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Watercraft

There are numerous waterways and lakes throughout the Walt Disney World resort. Many of them are natural, a few are manmade. Disney has a rather large navy floating on them to help move you around. The fleet ranges from small (20 person or so boats) to large ferries.

 

Geek's Suggestions
It's a nice way to get around, but sometimes the lines are just toooo long. So be aware of the surroundings and other options before jumping in a long line and waiting for several boats to come and go before you get on.


Quick Facts
  • Disney owns more than 750 watercraft
  • There are 3 ferryboats - Admiral Joe Fowler, Richard F. Irvine, and the General Joe Potter. The boats are 120ft in length at the waterline and each has two 85lb Dnaforth anchors
  • There are 3 Motor Cruisers that go from the Magic Kingdom to Bay Lake (Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness). Each has two 4 cylinder Perkins engines and are 63ft 4.5in length at the waterline.
  • There are 6 Motor Launches that have routes on Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Their names are the Adventurer, Navigator, Explorer, Seafarer, Mariner, and Voyager. Each one uses a Cummins B80 or Perkins Sabre (turbo) engine. They are 29ft, 2in in length at the waterline.


Routes
Route
Comments

Transportation and Ticket Center
Magic Kingdom

This route is serviced by the large ferryboats. This is an efficient way to get to back and forth if the monorail line is long. The ferry holds many more people than the monorails so the line moves much faster. The biggest disadvantage of the ferry is that it is slower than the monorail. It is a nice cruise across the Seven Seas Lagoon and sometimes the breeze feels nice for a change in the hot Orlando weather. We did this a couple times in the late evening and pretty much had the boat to ourselves, which was a really cool experience.

Magic Kingdom
Grand Floridian
Polynesian

This route is serviced by a small water launch. I do not remember which hotel it goes to first, but I think it goes from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian then to the Polynesian then back the Magic Kingdom. This was the only WDW transportation that actually asked to see my resort ID. The boat is rather small compared to other WDW boats. This boat is usually a much faster way to reach the GF and Poly verses taking the monorail all the way around to get there (unless you just missed the boat of course).

Wilderness Lodge
Magic Kingdom

Fort Wilderness
Magic Kingdom

This is a good way to get from the WL to the MK unless you miss the boat. If you miss it, you are in for a wait because usually there is only one boat running this route.

EPCOT
Yacht & Beach Club
Boardwalk
Swan & Dolphin
Disney Studios

This route is done by a Friendship Launches (the same boats that are found in EPCOT's Worldshowcase). These boats are really slow moving but it is a very good way to get from the EPCOT area to the Studios. Also if you are in the World Showcase Part of EPCOT it is probably going to be a faster way to get to the studios verses walking to the front of the park and catching bus. The only annoying thing is how slow the boats seem to be moving. When you approach the boat docks be sure to follow the signs and get on the boat going in the direction you need to go. The boats run in circular patterns between the various stops.

Disney Springs Marketplace
Port Orleans
Dixie Landings

This is really a nice cruise up or down the river. With the combining of the two resorts Dixie Landings and Port Orleans, I am unsure of the new boat route, but before the combination you were able to stop at either resort. This was the most efficient way to get from the resort to Disney Springs (and very scenic too).
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