Monorail vs. Ferry Boat: Which Way Gets You to the Magic Kingdom Faster?

An illustration of Goofy stands by the water in front of a boat dock and monorail vs. ferry boat area, with the iconic Cinderella Castle in the background at Walt Disney World. The scene captures a lively, family-friendly atmosphere.
Credit: Disney Tips

Ready for your next Walt Disney World vacation? As you plan your next trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth, you’re probably covering all of the basics like where to stay, what to eat, and how to make the most of Disney Genie+.

One minor detail we do not always think about until we arrive is the process of getting from the Transportation & Ticket Center to Magic Kingdom Park, which are separated by Seven Seas Lagoon. Keeping the parking lot far away from the entrance to the park fulfills Walt Disney’s desire to keep the Magic Kingdom away from the real world, a setup that was not possible in Disneyland due to space restrictions, but it does make arriving to start your day much more of a process

Transportation Ticket Center

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

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When you arrive at the Transportation & Ticket Center, you will need to take either a ferry boat or monorail to reach the Magic Kingdom. Which one is the quickest mode of transportation, though? We’ve got the answer!

Unfortunately there isn’t a short answer to this question, as the quickest transit will really depend on crowd levels during your trip and whether or not the ferry or monorail just left as you arrive (and if the bus is running).

Let’s start with the bus. This option isn’t always available, but when it is, the bus is easily the quickest way to get to the Magic Kingdom. It takes less time to load and unload a bus than it does the ferry boat or monorail, so if you notice that the bus is available, you may want to take it! (It is certainly the least exciting form of transportation, but it is usually the quickest!)


Credit: Disney

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If the bus is not running, the ferry boat is generally the next quickest option. The only exception to this would be if the ferry just left and the monorail is about to load with no line. In this case you may find the monorail is quicker. The ferry may not appear faster, but it holds a lot of people so even if there is a crowd waiting to load you are very likely to get on and arrive at the Park quickly.

The monorail usually takes just slightly longer, but it is perhaps the most iconic form of Disney transportation. We often see what the line for the monorail looks like, then make our decision to head either to the monorail or the ferry based on that.


Credit: Disney

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As you plan your trip from the Transportation & Ticket Center, just be sure you are taking the Express Monorail, not the Resort Monorail (unless you are grabbing breakfast, of course!) The Resort Monorail makes stops at the Resorts located on the loop, so you would stop at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa before arriving at the Park if you go this route.

Coming from another Disney Resort? We like to plan our Magic Kingdom days around a more convenient breakfast spot so getting to the park is more direct. If you can get to another Disney Resort (we usually do not bring a car and take an Uber or Lyft, but parking could work based on availability), you can arrive at the Park by bus without the stop at the Transportation & Ticket Center. Or if you are lucky enough to have breakfast at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Park is just a short walk away!

However you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, you are sure to have an incredible time!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."