Walt Disney World On-Site Transportation Information

Modes of Transportation at Walt Disney World Resort

Complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort is available to Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. There are many different modes of transportation available to get you around to the theme parks, water parks, Downtown Disney, and hotels. Each mode of transportation is unique and can even be fun.

There are three major and different options for guests to choose from. They include Walt Disney World Bus Service, Walt Disney World Water Transportation, and Walt Disney World Monorail Service.

Bus Service Water Transportation Monorails Miscellaneous

Walt Disney World Bus Service

Walt Disney World Bus Service - Getting Around the Walt Disney World Resort

Buses are going to be the major route or transportation for most guests, as most areas throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including Disney Theme Parks, Disney Water Parks, Resort hotels and the Downtown Disney Area, are accessible by bus. Some bus routes may require transfer from one bus to another. (This is especially true when attempting to travel from resort to resort. To accomplish this, guests will often need to visit one of the four theme parks or Downtown Disney and then catch a bus to their final resort destination.) With the Walt Disney World Bus Service, guests are invited to relax and enjoy the ride on the complimentary, air-conditioned bus service.

Disney buses run approximately every 20 minutes from all Walt Disney World on-site resorts. Each bus stop features a sign indicating the destinations that particular bus will travel to. Also, the marquees on top of each bus will indicate destinations.

Tips from TheMouseForLess:

  • Official Disney Transportation operates according to theme park operating schedules. If relying solely on Disney Transportation during your Walt Disney World vacation, be cognizant of park hours; buses typical only run anywhere from 60-90 minutes after a park closes for the night. This is something to keep in mind, for example, if you have late dining reservations and are utilizing only Disney transportation to get back to your resort.
  • For those visiting Downtown Disney, buses operate until 2:00 a.m. from the Downtown Disney Area

Additionally, resort airline check-in service will be extended to those traveling on international flights on select airlines. You must have a valid passport for each member of your party to check in.

Walt Disney World Water Transportation

Walt Disney World Water Transportation - Getting Around the Walt Disney World Resort

Enjoy a leisurely cruise on Walt Disney World water transportation options, which include ferryboats, water taxis, and more. If while getting around the resort, you are in the mood for a laid back approach, water transportation is the right choice for you. For many, it is one of the best ways to travel around the resort, however, do keep in mind that only select areas are accessible via boat.

Magic Kingdom Park


Ferryboats connect the Transportation and Ticket Center to the Magic Kingdom. There are three boats available for guests to utilize. They are known as the Richard F. Irvine, the General Joe Potter, and the Admiral Joe Fowler. These boats have an upper and lower level that are connected by interior stairways.

Hours of operation typically begin 30 minutes prior to park opening (including Morning Extra Magic Hours.) In the evening, the ferries typically operate until one and a half hours prior to park closing (including Evening Extra Magic Hours.) Ferry wait times are typically between 10 and 20 minutes.

Water Cruisers/Motor Launches

The Walt Disney World Resorts located near the Magic Kingdom have both water cruisers and motor launches available to reach them. Those resorts include:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Each route operates approximately 30 minutes prior to park opening (including Morning Extra Magic Hours) until one and a half hours after park close. (including Evening Extra Magic Hours.) Not every route stops at every resort, but each launch is labeled indicating which resorts the boats will be stopping at.

Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Friendship Boats

For both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the watercraft that runs between these theme parks along Crescent Lake and are known as Friendship Boats. Friendship Boats are accessible to five different resorts. Unlike the Magic Kingdom water launches, the Friendship boats do stop at each of the resorts along the way, as well as at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The resorts inlcude:

  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

Tips from TheMouseForLess:

  • If you don’t feel like waiting for the Friendship boat to take you between these resorts and either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there is a pathway that connects everything together.
  • There are also Friendship boats that take you across World Showcase. Launches begin at the World Showcase Plaza and head to either the Germany Pavilion or the Morocco Pavilion. To get ready for Illuminations each night, the last boat across is at 7:30 p.m. This is a great option for guests who want a relaxing way to get across the lagoon.

Downtown Disney Area


Many of the Downtown Disney adjacent resorts can access the Downtown Disney shopping area by ferryboat. These resorts include:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

General Watercraft Tips:

  • Do keep in mind that watercraft transportation is dependent on weather conditions. If conditions are poor, watercraft transpiration may be suspended.
  • Sometimes, depending on your destination, walking may be faster. If you are in a hurry and there is an adjacent pathway, consider walking instead.

Walt Disney World Resort Monorail Service

Walt Disney World Monorail Service - Getting Around the Walt Disney World Resort

The Walt Disney World Monorail System was originally conceived as a public transport for the future. There are three separate beams that travel throughout Walt Disney World Resort and they all intersect with each other at the Transportation and Ticket Center. The three loops are the Resort Monorail Loop, the Express Monorail Loop, and the Epcot Monorail Loop. If the monorail is not available, alternate bus and watercraft transportation is available for guests.

The Monorail Operating Hours have been adjusted as Disney is currently working to update the monorail to become automated. An automated monorail will allow for more frequent dispatching of trains, accurate arrival information, as well as faster switching times. During this work, additional buses and watercraft will be available. This schedule is in place for a few months and no specific end date has been announced. The schedule amended schedule is:
Resort Monorail Loop – 8:30am-midnight
Express Monorail Loop – 9:30am-11:30pm
Epcot Monorail Loop – 9:00am-11:00pm

Resort Monorail Loop

The Resort Monorail Loop makes stops at the following locations:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Transportation and Ticket Center
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

The Resort Monorail Loop typically runs from 6:30 a.m. until one hour after park close (excluding Extra Magic Hours)

Express Monorail Loop

The Express Monorail Loop transports guests between the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom. Transportation typically runs one hour prior to park open to one hour prior to park close (excluding Extra Magic Hours.)

Epcot Monorail Loop

The Epcot Monorail Loop transports guests between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Epcot. Transportation typically runs one hour prior to park open until one hour after park close (excluding Extra Magic Hours.)

Miscellaneous Transportation


For those guests who drive to one of the four theme parks and park in the parking lot, they have the option of taking a tram. These trams will pick you up at the end of your parking row and transport you to the park’s entrance (or in the case of the Magic Kingdom, to the Transportation and Ticket Center.)

Tips from TheMouseForLess:

  • Do keep in mind that strollers and wheelchairs must be folded to board the tram.
  • Make sure to note which row you parked in, because at the end of the night, all the rows of cars look the same. So, make sure to take a photo, add it to your phone’s notes, text it to yourself, write it on a piece of paper, etc. Do whatever you need to do to remember where you parked. The tram driver will also typically remind you of your parking location as you board the tram.

For guests looking to navigate their way around the Walt Disney World Resort, we also have a handy cheat sheet available.

In addition, for those with little ones (or those who like to collect things) Disney has Transportation Collectors Cards available. There are 18 cards in all and are supposed to be pretty hard to come by.


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