by Wishes Diva
When visiting Walt Disney World there is so much to do and so much to see! One thing to be considered is how do you get the places you want to go! There are several options depending on where you are and where you want to be, and hopefully this article proves a helpful tool in navigating your way through all the transportation options at WDW.
Magical Express: This is a great transportation option to begin and end your vacation! Through your My Disney Experience app you can reserve a spot on this bus system that will pick you up at Orlando International Airport and take you to your resort, luggage and all! For more information about how to add this service to your trip, check out Military Diva’s article here!
Buses: Buses are a great option for transportation if you are staying at a Disney resort, and they are free! From any of the resorts on Disney property you can catch a bus or a series of buses to almost anywhere you want to go. Getting to the parks is easy- each resort has bus stops for every park. If you aren’t sure where they are for your resort check at the front desk! For the Value Resorts the bus stops are typically located at the main building where the Food Court and Gift Shop are. For Moderate Resorts you will definitely want to ask at the front desk area if you are unsure because these resorts can sometimes have multiple stops so you may find one closer to your room than you think! For the Deluxe Resorts the stops are usually in the Main Building as well. Something to keep in mind is that when you are waiting on the buses there will be screens nearby that will show you the estimated arrival time of the next bus! You can also find this information on the My Disney Experience app on your phones (keep in mind this feature only works when you are on property so you won’t be able to view it from home.)
Overall I think the buses are a great way to get around if you’re not in a hurry or if you plan accordingly. Disney advertises that buses run approximately every 20 minutes but that is definitely subject to change. In the mornings and evenings Disney does try to run more buses to help with crowds going to and from the parks. However in the middle of the day it can be hit-or-miss as to how long you may have to wait for a bus to come to your stop. To get more information about keeping the magic in your bus ride, check out Disney Magic Diva’s article here!
Minnie Vans: These vans, that are sponsored by Disney, can be hired through the Lyft app. Disney has decked out these vans to be perfectly polka-dotted just like our favorite female mouse! The rates will vary depending on how far of a distance that you are traveling. You can find out more information regarding how the vans work by visiting the Walt Disney World website or if you want to read a personal account of using them check out Disney Magic Diva’s article about taking a ride here!
I have not personally had the opportunity to ride in a Minnie van but I can tell you they are great if you are on a time crunch and want to spend the extra money to get where you’re going without waiting on a bus or other mode of transportation. For my family, we typically plan on waiting the extra 20-30 minutes and don’t typically want to spend the extra cash to travel while on property!
Monorail: This is, in my opinion, the most fun way to travel around Walt Disney World! The monorail system is great to travel to a specific list of places. There are two monorail lines. The first one is the resort line that connects the Polynesian, the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom. If you are staying at one of those resorts it is a fantastic asset to have and use. It is also really fun to ride around and check out the sites around the Seven Seas Lagoon! The second monorail line connects two theme parks: EPCOT and Magic Kingdom- it also connects these two parks to the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC). This monorail ride is a lot of fun because you not only get to ride above the cars traveling around property but you also get to take a ride through some of the attractions at EPCOT!
I think that the monorail system is great, if it is serving the areas you need! But it can also serve as a fun, relaxing way to spend some down time. We like to eat and the restaurants that are in some of the resorts on the monorail loop so we always make it a point to take the time to ride it around a bit for fun while we are over there! For more information on the monorail check out these video tips!
Driving Yourself: Obviously one of the options for transportation is to drive yourself around property! Whether you drive down for your vacation or rent a car while you are visiting, having a car can be a definite perk! However with every good there can also be some inconveniences. For example, if you drive and park at the resort Disney now has a parking fee that is added to your room stay. They will typically add it if they do not see any airfare or Magical Express on your reservation so be sure to keep an eye out for that. The other thing is that if you are driving to the parks you never know how far out you may end up parking while means more time waiting on the parking lot tram to pick you up, or more time walking back to the car with tired feet. That being said, if you are staying on property you are able to park for free at the parks for the length of your stay, so be sure to inform the Cast Member at the parking window!
The one major plus side to having your own car on property is you are not ever having to wait on your ride. You’re schedule can be a lot more flexible and you have the ability to come and go whenever you choose! My family does typically drive to Disney, but once we are there we usually leave our car parked and take advantage of the Disney Transportation options so we can have the luxury of someone else driving us around all week!
Boats: One of the least-known transportation options are the boats at Walt Disney World. The main boat option is the ferry located at the TTC and it takes you from Magic Kingdom parking to the front gate across Seven Seas Lagoon. This option would be for someone who drives themselves to the parks. (If you don’t take the ferry from the parking lot then you’ll take the monorail, so either way you have a step between your car and the front gate.) There are also several other resorts that are connected to the parks by water way. For a complete list, and to see if you’re resort is one of those, check out the Walt Disney World website here!
As I stated before, there are tons of options for getting around the Walt Disney World property. My advice, as always, is to plan ahead! Use a travel agent or do your research to find out your best, most efficient way to travel around do you don’t spend your precious vacation time waiting around too long for your ride!