WDW TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
At 43 square miles of fun, the Walt Disney World property is gigantic, and you will rely on transportation to get you around during your stay. Most of these transportation options are free.
NOTE: During the phased re-opening of Disney parks, transportation options may be limited and require health checks.
Disney Transport Buses
Disney Transport buses are probably the most common transportation option used on property at Walt Disney World.
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, you can book a seat on Disney's Magical Express to get to your hotel from Orlando International Airport. Buses also service the Disney Cruise Line between Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World, and the cruise terminal at Port Canaveral. These are operated by Mears Transportation on behalf of Disney are free of charge to Disney resort hotel guests.
The Disney Transport bus service transports guests between parks, attractions, and all Disney resort hotels. In some cases, Disney Transport buses also service some “Good Neighbor” hotels on Walt Disney World property. Since 2019, these buses are being refurbished/replaced with newer buses with character wraps, WiFi, and USB charging ports. During COVID-19, these buses are divided into zones with each party having their own zone with plexiglass dividers for their health and safety.
Disney Transport buses are all accessible (strollers must be folded up) and there are dedicated lanes for those with wheelchairs or ECV.
These buses all run on a schedule and may NOT be the fastest mode of transportation from your departure point to your destination. You should always check with a Cast Member for the best transportation option for your journey.
Walt Disney World also has an iconic monorail system that connects the Magic Kingdom to resort hotels on the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Transportation and Ticket Center. A separate line also runs from the Transportation and Ticket Center to the EPCOT. Monorail service is offered free of charge.
Monorails are undergoing a complete refurbishment, with some monorails already back in service with the new interior work.
Beginning on November 2, 2020, the “Resort Line” (the monorail line servicing resorts on the Seven Seas Lagoon will NOT stop at the Polynesian Resort during its refurbishment. Guests may choose to walk from the Grand Floridian Resort station, boat, or bus.
The Disney Skyliner provides service from select Disney hotels to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot Center. This gondola system uses state-of-the-art technology with over 100 gondolas.
To learn more about the Disney Skyliner, click here.
There are a number of boats used to transport guests to theme parks and to Disney Springs from selected locations. These boats vary in size from smaller tour boats to a full-sized paddleboat. There is no cost for to travel on any of the Disney Transport boats.
For boats servicing the Magic Kingdom, work is underway and nearing completion on new docks.
Watercraft of all shapes and sizes are also available to rent for recreational use.
Cars / Parking
You can bring a vehicle to Walt Disney World. with paid parking available at all theme parks (ranging from $25 -$50 dependent on vehicle size and date), resorts (overnight parking charges apply), and free to visitors to Disney Springs. Although some may tell you that to avoid parking charges, simply park at Disney Springs and take the complimentary transportation services to get to a theme park, it is important to remember that direct service to a theme park is not available from Disney Springs (this reduces the appeal to take up the available spaces at Disney Springs for theme park visitors). As a result, if you are planning to park for free at Disney Springs and then make your way to a theme park (which is NOT recommended), you can expect lengthy travel times to get to a theme park (i.e. more than an hour in many cases) with the transfer included (Disney Springs to resort hotel, then transfer to a bus to the park of your choice), which is not ideal at the end of the night when you are trying to get back to your accommodations off property.
As a general rule, if your plan is to stay on Disney property for the entire length of your stay, you will likely not need a car (there are overnight parking fees if you do bring a car) and will be able to take advantage of complimentary bus, boat, monorail, and Skyliner service to get you around property from your Disney resort to where you want to go. If you do bring a vehicle to a Disney resort hotel for your stay, there is a nightly parking fee that ranges between $15 - $25).
For those planning to stay at a non-Disney owned property in the Disney Springs area, complimentary bus service may be available around the entire property, and most hotels are a short walk to Disney Springs where you can connect to the complimentary Disney transportation offerings to a resort hotel to make a connection to theme parks. In these cases, you will want to check with the hotel operator to confirm the options that are available to you.
If you are planning to spend time off property at either Universal Studios, Sea World, or other attractions, you may want to plan for a car rental for that part of your stay only, or look into bus service to those attractions. In these cases, if you are planning to spend multiple days visiting attractions off Disney property, you may want to consider a mid-trip hotel change to one closer to those attractions. Switching to an off-property hotel may offer cost savings (for instance, Universal Studios is offering new value resort room offerings that start at $79 per night.
Taxis / Lyft / Etc.
You can take taxis and Uber/Lyft service, all of which you will need to pay for. As a general rule, these options are faster than complimentary Disney transportation. However, depending on the time of day and whether there is heavy traffic, there may be little/no time savings.
Contrary to what you may have been told, you cannot walk to the parks, except in really limited cases. There is a path connecting the Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary Resort and from the International Gateway at Epcot to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
A new walkway around the Seven Seas lagoon from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian, although it may be a long walk for young children or those with mobility issues.
Other Transportation Options
In addition to the ones above, guests can rent golf carts at Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground, bicycles at Port Orleans, boats, as well as horseback riding and carriage rides at specific resorts, all of which are offered for a charge on a first-come basis. Additionally, ECVs and strollers may also be rented.