Disney has its own transportation system, made up of buses, the Monorail, boats, and a cable car. But despite plentiful options, it’s not set up in a way that makes it easy to get from one resort area to another.
Each hotel has buses to the parks and to Disney Springs. Unlike Universal Orlando Resort, which offers easy transportation to other hotels, Disney tends to force guests to stick to areas close to their hotel or to use Disney Springs as a hub.
If you’re trying to get to another hotel but there’s no walking path, you’re required to take two buses or an expensive Uber. But through online research, I’ve figured out how to get from the parks to the hotels and between them, albeit with multiple stopovers.
Traveling Between Disney Hotels
Traveling Between Magic Kingdom Hotels
The walking paths are well marked, apart from some areas at Polynesian under construction. You can’t, however, walk from Fort Wilderness or from Contemporary to Polynesian.
Grand Floridian and Polynesian also have access to the Magic Kingdom using the Gold Flag boat, which goes counter-clockwise. This is an easy option for lunch because it’s a short journey.
If you’re looking to check out the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness, you can either take the Red and Green Flag boats from the Magic Kingdom or catch the Blue Flag boat from the Contemporary Resort.
The Resort monorail runs in the clockwise direction at the hotels. The express line goes to the Magic Kingdom from the Ticket and Transportation Center. Another goes only to Epcot. It runs until 11 pm.
Traveling Between Epcot Hotels
The hotels on Crescent Lake, set between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, can reach Epcot by boat or by foot. But the other hotels to the south are best accessed by bus, using nearby Disney Springs as a hub.
The Skyliner opened in 2019 as another way to get around Walt Disney World. The gondola has hubs at Pop Century, Art of Animation, and the Caribbean Resort. It also connects to Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, and Epcot‘s International Gateway.
Traveling Between Hollywood Studios Hotels
The Hollywood Studios hotels are set around another lake with a paved boardwalk and trails along the way. It’s easy to get between them to grab dinner or drinks.
There is also boat transportation from the Swan and Dolphin hotels, the Beach and Yacht Club hotels, and the Boardwalk Hotel. They operate to the park entrances for Hollywood Studios and Epcot’s International Gateway. This is also where you can catch the Skyliner.
Traveling Between Animal Kingdom Hotels
The main hotel near Animal Kingdom is the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which includes the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Jambo House and Kidani Village villas. These areas are connected by bus to each other and the park entrance.
The All-Star Movies, Music, and Sports hotels are also nearby, along with the Coronado Springs Resort. To get between this area and the other, you can take the bus and use either the Animal Kingdom or Blizzard Beach as a hub to transfer.
Traveling Between Disney Springs Hotels
Disney Springs is made up of official Disney hotels and partner hotels, the latter of which have separate transportation. They may have shuttles to the parks and Disney Springs but don’t use the same timetables.
There is boat transportation to the official Disney Springs hotels but it’s currently not operating. They usually run to Port Orleans (yellow route), Old Key West (green route), and Saratoga Springs resorts (blue route).
There’s also a water taxi that connects one side of the entertainment district to the other. It’s also an easy walk to Saratoga Springs.
Traveling Between Disney Theme Parks
Traveling From the Magic Kingdom to Epcot (and Vice Versa)
The Magic Kingdom area hotels are connected to the Epcot area hotels by the Monorail. You’ll have to get off at the TTC and transfer to another line, but this is the easiest to park hop between the two.
You can also take the Magic Kingdom Ferryboat between the Magic Kingdom and the TTC before hopping onto the Epcot monorail. Or walk to any of the Magic Kingdom hotels and catch the Epcot bus.
Traveling from the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios (and Vice Versa)
Traveling between the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios isn’t quite as easy. You can’t take the monorail into Epcot and transfer because of the station’s location at the International Gateway.
Instead, you can take the monorail or bus from the Magic Kingdom area to Epcot, take a bus from Epcot to the BoardWalk hotel or another one nearby, and then walk or boat the remaining distance to Hollywood Studios.
Traveling from the Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom (and Vice Versa)
The farthest distance between two parks is the kingdoms: Magic and Animal. At minimum, it will take 30 minutes to get between them by Disney transportation.
The easiest way is to walk to any Magic Kingdom area resort hotel and take the bus to the Animal Kingdom. Because of the location, it can be difficult to leave during the day or park hop.
Traveling from the Magic Kingdom to Disney Springs (and Vice Versa)
While Disney sets up Disney Springs to be a hub, the buses all don’t go directly from the parks to the entertainment district. I’ve read about buses from the Ticket and Transportation Center but haven’t taken them.
Instead, I’ve taken the bus from the Contemporary Resort. Visitors to the park can hop on the bus from any of the Magic Kingdom resorts to reach Disney Springs.
Traveling from Epcot to Hollywood Studios (and Vice Versa)
Epcot and Hollywood Studios are the closest together of any park and can easily be done in the same way. From the International Gateway of Epcot, you can even walk to Hollywood Studios, although it’s a fairly long walk, about 25 minutes.
You can also walk from the gateway to a hotel and take the boat or hop on the Skyliner, transferring at the Caribbean Beach Resort. A boat also connects the two parks.
Traveling from Epcot to Animal Kingdom (and Vice Versa)
If you’re trying to go from Epcot to the Animal Kingdom, your best bet is to use the International Gateway to walk to the Beach Club. From here, catch the bus to the Animal Kingdom.
Traveling from Epcot to Disney Springs (and Vice Versa)
Since Epcot doesn’t have a transportation hub nearby, it can be tricky to get to Disney Springs. If you’re near the main entrance of Epcot, you can walk to the bus lot and catch a ride to one of the nearby hotels.
We went to Saratoga Springs, got off at the fourth stop and walked around the lake to the back entrance to Disney Springs by the World of Disney.
Another option is to leave Epcot at the International Gateway near the France Pavilion. From here, you can catch the bus from any of the Boardwalk area properties.
Traveling from Hollywood Studios to Animal Kingdom (and Vice Versa)
From Hollywood Studios, you can walk to the BoardWalk Hotel and board the bus bound for Animal Kingdom. Alternatively, you can catch the Skyliner to any of those area hotels and take another bus from there.
Traveling from Hollywood Studios to Disney Springs (and Vice Versa)
From Hollywood Studios, you can pick any of the nearby hotels to catch a ride. The buses pick up at every hotel bound for Disney Springs. Keep in mind that the ones with the most rooms might have long wait times.
Traveling from Animal Kingdom to Disney Springs (and Vice Versa)
From Animal Kingdom, take a bus to Saratoga Springs and walk to Disney Springs using the foot path. You can also pick just about any nearby hotel and catch a bus from there.
Other Transportation Options
Depending on how much time you have or your mobility concerns, catching two buses or walking to opposite sides of the park may not be feasible. This is when driving your own car might make the most sense. Just consider parking costs as some areas have a daily rate.
And while not the most cost-effective option, you can also catch rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft between resort areas and between parks. There is also the official Disney “Minnie Vans,” which has car seats for kids.
Do you have tips to share? Comment below.