One extra stress you don’t need on your holiday is thinking about transportation and how you’re going to get from A to B. Deciding how you are going to travel in advance will help you save a lot of money, as well as make sure you aren’t panicking at the end of the day when it is time to leave the park. There are many options for travelling from park to park and around Florida itself, which I mentioned in my post Part Two: “Hakuna Matata means No Worries” and so does planning!, but I am going to focus my own recommendations here, based on my own experiences ✨
Transportation to the parks from off-site
(for information about shuttles, taxis, and hire cars see the post linked above)
My number one recommendation for travelling from off-site hotels and villas to the parks (or anywhere around Orlando in fact), is using the taxi service Uber. This service saved us up to $40 per day of our holiday, compared to using other taxis companies on our previous trip, and was reliable and easy to use with the free Disney Parks wifi, especially when we were using UK mobile contracts. Uber is controlled through a smartphone device, using an app to request, track and pay for your transport, without the hassle of exchanging money once at your destination (unless you want to give a tip).
- Download the free Uber app from your App Store
- Create an account using an accessible email address and bank card, which will be used to bill your travel expenses each time you travel
- Make sure to allow location services, to pick up where you are so the nearest Uber taxi can find you – you can type in your address in the top bar or move the pin to more accurately place your location
- The banner across the bottom of the screen allows you to change the type of car that will pick you up, with Uber X being a regular 4 seater (the cheapest option), Uber XL seating 6 passengers in a minivan or SUV, and Uber Select requesting a more luxury 4 seater car (e.g. BMW, Mercedes etc, with leather interior)
- After selecting ‘Set Pickup Location’, enter your destination into the search bar (can be an address or name) or move the red pin on the map
- Before you confirm your request, you will see how long it will take for a car to arrive, as well as give you the option of seeing a fare estimate – for a 25 min drive from our hotel to Magic Kingdom this was around $17!
- Once confirmed, the app will show you the registration plate and make of the car coming to pick you up, with the drivers name (and sometimes photo), so you can easily identify your ride. You will also be able to track where your taxi is on the map.
Transportation around Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is called ‘world’ for a reason – it’s huge. Hence Disney has it’s own Transportation network consisting of buses, boats and monorails so you can get around property quickly and easily. The map below show the transport links between each of the locations at WDW, which I found so useful when planning park hopper days, such as getting from Typhoon Lagoon to Disney Springs (although Disney Spring is still labelled as Downtown Disney, I think the links have remained the same).
Disney transport is completely free and available to anyone who wants to move around property, however it will not take you out of Disney grounds. Magic Kingdom is connected to Hollywood Studios via bus transport, as well as Animal Kingdom to all other parks.
✨ A new useful service which has been recently introduced are screens in the Disney transport bus shelters, so now you can see when the next bus will come along ✨
Two of the three Walt Disney World monorails circle the Seven Seas Lagoon located next to the Magic Kingdom park – the Express Monorail travels from the Transportation and Ticket Centre (TTC), through the Contemporary Resort and stops at Magic Kingdom, whereas the Resort Monorail makes stops at the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Village Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa as well. They operate 30 minutes prior to park opening and an hour after park closing.
From the TTC, there is also another monorail which takes you directly to Epcot, which is great for park hopping as it is quicker than taking the Disney buses.
Travelling by boat is also an option for getting around WDW property (indicated by a thin dark blue line on the map) due to the bodies of water which surround the parks.
- Epcot and Hollywood Studios are connected via water transport passing through Disney’s Boardwalk and the surrounding deluxe resorts
- Water transport is also available from the Grand Floridian and Polynesian to take you to Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon
- Water taxis link Port Orleans Resort, Old Key West Resort and Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to Disney Springs across the Sassagoula River
- Water launches are available to guests to and from Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary Resort, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground which surround Bay Lake
- Three ferries can also take you across Seven Seas Lagoon in a 15 minute journey to the Magic Kingdom from the TTC
Other transportation around Orlando
If you are staying on International Drive and do not have a car, then you may want to use the I-Ride Trolley, a transportation service which runs both directions of the 11 mile stretch, taking you to your favourite restaurants, shops and attractions. You can find out more here: http://www.iridetrolley.com/facts.asp