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So you're at WDW, how do you get around?

Getting around Walt Disney World can be part of the fun/adventure or it can be a frustrating experience depending on your choices, time of day, patience and luck.

Walt Disney World (WDW) is approx. 43 square miles. It is a large resort complex and getting around the resort takes time. Disney has put together a very robust and integrated system of busses, boats, monorails, trams, gondolas and roads to move guests around outside the parks. Inside the parks Disney has just as many transportation options available. The entire system can be overwhelming at first, but if you stop to think about the system before embarking on your trip you will find it not that scary.

The first thing to remember when navigating WDW is that it takes time to get anywhere. You cannot just zip from place to place instantaneously. Always allow yourself plenty of time. For most trips a good rule of thumb is anywhere from 45-60 minutes.

The best way to visualize the system is to think in terms of various hubs. Each major destination (theme park, waterpark, Disney Springs) acts as a hub. Various transportation options leave from this and go out to other hubs or to the resorts. So if you want to go from theme park to theme park you can usually do this without any connections. If you want to go from resort to resort though you will most likely need to make a connection at one of the hubs. We will go into more detail on this in the various sections. We have divided transportation up along the lines of what mode it is.

Modes of transportation:

  • Monorails: Connect some Magic Kingdom resorts, and MK->Epcot
  • Disney Skyliner (Gondola): Disney Hollywood Studios/Epcot to Caribbean Beach Resort/Riviera Resort/Art of Animation and Pop Century Resort.
  • Boats: Magic Kingdom Resorts, EPCOT resorts, and Disney Springs resorts
  • Busses: Almost everywhere
  • Other: Everything else in the world, including walking, driving, trams, Minnie Vans, etc...

If you were interested in getting to WDW from the airport please visit our planning section. Click here.

Over 200,000 Disney guests ride the various forms of transportation on an average day, many days many more guests. The full system is larger than most cities.

I mentioned that transportation can be part of the fun. For example opting to take different modes to get different views.. for example if you are at Epcot and going to Fort Wilderness for the Hoop Dee Do or Trails End to eat you could opt to walk out of the park and grab a Disney Bus, a Minnie Van, drive yourself, or go for a ride on a Monorail and a couple of boats to reach your destination. You can make the journey part of the fun or you can try to optimize every second you have on vacation.

 

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