Disney World Transportation: How to get from here to there


Disney World’s large property, there’s a lot of confusion on how to get form here to there. I recall many times sitting on the monorail overhearing a conversation from groups that have likely not been to Disney before. The conversation goes a little like this:

Him: “Do you know how many more stops until we get to Animal Kingdom”
Her: “Hmm, I’m not sure. I guess it won’t be too long”
Him: “I’ll keep my eyes open!”

Deep down, I want to stand up and intervene, but I don’t think it’s my place. Another part of me wonders how long those people have been going around in circles on the short monorail loop. This little guide, is meant to help get you around the World when you travel. This guide is BASIC! If you want more detailed information, feel free to send me an email! I’m happy to help get you around in the most efficient way possible. To break it down, it seems easiest to go by mode of transportation.


Disney’s monorail is available in the Magic Kingdom area and has service to a handful of resorts in the area as well. From Magic Kingdom, the monorail stops at Contemporary, then the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC), then Polynesian and finally Grand Floridian before getting back to Magic Kingdom. The TTC is a transfer point from the Magic Kingdom parking lot as well as to Epcot. Typically this is the easiest way to get from Magic Kingdom and Epcot. This second monorail loop just goes from the TTC to Epcot and back.


There are 4 different sets of boats at Disney:

  1. Ferry Boat. This boat takes Disney guests to and from Magic Kingdom to the TTC. This is a bottleneck and a slow mode of transportation when trying to get to Magic Kingdom!
  2. Friendship Boats. These books make a loop between Epcot and Hollywood Studios with stops at Boardwalk, Beach & Yacht Club, and Swan & Dolphin
  3. Magic Kingdom Boats. These boats run across Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom to both Wilderness Lodge & Ft. Wilderness as well as the three monorail resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian). Watch the color of the flags to see the boat’s destinations before you board. This is typically a faster way to get to Grand Floridian than the monorail as it’s the last stop.
  4. Downtown Disney Boats. These boats are available from Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs to Downtown Disney. This is by far the fastest and most direct way to get to Downtown Disney via their transportation. The only faster ways are to pay for a cab or to drive yourself.


Disney buses go just about everywhere. The exception is when a different mode of transportation is available (for example, you can take the monorail from Polynesian, so no bus is available to Magic Kingdom. Similarly, Epcot is only accessible by boat (at the rear entrance) from Boardwalk.

For all value and moderate resorts, all of your service to Disney’s 4 theme parks is via bus. This is also true for Animal Kingdom Lodge.

What about walking?

Can you want to Disney theme parks from the resorts? For a select few, the answer is yes. First, there’s one resort you can walk to from Magic Kingdom: Contemporary. If you want to walk to Epcot, stay at Beach or Yacht Club or Boardwalk. While it’s a little farther walk, those same resorts are close enough to Hollywood Studios. There are currently no walking paths to Animal Kingdom from any Disney resort.

Getting from one resort to another

So you chose a dining option at one of the other Disney resorts, now how do you get there? It depends on where your resort is and your final destination is as well. It makes sense that if you are dining near Magic Kingdom, you’d take a bus there and then hop the monorail or a boat. But the same does not hold true for an ‘Epcot area resort’. While Epcot is the closest resort to these destinations, it’s far fewer steps to take a bus to Hollywood studios and then take the boat to your final destination (as you’d have to have valid park admission to get through Epcot to the boat dock and it’s a heck of a walk!) If you are heading to Animal Kingdom Lodge, hop the bus to Animal Kingdom and then transfer to the Lodge. Just make sure that Animal Kingdom is still open if you’re headed back. If not, you’ll have to go to another theme park.

Another school of thought is that you just hop the bus that comes first (less time waiting). The only problem with this plan is that Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are at the far ends of the World, so make sure you choose wisely! While you may save time getting on the first bus, you may take more time getting to your final destination.

A word of caution: Do not use Downtown Disney has a transfer point. These are the slowest buses in all of Disney and often make multiple stops on the way to their final destination.

Need help getting to a specific location in Disney World? Feel free to contact me at any time using the form below!

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!