The Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida, contains four theme parks, two water parks, 27 Disney resort hotels, nine other hotels, a giant shopping and entertainment center, golf courses, a camping destination, and various other attractions. In other words, it is huge.
All of these things and more are stretched over around 25,000 acres, which is approximately equal to 39 sq. miles. Because of this, Disney has provided many ways for guests to get around and you’re definitely going to want to consider them all on your next visit.
Sit back and keep your hands, arms, and legs inside the moving vehicle at all time; Here are 10 of the best ways to get around Disney World.
8 Disney Skyliner
Disney’s newest form of transportation, which opened up on Sept. 27, take guests on a leisurely cruise through the air. This gondola lift system has five stations located at Epcot and Hollywood Studios as well as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Riviera Resort.
Though there is no AC inside each gondola, carefully designed windows push air from the outside into each vehicle. Additionally, you’ll get a beautiful birds-eye view of the resort from the gondolas that can’t be gotten anywhere else.
If you're looking to head to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, the Monorail may be the way to go. This train in the sky connects these parks, the Magic Kingdom's Transportation and Ticket Center, and a handful of resorts (the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary).
The Monorail is quick and efficient, beginning operation half an hour before the Magic Kingdom opens and closing one hour after the park does. Additionally, it's completely free to use and the routes are easy to follow.
Though many people choose to take the Monorail into the Magic Kingdom from the parking lot, there is another way to cross over the Seven Sea Lagoon -- and that is the Magic Kingdom Ferry boats.
Like the Monorail, the ferry begins running half an hour before the Magic Kingdom opens, however, it runs even later into the evening, concluding service 1.5 hours after the park closes.
The ferries are also free to board and usually have around a 10- to 20-minute wait depending on the time of day. Some people choose to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and the ferry back to the parking lot or vice versa to get all the best views.
5 Friendship Boats
The Magic Kingdom Ferry isn’t the only type of water transportation to exist at Disney World. Right outside of Epcot’s hidden World Showcase entrance is what’s known as the Friendship Boats. These boats leisurely move across Crescent Lake, connecting Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Along the main route, guests are also able to get off at the Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin resorts. Though the boats aren't the most efficient way to park hop, they are one of the more scenic ways.
The Friendships boats can also be found in Epcot, running across the World Showcase Lagoon.
Disney has an incredible bus service that connects many of the parks, resorts, and additional entertainment destinations together. They're totally free to use and run on a constant schedule around 20-minutes apart.
Disney Resort busses that are destined for the parks begin operating around 45 minutes before park opening and end about an hour before park closing. The return buses continue until around 2 hours after the parks close their gates.
The busses are easy to use and understand, so they're one of the best options for getting around the property.
4 Minnie Van
These Minnie Vans are basically Disney's version of Lyft or Uber. In fact, they actually are connected to the Lyft app.
The Minnie Vans allows you to go anywhere on Disney property or to the Orlando International Airport, although choosing the latter of the two destinations will have you paying a hefty $150 fee.
Rides on-site are much cheaper, though there is still a cost based on where you're going, so it's up to you to decide whether or not the price is worth it. At the very least, your ride vehicle will look cute.
Though you'll never have to drive if you're staying on Disney property, it's probably the best way to get to the resort when you're staying a little farther away. Thankfully, Disney has parking everywhere so you won't have to worry about where to leave your car.
It costs $25 a day to park any standard vehicle outside of one of the four major theme parks, however, there are ways to get around this. If you have an annual pass or are staying at a Disney resort, you can park at the amusement parks for free. Additionally, parking at places including Disney Springs, the waterparks, and the golf courses is always free. You might even want to consider parking at Disney Springs (since it's usually open latest) and then bussing to one of the theme parks.
2 Water Taxis
The one type of water transportation we haven't mentioned yet are the water taxis and cruises that run between the resorts, Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs.
The Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Wilderness Lodge resorts, as well as the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, use water taxis to transport people to and from the Magic Kingdom. Additionally, the Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs Resort all have boats that bring guests out to The Landing at Disney Springs. These water taxis can also be boarded for free to move to the West Side and Marketplace locations.
Walt Disney World Railroad
Though its temporarily shut down for renovations, the Walt Disney World Railroad is a fabulous way to get around once you’re inside the Magic Kingdom.
The train contains three stations located on Main Street U.S.A. and in Frontierland and Fantasyland. There is on-board narration and the 20-minute loop is almost as fun as an actual ride.
Though we might not see too many major changes to the attraction as it's was primarily being rerouted around the new TRON coaster, we're still excited to see any updates the train gets.
While Disney offers many ways to get around, there’s nothing quite like tackling the parks on foot. Though park hopping will require you to jump in a car or on the monorail, moving throughout them will not.
By opting to walk when you can, you’ll notice all the small details you would have missed by zipping by. Disney has created lots of paths filled with gorgeous sceney that will make your stroll through the parks a pleasent one.