Disney World Transportation Tips
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While the bus depot at Disney's Hollywood Studios is under construction for Disney Skyliner, consider taking the boat to the Studios if you're coming from Epcot. It will drop you a little closer to the park entrance. You can take a boat from three other spots as well: Disney's Boardwalk, the Yacht and Beach Club and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. - Brian L.
Just returned from a trip to Disney World. We had a wonderful time celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. I would like to let everyone know that when traveling to Disney's Hollywood Studios by bus, you are now dropped off a loooong distance from the main entrance due to the construction of the Skyliner. If you have any issues with walking please be aware of this. I had hurt my knee before the trip
and the additional walk really took its toll. - Karen D.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've heard from several of you recently mentioning the same thing, and we experienced it ourselves a few weeks ago. We don't know how long this situation will exist, but for the time being, be advised that the bus stops are quite a long distance from the park's main entrance!
We recently stayed at Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside and were shocked that we had to wait 90 minutes for a bus to Magic Kingdom! We found out later that just the MK buses stop at the South bus depot first instead of the usual bus route around the POR resort where the South depot is last (usual is West, North, East, then South), so the buses were filling up before getting to our depot. To remedy this issue, we walked to the South depot to catch a MK bus the next morning, and we didn't have to wait for a bus at all -- we boarded a waiting bus immediately! As we guessed, the MK bus filled to capacity at the South depot, so it bypassed the West, North, and East depots altogether and went straight to MK. Just wanted to share this info for guests staying at POR so they can avoid the headaches we encountered. (As a side note, we went to City Hall in MK since arriving so late made us miss one of our FP+ reservations, and they made it available for us to use at anytime that day.) - Alex and Kim
When renting a car you never know if you should prepay for gas, or try to refill it on your own. If you rent an electric vehicle, this won't be an issue. You can return it with a nearly depleted battery. Some electric vehicles can travel about 40 miles on battery power and then an engine comes on to take you another 300+ miles. With more than 150 public charging stations in Orlando, including several within Disney, you'll likely not use much gas, if any. You also won't have to worry about returning the car with a full tank of gas. Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the Orlando International Airport has a number of electric vehicles in its fleet, which rent for the same price as a standard class vehicle. - Sara
On mornings when Disney expects larger than normal crowds passing through the Transportation and Ticket Center, they often add bus service to get you to the Magic Kingdom. Be sure to take a look toward the bus area when coming in from the parking lot or at the end of the Epcot monorail exit ramp to see if the signs are out for the bus service. There are usually six buses in this rotation, so they are continuously dispatched. It is definitely faster than the ferry and usually beats the express monorail, too. This service only runs for a few hours in the morning; it is not available all day. - Jack
Know the theme park closing schedule and schedule your non-hotel dinners before the buses make you route to Disney Springs to get back to your "home" hotel. We went from Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge) to Disney Springs and back to All Star Music. That occurred starting at 10:45 p.m. We didn't make it to bed until just before 12:30 a.m. Fortunately we didn't have to be at Typhoon Lagoon until 10 a.m. the next day. - Rudy Costa
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sometimes it is in your best interest to use the taxi service for late evening transportation from resort to resort. Cost is usually under $20.
We just returned from Disney World. My tip is when using the Magical Express baggage service, realize that it may take 3 hours to get your bags after you arrive. With this in mind, keep what you might need and your valuables with you. If your luggage has not arrived within 3 hours, call to check on it.
You MUST retrieve your luggage at the baggage carrousels if you arrive in Orlando after 10pm. From there, proceed to the Magical Express area. Luggage porters are usually around to assist.
If you are going to rent a car at the airport and drive to WDW yourself, make sure you have change in your pocket before you get on the toll road. Some exit booths have no attendant on duty to make change for you.
After the last 2 Hoop Dee Doo shows each evening, Disney offers bus transportation to the resorts. Check with Guest Relations just outside of Pioneer Hall to get directions.
Don't overlook the "front seat" of the Disney buses. Strike up a conversation with the driver... they all are incredibly friendly, and are a WEALTH of helpful information, including park shortcuts, the latest events, the easiest methods of "how to get from here to there," etc. Most have a vast knowledge of Disney trivia as well... talking with the drivers is like a "mini vacation" in itself. - Jan Hardy
EDITOR'S NOTE: Be aware for safety reasons, many drivers will choose to not have a conversation until the buses are stopped. They do enjoy guest interaction!
We happened upon a wonderful mid-day break for our Chicago area family during our Christmas break trip to Walt Disney World. We stayed off property. The kids (8 and 6) were more excited about the monorail than they were about anything else at Epcot. To kill time until our FASTPASS+ time on Soarin', and to satisfy their curiosity, we took a ride on the monorail after lunch. It was a fun, air-conditioned trip that gave them a sensory break from the heat and intense sounds of touring, they got to see other parts of WDW and we were all totally refreshed when we came back to Epcot about half an hour later. It didn't cost us anything extra and it was just their speed! - Ruth Gauss
EDITOR'S NOTE: Please be careful of your timing. Monorails can be in holding periods or be delayed leaving you in a situation where you will not be able to make your FastPass+ time window.
When booking, my travel agent said that the package included onwards travel to Walt Disney World. I said yes, as I understood this to mean Disney's Magical Express. A few weeks before our travel date, I received the final travel vouchers, which included a voucher for travel with a separate coach company from Orlando International to our Disney resort. Upon checking, we had paid extra for this service. As frequent visitors to Walt Disney World, we are aware of and have used Disney's Magical Express service, which is included for free with all on-property stays! Thankfully, I was able to cancel this and made use of the Magical Express. You do need to book this yourself. Being from the UK, we do not get the extra baggage tags, so it is important that we take our luggage with us to the Magical Express check-in. Hopefully this can reiterate to overseas travelers the services on offer from Disney, which aid to a smoother start to the magic! - Jason Herrick
Remember, if you forget where you parked your car, tell a parking attendant about what time you parked. They can then usually tell you about where you parked within a row or so. - Fred
You really need to check what perks your various credit card and loyalty programs provide. I just noticed that my credit card entitles me to Avis President's Club membership. I use National Car rental in Orlando, but National will match the elite levels for Avis and Hertz. I joined the Avis President's Club, sent a copy of my Avis membership to National, and in about two days National authorized the match. I was upgraded from Emerald Aisle to Executive Aisle service. I was able to rent a Toyota Highlander for the price of a Toyota Corolla, saving $80 per day. - Ellen