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Your Complete Guide to Walt Disney World Transportation

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Being such a large property, Walt Disney World Resort has lots of ways to get around to the many theme parks, resort hotels, water parks and Disney Springs. With buses, monorails, boats and gondolas, you have many options to choose from. And best of all, all of these options are toadally free! We frogs are here to help you hop from place to place as efficiently as possible. This guide breaks down each mode of transportation and any tips to keep in mind. Let's get movin'!

Monorail at EPCOT

Overview of Walt Disney World Transportation

One of the perks of staying on-site at Walt Disney World is the free ride around the resort. By gondola, car, ferry or monorail, you can hop straight from your Walt Disney World Resort hotel to the theme parks and Disney Springs! From the time Tad was a teeny tiny tadpole, he's loved collecting Disney Transport Official Collector Cards to document all of the different ways he jumped around during a particular trip. For Lily, card collecting is not her bag, but the monorail is always a must-do, a magical experience each and every time for our little froglet. And now, Walt Disney World has even added "The Most Magical Flight on Earth" — aka the Skyliner transportation system — to its fleet! With so many options to get around, it can feel like a puzzle to know how to get where using what.

Anyone can access Disney World transportation (not just those staying on-site) and they operate on fairly regular schedules. Generally, services begin about an hour before park open and stop about an hour to an hour and a half after park close. If you’re planning to hit the parks early or leave with the closing crowds, make sure to factor in more time than usual (and pack your patience!).

Guide to Disney World Transportation - Parking trams

If you don’t want to depend solely on Disney transportation or don’t wish to be around others in these enclosed spaces, you may want to consider walking, using a ride-sharing service (Minnie Van Service is back, as of June 29, 2022) or driving yourself in your own vehicle or a rental car. If you’re driving, exciting news! The parking trams are back at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and will hopefully return to EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios soon.

For a park-by-park transportation overview, check out our guides:

Bus Transportation at Walt Disney World

Did you know that Walt Disney World has a bus fleet the size of Atlanta?  Each Walt Disney World Resort hotel (as well as Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts) offers complimentary bus service to and from the theme parks and Disney Springs. Direct bus service between theme parks and Disney Springs is currently suspended, so you'll need to hop to a hotel first and transfer. If you're headed to the water parks, you'll typically need to transfer buses at Disney Springs.

If your goal is to be at the theme parks upon opening, we suggest using a ride-sharing service or arriving early at the bus stop to catch one of the first buses of the day. However, if you aren’t in a rush to head out of your hotel room, the lines will eventually simmer down after park open. Did you know that, if you're staying on-site, you can check bus wait times via the My Disney Experience app, as well as posted display boards at the bus stop?

If traveling to and from the airport, the complimentary Magical Express has ended its service as of Jan. 1, 2022, but there are third-party options available for an additional cost. And don't froget ... we frogs have awesome deals on car rentals, which you can bundle with your tickets or hotel stay for maximum savings!)

Monorail Transportation at Walt Disney World


EPCOT monorail passing by Spaceship Earth

The monorail may be the very first mode of transportation you think of when it comes to Walt Disney World! We're usually "Team Monorail" when heading to Magic Kingdom. The Express Monorail goes directly between the park and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), while the Resort Monorail also includes stops at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The EPCOT monorail transports guests directly from the Transportation and Ticket Center to EPCOT. Tad and Lily love it when the monorail actually journeys through part of EPCOT. Remember that the monorail only goes back and forth between the two locations, so you'll need to transfer to the Express Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom.

Water Transportation at Walt Disney World

Onto Leap's favorite mode of transport — boats! Remember when we said that Tad likes to collect the Walt Disney World Transportation Collector Cards? Well, while we simplify "Water Transportation" here, there's a Walt Disney World Transport card for every type of boat you encounter! There are several different types around property — from large ferries to Friendship Boats to water taxis! In fact, if you counted all of the boats at Disney World, they'd make up the seventh largest naval fleet in the world.

For Magic Kingdom, large ferry boats connect the park to the Transportation and Ticket Center. Smaller water taxis are available to connect the park to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Grand Floridan Resort, Polynesian Village Resort and Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

Friendship Boats connect EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios, and the EPCOT-area hotels, such as Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Disney's Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts and Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Villas.

Guide to Port Orleans - Riverside: Boat transportation

Headed to Disney Springs? Watercraft service is available for Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside and Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter.

Skyliner Transportation at Walt Disney World

Guide to Disney World Transportation - Disney Skyliner gondolas

Disney World's newest (and cutest) mode of transportation is the Disney Skyliner system. These colorful gondolas connect EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to select Disney hotels. Because the gondolas are constantly moving, the lines can move quickly at most of the stations, except for the Riviera station (which we’ll explain in just a bit!).

If you’re staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Skyliner is currently the only Disney transportation option offered for guests who want to go to EPCOT or Hollywood Studios. Buses are only available if Skyliner is not operating (which happens often in the summer due to weather). If you’re staying in the EPCOT Resort area, riding the Skyliner is a possibility in addition to walking or taking a Friendship Boat. You can check out the Skyliner station at Caribbean Beach in Tad's video above.

Plan extra time if you’re hopping on at the shared Skyliner station for Pop Century and Art of Animation. Because you need to transfer lines at the Caribbean Beach station, you’ll have to hop off and go to the back of another line for whichever destination you’re headed to.

The lines at the Riviera station may take longer (in either direction) because most guests are traveling straight through the station and do not hop off. Therefore, it may take longer for an empty gondola to come through the station, as opposed to guaranteed empty cabins at all of the other stations.

We love the whimsical gondolas and think the Skyliner is a great addition to Disney World's transportation!

Other Modes of Transportation at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Transportation - Minnie Van Service

Depending on which Walt Disney World Resort hotel you’re staying at, walking may be the fastest and most convenient option for you. Disney’s Contemporary Resort guests can easily walk the half-mile to and from Magic Kingdom within 10 to 15 minutes. We especially recommend walking to Magic Kingdom because the resort monorail has to make a few stops before it gets to the park entrance. A new walkway has opened to connect Magic Kingdom with Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, which will also link the existing walkway between the Grand Floridian and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are also accessible on foot if you’re staying at one of the Crescent Lake resorts. This includes Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Walt Disney World Swan Resort and Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. Friendship Boats are still a great option, however, walking may still be faster than a boat, which makes multiple stops.

Using a ride-sharing app is an alternative if you wish to skip the long waits for Disney transportation (and the ride-share pick-up and drop-off areas are all right by the theme park entrances). We generally like using Uber or Lyft sparingly, the exception being if we’re running behind and need to make a dining reservation. However, it’s not the most cost-effective or family-friendly option. A ride will likely cost about $10 each, and the total costs add up quickly if you rely on ride-sharing. Also, if you have a large party or need more than one car seat, you may have to request multiple cars.

Exciting news! The colorful polka-dot Minnie Vans have returned to Walt Disney World, as of June 29, 2022. The ride service works through the Lyft app and the cars are driven by Disney cast members. Each vehicle can accommodate up to six guests and has two car seats — perfect for larger families.

Depending on where you’re coming from, it may be easier to drive your own car, especially if you’re staying on property. You get to move around in the comfort of your own vehicle and not have to worry about relying on Disney transportation. If driving to Orlando isn’t feasible, then consider renting a car that you can pick up at the Orlando International Airport. Especially with the absence of Disney’s Magical Express, you would need to travel to the resort and then still be in control of your own transportation around Disney World. While you would have to pay a nightly self-parking fee at any of the Disney hotels, general parking at the theme parks is free for on-site hotel guests (and annual passholders).

If you’re not staying on-site, we’d recommend weighing the costs of ride-sharing services against the costs of a rental car, plus any parking fees at the hotel and general parking at the theme parks. It would likely come down to how far away your hotel is and the size of your frog squad. Also keep in mind how close you are to Disney Springs — if you can walk to Disney Springs, you can hop on any of the resort buses there (though you will have to transfer buses if you're headed to any of the theme parks).

Navigating Walt Disney World Transportation with Wheelchairs, ECVs and Strollers

- All-Star Movies Resort — Bus stop

If you utilize an ECV, wheelchair or mobility device, or have little ones in tow in a stroller, here's what to know about Walt Disney World transportation:

  • Strollers will need to be emptied, folded and stowed when onboard a bus, tram and some smaller boats.
  • All Walt Disney World buses are equipped to accommodate various types of wheelchairs and ECVs/scooters. There's a lift on board where the ECV or scooter will be fastened. It is then recommended that guests transfer to a bus seat. Guests using canes, walkers, crutches or who have difficulty walking can board via the rear door (just let the bus driver know before boarding, as this is generally an exit only).
  • Strollers may remain open (and full of tadpoles) when riding Skyliner, the monorail and larger ferry boats.
  • There is a separate queue for wheelchair-accessible gondolas at each Skyliner station. These special gondolas move to the side so that you can take your time getting on and comfortable (no "ghostly interruptions" like you'll hear on Haunted Mansion!). Mobility aids, as well as larger strollers, need to fit within a 30-inch by 48-inch area.
  • Watercraft access for those utilizing scooters, wheelchairs or ECVs varies depending on the type of watercraft and the existing water levels and conditions. Please contact a Disney cast member at the watercraft dock for information and assistance. When we've taken Grandma Frog to the parks, who uses a walker or cane, we've noticed that the smaller boats are more difficult to step off of the dock and onto the boats. The larger ferries, including the TTC Ferry and the Friendship Boats, make for a more stable transition for her. If you utilize mobility devices, it may be your safest bet to steer clear of the smaller forms of water transportation.
  • Guests with mobility aids may access the Walt Disney World monorail system by using the elevators or ramps at each station.
  • When Minnie Vans are operating, you can request an accessible vehicle via the Lyft app. There's also plenty of room to stow a stroller, and Minnie Vans are equipped with car seats.

Walt Disney World Transportation Tips and Tricks

Walt Disney World Transportation - My Disney Experience

  • Be sure to check your hotel bus stop again as you leave the theme parks! Sometimes, these can change throughout the day (so the stop you arrived at may not be the same stall as you leave).
  • The biggest transportation rush hoppens about an hour before the parks open, and in the hour after the parks close, especially right after the fireworks.
  • Be sure to allow yourself about an hour to an hour and a half (if traveling during peak times) for Disney transportation. Whether you're parking and heading to the park's entrance, or utilizing free transportation, you'll need to pack some transport time into your day.
  • Disney World theme park parking lots open up about an hour before the park's scheduled opening time, so if you arrive and see that there's a traffic jam, don't worry! The attendants may not be letting cars in just yet. Once things open up, it clears quickly.
  • At Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground, rideshare vehicles can only meet you at the Outpost (while Minnie Vans can come directly to your campsite — which is especially appreciated during those Orlando showers!).
  • Not sure where to catch a ride? In My Disney Experience, on your map, you can toggle to "Transportation" to see modes and stops near you (including directions).

Did we miss any tips for transportation at Disney World? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! Which mode of transportation is your favorite? 

Related: Disney World Has Reopened — Here's What You Need to Know!

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Mar 23, 2023 at 3:08 p.m. Mr Richard Lewis Says...

Not used Disney bus from All Star Sports before...FANTASTIC...Some comment sites seem to say the are unreliable, but although we only used them to go back to the fireworks at M.K. / Epcot & H.Studios they seemed to have plenty of buses running & went directly from All Star to the park & back after the fireworks...Cannot praise system & their drivers enough

Jan 26, 2023 at 6:47 p.m. Amanda B Says...

I noticed you say it will take 60 mins to get to either water park from Port Orleans Riverside. Is there a faster way than bus? For two adults and we will not be renting a car. Thank you

Jan 30, 2023 at 2:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda!

There is no direct bus route from Port Orleans Riverside to the water parks, so the 60-minute approximation is allowing enough time for you to take a bus to Disney Springs and then transferring to another bus. Aside from free Disney transportation, you could take a Minnie Van or use a ride-sharing service for a faster and more direct option.

Keep hopping!


Jan 8, 2023 at 8:11 p.m. Anand K Says...

We are traveling during the weekend MLK weekend for 4 full days and staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge. If budget is not an issue, do you recommend a rental car? How easy / difficult is to navigate / park using our cars?

Jan 12, 2023 at 3:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anand!

It depends on a few factors! Are you planning to stay on Disney property the entire time (not really needed), or are you venturing out to any other Orlando attractions or outside restaurants/stores (we'd recommend a rental car then)? Overall, Disney World covers a large area, but we think it's fairly easy to navigate if you follow the signage around property. Fortunately, overnight self-parking at the hotels is now free for hotel guests! If you like having control over your schedule, a rental car will usually be faster. But if you don't want to worry about driving in a large, unfamiliar place, then take Disney transportation.

Keep hopping!


Dec 17, 2022 at 3:16 p.m. Bonnie Frasier Says...

Is the clarification needed about the name of vehicle? Maybe it was in the ECV category.

Dec 17, 2022 at 3:10 p.m. Bonnie Frasier Says...

The last time my sister and I visited WDW I rented “golf cart” type vehicle. It was perfect since I have back & knee problems and can’t walk distances. I am now 75 & sister is 71. Is there a similar vehicle for two?

Dec 19, 2022 at 10:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bonnie!

Guests can rent ECVs at the theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs. However, an ECV can only hold one person at a time, so if both of you intend to use it, each would need to rent one. (This may be toadally unrelated but if you're staying at or visiting Fort Wilderness, there are golf cart rentals available — just stating in case it jogs your memory from your previous visit!)

Keep hopping!


Nov 26, 2022 at 11:52 a.m. Georgiann Cocuzzi Says...

I’m a local resident and would like to go with some friends to Grand Floridian to see the Ginger Bread house and then port Orleans for the Mickey beignet. What would be the best route with parking our car at Disney springs?

Nov 28, 2022 at 8:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Georgiann!

From Disney Springs, take a bus over to the Grand Floridian. From there, there isn't a direct route between hotels, so the easiest way is to take the resort monorail or a water taxi to Magic Kingdom (monorail would be more direct; the water taxi stops at the Polynesian on the way over to Magic Kingdom). Then, head over to the bus stations and take a bus to Port Orleans. After Port Orleans, you could take a bus or a boat back to Disney Springs.

Keep hopping!


Oct 15, 2022 at 4:40 p.m. Jenn Says...

Hi there, I’m finding all the different methods of Disney transportation overwhelming. I’m just wondering, do you have a printable guide with all your transportation information?

Oct 17, 2022 at 4:26 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenn!

Currently, we have an individual transportation post for each theme park (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) in addition to this main overall Disney World transportation guide — but keep hopping back! We may just have something in the works :)

Keep hopping!


Aug 8, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Robbie Says...

very useful info. I have a few other questions for clarification. we have a party of four and if our hotel is off WDW and in the Disney spring area, a. can we also take the Disney transportation for free? b. how to transfer buses from Disney spring to other theme parks? how long does it take? c. comparing with b, is it much more convenient to rent a car and park at each theme park? I heard the stand park parking also needs to take some other transportation to the actual park. not sure how big of a difference. Thank you!

Aug 9, 2022 at 2:39 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robbie!

Disney transportation is free and available to everyone, not just hotel guests! That means you can utilize the many buses, monorails, boats and Skyliner Disney World has to offer. There is no direct route from Disney Springs to the theme parks, so you would need to take a bus to the closest resort and then hop on a bus to the park. Travel time varies, but we find most direct routes take about 15-20 minutes, plus any time waiting for the bus. So you’ll want to allow even more time if indirectly transferring from Disney Springs to the theme parks. Rental cars are always a great option, as parking is available at the four theme parks (Note there is a daily parking fee of about $25). All parking lots are right near the entrance, except for Magic Kingdom Park. There, you’ll park and head to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where you’ll then take the ferry or monorail over to the magic Kingdom entrance. Be sure to check out our discounted car rental rates! Have a great trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 21, 2022 at 4:09 p.m. jennifer Says...

we will be in Animal Kingdom and then have to get to wilderness lodge to have dinner at story book dining at artist point. what is the easiest means to get there and then back to our resort POP after wilderness thanks!

Jul 21, 2022 at 1:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

The most straightforward way to get from Animal Kingdom to Wilderness Lodge is by bus — or you could splurge and take a Minnie Van or use another ride-sharing app if you're in a hurry or don't want to wait for bus.

There isn't direct transportation service between resorts, so in order to get back to Pop Century, the easiest way would be to take the bus to Disney Springs and transfer to the bus that goes to Pop Century. Again, you may want to opt for a Minnie Van or a ride-sharing app for direct service.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 14, 2022 at 1:29 a.m. Erin V Says...


Large family of 9 visiting in June staying off site at Bonnet Creek. What would you suggest the best way to navigate through Disney World? Shuttle buses, rental car or Uber/Lyft? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Apr 15, 2022 at 4:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erin!

We'd suggest sticking with the provided shuttles due to the large size of your group. (Otherwise, you may have limited options or you'd need to rent two cars/take two Ubers.) It appears that the shuttles run frequently (at least once every 1-2 hours, and during peak times, every half hour).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Feb 22, 2022 at 9:48 p.m. Pam Says...

If I am staying off the WDW property, is there a general parking lot that has access to the park buses? Thanks in advance.

Feb 24, 2022 at 1:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pam!

If you are trying to avoid a parking fee entirely, then no, there isn't an option available, unfortunately. If you don’t mind paying, the Ticket and Transportation Center would be a good hub for Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, and then you could easily get to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom from any of the parks. Disney Springs also offers free parking but no direct line to the theme parks, so you would have to hop on a bus to a resort and then transfer to a park bus. Our recommendation would be to spring for parking and keep your receipt, as parking is valid at any of the parks that day :) Hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Feb 22, 2022 at 9:41 p.m. Andy Says...

If I have a breakfast reservation at a resort can I park there and after breakfast use the resort transportation to the park?

Feb 24, 2022 at 1:16 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andy!

You sure can.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 22, 2022 at 7:14 a.m. Donna Niven Says...

I will be coming next week renting a car. I’ll be staying at a resort outside of WDW. What is the actual cost for parking at the magic kingdom and other three parks? i’ll be purchasing a three day park pass, is parking included with the pass? thanks for your prompt reply

Jan 23, 2022 at 1:46 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Donna!

General parking at all of the theme parks costs $25 per day (and is not included with your park tickets). If you're park hopping, keep the receipt, as it is good for the entire day. For example, if you park at Magic Kingdom in the morning and want to drive over to EPCOT later that same day, you would not have to pay the $25 fee again (you'll just need to provide your receipt). Hope this helps, and have fun!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 31, 2021 at 12:30 a.m. Kristin Kowitz Says...

So much has changed at WDW since our last visit -- even without factoring in Covid! Great job on the transportation update and explanation, Frogs! By the time our 2022 trip comes around, I'll be totally (toadally?) up to date on all the changes! Thanks!

Mar 31, 2021 at 7:56 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thank you so much, Kristin! :) We keep these up-to-date, so be sure to hop back before your trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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