Getting Around Walt Disney World

Category: Travel

Walt Disney World is approximately 40 square miles. So, how do guests maneuver around this expansive magical place? There are four basic modes of transportation: bus, monorail, boat, and on foot.

The bus system at WDW is amazing. Every location is serviced by the bus system. Each resort has at least one bus stop for guests. All you have to do is to wait for the correct bus, get on, and leave the driving to them.

For instance, if you are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and you want to go to the Magic Kingdom, simply wait at the convenient bus stop for the bus with the Magic Kingdom sign. Or, if you are at EPCOT and want to go to the Pop Century hotel, at the EPCOT bus zone check the list for the corresponding number of the Pop Century hotel and wait in the appropriate area. Busses run about every 20 minutes. Signage is easy to understand.


The monorail is another mode of transportation at WDW. The monorail services three resorts (The Contemporary, The Polynesian, and The Grand Floridian) as well as The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and the TTC (Ticket Transportation Center). There are three monorail lines: one services the three hotels, TTC, and The Magic Kingdom, the second services the TTC and EPCOT, and the third is an express between The Magic Kingdom and the TTC.

Now, if you are at The Magic Kingdom and want to go to EPCOT, you have two options. You can catch the appropriate bus that will take you directly to EPCOT or you can take the monorail to the TTC. Once you arrive at the TTC you must switch to the other line and there you can catch the monorail directly to EPCOT.

If you are staying at one of the three hotels, the monorail can take you directly to The Magic Kingdom. If you are at The Grand Floridian and want to go to Disney Hollywood Studio, even though the monorail has a station at this resort, it won’t take you to Disney Hollywood Studio. You must take a bus.

While the monorail system is a great method of transportation, it doesn’t service the entirety of WDW. It would be great if it did. Perhaps one of these days they will extend it to all of WDW. In the meantime, it has limited service.


There are many waterways in WDW. The Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake, Crescent Lake and Lake Hollywood areas each provide boat service to other locations within WDW. As with the monorail, boat service is limited to the immediate vicinity, however if you are in one of the areas, a launch is an easy way to get from point A to point B.

For instance, if you are at The Polynesian, you can catch a launch directly to The Magic Kingdom. If you are at The Boardwalk, you can catch a launch to EPCOT or Disney Hollywood Studio. Boat access is available to minimal locations from Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. The resorts that have boat access to the Magic Kingdom are the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, the Contemporary, and Wilderness Lodge. Resorts with water access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are the Boardwalk, the Beach Club, the Yacht Club, and the Swan and Dolphin. Boat access to Disney Springs is available from Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, and Old Key West resorts.


The final way to get around WDW is on foot, however only nominally. Since this place is so large, several areas are connected by pathways, however you wouldn’t want to walk the entire world.

It’s an easy walk from the Boardwalk resort to EPCOT. It’s also an easy walk from the Polynesian to The Grand Floridian or the TTC.

Once you get inside a theme park, you’ll do plenty of walking, so if you don’t need to add to your Fitbit step count for the day, you might as well opt for the bus, monorail, or boat.

Magical Expresswdwtravel6

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, getting to your hotel from the airport is another convenient experience via the Magical Express. Once you make your reservations with the hotel and the Magical Express, you’ll be mailed special luggage tags. When you arrive at the airport you have two options: you can collect your bags and continue to the Magical Express location or you can let them collect your luggage (hence the special luggage tags) and you can proceed directly from the gate to the Magical Express location. You will then board the appropriate bus that will take you to your resort.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering travel and entertainment for over 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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