One of the perks (or clever ways to keep you on property) of staying at Walt Disney World is the complimentary transportation available to all resort guests. With so many options coupled with more than 20 resorts, it can get a little confusing trying to compare, so here’s a little rundown on the pros and cons of each option.
Get A Car
I’m not gonna lie. I’m a bit of a brat, and this is my preferred method of transportation. More often than not, it’s the quickest way to get somewhere other than a park (like hitting another resort for dining reservation or recreation). Using Disney transportation, you’ll need to get to a park to transfer to a method of transport that goes to the resort. Your own car allows you to take a direct route and leave on your own schedule. As a resort guest, if you have your own transportation, you also have complimentary parking at the parks. And if I’m being totally honest, it’s easier to get over to the outlets to do a little shopping in your own car. 😉
Get Park Wise: If you didn’t drive to Walt Disney World, there are several places on Disney property to pick up a rental. The main Car Care Center near Magic Kingdom even offers shuttles to and from the resorts.
This is basically a version of having your own transportation, but you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot. It does, however, start to add up, so if you’re planning to use it more than a couple times during your stay, consider the taxi fare vs the cost of a rental.
All Disney resorts offer bus transportation. This is probably my least favorite mode of transportation, but it does get the job done. Disney buses are notoriously crowded and are the centerpiece of many a message board argument (not giving up your seat for pregnant women or the elderly, anyone?), but they will get you from point A to B eventually. Here are a few tips to make your (and your fellow bus riders) experience a little more magical. It’s tempting to let junior sleep just a little longer in the stroller after a day in the park, but if your bus is here and you’re near the front of the line, start packing that sucker up (the stroller, not junior). Unlike some other modes of transportation, strollers must be folded, so save everyone some time and be ready to board.
On buses that accommodate them, ECVs will be loaded first, in addition to the accompanying party. Other guests in line will have to wait, so don’t attempt to board the bus until the ECV has been secured and the bus driver has invited you aboard. Other than that, just remember that a little common courtesy (and deodorant) goes a long way.
Get Park Wise: Animal Kingdom Lodge is the only deluxe resort that offers strictly bus transportation. This may be information to keep in mind when choosing your resort.
Watercraft is the next most popular form of Walt Disney World transportation. It’s available as a resort-to-park or resort-to-Downtown Disney (aka Disney Springs) option at most deluxe resorts and the Port Orleans Resorts. Ferries are also available from the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and Magic Kingdom, as well as Friendship Boats between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The Friendships also serve as resort-to-park and resort-to-resort transportation for the Epcot area resorts. Strollers can remain unfolded on the larger vessels but must be folded on the smaller launches.
Get Park Wise: Ask the captain, driver or pilot of your chosen transport for a trading or safety card. These are a fun keepsake and free of charge!
One of the more unique options at Walt Disney World is the monorail. Available as resort-to-park transportation at three deluxe resorts, the monorail is available to all guests as a means to get from the TTC to Magic Kingdom. There are two lines available, the express that travels directly between the TTC and Magic Kingdom without stops and the resort line that makes stops at the Contemporary, Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian, in addition to the TTC and Magic Kingdom. If you’re a guest of the resorts on the monorail line, you will be made aware of any operating schedule changes. If not, pay attention to signage, as the resort line has been operating on a reduced schedule.
The monorail, like bus and watercraft, is available to all guests, including non-resort guests. Monorails also accommodate ECVs, wheelchairs and unfolded strollers. As a toddler, my little one loved to ride around and around the resort line. On our most recent trip, we chatted with a couple traveling with their adult autistic son, and they’d been riding the monorail for a couple of hours because he loved it so much. He was very excited to tell us about the safety announcements!
What’s your favorite method for getting around at Walt Disney World? Are there enhancements or changes that you’d like Disney to make to resort transportation? Let us know in the comments below as well as voting in the poll.