If you’re not driving to Walt Disney World, you’ll want to take advantage of the various complimentary transportation options open to you – and there are plenty! Some are available from every resort and park, while others serve specific routes only, so it’s important to know what form of transportation is open to you at your resort. Whether you want to travel by boat, bus, foot, monorail, or even gondola, there’s an option to suit your individual needs and tastes. Here is our how-to guide for navigating the many complimentary transportation options at WDW.
The Walt Disney World transportation system that most people are familiar with is the easy-to-use bus system. No matter which resort you’re staying at on property, you’ll find buses to each of the four theme parks, both water parks, and Disney Springs. They’re clearly labelled, not to mention air-conditioned, and you can now use the My Disney Experience App to find out when the next bus will arrive, so you don’t stand in line unnecessarily. Buses run throughout the day, so when you’re ready to return to your resort, just make your way to the front of the theme park, and follow the signs for your resort bus stop. Leaving Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, or Magic Kingdom for an evening of fun at Disney Springs? Buses depart from each park for Disney Springs starting at 4:00 pm daily.
Probably the most iconic form of transportation in all of Walt Disney World, the monorail (officially known as the Walt Disney World Monorail System) allows you to travel in style, on a track high in the sky. Not surprisingly, the stellar views from the monorail are one of the reasons this is the favorite mode of transportation for many WDW guests! You’ll rarely wait more than a few minutes for a train, and when they’re running (they occasionally break down), they’re an incredibly efficient way to travel. There are two monorail loops: one travels between the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Village Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center (there’s an additional express line that travels only from Magic Kingdom to the Transportation and Ticket Center). The second loop travels between Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Walt Disney World’s much-anticipated newest form of transportation is the Disney Skyliner, which will afford guests brand new magnificent views that you won’t see anywhere else on property. The Skyliner will be a gondola system that connects Hollywood Studios and Epcot to several resorts: Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century, Art of Animation. If you’ve travelled to WDW lately, you’ve probably seen the Skyliner in the midst of construction. But we’ll all have to wait until it opens in late 2019 to experience it for ourselves!
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4. Water Taxi/Ferry
If you’re looking for an utterly relaxing transportation option, Walt Disney World’s fleet of ferries and water taxis is hands-down the winner. What could be better than cruising one of WDW’s scenic waterways, admiring the nature and wildlife around you, while you head to your destination? Ferries and water taxis cruise to (and from) the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs, but they only travel to and from select resorts en route to each park. Check online or with your resort to see what options are available to you.
Walking from your resort to a Walt Disney World theme park may not be something you thought was possible, but depending on where you’re staying, it just might be! If you’re staying at the Contemporary Resort, you can easily walk to the Magic Kingdom, which comes in handy if you have young children who may need a mid-afternoon nap away from the park. Guests who choose a resort near Disney’s BoardWalk (Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts) can opt to walk to Epcot and to Hollywood Studios. Just make sure you check the approximate walking time in advance, as some of these are longer hikes than others! Often, especially during peak times, it can be faster to walk from a park to a resort within walking distance than to use Disney’s transportation system.
6. Disney’s Magical Express
Finally, Disney’s Magical Express is your transportation of choice to and from Orlando International Airport and your on-property resort. It even lets you start your vacation as soon as you land, by taking care of your checked baggage for you! (It’ll arrive in your room later that day.) The motorcoach is comfortable, and even offers on-board entertainment and information to get you even more excited about your vacation at Walt Disney World. When your vacation comes to an end, Disney’s Magical Express will check in your luggage for you, and take you to the airport in style!