Monorails, buses, and boats… OH MY!

Disney resort reservation, check.
Theme park tickets purchased, check.
Restaurant reservations made.  Fastpasses chosen.  Check. Check.

This blog post should give you just about every detail you could want when trying to make your way around the 40-square-mile property of Walt Disney World.  

 

There may still be a few travel plans and GPS coordinates to input, but you are well on your way to having your WDW vacation all setup and ready to go.  But what is the best way to get around once you arrive?  Even if you drive down to Lake Buena Vista, FL, you may not want to the stress of driving around Disney World and battling the parking lots with masses of people.

If you are staying on-property, Disney has you covered.  But, contrary to what I assumed on our first Disney vacations, there are some limitations you need to know about when planning your route to and from the different locations you want to visit.  This blog post should give you just about every detail you could want when trying to make your way around the 40-square-mile property of Walt Disney World.

Here are the different forms of transportation provided by Disney, and some pros and cons that go along with each.

 1. Buses– This is the main mode of transportation for Disney Resort guests.  Buses run from all resorts to theme parks and back throughout the day…. from well before the parks open to long after they close.  You can also catch a bus between theme-parks that don’t have monorail (Epcot and Magic Kingdom) or boat (Epcot and Hollywood studios) connection already.
It is very important to understand that buses do NOT run between resorts.  Disney will let you pool-hop (use the pool at a resort different than where you are staying, but don’t plan on using a bus to get there!

This iconic and once-futuristic looking train gives Disney fans a smile from ear-to-ear… most of the time.

UPDATE: As of August, 2016 Buses are now running from theme parks to Disney Springs after 4PM… This will make it much easier for guests wanting to grab dinner or enjoy other evening/nighttime festivities. (Note: this ends bus service from Saratoga Springs to Disney Springs. They are very close to each other so walking is a great option. Boat service is also still available.)

2. The Monorail–  This iconic and once-futuristic looking train gives Disney fans a smile from ear-to-ear… most of the time. The main hub for the monorail is the Ticket and Transportation Center located across Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom. In the past few years, as the monorail has aged, it has been down for maintenance more and more. Always have a plan B as this is Disney’s least reliable form of transportation. There are actually three monorail lines to consider:

-The Express Monorail is what you take if you park in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. It leaves from the Ticket and Transportation Center and goes directly to the Magic Kingdom without any other stops.

-The Resort Monorail which circles from the Magic Kingdom to The Contemporary Resort, then on to The Polynesian Village Resort, then The Grand Floridian Resort and back to Magic Kingdom.

-The Epcot line circles from The Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot and back constantly during operating hours.  To get from Magic Kingdom to Epcot you would take the Express Monorail (or Ferry Boat) to The Ticket and Transportation center, then from there to Epcot (and vice versa).

 

 3. Boats– In my opinion this is the most underrated form of transportation at WDW. There is just something relaxing about the hum of a boat engine and how much more you can take in the beautiful scenery. Of course, there are only a handful of resorts that have boat transportation and where they can go is limited.  Here are the places wher you’ll find boat transportation at Disney:

In my opinion this is the most underrated form of transportation at WDW. There is just something relaxing about the hum of a boat engine and how much more you can take in the beautiful scenery.

 

Magic Kingdom– In addition to the huge ferry that goes from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Magic Kingdom, there is transportation to and from each closeby resort (Grand Flo and Polynesian (shared), WIldneress Lodge, and Ft Wilderness Campground).  It’s also worth noting there is boat that cirles between The Contemporary, The Wilderness Lodge, and Ft. Wilderness.

-Epcot/Hollywood Studios– There is a boat that goes between Epcot and Hollywood Studios as well as boats between those parks and the nearby resorts: The Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Yacht Club.

Disney Springs– There are River Boats that travel between Disney Springs and the following nearby resorts: both Port Orleans resorts, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs.

Some guests really love having the control of driving their own car so they can easily make their way to local grocery stores or other off-site attractions. If, like me, you prefer to fly in or just let the car sit parked, Disney gives you a myriad of options to help you get around WDW.

It’s also worth mentioning that taxis are only a phone call away, and Uber/Lyft have become very popular in the last couple of years.  I’ve had several close friends tell me that the few dollars they spent on Uber were more than worth it to avoid a late night line for a bus.

What is your favorite form of Disney Transportation?  Had any good or bad experiences.  Comment below and let us know your thoughts or questions!

One thought on “Monorails, buses, and boats… OH MY!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *