Did you know that Walt Disney World is the size of Los Angeles? Let's just say there's a lot of (literal) ground to cover.
Knowing how to get from your resort to the park, or even a dining reservation, can help eliminate the unknown and any wasted time.
This chapter will cover buses, monorail, Skyline, boats, and of course the most important mode of transportation: strollers!
Looks best fullscreen!
There are 5 ways to get around Walt Disney World (besides your own two legs of course):
Use the My Disney Experience App
Whenever you feel completely lost, remember there's a map in your pocket (or fanny pack...)
Use the My Disney Experience app to save time and confusion getting around - along with bus schedules!
When Transportation Starts Running
All transportation - buses, monorail, the Skyliner, and boats - start running an hour before the earliest park entry. For example, if Magic Kingdom opens at 9:00am and Early Entry starts at 8:30am, you can expect to catch a bus by at least 7:30am.
Transportation will continue running between the parks and resorts 1 hour after park closing, and until 2am for Disney Springs.
Parking around Walt Disney World
Parking your car at a resort will be between $15-25 depending on if it's a Value, Moderate, or Deluxe resort.
At the 4 theme parks, expect to pay $45-50/day for preferred parking and $25/day for standard. If you've paid to park at your resort, or hopping to another park you DO NOT have to pay again.
The water parks and Disney Springs are have complimentary parking - yay!
If you're flying, it's time to book your flights! The closest airport to Walt Disney World is Orlando International Airport (MCO for short) and about 20 miles/25 minutes away.
Pro Tip: MCO gets busy, so give yourself plenty of time for your departure. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting TSA Pre-check ($85 for 5 years) or using the new free Reserve system through Clear.
There are 4 options to get from your the airport to your resort, and it revolves a LOT around car seats. Here's why:
Most bus transportation exclude car seats - they're not required and they ask that you let them stow it in the bus' luggage compartment.
But if you're in a car, most parents feel safer having their child in a car seat (even though Florida's law doesn't require them in any taxi service.)
Even if your child is a bit older and doesn't use a stroller at home, I think anyone under nine years old will need one. You walk a LOT in Disney World - the average is eight miles a day - plus it's a nice place to stow your cups, bags + sweatshirts. Note that stroller wagons are NOT allowed.
Here's what you have to decide: bring one with you (we personally gate-check our double Zoe Stroller and love it for Disney!) or rent one for the length of your stay.
There are pros and cons to bringing your own stroller. It's free of course, and since it's yours it's most likely what your kids feel the most comfortable in. But you do risk the chance of it being damaged in transit.
This is the only service I've heard of that is allowed to leave the stroller at your resort without meeting you in person.
If you're going the rental route, here are some options I've found.