You’re going to Disney World! Congratulations! But how do you actually get around Disney World? Famously described as “twice the size of the island of Manhattan,” Disney World is beyond huge. Between driving, the monorail, the Skyliner, Disney buses, pedestrian paths, and even boats, there are a ton of different systems of transportation at your disposal. Sometimes getting from point A to point B at WDW requires two or more different modes of transportation.

Even if you’ve been to Disney World before, navigating the massive resort and getting from theme park to theme park can be daunting. In our Guide 2 Disney World Transportation, we are breaking down each mode of transportation, as well as letting you know how to get to each theme park from pretty much every way possible. We’ll also share some pro-level tips to help you save time and money while you get around WDW.

Ready to become a Disney World transportation expert?

The Different Ways to Get Around Disney World, Explained

Driving around Disney World

Whether you’re driving your own car or if you are renting a car, driving around Disney World is a very good option. The upside is that it gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility, and you will save a lot of time. You won’t have to wait for Disney’s buses or deal with long lines for the Skyliner. You could even go to a much-rumored non-Disney theme park featuring a boy wizard. The biggest downside is that you will have to pay for parking, both at your resort and at the theme parks. Also, as of this writing, Disney World isn’t running its trams in the parking lots, so you might have a lengthy walk from your parking spot to the park’s entrance.

For Disney’s resorts, parking costs between $15-$25 per night. The only exception is Fort Wilderness campsites, which let you park one vehicle at your campsite included in the price of your site. DVC Members who are staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa or who are using their points to stay at a WDW Resort are not charged for parking.

For Disney’s theme parks, parking is $25/day for regular parking, and $45-$50/day for preferred parking (aka closer to the entrance).

Disney Springs features complimentary self parking and some large parking decks.

Disney World Money-Saving Tip: Annual Passholders get free parking at the theme parks. Depending on the length of your stay, it might make sense to upgrade at least one of your tickets to an Annual Pass, as between the free parking and discounts on food and merchandise, you might end up saving money over buying a multi-day parkhopper pass.

Disney World Transportation Tip: You can rent a car for part of your vacation, even just for the day, since there are several rental car options on WDW property. This could be a good option for people who don’t want to only visit Disney World during their time in Orlando. Here are the rental car locations on Disney property:

  • Walt Disney World Car Care Center (located near Magic Kingdom) – Featuring Alamo and National
  • Shades of Green Resort (for military) – Hertz
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel (located near Epcot) – Featuring Alamo and National
  • Disney Springs Good Neighbor Hotels – Most of these are walking distance from Disney Springs
    • B Hotel – Enterprise
    • Buena Vista Palace – National
    • Doubletree – Budget
    • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Avis
    • Wyndham Lake – Dollar

Disney World Monorail

Disney World - Monorail

If you’ve never been to WDW, you might assume that Disney World’s famous monorail would take you to every park and every hotel. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. That would just make too much sense! Disney World has three different monorail tracks, two that go to Magic Kingdom, and one that goes to Epcot. You can transfer from one monorail to the other at the Transportation and Ticket Center, making it possible to take the monorail from Magic Kingdom to Epcot.

Magic Kingdom Express Monorail

  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)
  • Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Resort Monorail

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

Epcot Monorail

  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)
  • Epcot

Disney World Time Saving Tip:When you leave Magic Kingdom at the end of the day, there is almost always a longer line for the Express monorail than the Resort monorail. If you’re trying to get to the TTC, get on the Resort monorail. It only adds one stop at the Contemporary, so you will probably save a bunch of time by choosing the shorter line. Plus, riding the monorail through the Contemporary is so cool.

Disney World Tip: Going to Epcot via monorail is one of our favorite things to do at Disney World. Before you arrive at the station, the monorail does a short loop through the park, giving you some unique views of World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature.

Disney World Skyliner

Disney Skyliner over Hollywood Studios

Want to get around Disney World with a view? Disney World’s newest mode of transportation is the Disney Skyliner. This gondola system services Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and a few Disney World resorts.

The Disney Skyliner has stations at the following locations:

  • Epcot International Gateway, located between France and United Kingdom (End of Line)
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (The Skyliner Hub / Transfer Station)
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort / Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (Shared Station – End of Line)

Disney World Bus System

Do buses go from park to park? - Walt Disney World

Disney World offers a free bus system that service the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the Disney World resorts. Buses typically run about every 20 minutes, but depending on where you’re coming from or going to, there might be a big line for the bus you’re waiting for. For example, if you’re trying to get to Magic Kingdom in the morning from an All Star Resort, you might have to wait for the second Magic Kingdom bus to arrive before you can get on, which could take 40+ minutes. That is the major downside of the Disney World Bus transportation. It takes longer than you would expect to get from one point to another. Another downside is that the buses can feel crowded, and that doesn’t make for the most comfortable ride.

Disney World Transportation Tip: The WDW buses also have a few quirks. They don’t go from every location to every location. Disney no longer offers buses from Disney Springs to the theme parks, but Disney does offer buses from the parks to Disney Springs after 4 pm. If you want to get from Disney Springs to the theme parks, you will want to take a bus to a resort and then either transfer to another bus or take another mode of transportation. If you want to get to Magic Kingdom, take the bus to the Contemporary and then you can walk to Magic Kingdom’s entrance. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is walking distance to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Disney World Water Transportation

Magic Kingdom - Resort Launches

If you want a relaxing ride along the water, there are a few ways you can actually get around via boat at Disney World. Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios all feature boats as options from getting from one point to another.

Magic Kingdom Boat Transportation

  • Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and back
  • Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Grand Floridian and back
  • Magic Kingdom to Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness and back
  • Magic Kingdom to TTC and back

Disney World also has “Friendship Boats” that run a route from Epcot to Hollywood Studios and back.

Epcot/Hollywood Studios Area Friendship Boats Route (runs both directions)

  • Epcot International Gateway Entrance (Located between France and United Kingdom in World Showcase)
  • Disney’s Boardwalk
  • Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney Springs also has some options for getting back and forth from certain resorts.

Disney Springs Water Transportation

  • 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

Walking Around Disney World

It is possible to walk from one place to another at Disney World! Sure, you will probably already be getting in your fair share of walking inside the theme parks, but we love being able to walk from a resort to the park’s entrance. This is one of the reasons we like to stay at the Epcot area resorts, because they actually let you walk both to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Here are the possible ways to walk at Disney World to the major attractions.

Magic Kingdom Area Walking

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Contemporary Resort
  • Grand Floridian Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Epcot / Hollywood Studios Walking

  • Epcot International Gateway Entrance (Located between France and United Kingdom in World Showcase)
  • Disney’s Boardwalk
  • Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney Springs Walking

  • Disney Springs
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs
  • Hilton Buena Vista Palace
  • B Hotel
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • DoubleTree Suites
  • Holiday Inn Orlando
  • Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista

Uber and Lyft around Disney World

Taking Uber and Lyft is a great option for guests visiting Disney World. You get the flexibility of driving, but you don’t have to worry about paying for parking. Disney World has designated ride share pickup and drop off locations at the theme parks. For Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, you will get dropped off near the park entrance. At Magic Kingdom, you’ll get dropped off at the TTC, which means you’ll need to take a monorail or boat to get to the park entrance, so be sure to factor that into your planning.

How to get to each Disney World Theme Park

Now that you know all the ways to get around Disney World, the next sections of our Guide 2 Disney World Transportation will tell you all the ways to get to each Disney World theme park.

How to Get to Magic Kingdom

In this section, we detail every way to get to Magic Kingdom, including by car, by boat, and by monorail. Magic Kingdom is surprisingly tricky to get to, so don’t miss this guide.

How to Get to Epcot

Beacon of Magic at Epcot

With two different entrances on opposite sides of the park, Epcot has the most options for how to get to the park. In this section of the guide, we let you know how to get to Epcot via monorail, car, boat, Skyliner, by foot, and more.

How to Get to Hollywood Studios

How to get to Hollywood Studios - Disney World Transportation Guide

In order to blast off to a galaxy far, far away, you’ll have to know how to get to Hollywood Studios first.

How to Get to Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Entrance - Walt Disney World

Want to go on a safari in Africa or fly a banshee on Pandora? Here’s how to get to Animal Kingdom, which is the most straightforward park to get to at Disney World, with the least number of options for modes of transportation.

Stay tuned for our guide on how to get to Disney Springs, coming soon!

If you found this guide useful, please check out our other Disney World guides, including our comprehensive Guide 2 Disney Genie and our Guide 2 Lightning Lane at Disney World.Le

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James

James is a lifelong Disney Parks fan. While at the parks, he loves finding new details, learning more about Disney World history, and taking pictures. His favorite WDW attractions include Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
James is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.

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