Skyliner vs. Monorail: Disney Fans Fight Club Episode 1

One of the trickiest things to navigate in Disney World is transportation!

Disney World bus

Disney World is the size of the city of San Francisco (yes, really!), so getting around from place to place can be a pain sometimes. Especially when there are so many options — from boats to buses to Skyliners to Monorails. And it’s those last two we’re talking about today. Let’s do a THROWDOWN with the Skyliner vs. the Monorail to find out which method of transportation is superior! The boxing gloves are coming out, people. BEWARE!


Disney Skyliner


Kicking things off with the Disney Skyliner, let’s start with a full list of its locations. The Skyliner’s main station is at Caribbean Beach Resort, and from there, it also goes to Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Riviera Resort.

Pop Century

Outside of the hotels, you’ll find Skyliner stations at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well. You can travel between the two parks by taking the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach and then transferring lines there.

Disney Skyliner at International Gateway Station

And if you’re staying at BoardWalk, Yacht Club, or Beach Club — we’ve got good news! You’re close enough to walk to the Skyliner station at EPCOT’s International Gateway. That way, if you want to ride to Hollywood Studios or take a trip to the other hotels, you’ll have easy access.

EPCOT Skyliner Station

Keep in mind that all Skyliner riders will have to disembark at Caribbean Beach. From there, you can either visit that hotel or transfer to another Skyliner line. The three lines are EPCOT & Riviera, Hollywood Studios, and Pop Century & Art of Animation.


There are several benefits to riding the Skyliner! First of all, we have to mention those VIEWS. You get great views of several bodies of water, as well as aerial views of EPCOT and multiple Disney World hotels along the various routes. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the EPCOT fireworks!

Disney Skyliner

If you’re traveling with a medium-sized group of people (like 4-8 people), the Skyliner will likely be a great choice for you because you may get an entire gondola to yourselves! They seat 10 people per gondola, but Disney often doesn’t fill them all the way. However, smaller parties (1-3 people) are often paired with others if it’s a busy station or time of day.

Skyliner Station between Art of Animation and Pop Century

And, of course, one of the big benefits of the Skyliner is that it’s pretty speedy! Most of the rides are 5-7 minutes between each station, and because it’s loading constantly, the lines are typically not bad midday. If it’s not too crowded, it’s a very efficient way to get places.


Not everything about the Skyliner is peachy keen, though. Starting with weather-related issues, this form of transportation closes during storms or lightning in the area. Also, it can be pretty scary to ride on a particularly windy day because the gondolas rock back and forth. (Speaking of scary, we wouldn’t recommend this if you have a fear of heights!)

Disney’s Skyliner

As we mentioned above, smaller parties may be placed with other riders, and it’s sometimes super awkward if you’re a solo traveler riding in the gondola with one or two other strangers. Weird.

Skyliner Gondola

Since the Skyliner is attached to so many hotels, it can get VERY popular first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This means you’ll likely find long lines to head to the parks from the hotels and even longer lines to go back to your hotel after park close.



On the other side of the coin, we have the Monorail, a classic form of Disney transportation! There are three different Monorail lines in Disney World, each with different stops and a home base at the Transportation & Ticket Center (the TTC, AKA Magic Kingdom’s parking lot).

EPCOT Monorail

The first line is the Resort Monorail, which goes to the TTC, the Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, Magic Kingdom, and the Contemporary Resort.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The second line is the Express Monorail, which only runs between the TTC and Magic Kingdom — just straight there and back! This is the line you will likely get in if you’re parking at the TTC and just trying to get to the park.

There goes the monorail!

And last but not least, there’s the EPCOT line. It goes from the TTC to the front entrance of EPCOT, taking a lap around Spaceship Earth on the way. This line has some really great views!


The benefits of the Monorail are plentiful! It loads a lot of people at once, so even though it’s not continually loading like the Skyliner, it still has a fairly high capacity. The cars also come fairly frequently — typically more often than buses.

Inside of a monorail

It’s not as affected by wind and storms as the Skyliner is, and it also offers some great views. On both of the lines that go to Magic Kingdom, you get the chance to ride THROUGH the Contemporary Resort, and on the EPCOT line, you do a loop through the front of the park.

EPCOT Monorail

There’s also a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in the Monorail. It’s a Disney World classic, and we think everyone should do it at least once on a vacation.


However, there are some drawbacks to the Monorail. Since they load the cars pretty full in the morning and at night, you may be packed in there like sardines. You may also have to stand up for the duration of the ride if all the seats are already taken.


One of the most common mistakes we see in Disney World happens on the Monorail as well. It can be very confusing to transfer Monorails at the TTC since they don’t make you get off (like they do on the Skyliner), so we’ve seen plenty of people ride in loops, not realizing they need to change lines to go to a hotel or EPCOT.

Magic Kingdom Monorail

Our last downside has to do with the EPCOT line specifically — it takes AGES. If you miss the EPCOT Monorail, you’ll have to wait for possibly 20 minutes (or maybe longer if it’s a one Monorail day) for another one to come around. The path to EPCOT is longer than the other lines, and they only run two Monorails on that track at a time.


So there you go — our showdown between the Monorail and the Skyliner. Which are you choosing? There are definitely pros and cons to each, so it all depends on your personal preferences!

Stay tuned to AllEars for more updates and tips from Disney World.

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Which transportation option do you prefer? Tell us in the comments!

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