Saturday, 5 January 2019

Staying on site at a Disney hotel has many benefits and perks, extra magic hours, beautifully themed rooms and what I think is one of the biggest perks of all, use of the Disney World transportation system from right on your doorstep.

First off, lets take a look at all the modes of transportation available at the Walt Disney World Resort.


Disney buses are probably the most commonly used transportation method throughout WDW as there are simply so many of them.
Disney buses provide one of the widest and most frequent networks between the resorts and all of the parks.

There isn't a resort or park that isn't service by the Disney Bus system, and so you will quickly find it becomes a huge part of your trip.

Personally I love everything about them, the voice over that tells you about the park you are headed to, the smell as soon as you step on (i'm weird I know) and when the Florida sun is at its peak, the air con on board is really appreciated.

When using the bus system, make sure you get on the right one. The name the resort or park will be on the front and the bus will only stop at this point. It doesn't for example stop at each of the parks consecutively.

When you are ready to leave a park, you will find boards with each resort/park on and a number system so that you can head direct to the bus stop you need with ease.


You will find a number of different watercraft options available from select locations across WDW and this is the option most people know the least about as it is quite specific and doesn't cover the entirety of WDW.

The most well known/used option is the ferry system which takes passengers from the TTC (where guests visiting the Magic Kingdom park their car) over to the Magic Kingdom and vice versa.
As you might have guessed, the ferries are pretty big and are designed to carry lots of guests across the lake.

There are also a variety of much smaller boats which carry you over to certain resorts from MK or back again. (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary,Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness)

If you are staying at Old Key West, Saratoga Springs or either of the Port Orleans resorts you can take advantage of the smaller pontoon style boats over to Disney Springs and back again.

Finally there are the Friendship boats which travel between The Boardwalk, Epcot and Hollywood Studios (including stops at Yacht and Beach Club and the Swan and Dolphin).

The Monorail

Possibly the most famous of all Disney transportation is the Monorail. 

This once futuristic marvel is now more a relic in disney parks terms. Much loved by Disney Enthusiasts and newbies alike it consists of 2 'loops'.

The first runs in a sort of circle between MK, The Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian resorts and the TTC. 

The second loop runs between Epcot and The TTC.

Other Options

Minnie Vans

Minnie vans are a pretty new addition to Walt Disney World, and are quite simply a taxi covered in a Minnie design operated by Lyft, which you order through the app. 

This service comes at a cost and is significantly more expensive than just a regular taxi but it does add a little extra magic to your day.

The drivers are Disney cast members, so they know property well and can help you with anything you may need to know. I have heard stories about children being given stickers and even extra fastpasses! 

The vans also come with complimentary car seats, so if you are travelling with babies or toddlers this could be really good for you as most taxis don't include these. 

Disney Skyliner (Coming Soon)

The Disney Skyliner will be joining the line up around fall 2019. 

This gondola style system will connect Disney's Caribbean beach, Pop Century, Art of animation and the (not yet opened) Riviera resort with both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. 

The views are sure yo be spectacular, though it is likely that this system may not operate during certain times of year depending on weather in the area. 

More to come soon!

Disney Transportation Facts and Tips 

1. It Wont Cost You a Dime

Yes thats right, apart from Minnie vans, disney transportation is completely free. You just hop on and hop off and you aren't expected to tip your drivers. 

2. It can be used by anyone

Although its a massive perk of staying on property, to have the bus stops etc right outside your door, anybody visiting WDW can use any part of the transportation system with no cost. 

Most first timers don't realise you dont have to scan your band or show a ticket etc so if you are visiting the parks from a nearby hotel you are welcome to take a bus to Disney springs or between parks etc 

3. As a general rule there is no direct transportation between resort hotels. 

Exceptions to this would be resorts on the monorail loop and those that are serviced by the friendship boats ( see above).

If you have dining reservations at a hotel you are not staying at, you would need to make your way to the nearest park and then on to the resort where you are dining. I recommend you allow up to 90 minutes for this. Alternatively you could use a Minnie Van/Uber

4.  Wait Times

Although disney doesn't operate a set schedule, the general timing between each bus, boat and monorail is around 15 minutes. Like any bus system in the UK you will sometimes find you wait a bit longer, you might also find you just miss one, but then another comes 2 minutes later. It really varies. 

You can check how long until the next bus is due on the screens at the stops and since 2018 you can also track this on the My Disney Experience app when on property so you needn't rush to leave your room if their isn't one due. 

5. All currently operating Disney Transportation is Air Conditioned.

Fantastic you say. Well yes, the majority of the time this is true, however some points to consider...

Leaving the parks late at night with tired or even sleeping children. You may want to take a jacket or blanket as it can get uncomfortably chilly. 

Also when leaving the waterparks. I always like to make sure I dry myself and particularly my hair or again this can be really uncomfortable on a baltic 20minute bus journey back to the room. 

6. There are no buses from Disney Springs to the Disney parks. 

This is done to stop people from parking for free at Disney Springs all day. If you really want to do this (and I dont blame you, parking is about $25 a day) you will need to get a bus to any resort and then another on to the park of choice.

It is also important to note that you cannot get a bus from Disney Springs to any of the Magic Kingdom resorts before 11am. This is done pretty much for the same reasons as I have said.

7. Disney transportation is an Attraction 

The different transportation options across disney property really are an attraction in themselves.
I like to make sure I use both boats and the monorail as well as just the buses every trip.

The views on certain trips/crossings are really spectacular and worth the ride alone. My favourites include:

Ferry from TTC to MK, this is the best way in my opinion to start your trip to WDW. It is the only option which allows you views of cinderella castle as well as the railroad and space mountain before you even set foot in the park. what better way to build the excitement for your MK day. 

Monorail to Epcot, When taking this option to Epcot, the mono does a little loop around spaceship earth before it pulls into the station. This gives you the best views of this iconic attraction as well as future world and glimpses of world showcase as you go around the back of the big ball. 

Boat from Saratoga Springs to Disney Springs, this ride is a great way to simply rest your legs and relax for 15 minutes. Often half empty, these little boats offer beautiful views of the boathouse, the Edison and the characters in flight hot air balloon. 

8. Transportation Doesn't Run 24/7

Not that you should need it to, but some people don't realise that disney transport generally starts running from around 90 minutes before the respective park opening. 

Example, if animal kingdom opens at 9am, you can expect to see buses from your resort to AK around 7.30am, so if you have booked breakfast at Tusker House for 8am you might be cutting this a bit too fine and need to get a taxi instead. 

The last ride of the day will be around 90 minutes after a park closes. 

Do you have any transportation tips for Disney Property? Or perhaps you still have questions? Feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer any queries you have. 

For more complex enquiries or question, please feel free to email me directly:

K x 

#waltdisneyworld #minnievan #disneymonorail #disneyparks #disneyworldflorida #disneyplanning

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