • Magic Kingdom park
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The Monorail System usually begins operating 30 minutes prior to the earliest park opening and runs until one hour after the latest park closing. 

**At this time the EPCOT Monorail Line is currently not in service. Guests may still use the Disney Bus Service to travel to EPCOT.

Boathouse at Disney Springs

Water Transportation

Another unique transportation option that is available to guests of Walt Disney World resort is the complimentary water transportation to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. Routes usually run in 15-30 minute intervals and service will be suspended in inclement weather. The options for water transportation vary from small water taxis to massive multi-level ferries that can hold an impressive number of guests. 

Magic Kingdom Park 

Accessible by ferry from:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Walt Disney World Ticket and Transportation Center

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios 

Accessible by water taxi from:

  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

Disney Springs

Accessible by water taxi from:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Walt Disney World Buses

Onsite Bus System

Disney offers air-conditioned bus service between all onsite hotels, theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Service usually runs approximately every 20 minutes and hotel bus stops are equipped with screens that can update you on the estimated time of arrival for the next bus. Walt Disney World has recently updated their bus fleet to include more comfortable seating as well as mobile device charging ports.

Bus Service between Disney Resort hotels and Disney Theme Parks:

  • Bus service from Disney Resort hotels begins 45 minutes prior to park opening and ends 1 hour prior to park closing.
  • Return service to Disney Resort hotels ends 2 hours after park closing.

Bus Service between Disney Resort hotels and Disney Water Parks:

  • Bus service from Disney Resort hotels begins 45 minutes prior to park opening and ends 1 hour prior to park closing.
  • Return service to Disney Resort hotels ends 75 minutes after park closing.

Bus Service to Disney Springs:

  • Bus service from Disney Resort hotels operates from 45 minutes before opening until 1:00 AM.
  • Return service to Disney Resort hotels ends at 2:00 AM.
  • One-way bus service from the 4 Disney theme parks operates daily from 4:00 PM until 11:00 PM or 2 hours after theme parks close, whichever is earlier.
Disney Skyliner

Disney Skyliner

The newest and most exciting form of Walt Disney World transportation is the Disney Skyliner system. These state-of-the-art gondolas are like ones you would find at a ski resort and connect guests between Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, and the new Riviera Resort to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

Map of the Disney Skyliner Stops

Gondolas operate continuously throughout the day and begin service roughly an hour before park opening. We have found that taking the Skyliner from your hotel for park opening is a very popular option for guests. This can cause long lines in the morning, so plan accordingly or use another form of transportation for the first par of your day. This system is turning out to be a bit quicker than taking a bus, so if you don’t have a fear of heights, this is a great option to get around parts of the resort and see some bird’s eye views of hotels and parks.

Disney's Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express

In addition to advantages like complimentary resort transportation, all resort guests with check-in dates up to January 1, 2022, have access to free transportation to and from Orlando International airport and their onsite hotel. Disney’s Magical Express is a system of bus coaches operated by Mears Transportation that run between Orlando International Airport and all Walt Disney World owned and operated hotels. The service can be added on to a vacation package or to a room-only hotel reservation. Reservations can be made at the time of package or hotel booking, as well as afterward up to 10 days before your arrival. Unfortunately Disney has announced that they will be retiring the Magical Express service beginning in 2022. There have been no announcments made about a replacement, but there is a highspeed Brightline railway station planned for Disney Springs that will connect the resort to Orlando International Airport. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Disney use that line as a new form of Magical Express, but no confirmations have been made by the company at this time.

If you need help planning your perfect vacation, contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.

Some Photos Courtesy Disney

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