With four major theme parks, two water parks, a shopping and dining district, and numerous resort hotels, Disney World transportation has become a vital part of any Walt Disney World vacation. After all, walking is definitely not an option! Fortunately, Disney offers some unique ways to get around, and most are completely complimentary. Buses, boats, monorails, and even aerial gondolas… Disney World transportation has made it easy and seamless to get where you need to be throughout your vacation.
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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2023? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster, updated nighttime spectaculars, and more!
This is no doubt one of the most common ways to get around Walt Disney World. As you will see below, many resorts offer unique Disney World transportation options such as monorail, Skyliner, or boat. But where these are not available, buses will be your main source of complimentary transportation. Disney bus service between the Disney Resort hotels and their theme parks begins 45 minutes prior to opening and it ends about one hour after the park closes. Bus service to Disney Springs will operate during business hours and ends one hour after closing as well.
Each of the Disney Resort hotels offers one or more bus stops. The buses will load until they are full (which happens a bit more quickly at the moment due to social distancing requirements), and then you will need to wait for the next bus if you didn’t make it onto the current one. Honestly, this wasn’t a huge issue for us on our last trip to Walt Disney World in January 2021. We missed a bus once or twice, but Disney was pretty on top of it when it came to planning how many buses they would need to provide to and from specific resorts and theme parks.
Now, most of the time it’s easy to get to and from the parks without any bus transfers. But occasionally, a transfer might be necessary. (For example, getting to Blizzard Beach from some resorts require a transfer.) Disney does offer a “Get Directions” option on their My Disney Experience app, which is super helpful. Cast members are also available to help.
The Walt Disney World Monorail System has 3 separate lines. The Resort Monorail stops at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). The Express Monorail offers express round-trip service from the TTC to Magic Kingdom, and the Epcot Monorail offers the same express round-trip service from the TTC to Epcot. Keep in mind that this service operates from 30 minutes prior to the earliest park opening until one hour after the latest park closing.
*Currently, the Resort Monorail is not stopping at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort due to a refurbishment at the Great Ceremonial House. We will keep you posted as things change!
Disney Skyliner Transportation
This is Disney’s newest form of Disney World transportation, and in my opinion, it’s one of the most fun options! If I’m being honest, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard that Disney was going to offer Skyliner service to some of the resorts and parks. How would this even work? But leave it to Disney to surprise me yet again with what proved to be one of our favorite ways to travel around Walt Disney World as a family.
These aerial gondolas connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. And if you’re willing to walk about 5-10 minutes, the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot is simply a short walk away from Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
Boat or ferry transportation is most definitely a unique feature of Disney World transportation. Most operate at 15 to 30-minute intervals.
Water taxis connect Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. While Fairyboats connect Magic Kingdom to the Transportation and Ticket Center.
If traveling to Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you would take a Friendship Boat. These boats connect these two parks to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel.
Disney Springs is connected by ferryboat from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
Minnie Van™ Service
Minnie Van™ Service is making its return to the Walt Disney World Resort on June 29, 2022! Connected by Lyft, this service offers point-to-point transportation around Disney property in red, polka-dotted 6-passenger vans. The main difference between this service and typical Lyft service is that Minnie Vans are driven by Disney Cast Members.
Vans can be booked via the Lyft app during operational hours – 6:30 AM to 12:30 AM daily. Simply open the app within the Walt Disney World Resort, confirm your pickup location, and tap “Select Minnie Van.” You’ll be able to track your van on the map, and you will also be able to view the vehicle number to help you spot your car as it arrives to pick you up. Accessible Minnie Vans are also available, and vans will provide up to two complimentary car seats for those under 6 years of age.
Pricing will vary, and standard Lyft cancellation and no-show fees may apply.
Other Disney World Transportation Options
If you enjoy a little more freedom (or privacy) renting a car may be a good option. Keep in mind that there will a parking fee at your resort ($13 to $33 per night depending on your resort). Although if staying at a Disney Resort, parking at the theme parks will be complimentary. Disney makes renting a car pretty simple and even offers some unique services to help you.
Another option is to use a ride-sharing service. While this isn’t free, it does give you some flexibility when it comes to arriving at a park at a specific time. This could come in handy if you have an Advance Dining Reservation or a Genie+ window you are trying to get to on time.
Planning a vacation to Walt Disney World? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to begin planning!