The Friendship Boats: A Different Kind of Disney Cruise

If you have ever found yourself on one side of World Showcase wishing you could get to the other side quickly and rest your weary feet at the same time, you have probably hopped on a Friendship Boat.

The Friendship BoatsThe Friendship Boats

These water taxis are a great way to travel around World Showcase when you are tired of walking or even when you just feel like taking a short sail across the lagoon.

There are four Friendship Boat docks within the World Showcase. You can board near Mexico and travel to the dock at the Germany Pavilion, or you can board near Canada and travel to the dock at the Morocco Pavilion.

Friendship Boat on World Showcase LagoonFriendship Boat on World Showcase Lagoon

The World Showcase Friendship Boats start running at 11 a.m. each day.

The boats aren't fast, but they are air conditioned and this is definitely a bonus on those warm (hot) Florida days when you think might just melt into the pavement. Plus, they give you a new view on the World Showcase.

Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon isn't the only place to find the Friendship Boats.

You can also travel on the boats from the dock located outside Epcot's International Gateway (also known as the "back door" to Epcot). Those Friendship Boats will take guests to the Epcot Resort area and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Friendship Boat at World ShowcaseFriendship Boat at World Showcase

The Friendship Boats that cruise Crescent Lake will make stops at the docks at the BoardWalk, the Yacht and Beach Club, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

The walk from the International Gateway area of Epcot to the Yacht and Beach Club and the BoardWalk isn't too taxing for most, so you might want to skip the boat ride.

But if you're traveling to the Swan and Dolphin or to Disney's Hollywood Studios, you might want to consider a ride on the Friendship Boats. Unless of course you're training for the next runDisney event.

One thing to consider with the Friendship Boats is the speed at which they travel. This is not a fast mode of transportation, so if you're trying to make a dining reservation at the Studios and you're taking the boat from Epcot's International Gateway, make sure to give yourself enough time for travel.

Friendship Boat traveling to Crescent LakeFriendship Boat traveling to Crescent Lake

Also, if you're a guest at one of the Epcot area resorts and you're leaving Disney's Hollywood Studios at park close, the line for the Friendship Boats can become rather daunting. You might want to consider a leisurely stroll along the walking path back to your resort.

The Friendship Boats are stroller friendly and wheelchair accessible provided that the water levels in the lagoon are normal. The loading ramps are located in the rear of the boats and once inside the cabin there is ample space for parking strollers and wheelchairs.

How often do you use the Friendship Boats in Epcot or on Crescent Lake? Leave us a comment and let us know!

John Hoinacki wrote on Mon, 01/13/2014 - 20:35:

John Hoinacki's picture

You can also take the friendship boats from The Studios to Epcot International Gateway thats a nice change over the buses

Rach wrote on Tue, 01/14/2014 - 15:03:

Rach's picture

What increases the slowness of travel is the unload & load time at each stop. If you take the boat from DHS & are going to the Boardwalk, you'd get there faster getting off at Swan & Dolphin and walking over the bridge.

Yes the boats are wheelchair & scooter accessible, but a caveat - you get parked at the back of the boat & the engine fumes can get rather overpowering back there.

But it is a great way to rest the legs, as long as the AC is actually working. ;)

Darin wrote on Tue, 01/14/2014 - 18:45:

Darin's picture

I have used the World Showcase boats quite a few times, but 3 weeks ago was my first ride from HS to EPCOT! It is always nice to slow down and just enjoy a small tour of the grounds in between parks on a day trip!

Brian Martsolf wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 00:35:

Brian Martsolf's picture

The friendships are a favorite subject of mine too. Did you know their are eight of them, and that even from a distance you can tell which is which just by seeing the colors?
for instance the one that looks like it is in Miami dolphins Colors (Teal stripe roof over orange window accent color) is Friendship VI, whereas the one with orange stripes on the roof and a yellow Window accent stripe is Friendship IV,a list of the colors and the ship names they go with, and more information on them, and they changes they have seen oner the years are covered in a post on my blog

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