Ten Transportation Tips for Traveling Walt Disney World

Whether you plan on relying on complimentary Walt Disney World transportation services during your next vacation or think that you'll be driving yourself around these 43 square miles, transportation is something that is something every traveler needs to think about. We've gathered together a few of our favorite tips for making travel around Walt Disney World a little easier.

Ten Transportation Tips for Traveling Walt Disney WorldTen Transportation Tips for Traveling Walt Disney World

1) Guests flying in to the Orlando International Airport and staying at a Disney Resort can take advantage of Disney's Magical Express (DME). This complimentary service is run by Mears Transportation and offers coach bus service between the airport and your Disney Resort Hotel. Not only do they take care of your transportation, but depending on your flight time DME will handle your luggage as well! It's a fantastic way to save the coast of a rental car or limo.

2) When using the internal Walt Disney World transportation system it's recommended to leave 45 minutes travel time between theme parks or theme park and resort. To be on the safe side, I always plan on a hour travel time. If you're a little early there's always something that can entertain you during your wait.

3) The interval time between the arrivals of most Disney Buses is between 20-25 minutes.

Taking The Ferry Is Relaxing and FunTaking The Ferry Is Relaxing and Fun

4) The most obvious mode of transportation may not always be the fastest. It can often be faster to walk from the Contemporary Resort to the Magic Kingdom than take the monorail or even from Epcot to Disney Hollywood Studios!

5) The iPhone App "Buses, Boats, and Monorails" can be a handy tool to offer answers to on property Disney transportation questions in the palm of your hand.

6) Disney's Deluxe Resorts offer valet parking with in and out privileges for $15 a day. That's in and out resort wide - so if you started out the morning at the valet at your Disney Resort and head on over to a Different Deluxe Resort for dinner you're still covered!

The Epcot Monorail From The Ticket and Transportation CenterThe Epcot Monorail From The Ticket and Transportation Center

7) Registered Guests of Disney Resort Hotels, enjoy standard self-parking at Disney theme parks with their resort overnight parking fees.

8) Guests staying off property at non-Disney Hotels and day guests pay one fee per day to receive a parking pass good for all theme park parking lots.

9) Take the GPS position of your parked car and enter it as a point of interest. If lost, it will lead you right back to the car. Don't have a GPS? Take a digital image of your parking location with your camera or phone to help find your way back at the end of the night.

Driving Through The Arch Is A Milestone For Many GuestsDriving Through The Arch Is A Milestone For Many Guests

10) Don't leave anything of value in your car while it's parked in the Walt Disney World lots. Though there is a security staff, it's very difficult to tell who is a lost tourist and who is wandering around the parking lot for more nefarious purposes. Don't let your vacation be ruined, keep valuables locked in your room safe, or on your person.

Ten Transportation Tips for Traveling Walt Disney WorldTen Transportation Tips for Traveling Walt Disney World

Do you drive on your vacation or let Disney handle your transportation? Leave a comment and let us know!

Elizabeth Koppa wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:55:

Elizabeth Koppa's picture

We used to drive ourselves to the parks but on our recent trip at Christmas we decided to use Disney transportation. Best decision EVER! We didn't have to deal with the traffic or other drivers. We just let our driver do his thing. I highly recommend using Disney transportation!!

Suzanne Caris wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:19:

Suzanne Caris's picture

We do both. If we have an early breakfast reservation we will drive. Leave the car @ whatever resort then later that day drive back to our resort. But for the most part we leave the driving to Disney. :)

Kristine wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:43:

Kristine's picture

We do not drive on vacation we let Disney handle that. My brother had a rental car last summer and I must admit it was nice but I doubt I will be renting one this year.

Michelle wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 16:50:

Michelle's picture

Once we are at Disney we always use Disney transportation. We usually rent a scooter for hubby so we need to use buses since we can't put it in mad out of vehicle just not practical. Sometimes waiting for buses can be a pain but what the heck your in Disney.

Mary Fran wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 17:03:

Mary Fran's picture

We've always rented a car while vacationing at WDW. Our last trip this past August we relied totally on Disney transportation from the airport, throughout the parks, and downtown. It was a great experience from start to finish. The only caveat was going and coming from downtown which took quite some time with a few stops on the way. Staying at a monorail resort (we were at the Polynesian) was a definite plus. I would definitely do it again.

Carol Craig wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 17:40:

Carol Craig's picture

We always use Disney transportation even though we drive our car to Disney. To much traffic and I worry about getting lost and wasting time getting to the parks. I'll leave the driving to Disney.

kathys wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 17:49:

kathys's picture

Since that option was made available I have always let Disney handle the transportation. Who needs a car? LOL Even when I want to go to Universal or any place else I schedule my day and time with Mears. So for me it is the only way.

Hope wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 18:46:

Hope's picture

To take advantage of much cheaper airfares from our smaller market, we will be flying into Orlando Sanford Airport. Still not sure on our best/cheapest option to get from there to our hotel near Universal. Disney does not provide transportation from Sanford. Ideas on the best option?

charissa wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:18:

charissa's picture

We've always flown to Orlando, and let Disney do the driving. This year, we're driving to The World, but will probably keep the car parked for the week. Why fight traffic, when Disney offers the service.

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 21:07:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hi Hope! I'm not sure if it's the cheapest option, but I have always has good limo service through Tiffany Towncar.

Tonya Caudill wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:20:

Tonya Caudill's picture

We have been to DWD three time. We have rented and used the Resort Transportation. I prefer a rental. It was faster for us to drive ourselves. We could go to local shopping centers and travel to that other park with no problem. I am too high strung to put up with others crabby little ones at the end of a long day not to mention stopping at every resort on the way to ours. I love Disney so I am happy whenever I can swing going but I do like my freedom with a rental car.

Lisa Warren wrote on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:37:

Lisa Warren's picture

All this time I did not know my resort parking entitled me to park at one of the parks! Thanks for the info

JayA wrote on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 00:30:

JayA's picture

We always use WDW transportation. It's one of the perks of staying on property. If the bus service gets much worse though, that might change. 4 or 5 years ago we were almost always on a bus in less than 20 minutes. On our last visit, after over one hour of waiting for a Magic bus we got on the 5th Epcot bus to come through, walked to the monorail and went to Magic the scenic route.

alicemouse wrote on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 00:50:

alicemouse's picture

Great article, Kristen! Previously, we've always used Disney transportation and found it be really great. I would have absolutely no reservations about using it again in the future. The buses do not always arrive within the advertised window and they can get very crowded at peak times, but it's public transportation. It's not perfect, but it's very efficient and "free". On our most recent trip, we rented a car because we were visiting a friend offsite and we needed transportation. I really loved having the option to be autonomous, but there were still a few days where we opted for the bus over the car--especially when visiting Magic Kingdom!

terry w wrote on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 01:05:

terry w's picture

We let Disney take care of us with transportation. That way we have no worries.

shirley cormier wrote on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 01:18:

shirley cormier's picture

We always Fly into Orlando and let Disney do all the driving.We are so thankful to Disney for doing this. We are old in years but feel young at Disney. If we had to drive on roads we don't know it would be scary. Thanks again Disney

David P wrote on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 16:07:

David P's picture

Once we arrive at our resort the vehicle never moves until we leave, that is what makes Disney World a great get away for us.

SpamGoddess wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 02:21:

SpamGoddess's picture

I always drive down and then rely on Disney transportation for getting around the World, especially to the parks. I find the bus rides to often be part of the magic! Plus then I don't have to worry about traffic or getting lost (or losing my vehicle in a parking lot... or walking to my car after a long park day). :) I will, however, use my car if I'm going to Downtown Disney where buses are a little more sporadic.

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