The following pointers will make it easier to save time utilizing Walt Disney World’s transportation techniques with shortcuts, quickest routes, and data in regards to the buses, boats, monorails, and gondolas. WDW’s transit community is sophisticated, however this information makes it straightforward. We’ll additionally supply the newest as of Summer season 2023 on effectivity of getting round Walt Disney World. (Up to date July 22, 2023.)
Walt Disney World claims that transportation departs each 20 minutes from the resort lodges to take visitors to the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot making getting round easy. In principle, that’s true. Whereas that is typically the case, it’s typically not. It’s best to at all times plan on transit taking extra time than anticipated. Moreover, the monorail shouldn’t be as dependable because it as soon as was, with breakdowns and unscheduled upkeep occurring extra ceaselessly.
By way of updates to this Walt Disney World transportation information, let’s begin with the excellent news. All the infrastructure work to rework the roads, theme park arrival expertise, and extra is now completed and makes navigating Walt Disney World simpler than ever. This has been ongoing for the previous couple of years, and is nice information for anybody who rents a automotive or drives themselves.
By and huge, transportation is working easily when you get to Walt Disney World. There are nonetheless prolonged strains for the Skyliner round park opening and shutting, however they transfer rapidly for the reason that system is so environment friendly and excessive capability (other than throughout storm-induced shutdowns).
It’s an analogous story with the buses. The draw back is that you just may as soon as once more be packed like sardines for rope drop or on the finish of the evening, however the upside is plain. No extra standing in line ready for 2 or three buses and taking 45 minutes simply to get picked up. Noon issues are kind of the identical as earlier than—decrease utilization, a seat for everybody, and no strains.
Moreover, Walt Disney World not has as pronounced of a driver scarcity. Buses at the moment are considerable, and dispatched with regularity. Staggered park opening and shutting occasions assist with this, and the bus service at Walt Disney World can also be kind of again to regular. Nonetheless not excellent, but it surely by no means was.
As different Solid Member shortages are being resolved, Walt Disney World is scaling up operations and resuming normalcy elsewhere. Minnie Vans have been again for a couple of yr for point-to-point direct transportation inside Walt Disney World; the airport possibility for Minnie Vans returned final Christmas. We aren’t common customers of Minnie Vans, however from what we perceive, it’s been clean crusing in the previous couple of months with that upcharge possibility.
The scenario with rental automobiles has additionally improved. When journey basically stopped, the rental automotive trade bought off greater than a half one million automobiles to generate money they wanted to outlive the disaster. When pent-up demand arrived in full drive, rental automotive firms have been sluggish to rebuild their stock due to provide chain points going through the auto trade.
Orlando Worldwide Airport ended up promoting out of automobiles for a lot of journey dates throughout peak season dates in consequence, with astronomical charges for different dates. This has not been a difficulty shortly. You’ll nonetheless pay a premium for peak journey dates, but it surely’s no completely different than earlier than.
Equally, the Uber or Lyft shortages are largely resolved, with extra drivers beginning to return to the apps. Wait occasions are down in consequence, and there are far fewer situations of no drivers being accessible in any respect. (We’ve had no points in any way when utilizing ride-sharing round Walt Disney World not too long ago.)
With that stated, costs are nonetheless elevated. We’ve seen costs as excessive as $75 to $100 for peak journey occasions. The decrease finish of that vary wasn’t even throughout a busy time of yr–only a busy time of day. It’s possible that that is going to be the “new regular” with Uber and Lyft, as prices had regularly elevated over the course of a number of years pre-closure, and analysts have steered that Uber and Lyft solely have long-term viability with greater charges.
Talking of airport transportation choices, Disney’s Magical Specific formally ended, so that you’ll have to discover a completely different solution to get from Orlando Worldwide Airport to Walt Disney World. Mears Join and the Sunshine Flyer are the highest picks, each being oblique third occasion replacements for Disney’s Magical Specific.
These providers will quickly “be part of forces” to type Mears Join Pushed by Sunshine. Usually, a merger eliminating competitors could be dangerous information for customers. On this case, it’s extra of a blended bag given the present high quality, wait occasions, assets, and many others. of each shuttle providers.
For the complete vary of decisions, see our Airport Transportation to Walt Disney World Information. Whereas some visitors will likely be completely suited by a limo or automotive service, extra will likely be higher off with a shuttle, Uber, rental automotive, or one thing else.
As at all times, it’s good to crunch the numbers and do a little bit of legwork your self–reasonably than simply reserving what’s offered to you on DisneyWorld.com and assuming the money-hungry firm is looking in your greatest pursuits.
Our last updates are extra about parking than transportation, however you possibly can’t have the previous with out the latter. First, the excellent news is that in a single day parking is as soon as once more free for resort visitors. We have been tempted to place free in air quotes because the cost is arguably constructed into the nightly charge or resorts, however the truth is that reductions have elevated for the reason that free parking was restored–so that you’re really paying lower than on the similar time final yr.
The dangerous information is that parking for day visitors of resorts has develop into even stricter. Now, in the event you wouldn’t have confirmed Advance Eating Reservations, you’ll not be allowed previous the safety checkpoint for the overwhelming majority of resort lodges. This implies no Stroll-Up Waitlist or Cellular Order, and it additionally typically means no Uber or Lyft drop-offs, both.
It is a development that first began a number of years in the past with busier resorts in shut proximity to the parks (e.g. Up to date, Grand Floridian, Seashore Membership) and different resorts throughout peak season (e.g. Christmas, Spring Break). It has now unfold to virtually all on-property lodges, besides a handful of choices that you just most likely don’t need to go to, anyway (e.g. All Star Sports activities, Port Orleans Riverside). You possibly can nonetheless arrive through Disney transportation or by strolling–simply not by automotive with out an ADR!
With these updates out of the best way, let’s begin with an summary of transportation at Walt Disney World, adopted by suggestions and hacks for effectively navigating the 43 sq. miles of the sprawling trip advanced…
WDW Transportation Overview
Given the abundance of transportation, it’s straightforward to have a Walt Disney World trip with out renting and even utilizing a automotive. Merely utilizing an airport shuttle, keep in a Walt Disney World resort resort, and make the most of Disney transportation throughout your keep.
After all, you could need to hire a automotive. We now have a complete submit titled Ideas for Renting a Automotive at Walt Disney World that covers the ins and outs of renting a automotive. Suffice to say, in the event you don’t like ready in any respect, wish to be in management, and don’t thoughts driving whereas on trip, renting a automotive might be for you. That is doubly true in the event you ever need to depart Walt Disney World property–then a rental automotive turns into virtually important.
Once we hire a automotive at Walt Disney World, we sometimes use Hotwire for automotive leases and e-book one among their “blind” Sizzling Charges. Renting a automotive can scale back waits and commute occasions, however we’ve discovered that not renting works higher for us. Think about your circumstances and resolve whether or not you may want a rental automotive. Your mileage might range.
We’ve discovered Uber and Lyft to be nice alternate options to renting a automotive at Walt Disney World. You possibly can learn a few of our suggestions for utilizing Uber and different ride-sharing providers within the submit Uber & Lyft at Walt Disney World Ideas.
Along with Uber, Lyft, and rental automobiles, Walt Disney World gives a personal level to level transportation service referred to as the Minnie Van. You possibly can learn our full Minnie Vans Ideas & Evaluate submit right here, however suffice to say, it’s an environment friendly and themed possibility for many who don’t care about price. When you’re on a tighter finances, it’s not for you.
Let’s assume you don’t need to hire a automotive, nor do you need to use Uber or a Minnie Van. When you arrive at your resort resort, you possibly can depend upon Disney transportation.
The most typical type of transportation is Disney buses, that are pretty self-explanatory. These run from each single resort to no less than among the theme parks, besides the place alternate transportation akin to boats or the monorail can be found. Buses are the least glamorous and most irritating type of transportation, and we attempt to keep away from them to the extent attainable, however they get the job carried out.
A number of resorts, particularly these close to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, additionally supply boat service to the parks they’re close to. That is fairly environment friendly, as a lot of the boats make a number of stops. It’s additionally very leisurely and a pleasing expertise. Who doesn’t love a ship experience?!
Nearly each resort that gives boat service can also be inside strolling distance of those self same parks. Strolling might be extra environment friendly than taking a ship, but it surely’s clearly additionally extra tiring and work.
Some lodges across the Magic Kingdom–Grand Floridian, Up to date, and Polynesian–additionally supply monorail service to Walt Disney World’s iconic citadel park. The monorail additionally connects to Magic Kingdom through the Ticket & Transportation Heart, which is basically Magic Kingdom’s car parking zone.
From the Ticket & Transportation Heart, visitors can board the monorail to EPCOT. Which means that the aforementioned monorail resort visitors can entry EPCOT through monorail with a switch. Happily, the EPCOT monorail line is again up and working!
Our favourite transportation possibility is the Disney Skyliner gondolas. These join Pop Century, Artwork of Animation, Caribbean Seashore, and Disney’s Riviera Resort to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Our private experiences with the Disney Skyliner have been optimistic. We cowl preliminary impressions in our Skyliner Gondola Evaluate: Walt Disney World’s Most Magical Flight on Earth article, and have subsequently used the Skyliner gondolas numerous occasions previously few years since they opened.
Transportation to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs begins roughly 2 hours previous to that park’s opening time and all transportation runs till roughly 1 hour after the parks shut.
When you’re nonetheless within the park one hour and 5 minutes after the park shut, fear not, as Disney gained’t depart you stranded at a park. Typically it’s nearer to 2 hours after the parks shut when transportation ends. All types of Disney transportation have unload and cargo zones very near the park entrance, making them extra accessible than the parking heaps for every of the parks.
When you’re planning to depend on Walt Disney World Resort transportation reasonably than renting your personal automotive or using a taxi, make sure to give your self no less than 1 full hour of transport time to get the place ever you want to go. Sometimes, it gained’t take this lengthy, however now and again it could actually (it has taken us over an hour and practically two hours on a number of events).
Greatest Resort for Transportation?
When you gained’t have a automotive at Walt Disney World, the primary time you must take into consideration transportation is earlier than you e-book a resort. There is no such thing as a one “greatest” resort for transportation to the entire Walt Disney World parks, however listed below are a number of components that you must contemplate in your reserving resolution:
- Whether or not the resort has non-bus transportation to a park
- Distance from the resort to every park (with weight given to the parks you’ll be visiting most)
- Whether or not the resort has an inner bus system
- Whether or not the resort shares buses with one other resort
Non-Bus Transportation – Lodges with non-bus transportation to the parks earn bonus factors as a result of buses are, typically, much less environment friendly (and cooler) than non-bus transportation. Monorails present transportation to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT; boats present transportation to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Disney’s Animal Kingdom is accessible solely through bus.
Lodges on the monorail loop are Grand Floridian, Up to date, and Polynesian Village Resorts. Every of these lodges additionally has boat service to the Magic Kingdom, as do Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campground.
Moreover, all monorail loop lodges are additionally inside strolling distance of Magic Kingdom.
This used to only be true for Disney’s Up to date Resort, however a brand new bridge is now open that connects the Grand Floridian and Polynesian Village Resort to Magic Kingdom. This path might be tough to seek out, so be looking out for signage (or ask a Solid Member in the event you don’t see it).
Boat service to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is offered to and from BoardWalk Inn, Yacht & Seashore Membership Resorts, and the Swan & Dolphin (non-Disney) Lodges. These resorts are additionally inside strolling distance of each parks.
Skyliner gondola service is offered from Pop Century, Artwork of Animation, Caribbean Seashore, and Rivera Resorts to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Distance – Lodges that provide non-bus transportation accomplish that as a result of they’re closest to the parks to which they provide the transportation, so that provides you an concept of the place these lodges are positioned.
For different lodges, confer with this Google Maps view of Walt Disney World to find out precise distances from lodges to the parks. The Worth Resorts and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort are positioned the farthest from each park besides Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney World is a big place, and this distinction in distance shouldn’t be negligible.
Inner Bus Methods – Inner transportation is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s good to have the ability to take a bus from close to your room to the foyer or meals court docket, particularly on the spread-out resort-hotels. Then again, in the event you’re going to a park, meaning both ready for 2 buses or making a number of stops in your solution to the park.
Basically we discover transportation to take longer when there’s an inner system. Lodges with inner techniques are Caribbean Seashore Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Previous Key West Resort.
Shared Buses – Sadly, there’s no easy reply right here. Whether or not buses are shared relies upon upon how busy Walt Disney World is. The much less busy, the extra possible shared transportation will likely be used. As a basic rule, not one of the lodges above which have inner bus techniques (besides Fort Wilderness) have shared buses, however different lodges can at occasions.
As a result of private preferences, there’s no one-size-fits-all “greatest” resort-hotel at Walt Disney World for transportation. All of it relies upon upon which parks you’ll go to most, whether or not you’ll have a rental automotive, and your tolerance to strolling. For instance, from a transportation perspective, Animal Kingdom Lodge is a ache for us, as a result of it’s actually removed from the whole lot (besides Animal Kingdom) and it has two stops. To somebody who visits Animal Kingdom loads, it is likely to be the perfect resort! So know which parks you need to go to most in your journey, determine which resort will work greatest in your circumstances, and e-book accordingly.
Whereas Disney makes an attempt to make its inner transportation from resort lodges to the theme parks fairly handy, the identical shouldn’t be true with regard to utilizing Disney transportation to get from resort resort to resort resort. As a substitute, you’ll need to go out of your resort resort to a park after which catch transportation to the resort resort you’re intending to go to. This will make dinner reservations at resort lodges that aren’t your personal particularly troublesome.
For that reason, many individuals solely dine on the resort lodges on the monorail loop (as visiting them for dinner could be a good change of tempo from a busy day within the Magic Kingdom) or Crescent Lake (a brief stroll from the Worldwide Gateway entrance to EPCOT and a average stroll or boat experience from Hollywood Studios).
If you’re planning on eating at every other resort resort and are leaving out of your resort resort or returning to your resort resort afterward, you could need to contemplate using a taxi for transportation. Taxis are available (and if not, the resort can name one for you) at Disney resort lodges, and often price round $15-25 a technique throughout the Walt Disney World Resort (clearly, the value varies based mostly upon distance).
When counting on Disney transportation to go from one resort to a different resort through no less than one bus, you’ll want to give your self no less than 1.5 hours for transportation occasions. Often, it’ll take round an hour. Sadly, very often it takes the complete hour and a half. So don’t ignore the beneficial transportation occasions Disney offers to you if you make these Advance Eating Reservations!
- There is no such thing as a parking on the Magic Kingdom. As a substitute, you park on the Ticket & Transportation Heart lot, catching a tram to the Ticket & Transportation Heart, after which take a monorail or ferry to the Magic Kingdom (this was carried out, amongst different causes, so the Magic Kingdom has a “magical” introduction to visitors).
- Due to this, even visitors who hire their very own automobiles could also be higher off taking a bus to the Magic Kingdom, because the Disney buses drop-off visitors immediately on the entrance entrance to the Magic Kingdom, bypassing the entire intermediate steps.
- When you’re leaving one of many parks proper round closing, or after fireworks or a night parade, contemplate ready. Buses are particularly dangerous presently of evening, and the park’s reward outlets are open for a short while after the parks official closing time. Do your purchasing then, as an alternative of in the course of the day, and depart a bit later. Chances are high, you’ll nonetheless get again to your resort across the similar time, and also you gained’t wait in line so lengthy for a bus, monorail, or ferry within the course of!
- Skyliner strains can seem lengthy on the finish of the evening proper after park closing, however the Skyliner is extremely environment friendly and the road strikes rapidly.
- You possibly can stroll from Disney’s Up to date Resort to the Magic Kingdom through a sidewalk. This stroll takes about 5 minutes, and is far quicker than taking the monorail.
- You possibly can stroll from Disney’s Polynesian Resort to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Shades of Inexperienced Resort through a sidewalk (and vice-a-versa).
- You possibly can stroll from Disney’s Polynesian Resort to the Ticket & Transportation Heart through a sidewalk. It’s a couple of 5 minute stroll, and can prevent time over taking the monorail.
- You can even stroll from the Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom, that means you could possibly additionally stroll from the TTC, Poly, and Shades of Inexperienced to Magic Kingdom–it’s only a doubtlessly lengthy stroll.
- Visitors of Caribbean Seashore Resort may use the Skyliner station at Disney’s Riviera Resort, which is extra handy in some instances.
- Technology Hole Bridge connects Pop Century to Artwork of Animation Resort; on the center of this bridge is the place the Skyliner gondola station is positioned.
- This bridge offers fast entry to the extremely regarded Panorama of Flavors meals court docket at Artwork of Animation. This easy accessibility additionally means you possibly can take whichever of the 2 buses arrives first when leaving the parks, in the event you don’t thoughts a bit strolling.
- You possibly can stroll from Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to Disney Springs through a pedestrian bridge. It’s a couple of 10 minute stroll from Saratoga Springs, relying upon your location.
- The interior boats round Disney Springs have additionally made traversing this space, and the resorts round it, a lot simpler than previously.
- You possibly can stroll between any of the All-Star Resorts, but it surely’s not at all times a ‘easy’ path. Nonetheless, is likely to be helpful if buses are sluggish (and never shared) and one rapidly arrives at a park for an All-Star Resort in addition to the one the place you’re staying.
- You possibly can stroll from All Star Sports activities to Coronado Springs Resort through a strolling path. Alongside this path, you possibly can entry Blizzard Seashore and McDonald’s. All Star Sports activities to Coronado is about half-hour; it takes round 5 minutes to get to McDonald’s from All Star Sports activities, and about 15-20 to get to Blizzard Seashore.
- You possibly can stroll from Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Yacht & Seashore Membership, and Swan & Dolphin resorts to Worldwide Gateway (World Showcase) entrance, however you can not stroll from the entrance entrance of EPCOT to any of those resorts, with out going by the park.
- The FriendShips (boats) journey from the Crescent Lake resorts to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The boat stops on this order – Boardwalk, Yacht Membership, Swan & Dolphin, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Swan/Dolphin, Yacht Membership, Boardwalk, and EPCOT. When you’re staying at or visiting Boardwalk, it’s a lot faster to exit the ferry on the Swan & Dolphin and make the 5 minute stroll to the Boardwalk if getting back from Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and vice-a-versa when the boat stops at BoardWalk first and also you’re staying on the Swan or Dolphin).
- For park hopping between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, your best possibility is the Skyliner (transferring strains at Caribbean Seashore), adopted by your toes, adopted by the FriendShips.
- Ferry transportation is offered from Previous Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Port Orleans Riverside, and Port Orleans French Quarter to Disney Springs.
- Buses don’t journey between Disney Springs and the theme parks. As a substitute, you’ll should take a bus to a resort, then a bus to a park in case your final vacation spot is a park. By taking a look at different suggestions right here (akin to strolling from the Up to date to Magic Kingdom or strolling from Disney Springs to Saratoga Springs), you possibly can simply circumvent this and save time.
- Buses make a number of stops at Disney Springs. If the parks are closed and also you need to go to one other resort out of your resort, your solely possibility through Disney transportation is Your resort>Disney Springs>different resort. This may take you no less than one hour, and extra possible nearer to 2. Take a taxi as an alternative!
- It can save you cash by parking your automotive at Disney Springs (free) and taking a bus to a resort that’s near the park you’re intending to go to, after which stroll or take one other bus from there, however it is a colossal waste of time and, to some, morally reprehensible (I don’t care in regards to the ethical perspective–I simply assume it’s an idiotic concept). In case your time has any worth to you, suck it up and pay for parking on the park you’re visiting.
- The quickest solution to get from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to the World Showcase through bus is taking a bus to BoardWalk or the Yacht & Seashore Membership and strolling, as a result of bus route being extra environment friendly that method than from Animal Kingdom to the entrance of EPCOT.
- Bus service isn’t provided from resorts to parks when the resort gives different technique of transportation (through the monorail or ferry).
- When the All-Star Resorts share a bus, it stops at All Star Sports activities first, and infrequently will fill utterly there. It’s thus the perfect All Star Resort throughout these occasions of yr.
- Along with the My Disney Expertise app having bus wait occasions out of your resort, there at the moment are real-time wait time boards for buses posted on the bus stops for each Walt Disney World resort). We now have examined these on a number of of our previous journeys, and have discovered them to be correct inside a couple of minutes.
- There are numerous different “secret” time-saving suggestions and methods to Disney transportation, lots of which I’m most likely forgetting right here. Please share your suggestions within the feedback.
Transportation Evaluate & Abstract
In the end, I like Disney bus transportation. I prefer it as a result of it permits me to relax and calm down, with out worrying about renting a automotive, navigating on overseas roadways, or breaking the “Disney bubble” and transporting me again to actuality. This Disney bubble is a crucial factor for us. Actually vital. Due to it, we’re unlikely to usually hire a automotive at Walt Disney World.
On the detrimental aspect, the buses might be inefficient, particularly for getting from resort to resort, and so they aren’t precisely the paramount of futuristic or leading edge transportation strategies, and have poor and too few routes. On the plus aspect, the buses don’t price something additional, and have gotten more and more environment friendly. Furthermore, when utilized in tandem with an occasional Uber or Lyft, it’s very straightforward to journey to Walt Disney World with out renting a automotive.
The bus system at Walt Disney World shouldn’t be excellent. There have been events the place we’ve waited 45 minutes for a bus to point out up at our resort heading to a specific park, and within the meantime, 4 confirmed up for a unique park. There have been different occasions the place strains have been so lengthy within the morning that it has taken three separate buses to eat the road in entrance of us. Different occasions nonetheless, we take a number of buses to get from resort to resort for a meal.
Because the wait time boards pictured above have develop into increasingly widespread, we’ve observed this has develop into much less and fewer of a difficulty. Presumably, these boards are tied into new know-how Walt Disney World is utilizing on the backend to extra effectively allocate its buses. Regardless of the case, previously few years, we’ve discover appreciable enhancements in Walt Disney World’s bus transportation. Whereas we’d’ve given it a B- rating 4 years in the past, we at the moment are inclined to offer it a B+. Nonetheless, some room for enchancment, however fairly good as an entire.
Planning a Walt Disney World journey? When you’re involved in studying extra about lodges, our Walt Disney World Lodges Evaluations web page is an efficient place to start out. For the place to eat, check out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations web page. If you wish to lower your expenses on tickets or decide which kind you must get, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel have a look at unconventional issues you must take in your journey. When you arrive on the parks, our Walt Disney World “Journey Guides” are nice for figuring out what to do and when to do it. For overviews of all of those subjects and a lot extra, the perfect place to start out is our complete Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information to benefit from your expertise!
What are your Walt Disney World transportation suggestions? Have a “hack” that may save appreciable day without work the norm? What’s your favourite WDW resort from a transportation perspective? Any questions in regards to the numerous types of transportation at Walt Disney World? Do you agree or disagree with our recommendation? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!