You can fly there. You can drive there. But how do you get around once you actually GET there? If you so choose, you never have to drive yourself anywhere once you are on the Walt Disney World property. If you are a resort hotel guest and you drove your own car (or a rental car) to the hotel, your parking is free. But for those of you who maybe drove eight or more hours to get to Disney, it is kind of relief to not have to drive again while enjoying your vacation. Disney offers you many options to get you from your hotel to the parks, or from park to park, and even hotel to hotel.
Option number one: Disney busses. All of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels offer bus service to and from the parks. Each park has a bus for each individual hotel (although the three All-Star resorts share their bus a lot of the time). The bus service is free and it is relatively idiot-proof. It gets you from point A to point B with little fuss. The average turn around time is about 20 minutes. That is the amount of time a Disney Cast Member (CM) will tell you that you will have to wait for another bus to arrive. What you do have to take in to consideration is that these busses will be ridiculously full first thing in the morning and when the parks close at night. Honestly, some of the scariest rides I’ve been on have been the busses at night because not only is every seat filled but the entire aisle way is jam packed with people standing. Sometimes, I’ve even seen small children standing and that just seems a little un-safe.
Option number two: The Monorail. There are only a few of the resort hotels that are on the Monorail “Loop”; they include The Grand Floridian, The Contemporary, and the Polynesian. The beauty of this is that there are two monorail tracks and one of them only serves the hotels. This loop will take you to the Magic Kingdom, the other hotels or to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). These are air conditioned cars, the ride is smooth, and it is most definitely a quieter commute than the busses. The monorail’s second track takes you from the Magic Kingdom to the TTC which can then take you on to Epcot. It’s really a nice ride to take because while you may think that Disney property is completely utilized, by taking a ride or two on the Monorail loop, you will see just how much property there is that is undeveloped.
Option number three: Boats. There is a ferry boat that takes you from the TTC to Magic Kingdom. There are smaller boats that take you from Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian. There are boats that take you from Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge over to the Magic Kingdom and the monorails. There is a boat that takes you around from Epcot to the Boardwalk Inn Resort and over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Other than the ferry over at Magic Kingdom, these are much smaller boats and make for a cozy ride. But the scenery is beautiful and most of the rides are relatively short. The breeze is lovely.
There is also transportation within the parks. For example, you can get around the Magic Kingdom (literally) via the Walt Disney World Railroad. It has stops at the Main Street Station right by the parks main entrance, Frontierland and Mickey’s Toontown. This is a great way to take a little bit of a break with the kids and get away from the crowds for a bit. In Epcot, you can take a boat ride from Future World across to World Showcase via the lagoon. It’s a quick trip but saves you a lot of walking time.
Most of the parks also offer tram service in their parking lots to save you some of your walking time to get from your car to the park entrance. With all of the walking you are bound to do while you are actually IN the parks, saving a little bit of steps is a blessing!
A few extra forms of transportation that you can enjoy while you are staying at Walt Disney World has nothing to do with the parks. You can rent bicycles along the Boardwalk as well as some of the other resorts. Many of the resorts also have marina’s where you can rent paddle boats, canoes or even small power boats. No matter what you are doing in Disney or how you want to get there, Disney has the vehicle for you!