Disney Transportation Planning 101 Vacation Planner

All Of The Transportation Options At Walt Disney World

August 12, 2023

What many people fail to realize is just how large Walt Disney World is. Seriously…it spans across 2 counties and is as large as San Francisco. So, unless you have a car or know how to navigate Disney Transportation, it can be very easy to get lost.

This is the main reason why I typically don’t recommend Park Hoppers to my Clients who are planning their very first Walt Disney World vacation. Although there are signs and Cast Members around to help you, it’s very easy to get lost. And you have far too many other things to remember (ahem…Genie+) to also have to remember which Disney Transportation option goes where.

However, many of Disney’s most popular restaurants and activities are location outside of the Disney Parks. If you plan on visiting any of these locations, you’ll need to know how to get there.

Shuttle from Orlando International Airport

If you’re flying to Orlando and you won’t have a car to get around, you’re going to need a ride to your Resort. Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine is the official shuttle service to Walt Disney World.

If you’re confused by the name, you’re not alone. Mears Connect and Sunshine Flyer recently joined forces to become one company (it took effect August 1, 2023). By joining forces, they became the only 24-hour shuttle company that services both A/B and C Terminals for both arrivals and departures. They’re also fully wheelchair accessible and ADA-compliant for both standard and express services.

When the Disney Company decided to discontinue Disney’s Magical Express, Mears decided to continue providing transportation under their own name.

While this formally free shuttle became a paid option, it’s likely going to be the only transportation you’ll need to pay for during your trip. Minnie Vans are an additional cost, as they operate through the Lyft App. But, they’re not some something I would recommend all the time, since it’s expensive.

Fortunately, the rest of the transportation options in this post are located on Walt Disney World property, and they’re absolutely free to ride.

A Disney Shuttle wrapped with a giant photo of Mickey Mouse

Disney Bus Transportation

The most common (but least popular) Disney Transportation option are the buses. The reason they aren’t the most popular option simply has to do with how crowded they get. If you’ve even ridden a NYC subway, you get the idea.

Bus drivers will continue filling the bus, even after all the seats have been taken. That means a large majority of the Guests will be standing. And after you’ve had to stand, while simultaneously holding onto your children and stroller, you’ll understand why many Guests would rather use a different transportation option.

However, since they’re not affected by the weather, I do find the buses to be the most reliable option. And while they do get very busy near Park opening and close, you can easily get a nearly empty bus in the middle of the day. So, really…it’s not all bad.

Where do they go?

Buses connect the Resorts to the Disney Theme Parks, Water Parks, and Disney Springs (with a few exceptions).

Since Resorts on the Skyliner route have access to Hollywood Studios and Epcot via the Skyliner, they no longer have continual bus service to these two Parks. The same is true for Resorts on the Monorail line. If you want to get to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, you’ll be advised to take the Monorail.

The only times that you’ll see a bus between these destinations is if crowds are extremely heavy or these modes of transportation are not running.


The Disney Transportation Buses are designed to be accessible. Disney Buses have features like low floors, ramps, and designated spaces for wheelchairs and ECVs.

Bus Stops

Each Resort has designated bus stops for specific destinations. The main bus stop is usually located near the main lobby or entrance. However, larger Resorts will also have additional bus stops for greater convenience.

Simply look for signs and information screens at the bus stops for schedules and destination details.


Buses generally run approximately every 15-30 minutes. This can vary based on Park hours, crowd levels, and other factors. They usually start running at least one hour before the Parks open and will continue for at least one hour after the Parks close.

What you should know

  • Wait times and travel times vary greatly, so leave plenty of time to travel from one place to another.
  • Buses do not provide transportation from one Disney Resort to another. If you need to get to another Resort, you will need to transfer somewhere.
  • If you have a stroller, you will need to remove everything and fold it up. There is no place to store them on the buses, so you’ll also be responsible for holding it.
  • Each Resort has their own dedicated area at the bus stops. So, where they drop you off is where they will pick you back up.
  • Check the Transportation link in My Disney Experience App for additional information, maps, directions, and more
Monorail going through Epcot

Walt Disney World Monorail

The Walt Disney World Monorail is one of the most popular and beloved modes of transportation. I’d be lying if I said I never stepped aboard for no other reason than to just take a ride, especially for a view inside EPCOT.

Where do they go?

There are three separate Monorail lines:

  • Resort Monorail – This line runs from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and then the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) before returning to Magic Kingdom’s entrance.
  • EPCOT Loop: Connects the TTC with EPCOT’s entrance.
  • Express Beam: A direct line that runs between the TTC and the Magic Kingdom, without stopping at the Resorts.

How to get from Magic Kingdom to Epcot (or vise versa)

Whether you get on at Magic Kingdom or Epcot, you will first be taken to the TTC. It is not possible to reach the other Park without transferring to the other Monorail line first.


The Monorail is accessible to Guests with wheelchairs and ECVs. There is a ramp that everyone uses to get up to the loading platform. Once you’re on the platform, you can easily roll into the Monorail.


The Monorail runs continuously throughout the day. A new Monorail arrives roughly every 15 minutes. However, this can vary based on Park hours, crowd levels, and other factors.

Monorails going to Magic Kingdom begin running 30 minutes before Magic Kingdom opens and stops 1 hour after Magic Kingdom closes. The EPCOT Monorail begins running 30 minutes before EPCOT opens and stops 2 hours after EPCOT closes.

What you should know

  • If you have a stroller, there’s no need to fold it up! Simply wheel on in and enjoy the ride.
  • If the Monorail lines are busy, you may need to stand. However, there are things to hold on to.
  • Wait times and travel times vary greatly, so leave plenty of time to travel from one place to another.
  • Magic Kingdom does not have an attached parking lot. If you are driving, you’ll have to take a Monorail, Ferry, or a bus (only available during very busy times) to get to the TTC. This is where your car will be parked.
Stepping aboard the General Joe Potter Ferry Boat at Disney's Magic Kingdom.

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Ferries and Water Taxis

One of the most underrated modes of transportation on Disney property are the ferries and water taxis. While my kids tend to find them too slow, I think it’s a relaxing way to spend some time at Walt Disney World that isn’t fast paced.

Where do they go?

Magic Kingdom and the TTC – The Ferries sail along the Seven Seas Lagoon and will take you from the entrance of Magic Kingdom to the TTC.

Magic Kingdom and Resorts – If you’re trying to get to the following Resorts, you can also take a Water Taxi from Magic Kingdom to that Resort.

  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Wilderness Lodge

EPCOT and Resorts – If you’re trying to get to the following Resorts, you can also take a Water Taxi from EPCOT to that Resort.

  • BoardWalk Villas
  • Beach Club Villas
  • Yacht Club Resort
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

Disney Springs and Resorts – If you’re trying to get to the following Resorts, you can also take a Water Taxi from Disney Springs to that Resort.

  • Old Key West Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Port Orleans – French Quarter


The Ferries are all accessible to Guests with wheelchairs and ECVs. They do have 2 levels. The second level is only accessible by stairs. However, you will no problem getting on the main level.

The smaller boats can sometimes be a problem for Guests with wheelchairs and ECVs. If they don’t have a way to safely get you and your chair onto the water taxi, you will need to find another mode of transportation.

Since boats, routes, and water conditions can change, it’s always best to confirm whether or not the water taxi is accessible by asking a Cast Member.


Most routes run on 15- to 30-minute intervals. And like other modes of transportation, a lot depends on Park hours, crowd levels, and other factors.

What you should know

  • While the walls are fairly high on the ferries, there is nothing stopping someone from going overboard, if they decide to climb up. Please listen to Cast Members, watch your children, and keep both feet on the ground.
  • Strollers do not need to be folded up and children don’t need to be removed from the stroller. Wheel right on and enjoy the ride.
  • Magic Kingdom does not have an attached parking lot. If you are driving, you’ll have to take a Monorail, Ferry, or a bus (only available during very busy times) to get to the TTC. This is where your car will be parked.

Disney Skyliner

Opening in 2019, the Skyliner is the newest addition to Disney Transportation. Some love it while others hate it. How do you feel about it?

Where do they go?

The Skyliner has a central hub, at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. From there, you can step on 1 of 3 lines.

  • Hollywood Studios
  • Art of Animation and Pop Century
  • EPCOT, with a slight slow down at the Riviera Resort

Since Caribbean Beach is the central hub, if you’re looking to Park Hop between Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, you will need to get off the Skyliner at Caribbean Beach and hop on the line heading to the other Park.

Skyliner Stations

There are 5 different stations throughout Walt Disney World.

  • Just outside the main entrance to Hollywood Studios
  • Through the back entrance, known as the International Gateway near the France pavilion, in EPCOT
  • Caribbean Beach Resort, closest to the Jamaica section of the Resort
  • Riviera Resort, although most Guests don’t get off here
  • A shared station between Art of Animation and Pop Century


The Disney Skyliner is incredibly accessible. Although the Skyliner is continuously moving, Cast Members can take a gondola off to the side. This allows the Guest in a wheelchair or ECV to get in safely, since this particular gondola will be stationary. Once the Guest is safely inside, it will start moving and quickly join the other gondolas in the air.


The Skyliner runs continuously throughout the day. The Skyliner starts running 1 hour before Early Theme Park Entry and stops 90 minutes after EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios closes.

On nights when EPCOT or Hollywood Studios offers Extended Evening Hours, the Disney Skyliner will close 1 hour after they close.

However, since extended Evening Hours is only available to Deluxe Resort Guests, it will only offer transportation to the Riviera Resort and Boardwalk Resort, which is walkable from the EPCOT station. The stations at Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation Resort will be unavailable since these are not Deluxe Resorts.

What you should know

  • Guests who stay at a Skyliner Resort will most often not have bus service to EPCOT or Hollywood Studios. If you are afraid of heights and will not have access to a car, you may want to consider a different Resort.
  • Gondolas do not have air conditioning. There are vents with continual air flow, so the temperature stays comfortable (not cool) inside the gondolas. However, they do get hot quickly when the gondolas need to make a stop.
  • Each gondola can hold up to 10 Guests. While it’s common for your family to get their own gondola, Cast Members may fill up the gondolas at any time. This is especially true during times of the day when there are a lot of Guests traveling at one time.

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