Disney Transportation is great! Or at least, it can be. If you know some crucial tips and tricks, navigating the buses, boats, and monorail will soon become a breeze.
With these small suggestions, you can save yourself time, money, and stress.
- There is no parking at the Magic Kingdom: what?! How can this be?! Instead of parking directly at the Magic Kingdom, you will park at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) lot. Once at TTC, you can then catch the monorail or ferry to the Magic Kingdom. The monorail and ferry and complimentary services and do not cost anything to use.
- If you are a guest of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you will receive complimentary parking at the theme parks for the length of your stay. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort, you will need to pay for parking.
- If arriving to the Magic Kingdom by bus, your bus will drop you off at the Magic Kingdom and you can bypass the TTC all together.
- Disney Resort Hotels offer complimentary bus services to and from the parks. Buses depart approximately every 20 minutes. Approximate is a loosely used term here. For peak hours (morning and night), you will see buses more frequently. For off hours (mid-day), transportation may take a little longer.
- If you are using Disney transportation to reach a dining reservation, or other time-sensitive event, make sure to leave your resort at least an hour before you need to arrive to ensure that you give yourself enough time.
- When leaving the Magic Kingdom to reach TTC, the ferry and the monorail have almost the exact travel time. Choose the shorter line, or mix up your experience if you are visiting more than once.
- Buses do not travel between the parks and Disney Springs. If you would like to visit Disney Springs after a park, you will need to take a bus to a Disney resort, and then board the Disney Springs bus from there.
- Ferry transportation to Disney Springs is available from Old Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, Port Orleans Riverside, and Port Orleans French Quarter.
- Stick around after the fireworks. As soon at the fireworks or evening parade ends, there is always a mad rush of guests trying to leave the parks. Stick around and enjoy the last few moments of the park instead of going in the cattle run. Shops stay open during this time and it’s a great opportunity to do some last minute shopping. Trust me, even if you hang around for an extra 45 minutes, you will still get back to your resort at about the same time.
- Friendship Boats provide transportation from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, and Swan and Dolphin resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This boat is not a fast moving vessel – so expect to spend quite some time on the water. However, it is a relaxing ride and perfect if you are not in a hurry.
- The monorail only travels to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- Animal Kingdom can only be accessed by bus or car.
- The Magic Kingdom is within walking distance of the Contemporary Resort. Take advantage of the easy 5 minute stroll.
- The best way to avoid transportation stress is to plan ahead. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time.
- Find what works best for you. Whether you chose to travel by car, bus, monorail, or boat – there is no right or wrong way to reach your destination. Try all of your options and pick the way that works best for you and your family.
Disney has dedicated a lot of resources to making their transportation systems as efficient as possible. However, it always helps to know a few tips and tricks before jumping on board. How do you get around Walt Disney World? Let me know your best time-saving tips in the comments.
Monica is an Alumna of the Disney College Program. When she is not walking down the middle of Main Street USA you can find her wandering the World Showcase, or enjoying a Dole Whip while racing to her favorite attractions. When she is forced to endure life outside of Walt Disney World, you can find her in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she lives and works. You can visit her Disney lifestyle blog here.