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Tips for getting around Disney World

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Monorail at Walt Disney World (Photo: Walt Disney World Resort)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on April 17, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Disney, Molly Feltner, Orlando, public transportation, theme park, vacation package.

Disney World is roughly the size of San Francisco and it's not always easy to get around. To avoid wasting time on-site, familiarize yourself with Disney's internal transportation in advance.

  • All Disney resort guests and theme park ticket holders can use Disney's transportation network for free. Theme park parking lots are free for resort guests, and $11 for everyone else.
  • Disney's transport system connects all theme and water parks, official resorts, and Downtown Disney. Theme park transportation begins running one hour prior to park opening times and one hour after closing. Service runs until 3 a.m. between Downtown Disney and the resorts. There is no set schedule, but generally you'll have to wait no longer than 20 minutes between services.
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  • Buses connect most points of interest, with direct service from most resorts to theme parks and Downtown Disney. The monorail connects the Magic Kingdom and Epcot along with the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary resorts. Boats connect the three aforementioned resorts and the Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom; the BoardWalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Swan, and Dolphin resorts to Epcot and Hollywood Studios; and the Port Orleans, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs resorts to Downtown Disney.
  • When going between resorts, you generally travel to a theme park or Downtown Disney first and then connect on another service to your destination. Some guests have found it easier to take taxis between resorts, particularly when pressed for time for dinner reservations.

Find maps on the Disney World website.

Have a great travel tip you'd like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

 
 
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