Which Form of Transportation Should You Take at Walt Disney World?

Disney Skyline over Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney

There are plenty of ways to get around the “Most Magical Place On Earth”.  

Walt Disney World’s complimentary transportation system is effective and widespread, which is great news for Guests who are traveling without a vehicle.  

Depending on the Disney Value, Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort Hotel you’re staying at while in WDW, you may have access to boat, gondola or monorail transportation, and there’s always the extensive bus system regardless of your home base.  

You might even be able to walk to a theme park or two! Here’s the low-down on Disney Transport so you can weight the pros and cons of each mode of transportation.

Disney Bus Transportation

It’s everywhere, it’s (usually) reliable, and it’s easy to use: Disney’s bus service is the most common form of transportation in Walt Disney World.  

Whether you want to get to Disney Springs, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom theme parks, or even Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon, there’s a bus (or two) that will take you there.


Credit: Disney Tips

PROS: Like all other public transportation at Walt Disney World, the bus system is free to use for anyone. Buses run throughout the day, so if you’ve just missed one, all you have to do is wait for the next one to come by.  

There’s even a feature in the My Disney Experience app that shows Guests up-to-the-minute departure times for every bus stop!

CONS: Well, it’s bus transportation – not the most exciting or scenic. You may have to transfer, depending on your destination (for example, you’ll need to get a bus to Disney Springs and then hop on another bus if you’re going to Typhoon Lagoon), and buses don’t run directly from one Disney Resort Hotel to another, so if you’re Resort-hopping, you’ll need to first get yourself to a Park or Disney Springs, and take a bus from there.

Some Disney Resorts have numerous bus stops, which means a bus may already be full when it gets to you. At peak times, buses are often crowded, so there may be long lines, and it could be standing room only.

Disney Water Transportation

Call them water taxis, water launches, ferries, or simply boats – Disney’s water transportation allows Guests to ride in style!


Credit: Disney Tips

PROS: Water. That’s a pretty big PRO in our books! This is perhaps our favorite way to travel in WDW, because cruising along Disney’s beautiful waterways feeling the breeze on your face is always relaxing and picturesque. Water transportation always feels less like a chore and more like an attraction!

CONS: The reach of water transportation is, of course, limited to areas in WDW adjacent to water, so you’ll only be able to use it to get to and from several of Disney’s Moderate and Deluxe Resort Hotels to specific destinations (Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs).  

Water transportation isn’t always as reliable as bus transportation, so think twice before relying on a boat if you have an important reservation to make.

Disney Monorail Transportation

The Monorail is perhaps the most iconic form of transportation in Walt Disney World, and you’ll find it – and its famous safety announcements – plastered on all sorts of merchandise.


Credit: Disney

PROS: The views from the Monorail are fabulous! In fact, we sometimes ride it just for the panoramic vistas of Walt Disney World.  

Monorail transportation is fast, comfortable and there usually isn’t much of a line, because Monorails are so frequent and hold so many people. 

CONS: The Monorail system is not nearly as extensive as bus transportation in Walt Disney World, so it won’t always be helpful. There are three different Monorail lines at WDW, and Guests can use them to visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom and EPCOT theme parks, the Transportation and Ticket Center, and three Disney Resort Hotels: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. 

While the Monorail is fast and efficient when it’s working, the unfortunate reality is that it often breaks down, and when there’s an issue, the entire line ceases operation. Worse, you’ll have no idea when the problem will be fixed, leaving unlucky Guests with the option of waiting indefinitely in an ever-growing Monorail queue, or finding alternate transportation.

Disney Skyliner

Walt Disney World Resort’s newest form of transportation is Disney Skyliner, which takes Guests high above the trees for a bird’s eye view of WDW (you’ll also get where you’re going, of course).

Disney Skyliner

Credit: Disney

PROS: This is another mode of transportation at Walt Disney World that feels like a ride, and it affords Guest views you simply can’t get anywhere else on property.  

Plus, because each gondola has room for 10 people, your family may have one all to itself! The Skyliner is in continual motion (unless there’s a problem), which means it’s fast and very reliable.

CONS: Riding a gondola won’t make sense unless you’re traveling to or from Disney’s Riviera Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Pop Century Resort or Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s EPCOT or Hollywood Studios Parks. It won’t be practical for many Guests (but that doesn’t mean you can’t ride it for fun!).

Bottom Line

Wherever you’re staying at Walt Disney World, unless you have a vehicle with you, you’ll need to rely on Disney’s complimentary transportation system to get to Disney’s theme parks and Disney Springs.  Bus, boat, gondola, or Monorail, that is the question!  

Your transportation decision may be made for you by the Disney Resort Hotel you’re staying at, and your final destination, since not all forms of transport are available at every location.  

But really, it’s the journey that counts, and you can always check out the transportation options at other Disney Resorts for free if you’re looking for an adventure!

About Stacy Milford

Stacy has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and travels whenever humanly possible. Passionate about music theatre, dessert, and adventure in the great wide somewhere, she visits Walt Disney World every year, usually during Halloween! Stacy currently divides her time between writing and teaching English as a second language to children in China, and is pretty sure growing up is over-rated.