Disney World’s On-Site Transportation

When it comes to transportation at Disney, a flying carpet, a pumpkin carriage, or some pixie dust with happy thoughts may seem like just the ticket to get from one place to another.  Making sure you know some of the basics of the transportation options is very important, that way when the clock strikes 12 you aren’t rushing out to your pumpkin (or late for a dining reservation).

Walt Disney World provides on-site transportation to ALL of their guests via:

  • Magical Express

  • Bus

  • Monorail

  • Ferry, water taxi, or boat

Also,

  • “Minnie Vans” by Lyft

Coming soon

  • Disney’s Skyliner

Magical Express

Walt Disney World Resort guests that will be flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO) will enter the magic of Disney soon after exiting their flight.  They will go to the main terminal and head down to Level 1, Side B and prepare to board the “Disney’s Magical Express”.  Disney’s Magical Express will transport guests to their resort from the airport and back again at the conclusion of their stay at Walt Disney World.

Magical Express Tips

  • Magical Express is complimentary although it is customary to tip your driver ($1-$2 per bag driver stored for you).

  • Do NOT pack your magic bands in your luggage.  They will be scanned to check you into the Magical Express and will be your room key when you arrive to the resort.

  • Disney will pick up any checked luggage for flights arriving into Orlando between the hours of 5am – 10pm.  It typically takes 3-4 hours for the luggage to be delivered to your room.

  • Make sure to pack anything you will need in your carry-on for the time before your luggage is delivered.

    • Swimsuits if you plan on swimming

    • An extra outfit for everyone

    • Medication

  • Car seats are not needed on the Magical Express but if you have one it will be stored under the shuttle in the luggage holding area.

  • If you have small children or babies be prepared with snacks or entertainment in case you have a wait.

  • It will take you about an hour to get to your resort from Magical Express.

  • You will receive a transportation notice from Magical Express the night before stating your pickup time back to the airport.  This is typically 3 to 4 hours before your flight.

  • If you are flying domestically you may be able to take advantage of your resorts airline check-in.  This allows you to check your luggage and print your airline boarding pass.  Make sure to do this at least 3 hours before your flight.

Disney Buses

Disney buses are the most common form of Disney transportation on property.  The buses are complimentary and will help save you the stress of navigating WDW.  Disney states that the buses run “roughly” every 20 minutes.  There are screens at the bus stops that will let you know when you can expect your buses arrival, which is very accurate.

Disney Bus Tips

  • Buses do not travel to the theme parks from Disney Springs.  You will need to take a bus to a resort and then take another bus to the theme park you are going to.

  • Bus service does not travel from resort to resort.  You will need to take the bus from resort A to a theme park and then take another bus (or monorail or water taxi) to Resort B.  Please allow up to 90 minutes when traveling from resort to resort via Disney’s bus system.  A good rule to follow when catching a bus transfer at a theme park is to go to a theme park that is closest to the resort you are trying to go to.

  • Disney buses ONLY travel on Disney property.

  • If you have a stroller with you it will needed to be folded up before you are allowed to get on the bus.

  • No food that is uncovered or liquids in an open cup are allowed to be brought onto the bus.

  • Allow an hour to get between resorts and theme parks via the Disney buses.

  • Bus service isn’t offered from resorts-to-parks when there are other means of transportation offered (monorail, ferry, etc).

Monorail

The monorail system operates on 13.6 miles of track on 3 different lines: Express Line, Magic Kingdom Resort Line, and Epcot Line.

Express Line has stops at:

  1. Ticket and Transportation Center

  2. Magic Kingdom

Epcot Line has stops at:

  1. Ticket and Transportation Center

  2. Epcot

Resort Monorail Line has stops at:

  1. Contemporary Resort

  2. Polynesian Village Resort

  3. Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

  4. Ticket and Transportation Center

  5. Magic Kingdom

The monorail starts running for the day 30 minutes prior to the earliest park opening and closes 1 hour after the latest park closing transporting on average 150,000 people daily.

Monorail Tips

  • Guests may no longer ride in the front car with the driver.

  • For guests with small children you may generally keep the kids in the stroller.  If it is during particularly busy time cast members may request that strollers be folded to be able to fit accommodate more guests.

  • The monorail does accommodate guests in wheelchairs or ECV’s.

Ferry, Water Taxi, or Boats

Ferry

The Ferry boats typically begins operation 30-45 minutes before park opening and cease operation 45-60 minutes after park closing.  When heading from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Magic Kingdom, you have a choice of riding on either the monorail or a ferry (located to the left of the monorail).  I’ve found that although the timing is supposed to be similar,  I enjoy taking the ferry.  The ride is about 6-10 minutes long.  If you notice a long line at the monorail forming, I would head over to the ferry and take a nice relaxing ride, taking in the scenery across the Seven Seas Lagoon.  Seating options are very limited but if you are traveling with a stroller there is no need to fold it while on the ferry.

The ferry boats are named:

  • Admiral Joe Fowler

  • General Joe Potter

  • Richard F. Irvine

Water Taxi

Water taxis are available from some of the moderate and deluxe resorts on property to the theme parks and Disney Springs.  Each of the routes run on 15-30-minute intervals.   Strollers are required to be folded before entry.

There is a boat launch at Magic Kingdom that water taxis to the following resorts:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge

  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Hollywood Studios and Epcot are both available via waterway from the following resorts:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

  • Disney’s Yacht Club

  • Swan and Dolphin Resort

  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort

  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney Springs is available from waterways via these resorts:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside

  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney Minnie Vans

Disney’s “Minnie” Vans by Lyft are a wonderful option for a direct way to get where you are looking to go on Disney property.  They are currently only running from certain deluxe resorts.  Check out our Disney Minnie Van’s article for more information!

Beth Rodgers

Travel Specialist

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Beth Rodgers
Contact Beth when you are ready to start planning your next dream Disney vacation, and receive her complimentary concierge services!

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