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Walt Disney World Resort
The Ultimate Guide to Getting Around Walt Disney World
April 15, 2024

UPDATED 2024 TRAVEL. There is a lot to consider when planning a Walt Disney World vacation: dates, ticket types, hotels, transportation, and more. That's why we're here to help! One question we get a lot is regarding Walt Disney World transportation options.

There are four main ways most guests travel from their hotel to any theme park at Walt Disney World.

  1. Disney World Monorail above the parks
  2. Walt Disney World Skyliner high in the sky
  3. Disney World Bus Shuttle direct routes
  4. Walt Disney World Ferries via waterways

We’ll talk about each of these, along with other helpful transportation tips like getting to and from the airport and even private Minnie Van transportation within the resort.

Get Away Today Quick Tip: The easiest way to get from one spot to another once you’re on property is to tap “Get Directions” in the My Disney Experience app. The app will give you the most direct route to get you to your destination in no time.

How to Ride the Walt Disney World Monorail

The Walt Disney World Monorail is an iconic piece of many people’s Disney vacations. Watching the monorail pass by is exciting but it’s even more thrilling when you get to ride it from your resort hotel into the theme parks.

The monorail system has 3 separate lines that travel around the resort and begin service approximately 30 minutes before the earliest park opening.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Monorail Stops

The Resort Monorail goes around the Seven Seas Lagoon and makes 5 stops:

Guests staying at a Resort with a Monorail stop must change trains at the Transportation and Ticket Center in order to continue traveling on to EPCOT.

If you're staying at the Polynesian Village Resort you can access the Resort Monorail for Magic Kingdom and just walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center to access the EPCOT Monorail.

Walt Disney World Transportation - The Express Monorail

The Express Monorail line starts at the Transportation and Ticket Center and continues service to the Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World Transportation - The EPCOT Monorail

The EPCOT Monorail line starts at the Transportation and Ticket Center and continues with express service to EPCOT.

Walt Disney World Transportation

You have a few options for Walt Disney World Transportation, and in this article, we break down those choices so you can do what's best for your family. Perhaps the very best part is that three of the Walt Disney World transportation options we detail here are FREE. It doesn't get much better than that!

Walt Disney World Transportation - Disney's Magical Express

Disney's Magical Express service is no longer available. Service concluded in 2021. Get Away Today now recommends booking through MEARS or The Sunshine Flyer. Our concierge team would be happy to help you get either of these transportation options set up with a Walt Disney World® Resort vacation package.

Our team can assist with transportation options between Orlando International airport and the following Disney Resort hotels:

Other Orlando hotels and nearby property transportation may be arranged as well. Please speak to our concierge team by calling 855-GET-AWAY to get started!

Orlando International Airport Transportation - Reservations

Get Away Today recommends MEARS Connect to get you to and from the Most Magical Place on Earth. Our agents can make your reservation in advance as long as you provide us with your flight information.

MEARS Connect has three options for guests: MEARS Connect, MEARS Express, and MEARS Global.

  • MEARS Connect once operated Magical Express for Disney before Disney discontinued the service. This service works exactly as Magical Express did. They offer roundtrip, shared service that may stop at multiple Walt Disney World Resorts along the way.
  • We can book MEARS Connect in advance and up to 24 hours prior to arrival. Your booking confirmation comes directly from MEARS. Once you are within 24 hours of your ride, you will receive a QR code which will be scanned by the MEARS team.
  • MEARS Connect is located where Magical Express used to be in Terminal B, Level 1. This service is offered 24/7.
  • MEARS Connect also offers an Express Service which is a shared ride but will not stop at other Resorts. This is an excellent way to get directly to your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel without making various stops and minimizes your transportation time.
  • MEARS Global provides private sedans, SUVs, limos, and more for your private transportation needs. Costs vary depending on the number of travelers and vehicles selected.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Ticket and Transportation Center

The Ticket and Transportation Center is the central transport hub of Walt Disney World Resort. At this station, you can get Disney transportation via the Ferry, Monorail, and various buses. Buses offer service to Disney Springs, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. To get to a Walt Disney World Resort, you'll need to get to a theme park and change buses. This is also where Get Away Today partner hotels will drop off Walt Disney World guests.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Skyliner

Skyliners combine transportation and attraction elements into one. It is one of the most popular methods of transportation at the Walt Disney World Resort and another reason to book one of the Disney Hotels with direct access to the Skyliner.

The gondola system connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at EPCOT to these Disney Resort hotels:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort

In addition, the International Gateway at EPCOT is a short walk away from these Disney Resort hotels:

  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Skyliner service to the parks normally begins 45-60 minutes before the parks open and ends about one hour after the parks close. Return Skyliner service from the parks back to the hotels continuously throughout the day. Note the Skyliner service can be disrupted due to inclement weather.

Remember if your hotel doesn't offer a direct Skyliner to your desired location, you always use the My Disney Experience app to explore different transportation methods, including making transfers so the Skyliner can be part of your Disney vacation.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Disney Buses

Buses are one of the most common methods of transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort because every one of the Disney Hotels offers a bus service. Whether you're staying in a value, moderate, deluxe, or villa, bus service from the hotels to the parks begins 45 minutes before the parks open and ends one hour after the parks close. Return bus service from the parks back to the hotels continues throughout the day every 20 minutes. The last returning bus leaves two hours after park closings.

If you're headed to one of the Disney Water Parks, bus service begins from the hotels 45 minutes prior to park openings and runs continuously every 30 minutes throughout the day. Return service ends one hour after the water parks close.

If your hotel doesn't offer a direct bus to your desired location, you can catch another bus or a different transportation method at the ticket and transportation center.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Water Transportation

Our Walt Disney World experts personally love the water transportation options at Walt Disney World. Not only do you get from Point A to Point B, but you will usually encounter scenic routes along the way! Both natural and man-made waterways are used to transport Walt Disney World guests.

The Transportation and Ticket Center has three large ferry boats and water taxis that transport guests to the Magic Kingdom. They are the largest of the water options and are accessible. These vessels run continuously.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Hotels to Magic Kingdom Water Transportation

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Walt Disney World Transportation - Hotels to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Water Transportation

  • 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
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

Walt Disney World Transportation - Hotels to Disney Springs Water Transportation

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Insider Tip: In the event of inclement weather, Water Transportation will not be available. However, an alternate form of Walt Disney World transportation will be offered.

Walt Disney World Transportation - Minnie Vans

No, we're not talking about minivans! The Minnie Vans are a transportation option at Walt Disney World that can be ordered through the Lyft app. They're convenient and cute, but are they worth it? Keep reading to find out if this choice is for you!

Walt Disney World Transportation - Minnie Van Costs

Minnie Vans offer transportation anywhere on Disney property, and their cost will vary by destination. Typically, a Minnie Van will be double the cost of a Lyft XL. If you want to reserve transportation from the airport via Minnie Vans, you can expect to budget $150 each way, and that does not include gratuity.

So is the cost of using Minnie Vans worth it? There are definitely situations in which we recommend Minnie Vans for Walt Disney World travel. If you happen to be visiting Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground, Minnie Vans are actually the only rideshare service permitted at certain destinations, such as Hoop de Doo Revue. They are also the only ride-share service allowed to drop guests in the Magic Kingdom bus-loading area (instead of going to the Ticket and Transportation Center).

Another perk of using Minnie Vans is that they are driven by Cast Members who absolutely love their jobs. With the exception of a little princess glitter here and there, the Minnie Vans are also kept quite spotless. They include up to 2 complimentary car seats and extra touches such as music that reflects your destination.

Minnie Vans operate at 6:30 am ET to 12:30 am ET

Walt Disney World Transportation - Rideshare Services

Uber and other rideshare services can be used at Walt Disney World. Lyft operates the Minnie Van service as mentioned above.

For rideshare services other than Lyft’s Minnie Vans this section will be your guide to navigating transportation at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Rideshare apps allow for pick up and drop off in front of your Disney area hotels. This is the same area for other drop-off and taxi services.

When going to and from a Walt Disney World theme park, the app auto-populates approved pick-up and drop-off locations. It will not allow you to select a pick-up location in the middle of a theme park.

Uber and other rideshare services can travel almost anywhere other cars can go, but they cannot go within a restricted or paid parking area.

Rideshares can pick up and drop off nearby or in front of:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom (near the front gate with signage)
  • EPCOT (near the electric vehicle charging stations in the Journey parking lot)
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios (located at the end of the bus stop sections)
  • Transportation and Ticket Center (use this spot for Magic Kingdom)

Walt Disney World Transportation - Walking

Can you walk around Walt Disney World Resort? That is a common question we get from our guests! If you've never been to Walt Disney World you may not realize how large it actually is; as a result, there are not many kingdoms within walking distance of the area hotels. However, here are some tips if you'd like to get some steps in.

Walk to Magic Kingdom from:

  • Contemporary Resort
  • Grand Floridian

Walk to EPCOT from:

  • Beach Club
  • Yacht Club
  • BoardWalk

Walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios from:

  • Beach Club
  • Yacht Club
  • BoardWalk

Once you reach the BoardWalk, the walk is about ¾ mile and takes approximately 15-20 minutes.

We hope this helps you decide on Walt Disney World transportation for your family! If you have additional questions, you're always welcome to reach out to one of our Walt Disney World travel specialists who will help you find the best way, along with travel time estimates for your destinations.

Walt Disney World Vacation Packages

We offer a wide variety of Walt Disney World vacation packages, which you can find online or book by calling 855-GET-AWAY. With five separate kingdoms in Walt Disney World, there is so much to experience, and we can help you plan your dream itinerary.

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