Our Guide to Walt Disney World Transport has all the essential information for driving, staying offsite, or using 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, monorails & ferries, you will be transported around Walt Disney World for free. The latest travel addition to the resort is the Disney Skyliner gondola lift system, which opened in 2019.
Guide to Walt Disney World Transport Jumps
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- 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
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 operate until one hour after Disney Springs closes. However, don’t worry if you have a delayed dining experience; Disney will not leave you stranded.
Planning your transportation route can be a little tricky at Walt Disney World. However, if you click Get Directions on My Disney Experience, you will discover the transportation options available and the required route. In addition, if you ask cast members, they will be happy to provide assistance.
Buses at Walt Disney World
With over 350 buses, Walt Disney World possesses 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 must usually change transport at a Theme Park or Disney Springs. You can no longer get direct buses from the theme parks to Disney Springs. At a Walt Disney World resort, you can check when the next bus is due by looking at My Disney Experience.
While we say Disney World buses are usually reliable, read about our Adventure Last Year when the driver got lost!
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 transport to either 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 routes.
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 Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
• Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
• Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Ferryboats connect the 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
Ferry services will stop during periods of bad weather and usually before any storm hits Walt Disney World. All strollers must be folded and stowed out of the aisle.
The Disney Skyliner is the newest transportation method at Walt Disney World and officially opened on September 29, 2019.
The Disney Skyliner is a Gondola Lift System that connects EPCOT and 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
It is anticipated that the Skyliner will be extended further, connecting more resorts, plus possibly Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs.
The EPCOT station uses the quieter International Gateway Entrance, perfectly located for riding Ratatouille.
Caribbean Beach acts as the Hub of the Skyliner System. There are two 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 two benches. Standing during your journey is strictly forbidden. There are disabled-accessible Gondolas that fit a maximum of 6 guests.
Surprisingly there is no air conditioning on the gondolas. Instead, they feature reflective panels to avoid direct sunlight and cross-ventilation windows allowing airflow.
The Skyliner has a 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
How quickly your journey will take will depend on how long it takes to transfer at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, if required.
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. Guests can be transported in a dedicated Minnie Van anywhere within Walt Disney World, but the service is not cheap. Y
Disney had obviously spotted the opportunities in the Uber/Lyft market and 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 two junior car seats are available for all vehicles. There are options for Wheelchairs and Scooters, but you may wait longer. The availability of accessible vehicles and car seats is a big positive.
In our opinion, the costs of the Minnie Van Service are excessive, and both Uber & Lyft provide a much more reasonably priced service.
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. Other services must drop off at the Ticket & Transportation Center for the Magic Kingdom.
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 reach your final destination. Navigating 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. This is your only realistic option if you stay in an offsite villa.
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 and staying offsite, you must pay to park. Complimentary parking has recently been reintroduced for all Disney Resort Guests.
Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night. Valet parking is complimentary for guests with disabilities.
Guests not staying in a Disney Resort pay one fee for a parking pass good all day at all four theme parks. Parking rates are now 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, and select Annual Passholders, receive complimentary standard self-parking at Disney Parks.
There is no charge at water parks or Disney Springs for standard parking.
Several Electric Vehicle Charging Points are now available at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot & Disney Springs. They are available on a first-come basis.
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.
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 the expected journey cost.
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 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 will arrange this for you, depending on how helpful they are. If there are more than 3 of you, getting a taxi or Uber is 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 reach 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 recent 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. A car is usually the only option if you stay in an Orlando Villa. While you might manage using taxis for a couple of days. This will soon add up to a very expensive option for longer stays.
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 your resort from the airport.
Guests no longer benefit from complimentary transportation from Orlando International through Disney’s Magical Express. Private companies have set up a number of shuttle options as a replacement. The services are not cheap; a taxi might work out cheaper for some guests.
The main two options are currently Mears Connect and the Sunshine Flyer. Both options get reasonably good write-ups, and everyone seems to have their favorite. We used Mears Connect and found it was good, but we recommend looking around before deciding.
It is also worth costing up an Uber or Lyft as if you can maximize the capacity in the taxi; it will often work out cheaper.
If you arrive at Orlando Sanford Airport, taxis, and shuttles are available. However, Sanford is a longer drive to Walt Disney World, so costs will be higher.
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.