We all know that there are plenty of ways to navigate the Walt Disney World Resort using Disney Transportation, whether by bus, boat, or monorail. These transportation methods will take you from a resort to a park, from a resort to another resort, or from a park to another park. It is generally very easy to get from a resort to a park and back again by bus, boat or monorail – all run on a continuous schedule throughout the day. But what happens if you are looking to go from one resort to another resort, and these resorts are not on the same monorail or boat loop? Throughout the day, you can use Disney transportation to go from one resort to a park, then hop on a bus/boat/monorail from the park to your destination resort.
This can be a bit trickier during the early hours if, for example, you have a breakfast reservation at a resort other than your own, as different transportation methods begin running at different times. Additionally, buses do not typically accommodate Guests traveling from parks to resorts in those early hours. (An exception is Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – you can take a bus from your resort to the Animal Kingdom, then take a bus from there to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.)
Below are a few tips and tricks to help you get to your destination using only Disney transportation, while your breakfast is still warm!
DIStracted Tip: Disney generally recommends allowing around 1.5 hours to get to your destination when using Disney transportation. While this seems like a long amount of time to allot for your journey, keep in mind that you may need to wait for your Disney chariot to arrive at one or more stops, and factor in time for walking in between transportation methods if necessary.
Disney Park Buses: Begin running at 7:00 AM. The exception to this rule is the Disney Park Bus to the Magic Kingdom – this bus begins running at 6:30 AM.
Magic Kingdom Area Monorail: Begins running at 7:00 AM. Stops at the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Transportation & Ticket Center, Disney’s Polynesian Village, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Epcot Monorail: Begins running 1 hour before Epcot opens (generally 8:00 AM, except in the case of Extra Magic Hours). Stops at the Transportation & Ticket Center and Epcot.
Transportation and Ticket Area Ferry: Begins running 30 minutes before the Magic Kingdom opens (generally 8:30 AM, except in the case of Extra Magic Hours). Stops at the Transportation & Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom Boat Launches: Begin running 30 minutes before the Magic Kingdom opens (generally 8:30 AM, except in the case of Extra Magic Hours). Includes 4 different routes:
- Gold Route: Stops at the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Green Route: Stops at the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Red Route: Stops at the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Blue Route: Stops at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Friendship Boat Launches: Begin running 1 hour before Epcot/Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens (generally 8:00 AM, except in the case of Extra Magic Hours). Stops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and Epcot.
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios, shall we?
- Excellent breakfast choice!! The Tonga Toast is awesome!
- From POP Century, you can take a bus to the Magic Kingdom. From the Magic Kingdom bus stop, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom Area Monorail, and take the monorail to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
- Classic Disney characters in their finest beachwear AND a breakfast buffet?? Great decision!
- From Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort, you can take a bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From the Disney’s Hollywood Studios bus stop, you can walk to the Friendship Boat Launch, and take the boat to Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
3. You are staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and have an 8:05 AM Advanced Dining Reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, located in Epcot.
- Delicious and unique cuisine options (lingonberries!), Disney Princesses, AND a beautiful castle setting? Sign me up!!
- This one seems easy, right? Just board the Magic Kingdom Area Monorail from Disney’s Contemporary Resort, then transfer to the Epcot Monorail? Don’t forget that note from earlier – different transportation methods begin running at different times of the morning. While the Magic Kingdom Area Monorail starts running at 7 AM, the Epcot Monorail doesn’t start running until 8 AM (unless the park has Extra Magic Hours that morning). Unfortunately, if the Epcot Monorail begins running at 8 AM, that definitely does not leave you enough time to board the monorail, ride to Epcot, get through bag check and scan your Magic Band at the entrance, and walk to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in time for your 8:05 AM ADR.
- How about a bus then? Unfortunately, since the Magic Kingdom Area resorts (Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) are located on the monorail loop, buses do not run from Epcot or the Magic Kingdom to these resorts.
- My vote, based on experience? If you are staying at one of the Magic Kingdom area resorts, and have a pre-park opening ADR in Epcot, your best bet is to take a cab!
Are you a Disney early bird like me? Comment below with your favorite early-morning Disney transportation tips!
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