An unofficial Walt Disney World news and trip planning guide!
There are a number of ways to travel around Walt Disney World and its surrounding areas, we've covered most of them below.
Disney provide a free shuttle bus service from every one of their Resorts to each park and Downtown Disney. Disney busses operate regularly and are one of the quickest ways to get around the parks.
The Monorail service operates at the Magic Kingdom and its surrounding resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian). You can board the monorail at the Ticket and Transportation Center after parking your car there, and then take the short trip around the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom. Alternatively you can use the monorail to get to Epcot. This is, again free to use.
A water taxi service operates from the Epcot/Boardwalk area resorts and the Downtown Disney area resorts, in addition to the Magic Kingdom resorts via Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.
The major downside of relying on the Disney transport is that it only goes around Disney owned property. They wont take you down to the shopping mall's for instance! A way around this is to use a Taxi if you don't plan on venturing outside of Disney World very often or very far.
If you're staying on-site, take a look at the page specific to your resort on our Resorts page, as it will contain information about the best transportation for you.
If you are staying at a Disney resort, you have the option of taking Disney's Magical Express, a complimentary airport shuttle service to your resort. You simply tell Disney your flight details, and when you arrive you go to the private Magical Express pickup zone, where Disney themed motor coaches await. You then check in and a driver will place your luggage under the bus (Top tip: When you arrive at your resort, take your own bags if you can otherwise you'll have to wait for concierge to deliver them). During the drive to your resort, a video plays on screens located throughout the coach, showing some useful information and top-tips.
The Magical Express can also pick you up and take you back to the airport on your departure. If you've got a late flight, concierge will happily look after your bags so you can enjoy your last day without having to lug suitcases around!
Having a rental car can be hugely beneficial if you've got someone in your party willing to drive. You'll not be forced to just stay around the Disney area, you can stay at outside resorts, or just use the car to go to non-Disney owned theme parks such as Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.
Rental cars are relatively cheap, and there are a number of good rental car providers with multiple pickup/dropoff locations around Orlando. Some notable companies are Dollar Rent A Car, Alamo, Hertz, Budget and Avis. Most car hire companies have their own areas in Orlando International Airport, Sanford Airport and Tampa Airport, meaning you can usually pick up and drop off your car and keep it for your entire vacation.
If you're staying on-site, its usually easier to use Disney's Magical Express pickup from the airport, and then collect your car from one of the hotels around Downtown Disney later in your vacation.
If you're using your own car or a rental car, you'll need to pay the parking fees at each park. Disney charges a flat daily rate depending on your vehicle type:
Free parking is offered to gusts staying in a Disney owned resort and annual passholders. If staying on-site you'll be given a parking permit to put in your window. The ticket issuers at the front of the park will wave you through when they see the pass.
The above prices apply to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. There are no parking charges at Downtown Disney, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach or resorts. If you are staying on a monorail-line resort, its usually easier (and cheaper) to just get Disney's complimentary monorail to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. If you are staying at a resort that is close to a park (e.g The Yacht Club, The Beach Club and The Boardwalk) then you can just walk through to the park.
Valet Parking is offered at all Disney Deluxe Resort for a fee of $12.00 per day. Valet Parking is provided for free to the following:
Tipping is generally customary for all valet parking across the WDW resort.