DISNEY IS HUGE! And regardless of where you stay, either at the resorts or somewhere else in Orlando, you need to know how to get to the parks. Cue the transportation options! This is part of my four part series for Disney World for First Timers (or someone who hasn’t been in a long time! )
I’m not going to lie when I say that transportation can be the most overwhelming part of the trip. For one, their are several options all varying in price and availability. The other overwhelming part is time.
Generally, Disney Vacationers are on a time frame, and they have a lot they want to do. So if you’ve got this grand plan- it can easily get messed up by the time it takes to get to and from the parks or resorts!
And Park Hopping! Oh the magic upsale that everyone says you need. Depending on your transportation options you could be spending over an hour trying to get to your next park!
But enough babbling on my part- lets get into the breakdown of transportation.
The Big Three
The most popular transportation options are:
The Disney Transport Bus- A mass transport system of buses and routes covering Disney World Property. These are handy because they go everywhere. Not so handy because they can get caught in traffic and then take a moment. They do have A/C and wheelchair accommodations. Strollers need to be folded (And in busier months your kids will have to ride on your lap). It’s like a public transport bus- and you don’t need a ticket to ride it.
Water Boats– a water based transportation system that includes the ferry’s to magic kingdom, and boats that take you to select resorts. We LOVE the ferry that goes from the Transport and ticket center to Magic Kingdom. It’s such a fun and relaxing way to see the castle over the water!
Monorail– Only goes to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as well as select resorts. It is one of my Kids Favorite things to do! I do recommend taking the monorail at some point on your vacation- resort hopping is a super fun option!
Other options for Travel
Driving– When you drive you can park in the parking lots for each of the Parks and Disney Springs. Unless you have arrangements with your pass/tickets, parking at Disney does cost based on your vehicle (and you can get preferred parking for an additional price and a closer parking spot) At Disney Springs the parking is free and you walk into the shopping areas. Large Trams (my son calls them trains with wheels!) pick you up in the parking lot and take you closer (but not all the way) to the front entrance.
Walking – Several of the resorts are connected to the parks through walking trails. These generally go to a back area of the park (there are more than one entrance points).
What about A Taxi
YEP! You can pay to have someone drop you at Disney World!
Minnie Vans– These are red and white polka dotted vans that take you where you need to go on Disney Property! They also have car seats! You order them through the Lyft app- but you need to call in for ADA ones.
Traditional Taxis– Orlando is filled with traditional taxis, and they are normally waiting right there at the pickup area- so you don’t even have to call! You can just walk over and get a taxi.
Uber and Lyft– Uber and Lyft Drivers work the Disney grounds as well. These can be pretty useful if you are planning to go somewhere off property or just want a quick lift to your next Disney Destination.
Handicap Accommodations – ADA accessible
Disney is pretty decent about Handicap accommodations. I say decent for several reasons. The biggest reason is out of their hands- but it’s people disrespecting the Handicap options (like using a parking sticker when no one in the vehicle is handicapped to get closer to the entrance). Handicap parking options fill up FAST!
So in times past, with a wheelchair we have used other transportation means. If you CAN NOT transfer, this can be tricky because Disney Staff are (for the most part) clueless about ramps and tie downs and can kind of get in your way (Can’t she just get off so we can move it into place? NO!) And forget it with a stroller that counts as a wheelchair (visit guest services for this). It needs to have tie downs! And you will need to explain to the bus driver where they are.
A solution we have found is a drop off area. It’s over by the Taxi areas and you can park and get everyone out and set up without rushing- and then you are closer to the entrance without having to fight buses or park in the overflow handicap spots. This only works if the driver doesn’t need accommodations since you still have to park in the main (handicap) parking area. Most times my husband just parks general to save the handicap spots for other people- like I said, they fill up super fast!
Handicap accommodations and ADA accessibility is an area near and dear to my heart- so reach out if you want to chat or need some helpful guidance.
The GONDOLA!!! DUN DUN DUN. It’s a skyliner that will connect Epcot with Hollywood Studios and some various other resorts. I am so excited (Though kinda nervous!) to ride it! Expected completion is Fall 2019!
You have so many options when it comes to transport at Disney World, which is good because their are lots of ways to get around.
It can be little overwhelming at times, and you might make a few rookie mistakes! Always ask at your resort (even if its off Disney Property) the fastest way to get to whatever park or resort you want to go to.
They will let you know so you don’t waste an hour or two taking something that inefficient. It’s also part of the reason I’m not a big park hopper recommender- I think it takes up a lot of time that could be better spent at the parks.