Ask a Disney Question: Getting around using Disney transportation.

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Ask a Disney Question: Getting around using Disney transportation. 1

This question comes from Kim. G., who asks:

Do you know if I can get a listing anywhere of all the different ways to get to and from the different parks. We went 2 yrs ago and didn’t even think of using the different transportation. But I thought if I could get a listing somewhere of the different options, then when we go in the spring we could try some of them out. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks!!

Kim, thanks for your question.   This is probably one of the most important questions we get, so I’ll try to answer it in detail. I know from talking to you that you’ve mainly used your own car in the past and are not a fan of the buses and would like to know to know what kind of options Disney offers, particularly the boats.

If you’re staying at an Epcot resort, you can take the Friendship boats between your resort and Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  This is fast, scenic, and convenient.  As an extra bonus, you don’t have to remove children from their strollers and it’s wheelchair and scooter friendly as well.  Anyone can use these boats to get to and from the parks, as well as to and from the resorts; you do not need to be a guest of an  Epcot resort.  There’s plenty to see on the Boardwalk, so if you have some extra time, it’s definitely worth a look.

I frequently don’t use Disney bus transportation.  I think it works very well, but  since I still have two younger children in  a stroller it can be cumbersome. One thing I’ve found is that I can park at Epcot and do a great deal of park hopping without having to use a bus.  So, for example, I might park at Epcot first thing in the morning and head over to Magic Kingdom on the monorail.  I avoid parking at the Magic Kingdom unless I’m staying there all day because it’s so involved (park, go to the  TTC, then onto the park).  Later, I’ll spend a bit of time at Epcot, perhaps heading over to Hollywood Studios on the Friendship boats for Fantasmic and then back to Epcot for extra magic hours.  It might seem like a lot of travel time, but I’ve found that by cutting out the buses, it’s just not as tiring.  Again, this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re trying to avoid the buses for whatever reason, some variation of this is worth a try.

You can also use boats when you’re at Downtown Disney to get to and from Port Orleans Riverside and Saratoga Springs.  Boats transportation is available from all the Magic Kingdom resorts, which includes the Grand Floridian, the Contemporary, Ft. Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, and the Polynesian.  Boats usually take a bit longer than the monorail, depending on the time of day.  Keep in mind that the boats for the monorail resorts are very small.  All resort launches stop at different resorts, so that can add time to your trip.   For example, the Grand Floridian and Poly share the same launch.  If your’re going to the Magic Kingdom from the Grand Floridian, you’ll go from the Grand to the Poly and then make your way back down to the Magic Kingdom. It’s a nice ride, but will take a lot longer than going on the monorail.  Finally, you can travel from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom on a ferry.  The ferries generally hold more people, so while the monorail is slightly faster, if there’s a long line for both, consider taking the ferry.  The view you get of the Magic Kingdom when you’re about 2/3 of the way there is really one of those iconic Disney moments, so sit up top if you can for the best view.

Even if you tend to avoid using the buses normally, the one park I recommend taking Disney transportation for is the Magic Kingdom.  The park is set up in a way that’s designed to heighten anticipation as you get closer. That’s why there’s no parking lot directly next to it.   There was plenty of space for one when the park was built, but Imagineers wanted to make the journey there part of the experience. I appreciate this, but the downside is that by the time you get there, you’ve taken three modes of transportation:  Your own car, a Disney tram (from the parking lot), and finally the boat or monorail. If you take the resort bus to the Magic Kingdom, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time. So consider this as the one exception to avoiding the buses.

I hope this helps. Thanks for reading the site. 

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