10 Tips & Tricks for Walt Disney World Transportation

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

One of the amazing things about Walt Disney World is the transportation it provides guests.  When visiting the four main theme parks, Disney Springs or a water park, one can rely solely on Disney transportation to get them from place to place.  Buses, boats, monorails, Minnie Vans and now the skyliner all transport guests throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  Before you head down, make sure you know about these tips and tricks to make the best use of the free transportation that Disney provides.


1. My Disney Experience:  Bus Times

When staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, guests can view predicted bus arrival times in the My Disney Experience (MDE) app.  This is an excellent feature that can allow guests to better manage their time when heading to the park.  Know when there are a few extra minutes, or when hustling is important.  These same times are posted at bus stops at Disney resorts.  These real time waits can keep everyone informed on the progress of their bus.

2. FriendShip Boats

FriendShip boats travel along Crescent Lake transferring guests from the area resorts to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Know that the boats go from Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Swan & Dolphin, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Swan & Dolphin, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, and finally back to Epcot.  If you are staying at these resorts, sometimes it can be faster to get out at a different resort (like Boardwalk) and walk to your resort (Swan/Dolphin) if you are in a hurry.  

3. Epcot to Hollywood Studios

Currently, the Skyliner is the fastest mode of transportation between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (even with a transfer at Caribbean Beach).  Next would be walking between the two followed by the FriendShip boats.

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4. Two Monorail Lines

When using the monorail from Magic Kingdom, know that they are two lines.  The express loop and the resort loop.  Most guests heading the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) choose the express loop because it stops only at the Magic Kingdom.  Although this is often the best option, during park opening or closing, jumping on the resort loop can be faster as there is typically fewer guests heading back to the three monorail resorts.  Gage your options and choose the shorter of the two lines.  

5. Skyliner Views

If you are wanting to check out the views from the Skyliner, make sure to request a gondola without a wrap.  Although the decorated gondolas are adorable from the outside, the wrap makes it difficult to see out of when traveling.

6. Minnie Vans for Resort to Resort Options

If you are wanting the quickest mode of Disney transportation between resorts, you will want to get a Minnie Van.  These adorable Minnie inspired vans are ran through the Lyft app and have the magical ability to travel where a normal Lyft, Uber or bus can’t go.  When going to Pioneer Hall for Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue or Trail’s End, Minnie Vans are an excellent choice because they can drop you right at the hall.  This is allowing you to skip the internal bus system you would have to use if taking a boat or bus over. Disney buses can take sometimes 90 minutes of transportation time if you are traveling from resort to resort.  If you have dining reservations at O’hana, you would have to take a bus to Magic Kingdom then use the monorail or boat to get from Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian.  With a Minnie Van, you can get picked up right at your resort and taken directly to the Polynesian making your transportation time closer to 15-20 minutes.

7. Minnie Vans to Magic Kingdom

Another great use of Minnie Vans if when heading to the Magic Kingdom.  Unlike Lift or Uber, Disney’s Minnie Vans can pick up and drop off right at the bus corals at Magic Kingdom.  When you aren’t wanting to share a bus with other guests, Minnie Vans can get your right to the magic quickly.

8. Disney transportation to Magic Kingdom

Many guests staying at a Disney resort still choose to rent a car.  The ability to come and go whenever they want is a freedom that many enjoy.  When heading to the Magic Kingdom, keep in mind that only Disney transportation can actually go to the Magic Kingdom itself.  All other cars, Ubers, Lyfts go to the Ticket and Transportation Center where guests can then board the monorail or the ferry to get to Magic Kingdom.  Because of this, using Disney transportation to Magic Kingdom whether it be a bus or Minnie Van can save a lot of time and frustration.

9. Disney Springs and Parks

Disney Springs is a fun, energetic location for guests to visit while on a Disney vacation.  From outstanding food options and excellent shopping to entertainment all over, more and more guests are making sure to schedule in some time at Disney Springs during their vacation.  With that in mind, make sure you know that transportation to Disney Springs runs differently than other buses.  Buses from Disney Springs do no run to the four main theme parks.  Instead, guests wanting to get to a park need to catch a bus to a close resort (Contemporary for Magic Kingdom, Beach Club for Epcot, Boardwalk for Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom Lodge for Animal Kingdom) and from there catch a park bus.  Guests can use Minnie Vans as well from Disney Springs.

10. Moving Faster

A few tips on how to get around a little faster in some areas.

  • Guests can walk from Disney’s Polynesian Resort to Ticket and Transportation Center giving them access to the Epcot monorail as well as the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Walking from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom is a quick 5-minute walk.
  • If your resort is close to another such as Art of Animation and Pop Century, Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside, or Beach Club and Yacht Club, when catching buses consider jumping on which every resort comes first.  Although you will have to walk when getting dropped off, this ensures you are back on the resort grounds faster if that is important.
  • Buses typically aren’t offered at resorts that offer boats or monorail access to the parks.  However, Disney is still offering buses at the resorts with the Skyliner access to help those with a fear of heights.

Disney’s offers a variety of free transportation to guests visiting Walt Disney World.  These modes of transportation are often an attraction in themselves.  Consider taking a boat ride, skyliner ride or a loop on the monorail during your next Walt Disney World vacation.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.