How to Use Disney World Transportation Like a Boss: Tips and Tricks for Navigating

How to use Disney World transportation: Disney's Skyliner

Walt Disney World recently added a brand new form of transportation into the mix changing game when you visit. But, which do you pick and when? And what about when crowds are high? Here’s exactly what you need to know for your next visit. From Disney World transportation between parks to which goes where, here’s how to use Disney World transportation like a boss. 

How to use Disney World transportation: Monorail at Epcot

 

In a nutshell, as soon as you’re on Walt Disney World (WDW) property, you’re free to use any and all of its transportation methods to get you where you need to be. Literally, free. Sometimes, it’s a no-brainer, but there are times when you have to use your instinct, honestly. I’ve been navigating WDW property for nearly a decade and have simple tips and tricks to get you where you need to be in the fastest time possible. Let’s dive in!

 

 

Walt Disney World Transportation Methods

First, let’s start with the link for the Walt Disney World transportation map

That’s out of the way, so let’s get into the types of free WDW transportation:

  • Motorcoaches (buses)
  • Monorail
  • Boats
  • Disney’s Skyliner

Motorcoaches are offered at every WDW Resort, theme park, Disney Springs, Disney Water Parks. and mini golf locations. But, they don’t go between all locations mentioned. Also, make sure to download My Disney Experience app and create/link your account to have access to real time resort bus schedules.

Make sense? I’ll talk details next, so let’s hit up the WDW Resorts because they’re the most complicated, in my opinion. 

And speaking of free, here are the best secret free things at Walt Disney World. Take a look to save some serious cash. 

 

Walt Disney World Resort Transportation Methods

How to use Disney World transportation: Motorcoaches
Walt Disney World loves to wrap its motorcoaches with the latest Disney movie themes. Photo Credit: Karyn locke

Each WDW Resort has at least one way to get you everywhere you need to be. I’ll break them down in groups and individually: 

 

Disney World Monorail Resort Transportation Options

How to use Disney World transportation: Monorails

First, let’s talks about the “Monorail Resorts”. They’re called that because, well, they have direct access to the WDW Resort Monorail System that goes to Magic Kingdom. All 3 are Deluxe resorts, but I’m keeping them separate from the other Deluxes to keep things simpler. For reference, there are 8 total Deluxe resorts on WDW property.

Also to note, if there is a DVC property at a resort, you’ll be using the same transportation methods as its Deluxe Resort. 

There are four stops on the Resort monorail system: Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC), Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. 

You’ll be able to get to Epcot, too, but you’ll need to transfer to the Epcot Monorail via Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC).  

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort:

  • Monorail: Magic Kingdom and Epcot via transfer at TTC
  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Note: If the Monorail is down, motorcoach transportation will be provided to Magic Kingdom. 

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort:

  • Monorail: Magic Kingdom and Epcot via transfer at TTC
  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Like Grand Floridian Resort, if the Monorail is down, motorcoach transportation will be provided to Magic Kingdom. 

Disney’s Contemporary Resort:

  • Monorail: Magic Kingdom and Epcot via transfer at TTC
  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness

If the Monorail isn’t running, there’s a short walking path to get to Magic Kingdom. Most times, I find it quicker than waiting for the Monorail, honestly. 

 

Disney World Deluxe Resort Transportation Methods

How to use Disney World transportation: water taxi
A water taxi ride from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Here are the transportation methods for the additional 5 Disney World Deluxe Resorts:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Transportation to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Skyliner: You can walk to the skyliner at the Epcot Stop at International Gateway

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Transportation to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Skyliner: You can walk to the skyliner at the Epcot Stop at International Gateway

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Epcot

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Transportation to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Skyliner: You can walk to the skyliner at the Epcot Stop at International Gateway

 

Disney World Moderate Resort Transportation

WDW Moderate Resorts might be less expensive, but they have plenty of transportation options:

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations. There’s also an internal resort bus 
  • Boat: Transportation to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Skyliner: Caribbean Beach Resort is considered the hub of Disney’s Skyliner, so you’ll have plenty of options. More on Skyliner stops below

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Disney Springs 

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations
  • Boat: Disney Springs 

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations. There’s also an internal resort bus to Outpost bus stop to transfer to theme park buses. 
  • Boat: Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort and Wilderness Lodge

 

Disney World Value Resort Transportation Methods

Half of Disney’s Value Resorts are motorcoach only, but the other half offer additional modes of transportation:

All-Star Movies Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations.

All-Star Music Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations.

All-Star Sports Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations.

Art of Animation Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations.
  • Skyliner: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, Riviera Resort

Pop Century Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations.
  • Skyliner: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Riviera Resort

The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, both water parks and mini golf locations via The Outpost Depot. There’s also an internal bus from the campsites to The Settlement and Meadow Recreation Area. 
  • Boat: Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge ,and Contemporary Resort.

 

Walt Disney World Transportation Between Parks

How to use Disney World transportation: Disney's Skyliner
Photo Credit: Kent Phillips, Photographer for wdwnews.com

Truly, on-property resort transportation is the most difficult, I think. So, let’s get into Disney World transportation between the parks. It’s easiest to name the parks and list the modes.

Tip: At this time, you can’t take a bus straight from a theme park to a waterpark or mini golf course. You’ll need to hop on a resort bus and then switch lines. 

Magic Kingdom

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom, & Hollywood Studios. You can also ride to Disney Springs after 4pm. 
  • Monorail: Epcot via Transportation and Ticket Center transfer

Epcot

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom. You can also ride to Disney Springs after 4pm. 
  • Boat: Hollywood Studios, Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin Hotels via International Gateway
  • Skyliner: Hollywood Studios, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Riviera Resort

Hollywood Studios

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom. You can also ride to Disney Springs after 4pm. 
  • Boat: Hollywood Studios, Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin Hotels via International Gateway
  • Skyliner: Epcot, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Riviera Resort

Animal Kingdom

  • Motorcoach (Bus): Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios. You can also ride to Disney Springs after 4pm. 

 

Disney’s Magical Express 

How to use Disney World transportation: Disney's Magic Express
Disney’s Magical Express. Photo courtesy of wdwnews.com

Disney’s Magical Express (DME) is worthy of its own post, but I’ll cover the points worth mentioning most. DME offers free transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and will take you and your luggage to your on-property resort. During the ride, you’ll be able to watch video and cartoon clips to make the ride faster. 

To take advantage of DME, you’ll need to contact Walt Disney World Guest Services (from the U.S. or Canada call 407-939-1936) and link up your flight numbers. If you’re using a travel agent, he/she can reserve it for you. 

For airport arrivals, you’ll need to head to Level 3 at the Main Terminal. Disney will claim any checked luggage from 5am-10pm. If your arrival is not between those times, you’ll need to collect your own baggage. Then, once checked into DME, you’ll receive a location to board a motorcoach. 

Make sure your departure flight is linked at least a day before you leave. You’ll receive a departure time in a hanging envelope on your door the day before. But, if it’s an emergency (or you completely forgot), head to the front desk to make arrangements. We had to do that once and it really was seamless. You’re departure time will be at least three hours ahead of your flight to allow for enough time to board, check in, and travel time. 

Time for Travel?

How to use Disney World transportation: Monorails

The ever-wondering question is “How much time do I need between WDW locations?” And the truth, it varies everyday. As a general rule, you really should give 90 minutes of travel time to get where you’re going, especially if it’s a timed reservation like table-service dining. I, personally, think that an hour from door to gate is plenty of time, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. 

Having written that, I’ve gotten to places much quicker. I’ve also gotten stuck on the Monorail and missed my 1900 Park Fare reservation. If you feel like you’ll be late, call the official Walt Disney World Guest Services line at 407-939-5277 and give them a heads up. If it’s a legitimate reason, guest services is pretty good at being lenient. Have your confirmation number ready, too.

How to use Disney World transportation: Minnie Van Service
Walt Disney World Minnie Van Service

Right now, there’s one official option for paid transportation: Minnie Van Service. The vans will take you to anywhere on Walt Disney World property and to/from the Orlando International Airport for a fee. Partnering with Lyft, Minnie Van pricing varies depending on where you want to go on property. Hours for the service are 6:30am to 12:30m. 

If it’s to or from the Orlando International Airport, you’ll be charged $150 per ride. Keep in mind, you’re paying for a premium service so expect a premium price. 

Via the official WDW website, here’s how to secure Minnie Van service:

  • Open the Lyft app (you’ll need to create an account) and select your Walt Disney World destination
  • Confirm your pick-up location and tap “Select Minnie Van”; if Minnie Van service is not the default vehicle type displayed, you will need to swipe through your vehicle options until Minnie Van service is displayed
  • The app will display a map tracking the vehicle en route—along with an identifying vehicle number to help you spot your car

Also, you can use either Lyft or Uber to get to a WDW location. If you’re headed to Magic Kingdom, you’ll be dropped off at Transportation and Ticket Center. For Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, there are locations for drop offs and pick-ups in front of each park entrance. You can also be dropped off at WDW Resorts in the same manner, too.  

Ready to learn the ins and outs of Disney World transportation to navigate like a pro on your next vacation? Here's the definitive guide on how to use Disney World transportation like a pro including types of transportation, stops, and which to use! #Disney #WDW #DisneyPlanning #DisneyVacation #Orlando #DisneyWorld #DisneyTips

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