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5 Major Tips For Getting Around The Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney said “Here in Florida we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland, the blessing of size.” And right he was. Walt Disney World Resort compromises over 27,000 acres and more than 40 square miles of land. Today, Walt Disney World guests enjoy four theme parks, two water parks, an entertainment and shopping complex, dozens of hotels, multiple golf courses and more. In addition, Walt Disney World has one of the largest transportation fleets to maneuver guests from one location to another. These include busses, boats, monorails, trams and flying saucers. Okay, well maybe not flying saucers… yet. So how does one get around a resort twice the size of Manhattan? Here are 5 major tips for getting around the Walt Disney World resort:

5. Let Disney Do The Driving

One of the major benefits of getting around Walt Disney World is to let them do the driving! You can use Disney’s complimentary bus system at nearly every resort and park to get where you want to go. If you are flying into Orlando and will be staying on site, be sure to take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express which is a courtesy shuttle service between the airport and your resort. They will even take care of your bags for you. While on property, be sure to take advantage of the other forms of transportation, such as the famous monorail, ferry, friendship boats, trams and more.

4. Allow Extra Time

While allowing Disney to do the driving is one of the most convenient things about getting around Walt Disney World, that doesn’’t mean it’s always the quickest. Although the complimentary internal busses run about every 20 minutes, things can get backed up pretty quick. This is especially true after fireworks when everyone seems to be exiting the park at the same time. It’s not difficult for a bus to fill up and have to wait for the next one, or even the one after that. Make sure you allow extra time to get to your destination. Nothing is more worrisome than thinking your are going to miss your FastPass+ or that restaurant reservation you booked 180 days ago. Disney typically advises guests to allow up to 2 hours for transportation.

3. Don’t Get Distracted

If you choose to drive, follow the signs! The first time I drove on Walt Disney World property I was furiously watching my GPS to exit the property. The next thing I know, I found myself at the entrance to Epcot! Ooops! Even though the signs were clearly marked, I thought I knew better. Disney World 1, GPS 0. While I still prefer driving, now I simply follow the signs to where I need to go. It is both safer and more accurate than having my head buried in my phone. Because there are so many vehicles on the road entering and exiting various attractions and hotels, it’s easy to get distracted with the many different sights to take in. Keep your eyes on the road, obey all traffic laws and don’t get distracted.

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2. Plan Ahead

You can save time and frustration if you know your transportation options ahead of time. In nearly every case you have multiple transportation options. It’s good to know a few tips and tricks along the way. For example, you can walk to the Polynesian from the Ticket & Transportation Center faster than taking the resort monorail. Consider taking a friendship boat to and from Epcot or Hollywood Studios, or enjoy the path on foot. You cannot take a bus from the Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom, but you can take a boat. Sometimes the Epcot monorail closes before the Magic Kingdom does. It would be good to know that you’ll have to take a bus back if you park at Epcot and stay late at the Magic Kingdom. Know that you can take a bus from any theme park to Disney Springs during the evening, but there is no return service! Plan ahead on where you want to go and make sure you know all of your options.

1. Ask for Help

Cast Members are great source of information on just about everything, including transportation. Don’t be afraid to walk up to any of them to ask the best way to get from here to there. They can help advise you on your best options. I’’ve seen guests stand in complete confusion trying to figure out the transportation system, or wondering if they are doing it right. Even worse, I’’ve seen friends and family break out in arguments. Don’t let this happen to you at the most magical place on earth! Ask for help! You’ll be glad you did!

What did we miss? What are your tips for getting around the Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know by commenting below!

About Tim Forgette

I grew up in southeast Michigan. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1986 when I was just three years old. I am blessed to be the husband of 14 years to my beautiful wife, Rachel and father of four precious children, Lily (10), Elijah (8), Grace (6) and Josiah (5). We have always enjoyed doing things as a family which is why, when we moved to Florida, one of the first things we did was buy Disney annual passes. I enjoy everything Florida has to offer, but absolutely love watching my kids light up when it's time to go to Disney! We visit the Disney parks on average about once a week. When not at Disney, I enjoy participating with my church and community, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.