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Saving Time With Disney Transportation

One of the great things about traveling to Walt Disney World is that transportation is included—no car renting, navigating the roads, or remembering where you park. Disney provides transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Property.

Although it is great to have free transportation, it is essential to know how to use it successfully. You can find it frustrating if you don’t understand what type of transportation is provided or how to use it. We will take time to break down the basics of Walt Disney World’s transportation options and how you can save time when using them.

Disney Skyliner; Disney Monorail
Credit: V Mills

Disney Transportation 101: What You Need to Know

Before getting ready to use Disney transportation during your vacation, there are some key points that you should be aware of.

It is free: all of Disney’s transportation is free for Guests to use throughout their vacation. You do not need to pay to use any boats, skyliner, trams, monorails, or buses throughout Walt Disney World.

The only Disney mode of transportation that costs additional is the Minnie Vans, which you can order through the Lyft app.

Plan Ahead: If you are using Disney transportation to get to a dining reservation, a Genie+ reservation, or make it back in time for fireworks, leave plenty of time. Although transportation is free, sometimes it isn’t swift. 

Plan on 60-90 minutes of travel time, so you aren’t running late or stressed. This is extremely important if you are using Disney transportation between Disney Resorts. There are no direct buses between Resorts. This means going from Disney’s Coronado Springs to Disney’s Grand Floridian; you must take a bus to Magic Kingdom and then the monorail or boat to the Grand Floridian. 

Use My Disney Experience: a feature that Guests can find in the My Disney Experience app is bus arrival times. When you are getting ready to leave your Resort, you can check the estimated arrival time for your next bus. Although they aren’t highly accurate, they give you an excellent estimation.

ferry skyliner monorail
Disney transportation

What Transportation is available?

There are a variety of different modes of transportation throughout Walt Disney World. Buses are the most significant modes of transportation provided to Guests. Then you have both the skyliner and monorail, boats, the ferry, and Minnie Vans.

We won’t spend much time on Minnie Vans as they are an additional cost. Not only is it an additional cost, but it is extreme.

Partners, Magic Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Getting To Magic Kingdom

One of the harder Disney Parks to get to, Magic Kingdom differs from one you will want to drive to or take a ride share to during your trip. If you don’t use Disney transportation, you will park at the ticket and transportation center, then take a tram to either the monorail or ferry, which will take you around to Magic Kingdom.

Because of this, we highly recommend taking Disney transportation from your Disney Resort. If you are staying at either Disney’s Polynesian or Disney’s Grand Floridian, you will want to use the monorail. This will get you there faster than waking or the boat. You will want to use the walking path from Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Bay Lake Tower. This will get you to Magic Kingdom faster than the monorail will. Boats are available from these three Resorts; however, they won’t be the fastest option. 

bus and monorail

Fort Wilderness and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offer boat transportation to Magic Kingdom. In this case, this is the primary way to get to Magic Kingdom from these Resorts. If there are storms in the area, they will also run buses.

For most other Disney Resorts, you will use the Disney buses to get to and from Magic Kingdom. These drop you right off at the front of the Park and allow you to go through security quickly and the checkpoints before entering the Magic Kingdom.

If you want a quick way to get to Magic Kingdom, consider using a Minnie Van. These are the only ride-share experiences that can drop Guests off right at the front gates of Magic Kingdom- the same area as the Disney buses.

Magic Kingdom is the most challenging Park because of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Leave plenty of time to get to Magic Kingdom during your Walt Disney World vacation.

spaceship earth epcot

Getting to EPCOT

There are a handful of ways that Guests can get to EPCOT, depending on where they are staying. Guests can take a monorail, boat, skyliner, or walk to EPCOT.

When staying at one of Disney’s monorail Resorts, take the monorail around to EPCOT. You must get off at the TTC and transfer to the other line, but this is the best way to get to EPCOT. It allows you to go through security before arriving at EPCOT as well. This means you can quickly head into the Park.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

If you stay at Pop Century, Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, or Disney’s Riviera, you will want to take advantage of the skyliner. This constantly moving mode of transportation gets Guests o the Parks quickly.

When staying at one of the EPCOT area Resorts around Crescent Lake, we recommend walking as your fastest mode of transportation. There is a boat service (the Friendship Boats), but these aren’t extremely quick as they stop often.

You will want to take the Disney buses from all other Disney Resorts or spend money on a paid service such as Uber or Lyft.

chinese theatre at Disney's Hollywood studios

Getting to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Since Disney’s Hollywood Studios is down the road from EPCOT, many of the same transportation options apply. The only difference is that you can’t use a monorail to get to this Park. 

You can use the Skyliner, Friendship Boats, or walk, depending on which Disney Resort you are staying at. Our one suggestion is if you are staying at an EPCOT area Resort, consider using the boats if you are in a hurry. Walking is an option, but it will take you longer as Disney’s Hollywood Studios is further away from these Resorts than EPCOT is.

For all other Disney Resorts, you will want to take the Disney bus or a paid service to the Park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Pandora
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Pandora

Getting to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

This is Disney Park that only has bus transportation to and from it for all Guests. Because of the Park’s size, even if you stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will take a bus to the Park.

If you are in a hurry, consider also using one of the paid services.

Before heading down to Walt Disney World, make sure that you take the time to understand the transportation options that Disney provides. You will also want to know how long it will take you to use that transportation from place to place. We love that Walt Disney World provides transportation throughout Walt Disney World, but it is essential to be educated on how it works before arriving.

Do you want to learn more about Disney transportation? See other posts below:

Minnie Vans

Disney’s 5 FREE Transportation Options You Need to Know


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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