Walt Disney World transportation is designed to get you anywhere on Disney property without having to drive a car. One of the main perks of staying “in the bubble” is the access to so many transportation options. Having several to choose from allows guests to get around Disney property without having to drive themselves.
An important aspect of planning a Walt Disney World vacation is knowing how to use Disney transportation. And, how to get from one place to the other.
Did you know the motorcoaches do NOT run between the resorts? And contrary to popular belief, the monorail does NOT take guests to every theme park.
Today, I am going to give you the complete guide to Disney transportation, so you can better prepare for your next trip.
Airport to Resort Transportation
With the elimination of Disney’s Magical Express, this leaves many guests wondering how they are even going to get TO their resort to start their vacation. Or, how are they going to get BACK to the airport to catch their flight home?
There are SO many options! After Disney’s Magical Express ended, many alternative airport transportation options appeared. These range from shuttle buses, to ride shares, to private drivers. Uber and LYFT are always great options, and you can certainly rent your own car. However, if you prefer a scheduled driver or company, consider the following:
- Mears Connect
- Away We Go
- The Sunshine Flyer
- Hiring a private transfer from the Ear for Each Other Facebook Group
Walt Disney World Motorcoaches
Walt Disney World motorcoaches are ALL over Disney property. Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels will find themselves on a Disney motorcoach at some point in their trip. You may be at a resort that is only serviced with motorcoaches. Or perhaps you need to go to Disney Springs.
These complimentary, magically themed motorcoaches run about every twenty minutes. They begin running an hour before the theme parks open and continue to do so two hours after the last park closes.
Guests can find approximate times of the next bus on screens at the resort bus stops. And, you can even find it on the My Disney Experience App!
Wait times returning to the resorts from the theme parks can be long at the end of a park day. Consider staying for an hour or so after the fireworks to let the bus traffic clear. When you exit a theme park, there are huge signs that tell you which bus stop will take you to a particular resort or a theme park.
These DO NOT run from resort to resort. If you need to get from one Walt Disney World resort to another, you need to transfer at a theme park. So for example, if you are staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and have a breakfast reservation at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, you need to take a Disney motorcoach to the Magic Kingdom, then walk or monorail to the Contemporary.
While it would be awesome, the Monorail does NOT take guests all over Disney property. However, it is still quite convenient for guests who are staying at a Monorail Resort, or who want to park hop between Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.
The Monorail is best known for its loop of Walt Disney World Resorts. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are all serviced by the monorail.
Guests of these resorts can take the Resort Loop to neighboring resorts for meal, and to shop and explore. Or, guests of Magic Kingdom can easily leave the park for a break at a monorail resort during the day.
Not only that, but the Monorail allows guests access to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. This is a huge perk for guests who have park hopper and / or who are staying at a Monorail Resort.
Guests who are traveling between EPCOT and Magic Kingdom will be taken to the Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, you simply hop off, transfer to the Magic Kingdom / Resort monorail, and you will be at the gates in no time!
Guests who choose to drive themselves to Magic Kingdom do park at the Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, they can ride the Monorail over to Magic Kingdom as well!
Even if you do not have a reason to visit a Monorail resort or you are not park hopping, you should still hop on the Monorail for a ride!
Perhaps the most unique form of transportation is the newest addition to Disney property – the Skyliner. Disney’s Skyliner has added a huge value to the resorts along this line. These resorts are Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. Guests of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Yacht / Beach Club Resorts can also access the Skyliner at EPCOT’s International Gateway.
The Skyliner is fantastic to park hop between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I think this is its best use, as it is super quick and easy. As with the monorail resorts, guests on the Skyliner can easily access nearby resorts for food and shopping.
At the end of an EPCOT day, the Skyliner does get very backed up. Plan to leave EPCOT before park close, OR plan to take your sweet time leaving the park if you are going to a Skyliner Resort. The line looks way more intimidating than it really is, but it does get long.
I think the water taxi / boat transportation at Walt Disney World is a hidden gem. So many guests love the Skyliner and Monorail, but I think they miss out on the boats.
Walt Disney World runs boats between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s such a relaxing 15-20 minute ride, and our family loves it!
Boats are also an option along Seven Seas Lagoon to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, as well as Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. While the boats are not running amongst the resorts, they are running to and from the Magic Kingdom and the resorts.
One main perk of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resorts is the huge ferry that takes guests to and from these resorts and the Magic Kingdom. Taking the ferry is so relaxing and easy when traveling to and from the park.
Did you know there are boats to and from Disney Springs? Guests at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, French Quarter and Saratoga Springs and Old Key West can enjoy boat transportation to and from Disney Springs.
Also, guests can take a boat across World Showcase Lagoon from Canada to Morocco if you do not want to walk all the way around! Do not miss the boat transportation at Walt Disney World!
Tips for Using Walt Disney World Transportation
Allow yourself plenty of time
The rule of thumb is to allow yourself 90 minutes from your resort room to another location on Disney property. Does that mean it’ll take you 90 minutes to ride the monorail from the Contemporary to Magic Kingdom? Nope. But the idea is that you give yourself enough time for delays, especially if you are checking in for a dining reservation. Better to arrive early than late!
Use a Minnie Van
If none of these options are appealing, the Minnie Vans are back! These red and white polka dot vehicles are powered by LYFT. You can reserve one right in your My Disney Experience App. These are great for an early morning dining reservation, or when you need to get somewhere quickly.
Plan around peak times
Rope Drop and park close are very busy. Getting ahead of the pack, and being at your transportation well in advance will give you a huge head start on the day! Lingering around a theme park as it is closing can not only let the crowds thin out, but also give you a magical end to your evening.
Know how to get where you are going. I know this seems simple, but knowing how to use Disney transportation, where you need to make a transfer, and having an idea of how long it will take will take so much stress off your trip.
Do you have a preferred mode of Disney transportation when visiting Disney World?