Knowing how to get around Walt Disney World is almost as important as knowing what to do at Walt Disney World! Learn about all of the different transportation options from the monorail to the Skyliner, and everything in between.
Walt Disney World is a bit different right now. But while some things have changed, MOST things have stayed the same! It can still take a long time to get places. In fact due to recent layoffs and cutbacks, it can take even longer to get around Walt Disney World’s 40 square miles.
But while it may take a while to navigate Walt Disney World, the getting there can be half the fun!
How To Get Around Walt Disney World
Get Around Walt Disney World By Bus
Bus is the primary form of transportation around Walt Disney World. Busses run between every Walt Disney World Resort hotel and all theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Busses begin running typically an hour prior to park opening until 90 minutes after park closing.
In fact, your entire Walt Disney World vacation likely started with a bus! Disney’s Magical Express is Disney’s free airport shuttle service. (NOTE: Disney’s Magical Express Airport Shuttle service is ending on December 31, 2021. It will not be offered in 2022.)
Where you can get by bus – Everywhere
Get Around Walt Disney World By Boat
Boats are the second most common type of transportation at Walt Disney World! They range from the huge Ferry Boats that shuttle guests between the Ticket & Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom, to the mid-size Friendship Boats that provide transportation from the Yacht Club, Beach Club, and Boardwalk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, down to the small launches that move between the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness. There are also boats that serve Old Key West and Saratoga Springs to get guests to Disney Springs.
Even a couple moderate resorts get in on the act – boat launch service is available from Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter to Disney Springs!
Where you can get by boat – Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs
Get Around Walt Disney World By Monorail
The Walt Disney World Monorail system is iconic. For me, it is not truly a Disney trip until I have heard the monorail spiel – “Por Favor, manténganse alejado de las puertas.” (It is the only Spanish phrase I can say with some degree of accuracy!)
There are two monorail loops. The Magic Kingdom circles around Bay Lake, and stops at the Ticket & Transportation Center, the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, the Magic Kingdom, and the Contemporary Resort. (During the busy season, there is also an “Express” that just travels between the Magic Kingdom and the Ticket & Transportation Center without stopping at the resorts.)
The Epcot loop travels between the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) and Epcot. This is important to know!! While you can travel from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot by monorail, it will require changing trains at the TTC. Same thing with getting from the monorail resorts to Epcot. The only exception to this is the Polynesian Resort! Guests staying at this resort can walk to the TTC and board the Epcot monorail. This is a big perk for this resort over the other “monorail” resorts!
Where you can get by Monorail – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, “Monorail” Resort
Get Around Walt Disney World By Skyliner
The Skyliner is Walt Disney World’s latest transportation option, having just opened in late 2019. These gondolas offer quick transportation with a bird’s eye view! The Skyliner is available from Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and the Riviera Resort to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Similar to the Monorail, the Skyliner has different “lines.” Caribbean Beach is the main “hub” so all lines lead here at some point. With the exception of Riviera Resort which does have a direct line to Epcot, guests coming from Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Pop/Art of Animation (which share a station) will need to switch lines at Caribbean Beach to get to their destination.
Where you can get by Skyliner – Epcot, Hollywood Studios, “Skyliner” Resorts
Get Around Walt Disney World By Ride Share/Minnie Van
We don’t know if Minnie Van service will be returning to Walt Disney World. As of right now Minnie Van service is not available, and is not an option for airport service in 2021. It is our fervent hope that the polka dot SUVs return soon! But ride share companies like Uber and Lyft are available and can be a great option if you need to get somewhere fast.
I typically use a ride share when I am going from my resort to another resort. Resort to resort transportation is something really lacking at Walt Disney World! For example, one of my favorite restaurants is Sanaa at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Getting there is MUCH easier by ride share than any other option! (And the food is worth the cost of the Uber.)
For best results, I recommend checking both apps. The prices and availability of drivers can really vary! Choose whichever one has a driver closest to your location.
Where you can get by Ride Share – Everywhere
Get Around Walt Disney World By Driving
Don’t feel comfortable leaving the driving to someone else? You can, of course, drive around Walt Disney World in your own car (or a rental). A few things to keep in mind!
- While Walt Disney World has a lot of signage, there is also a LOT of construction going on around the resort. Navigating Walt Disney World can be tricky!
- GPS is not always accurate at Walt Disney World because it is largely private property.
- Parking is not free! Parking fees vary by resort and theme park.
Where you can get by driving – Everywhere
Get Around Walt Disney World By Walking
I know I have just used a lot of words to remind you how big Walt Disney World is. But there are some places you can get by walking! In fact, the ability to walk to a theme park is often what dictates our favorite resorts.
The Monorail Resorts – Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary Resorts – will all soon give guests the option to walk to the Magic Kingdom! Contemporary Guests have always had this option, but with the just completed walkway from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom (it opened on Friday, November 20!), guests of the “Grand” and the “Poly” now can also be able to walk to Cinderella Castle.
The Epcot Resorts – Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk Resorts – are all within walking distance to not only Epcot, but ALSO Hollywood Studios!
Disney’s Saratoga Springs has a walkway to Disney Springs. Depending on where your villa is located in the resort, this may be the fastest option to get to all of the amazing shopping and dining at Disney Springs!
Where you can get by walking – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs
What are your favorite ways to get around Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
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