The Disney Detour You Need To Take

When visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, it can be easy to focus on everything related to the Disney theme parks. This is especially true nowadays when Disney Park reservations are required to be able to enjoy the theme parks. As such, when planning a vacation in Lake Buena Vista, theme parks are often the first thing to consider when planning your itinerary.

There’s so much fun to be had outside of the Disney Parks though, that you should plan to take advantage of during your next Disney vacation. The fun isn’t just to be had at Disney Springs, or in Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. The Walt Disney World Resort hotels are also a great spot to make memories with the family, try Disney snacks and take things a little slower. 

Plan to take a Disney detour

Staying on Disney property provides Guests with free transportation around Walt Disney World. Guests can use any of the following modes of transport to navigate their way around Lake Buena Vista:

  • Disney Transportation System Buses
  • Disney Monorail
  • FriendShip Boats
  • Disney Skyliner
  • Sassagoula River Boats
  • Disney Ferry
  • Boats across Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney World transportation options are classed as attractions for many Guests, but depending on the Disney Resort hotel that you choose to stay at, you may need to go a little out of your way to enjoy them. Taking a detour to experience the different modes has become one of our favorite things to do during a Disney vacation. It’s a great way to also hunt for a Hidden Mickey or two!

A Disney detour is a great way to explore the Disney Resort hotels, browse the gift shops and grab something to eat at a quick-service restaurant. You never know, you may even find the Disney Resort hotel to stay at during your next Disney vacation. We recommend taking a detour at one of the following times:

  • mid-morning after you have been able to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry
  • mid-afternoon, following a morning in your favorite Disney Park
  • early evening, when you don’t have a dinner reservation, but prefer to seek out something delicious that you haven’t tried before

Let us inspire you to plan a Disney detour into your next trip to Walt Disney World!

Hop on the first Disney bus that you see

We especially like to do this when leaving Disney’s Animal Kingdom or EPCOT. You’ll want to head to the first bus stop that has a Disney Bus stopping at it. This does require you to pay attention to where each bus is headed, and you may need to move pretty quickly if a bus is already stopped at a station when you are about to embark on your detour.


Credit V Mills

If you’d rather have a Resort in mind, then we recommend visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Disney’s Coronado Springs when taking a detour from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When embarking on your adventure from EPCOT, the World is your oyster! You’ll find it easier to visit a Resort that is not accessed via the Disney Skyliner, or Disney Monorail, to save you a longer wait at the EPCOT bus station.

Use the first boat that is leaving Magic Kingdom

With three modes of Disney transportation available to Guests when leaving Magic Kingdom, the destinations to end up at on your detour are plentiful. Our favorite detour to take when leaving Magic Kingdom park though is to hop on the first boat that is set to travel across Seven Seas Lagoon. You could end up at any of the following Disney Resorts by doing this:


Credit: V Mills

Take a ride up the Sassagoula River

After a morning or afternoon spent shopping at Disney Springs, we’re sure that your feet would welcome a rest. The Sassagoula River Co. is perfect for a sit-down, whilst taking in the stunning views offered down the Sassagoula River.

If your retail therapy experience ends in the Marketplace, follow the path round passed The Art of Disney store and Disney’s Days of Christmas, until you reach a boat dock. From here, you can board a boat to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter Resorts, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs. Alternatively, you can board a Sassagoula River Co. boat to Disney’s Old Key West Resort near Aerophile’s Characters in Flight, located at The Landing. 


Credit: V Mills

You may wish to complete a round trip when taking this detour, after exploring your destination Resort. This will allow you to catch a Disney Bus to your home Resort from Disney Springs. Alternatively, catch a Disney Bus to a Disney theme park from the Resort you have explored, before transferring to your Resort bus.

Exit EPCOT via International Gateway

Following time spent in EPCOT, why not exit the theme park via International Gateway? Located between the United Kingdom and France Pavilions, International Gateway provides Guests with access to many Disney Resort hotels.

Within walking distance of World Showcase,  you can explore the following Resorts:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  • Disney’s Yacht Club
  • Disney’s Beach Club
  • Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resorts

If you’re looking to give your feet a rest, then catch a FriendShip Boat to the destination of your choice instead.


Credit: Disney Tips

Alternatively, use the Disney Skyliner, to access Disney’s Riviera Resort or Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Enjoy the views over Crescent Lake, and Barefoot Bay as you glide through the sky.

Get on the Disney Skyliner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Boarding the Disney Skyliner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers easy access to the following hotels:

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Get ready to experience larger-than-life characters that offer perfect photo opportunities if you choose to take this detour, after a day of movie magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


Credit: Disney

Now, all that’s left to do is make room in your next Disney vacation to embark on an adventure! Go and seek out exclusive Resort merchandise and snacks, to continue the Disney magic you’ve experienced in the Disney Parks. It’s an opportunity to make memories and maximize your Disney experience. You may even discover a new tradition for future Disney vacations!

About Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!