Our Guide to Walt Disney World Transport has all the essential information if you are driving, staying offsite or making use of the Disney Transport Network.
Getting around Disney World via Walt Disney World Transport is easy. Disney has its own fantastic internal travel network. From buses, monorail & ferries you will be transported around Walt Disney World for free. Also, opening September 29, 2019, the new Disney Skyliner will increase your transportation options.
Guide to Walt Disney World Transport Jumps
Are you looking for specific information in our Guide to Walt Disney World Transport? Click on the jumps to take you straight to the information.
- Walt Disney World Transport the
Basicshow to plan your journey around Walt Disney World
- Buses at Walt Disney World
- The Walt Disney World Monorail
- Disney World Boats & Ferries
- Disney Skyliner the new gondola system at Walt Disney World
- Minnie Van Service Disney’s own taxi service
- Transportation from other Orlando Resorts all about resort shuttles
- Driving to Walt Disney World
- Walt Disney World Parking Charges
- Getting to other attractions from Walt Disney World
- Do you need to hire a car? Is hiring a car necessary
- Airport transportation including Disney’s Magical Express
Walt Disney World Transport the Basics
Complimentary transportation is available from all Walt Disney World Resorts 45 minutes before Disney Theme Park opening time up to one hour after Disney Theme Park closing time. Additionally, buses run until 2:00 a.m. from the Disney Springs Area.
Although reliable, Disney Transport does take a little longer than driving so remember to leave plenty of time if you have made dining or Fastpass reservations.
Planning your transportation route can be a little tricky at Walt Disney World. This transport navigation tool created by WDW Prep School is a fantastic tool to help plan your journey.
Previously there have been 3 main forms of complimentary transportation at Walt Disney World buses, monorail & ferries. However, the new Disney Skyliner adds an additional option:
Buses at Walt Disney World
With a fleet of over 350 buses, Walt Disney World is the third largest bus fleet in Florida.
All the major Walt Disney World areas are accessible by bus. Buses are usually frequent and reliable but can get very crowded. All buses are air-conditioned and have wheelchair access.
It is worth remembering that direct routes are not available to all locations. To travel to another resort you will usually have to change at either a Theme Park or Disney Springs. There are also no buses from Disney Springs to the theme parks. However, you can travel to Disney Springs from the theme parks after 4 p.m. When at a Walt Disney World resort you can check when the next bus is due by looking at My Disney Experience.
The Walt Disney World Monorail
The monorail has three separate beams that travel throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.
When working correctly, the monorail is a rapid method of transportation. G
The first beam makes the following stops:
• Magic Kingdom theme park
• Disney’s Contemporary Resort
• Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
• Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
•Transportation and Ticket Center
The other monorail beams provide transportation to Epcot or The Magic Kingdom from the Transportation & Ticket Center.
Disney World Boats & Ferries
Several complimentary ferries operate at Walt Disney World. The boats offer a scenic route to your destination but are usually slower than alternative ways.
The following routes run at Walt Disney World:
Magic Kingdom theme park is accessible by water launch (also known as water taxi) from:
• Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
• Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
• Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
• Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
• Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Ferryboats connect Magic Kingdom theme park to the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Epcot Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park are accessible by boat from:
• Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas Resort
• Disney’s Beach Club Resort
• Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
• Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
• Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Disney Springs Area is accessible by ferryboat from:
• Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
• Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
• Disney’s Old Key West Resort
• Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
The Disney Skyliner is the newest transportation method at Walt Disney World and officially opens on September 29, 2019.
The Disney Skyliner is a Gondola Lift System which will connect Epcot & Hollywood Studios to the following resorts:
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort/Pop Century Resort(shared station)
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort (opening December 2019)
It is anticipated, that the Skyliner will be extended further in the future connecting more resorts, plus the Animal Kingdom & Disney Springs.
Caribbean Beach will act as the Hub of the Skyliner System. There are 2 main lines to the system. Guests can travel direct from Hollywood Studios to Art of Animation/Pop Century via Caribbean Beach. The Epcot/Riviera Resort line terminates at Caribbean Beach, where all guests must transfer.
Although it sounds complicated the route is actually relatively simple.
Gondolas fit up to 10 people on 2 benches. Standing during your journey is strictly forbidden. There are disabled accessible Gondolas which fit a maximum of 6 guests.
Surprisingly there is no air conditioning on gondolas. Instead they will feature reflective panels to avoid direct sunlight and cross-ventilation windows that allow for air flow.
The Skyliner has capacity for 4500 guests per hour, and gondolas have a cruising speed of 11 mph. In addition, due to the directness of the service there are some pretty impressive journey times:
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 5-6 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: under 6 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Riviera Resort: about 5 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to International Gateway at Epcot: approximately 15 minutes
Just how quick your journey will take will depend on how long it takes to transfer, if required, at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Finally, if you are planning to use the Skyliner keep an eye out for bad weather. The service will not operate when there are storms in the area.
Minnie Van Service
Minnie Van is a private taxi service offered at Walt Disney World. Minnie Vans are not complimentary and has been gradually rolled out over the last couple of years to now include all guests. Guests can be transported in a dedicated Minnie Van anywhere within Walt Disney World, but the service is not cheap. You can also be transported from Orlando International.
Disney had obviously spotted the opportunities in the Uber/Lyft market and have created their own competitor. Actually, Disney is running this service with Lyft and you need access to the Lyft App.
Up to 6 guests can travel in 1 car, and there are 2 junior car seats available for all vehicles. There are options for Wheelchairs and Scooters, but you may wait longer. The availability of accessible vehicles, and car seats are a big positive.
When the service started it initially ran as a fixed fee. However, the service currently costs $15 + $2.75 a mile. In our opinion the costs of the Minnie Van Service is excessive and both Uber & Lyft provide a much more reasonably priced service. The Minnie Van Service is also available to and from Orlando International and at the time of writing costs an astonishing $150 each way.
One advantage the Minnie Van Service has over Uber, Lyft and traditional taxis is drop off and pick up points. The Minnie Van Service has much nearer points to the entrance at all theme parks. For the Magic Kingdom other services have to drop off at the Ticket & Transportation Center.
Transportation from O
ther Orlando Resorts
Staying at a non-Disney Resort does not mean you can’t get transport to the parks. The majority of hotels in Orlando offer transportation to Walt Disney World. Sometimes there is a fee for this service, or it is included in a compulsory Resort Charge.
Services provided by hotels, vary in quality but looking at hotel review sites will provide plenty of information.
Shuttles are often shared between hotels and do not necessarily drop you at the Theme Park. Many shuttles stop at a more distant bus stop or at the Transportation & Ticket Center. You might need to use Disney Transportation to get you to your final destination. Having to navigate additional transportation can easily add an extra hour to your journey.
Driving to Walt Disney World
Many guests choose to hire a car when in Orlando. If you are staying in a villa offsite, this is your only realistic option.
Orlando roads are good quality and well signposted. The quality of roads extends when you are in Walt Disney World, which has an extensive well-maintained road network.
Walt Disney World Parking Charges
If you are driving you will have to pay to park. Complimentary parking is no longer free for Disney Resort Guests who now have to pay a daily rate but this does include theme park parking.
Current parking rates for Walt Disney World Resorts Guests are:-
For reservations made before June 18, 2019 for arrivals in 2019 or 2020:
- Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night
For reservations made June 18, 2019 and thereafter for arrivals in 2020:
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Disney Vacation Club members are excluded from parking charges and there is no charge for guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night
Guests not staying in a Disney Resort pay one fee for a parking pass good all day at all 4 theme parks. Parking rates are nows seasonal and are :
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45-$50 per day
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $30 per day
Registered Guests of Disney Resort Hotels, select Annual Passholders enjoy complimentary standard self-parking at Disney theme parks.
There is no charge at water parks or Disney Springs for standard parking.
A small number of Electric Vehicle Charging Points are now available at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot & Disney Springs.
Getting to other Orlando Attractions from Walt Disney World.
Disney World & Universal do not run transport to each other’s parks. However; it is not difficult to get between Universal and Disney.
Your options really depend on how many of you there are. The easiest option is to get a taxi from outside your hotel. Expect to pay $50-$60 each way.
Perhaps not as easy but cheaper is catching an Uber or Lyft. Uber & Lyft are both cashless taxi services.
You order your taxi from an App, and your payment is taken from a pre-registered card. Before your driver arrives, you will receive details of the driver, previous reviews, the car, and expected cost of your journey. We have never waited longer than a few minutes for an Uber.
In our opinion, Uber & Lyft are game-changers and work out far cheaper than regular taxis. With a full audit trail, it also feels a lot safer. The only negative is you must have access to either 3G/4G or WiFi to order a taxi.
An alternative option to get between Universal and Disney is a shared bus. Mears offers a service which we have used before. Your resort concierge; depending on how helpful they are; will arrange this for you.
If there are more than 3 of you getting a taxi or Uber works out cheaper than a shuttle. However, for couples, it is an option worth considering. Your bus will also make multiple stops for pickups and drop-offs so it will take longer to get to your destination than a taxi.
Walt Disney World Without a Car is it viable?
In my opinion, you don’t need a car when visiting Walt Disney World. On our last few trips to Orlando, we have managed without a car just fine
Orlando without a car is not practical in all situations, e.g. if you are staying in a hotel without shuttle transportation. If you are staying in an Orlando Villa having a car is really the only option. While you might manage using taxis for a couple of days. This will soon add up to a very expensive option for longer stays.
However; if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort or a nearby hotel which provides park shuttles, you will be fine.
We have created a guide to navigating Walt Disney World Without a Car. The guide also includes information on how to get to Universal Orlando, other Orlando attractions and getting to your resort from the airport.
All guests staying at Walt Disney World benefit from complimentary transportation from Orlando International through Disney’s Magical Express.
Once you are through immigration and baggage claim follow the signs to Disney’s Magical Express which is located on Side B Level 1. You will need to quickly register at the check-in desk. You can, and are advised to, register prior to your vacation. Guests who have registered in advance, and already have their Magic Band, simply tap the post on arrival to check-in.
Once checked-in you will be transported to your resort via Disney’s Magical Express. Usually, there is a short wait before your coach is available. The service is a shared ride so the might be drop-offs at other hotels first.
Between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm domestic arrivals & those International arrivals who check luggage in with Disney Staff can have their luggage directly delivered to their hotel room. Alternatively; you can transfer your own luggage with you on the Magical Express.
If you are returning to Orlando International Airport at the end of your vacation the day before check-out a Transportation Notice will be delivered to your room. You will need to bring with you this notice to board your coach.
Disney’s Magical Express really is a good service even if it is not quite a “magical” experience.
If you are arriving at Orlando Sanford airport things are not so easy. There is no Magical Express at Sanford. Your options are taxi or shuttle but they are not cheap. Expect to pay up to $150 for a taxi.
Read More About Walt Disney World
Our Guide to Walt Disney World for Beginners is a great place to start planning a Walt Disney World Vacation. The guide has tips &tricks for Newbies and Repeat Walt Disney World Visitors.
Leave a Reply