The Big Walt Disney World Transportation Problems to Plan For

Disney World offers some great transportation options when it comes to staying on property. From land to sea (well, lagoons, lakes, and rivers) to sky, there’s a transpo option everywhere you are that will get you everywhere you want to be.

Disney Bus

But what happens when those systems of transportation don’t work as well as you expected?

Here are all the transportation problems you probably haven’t thought of — but you should definitely plan for ahead of time.

Lines and More Lines

Lines can be expected at Disney World, but at the end of the night especially, you can generally plan on a long wait to get on the bus, Monorail, ferry, or Skyliner. Everyone is tired and cranky, and no one wants to have to wait AGAIN just to get home.

Waiting on a Disney bus, what’s new

If a wait like that really bothers you, you might want to plan on leaving the parks earlier or, if that’s not an option, ordering a rideshare or booking a resort within walking distance of a park are good options that let you skip the long wait.

So Many People

If you’re not a people person, you probably want to plan to avoid taking transportation during peak times, which are usually early mornings and evenings around park opening and closing times.

Crowds returning to the Transportation and Ticket Center via bus

When crowds are big, like after fireworks, Disney will generally pack transportation with as many people as safely allowed, which can feel like a lot. You might end up standing on a bus, trying to hold on, while also avoiding falling into the lap of a stranger.

Inside a Disney Bus

During peak times or if you have a small party, you may be sat in the Skyliner with strangers. The maximum Skyliner capacity is 10 people, which can feel like a lot packed into that small space. And if you’re an introvert, it can feel a bit like torture as you soar silently above Disney World.

Inside the Skyliner

Should you make small talk? Whisper to your group? Is there Skyliner etiquette we don’t know about? So much awkward silence. Think about this problem in advance so you have a game plan.

Broken Down

Like rides at Disney World, sometimes transportation systems go down. And when one system goes down, everyone has to rush to an alternate form of transportation, which leads to — you guessed it — more lines.

Closed EPCOT Monorail line

Or worse, you’re traveling when it breaks down, and then you’re temporarily trapped on the Monorail or Skyliner waiting helplessly and hoping for things to move along. Build extra time into any Disney World commute just in case. And if you know the feeling of tight (or high-wire) spaces could create unrest, plan for that, too.

Bus Routes/Commute Times

Disney buses usually stop at each bus stop approximately every 20 minutes. Many Disney World buses have multiple stops at either the same hotel or even multiple hotels, which means your commute may not be as fast as you thought it would be. The All Star Resorts’ buses, for example, stop at all three All Stars locations — Movies, Music, and Sports.

Bus Stop

Some Resorts have several bus stops before even leaving the resort! Internal bus loops can be found at Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans — Riverside, and Fort Wilderness. Essentially, not all Disney World buses take guests directly from Point A to Point B, so you might want to build a buffer of time into your commute before you know exactly where your hotel’s bus stops.

And some forms of transportation, like the Friendship boats between EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT-area Resorts, can take WAY longer than you’d expect with all the stops in between. You’re looking at around 30 minutes from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT (or vice versa)! For context, to walk from EPCOT to Hollywood Studios takes around 20 minutes.

Take the boat between EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and the hotels!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your commute will always be short! You can check with Disney for times before you choose which form of transportation to use.

Some Transportation Can Be Scary

If you have a fear of heights or falling or maybe even claustrophobia, the Skyliner might not be the right choice for you. Considering the Skyliner can reach heights of up to 60 feet, it’s not for anyone who values having their feet on the ground.

Skyliner Crash

While the Skyliner does offer quick transportation between Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and a few Disney hotels, it’s not always the best choice for everyone. There’s also been a few incidents of the Skyliner gondolas crashing and guests stuck in their gondolas for some time, so keep that in mind if that sounds like your version of a Disney nightmare.

Weather

Florida is basically synonymous with stormy weather, and when lightning is present, guests cannot ride any boats or the Skyliner. If you’re on the Skyliner when lightning occurs, you will possibly be evacuated at the next Skyliner stop and transferred to a bus for your final destination.

Skyliner closed signage

Transfers like this can take quite a bit of time as Disney ushers guests to their new transportation options, so if you see a storm in the weather forecast, you might want to take the bus instead of the Skyliner.

Unavailable Transportation

Make sure to double check that the transportation you’re relying on is open for the time period you’re visiting. For example, the Sassagoula River Cruise boats aren’t operating at this time, so you’ll need to think about that if you were planning on using that as a form of travel to and from Disney Springs.

Sassagoula River Cruise to Disney Springs at Port Orleans

The Sassagoula River Cruise boats sail from Disney Springs to the Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, and Old Key West Resorts, which means if you have plans to stay in those resorts, keep in mind to that this transportation route isn’t an option right now.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter

When you’re at Disney World, it’s not a mistake to plan for the unexpected.  Be sure to build in time before you know more about your transportation options, and plan to be flexible if issues arise. Keep reading All Ears for more Disney World tips and tricks!

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What’s your favorite transportation tip? Let us know in the comments!

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3 Replies to “The Big Walt Disney World Transportation Problems to Plan For”

  1. The best way to avoid Disney Transportation delays is to not use them. On our last trip in 2018 we used the bus from Pop Century for trips to the parks. But it was an Uber ride back every night. We got an XL minivan for the 6 of us. Average wait for the bus was 60 minutes, we were back in less than 20 and it was never more than $10-12, $15 with tip. With 2 dead tired pre-teens it was money well spent. And it allowed us to stay right to park close without worrying about the lines to get back.