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WDW Park-To-Park Transportation

Walt Disney World: What is the best FREE way to get from one park to another at WDW?

From Bob Liebe
Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:55 PM
I need a little help. In the past, I've always had a rental car and used that to get from park-to-park. But on this next trip, I'm going to use the shuttle service from my hotel to get to Disney World. But the shuttle from the hotel only travels to Epcot.
So my question is, what is the best FREE way for me to get to MK, DAK, & DHS from Epcot? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Neil Reece
Posted March 15, 2012 at 4:17 AM
If you are a guest at WDW (ticket holder), all the Disney Transportation is free. Choose from monorail, buses, and boat launches to travel to all parks, resorts, and Downtown Disney. You can get anywhere on Disney property for free with a ticket.

From Justin M
Posted March 15, 2012 at 5:54 AM
WDW transportation is free to anybody (you dont need a ticket). The monorail is the best way to get to MK from Epcot, you can take a friendship boat to DHS from the international gateway, and AK you can take a bus.

From Neil Reece
Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:37 AM
Didn't know you could ride without a ticket, but they never asked to see one. I always did have one because its WDW :)!

From Justin M
Posted March 16, 2012 at 5:53 AM
Neil,

I live close by to WDW so sometimes I go just to eat lunch or take the Monorail around the resort Loop!

From James Koehl
Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:33 AM
Give yourself plenty of time, esp. in busy season. Sometimes it takes awhile for the buses to arrive, plus sometimes you can't get from Point A to Point B without going to Point C and transferring, and that can be messed up if the monorail is down for any reason. If you have a reservation for dinner or something that you can't miss, either leave way early and find something to do (at WDW, not usually a problem) or go by car (rental or taxi). I've never been asked for a ticket on any WDW transport system (except for Peoplemover, and that was at the front gate ;+)

From Neil Reece
Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:27 AM
Thanks Justin,

I'll remember that next time I'm in FL and don't want to give all my cash to Disney ;).

From Bob Liebe
Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:16 PM
Thanks for the info! I'm going to be going from April 24th - May 4th so it should be the "slow season" so crowds shouldn't be a problem. I just booked the plane tickets last night. I can't wait to go! Is it April yet?! LOL :-P

From Skipper Adam
Posted March 18, 2012 at 8:39 AM
I don't mean to imply anyone is stupid, but this is one of those questions guest ask that I have to stare blankly for a moment before answering. Especially if they ask inside MK because they've already used the free transportation. But it startles me how little research some people do before visiting the parks, and that usually leads to miserable trips, or ones that waste a lot of time.

From Robert Niles
Posted March 18, 2012 at 5:41 PM
Once upon a time, Disney did ask to see resort IDs for boarding on certain transportation on property, notably some of the boat launches to the hotels and even the resort loop monorail at times. So word spread that you couldn't always use the WDW transportation "for free."

It's been years since I've been asked to show any ID or ticket when getting on any transport at Disney, but questions like this one show that once a reputation is established, it's hard to change.

From Thomas Caselli
Posted March 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM
Skipper Adam, I totally agree. I can't imagine going to WDW without knowing what has to be done with respect to everything. To me the transportation seems like a nobrainer unless someone drives his own vehicle around everywhere he goes in WDW.

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted March 29, 2012 at 4:19 AM
As a major pre-trip-prepper, I totally agree, Skip. So major kudos, Bob! If you have the time, I'd suggest a leisurely boat ride from Port Orleans Riverside to Downtown Disney. Not what you're asking about, but a friendly suggestion. A very nice ride down the Sassagoula River. :)

From Justin M
Posted March 29, 2012 at 5:48 AM
I actually prefer to take my car around WDW when I visit, I hate waiting for the busses they take forever. The only exception is if im staying at a resort on the Magic Kingdom resort loop, or the Epcot area resorts (YC & BC or Boardwalk/Swan Dolphin)

From Skipper Adam
Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:37 AM
By the time I get me car, after forgetting where it is, getting out of the parking lot, finding my way to where ever I'm going at WDW, go through parking/ security, find a spot, take the shuttle or walk to where I'm going, I think the bus may take less time and surely less gas. But I'm used to city transportation and I bet people who don't use public transportation often find it troublesome.

From Bob Liebe
Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM
Thanks Mark, I'll keep that in mind. As I stated, this is the first time that I won't have my own car to drive around at WDW and I'm not super familiar with public transportaion at home. So I hope all goes well and without a hitch!

From Skipper Adam
Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM
Well I'll explain to you real quick two of the most confusing parts. If you are at the Magic Kingdom and wish to go to the Studios or Animal Kingdom, you have to take the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center and catch the bus there. IF you need to get to Downtown Disney from a park, you much go to a resort to catch a bus there. Those two things cause a lot of lost people.

From Bob Liebe
Posted March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM
Thanks for the advice Skipper! You might be able to help me with another question. I have read on a couple other sites that Lights, Motors, Action! is supposed to be down for refurb from 4-29 to 5-2. That's right smack in the middle of my trip. I want to be able to view the show, but I'm worried that if something takes longer than expected, that I would miss out on it so I'm leaning towards going to DHS before it closes. How firm are refirb dates usually?

From Skipper Adam
Posted March 29, 2012 at 6:17 PM
Pretty much what they say, unless they finish the refurb early, which won't help you.

From Justin M
Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:02 AM
If you’re worried about time getting to DHS or AK from Magic Kingdom, just bite the bullet and pay $10 for a cab ride. They sit right outside the gates to MK and will save you probably 45 mins instead navigating the marathon of monorail/bus/boat hassles. Considering your already spending thousands on a Disney World trip this should be no big deal, trust me its worth it.

From Dominick D
Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:36 AM
Now that The Avengers monorail comes this weekend, that's the best way to get to MK.

From Rob Pastor
Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM
Bob: I see you are as psyched for the trip as we are. My tentative schedule has us at Hollywood Studios on parts of 4/29, 4/30, 5/4, and 5/7. That way we can take advantage of the late magic hours on two of the days. It's our favorite Disney Park. Maybe we'll come close to running into you on Star Tours again... Then its on to Universal for 5/8 to 5/20.

From Bob Liebe
Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Rob: I'm not for sure yet on my scedule, but I'm either going to be at DHS on 4-26, 4-27, 5-3, or 5-4. I'm only going to do 3 days at Disney this year total. 1 at DHS, 1 at MK, and the last day split between Epcot & AK. The rest of the days will be at Universal cause I'm booking a vacation package through Universal. Who knows, maybe another Star Tour reunion will be possible!

From Rob Pastor
Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Bob: We're going to be at the Portofino Hotel Resort again. Just love that place. It's great for couples. Quiet & relaxed. But we plan on stopping over to the Hard Rock & Royal Pacific to try their pools & restaurants. If you've been to any of the Hardrock or Royal Pacific restaurants, do you have any to recommend?

From Bob Liebe
Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:54 PM
Rob: Sorry I can't help you there. I've only stayed @ Universal partner hotels when I've booked a Universal vacation package so I haven't been to the on site hotel restaurants or pools. The reason that I stay @ the partner hotels is so that I can have a 2 bd rm villa for the same price or even cheaper than the on site hotels. But I'm sure if you post the question here someone will be able to give you advice. So are you staying on site at Disney as well?

From Rob Pastor
Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:32 PM
We're at the Caribbean resort at Disney. Not near the level of Portofino, but we really like the property. My girlfriend's family used to vacation at Chautauqua Resort in upper State New York and the lake, outside building designs and landscaping reminds her of those childhood times. So it's a nostalgia thing to a degree. The existence of palm trees are the only real difference. The rooms are decent size by Disney standards but nowhere near the opulence of Portofino rooms. Pricing, though is not bad. I can get comp point rooms at the Marriot Resort, which is a really nice resort, but I like to stay on site at Disney. But if I had kids to pay for, I'd probably stay off site. Orlando is much easier for a couple than families economically.

From Bob Liebe
Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM
Thanks Rob! My sister is going to be planning a trip to WDW next spring so she was going to look into staying on site at Disney. Any advice? It will be her, her husband and two kids (8 & 6).

From Rob Pastor
Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:09 PM
Depends on the budget. Riverside New Orleans just redid their rooms into a Disney Princess motif & they look great. They have pictures on a lot of the Disney sites. That's a good resort for kids.They have individual area pools plus a big themed pool that is kid oriented.And a fishing hole area also. A few of our friends stayed there and really liked it. Plus they have boats that travel to Downtown Disney via the canals. It's a moderate priced resort like the Caribbean.And there are usually 20 to 30% off deals for non summer/holidays. I saw that the Caribbean is supposed to do their main pool renovation within the next year so they probably won't want to stay there since the main pool will be closed. The new Animation Resort expansion opens next month. That looks pretty good and its a value resort so the price is right. We stayed at the Polynesian one time & its very good but very very expensive. Great for kids too. If budget is a prime reason, usually kids aren't as picky as adults...We like the convenience of staying on site at Disney. We probably drive half the time & take the buses the other half. Magic Kingdom is quicker by bus than car cause you don't get jammed up at the transportation center.Plus we take advantage of the late magic hours. But we "never" do the early magic hours cause the parks get too crowded. My niece just stayed at the All Star Sports for a cheerleader competition & she liked it. And she's spoiled with hotels, cause my brother always stays at Marriots or Hard Rocks, so I guess it's ok as a value resort goes. But the value resorts usually only have food courts, but generally that's what the kids want to eat anyway.And value resort rooms are fairly small.... I sometimes read of complaints with the bus system, but we've never had any problems. It's always been pretty smooth. But we never stay in the summer(too crowded & too hot)so maybe its different then.

From Robert Niles
Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:00 PM
If you're interested, here's the inside of the Princess room my five-year-old niece stayed in last month.

Princess room

I guess she spent a good part of the first night pushing the button that lit up the headboard fireworks. Again, and again, and again. :-)

From Bob Liebe
Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:07 PM
Thanks for the advice Rob and Robert. I bet my niece would be doing the same thing all night if she was in that room. Heck, I bet I'd be up all night pushing the button! :-) I'm sure I'll be asking for more advice later on about a Disney vacation package since I'll be my sister's travel agent!

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