Transportation

Reminder: Walt Disney World Monorail Service Impacted Starting January 21

by on January 4, 2014

Walt Disney World monorailAs a reminder for those of you who will be traveling to Walt Disney World soon: service on the Walt Disney World Monorail will be severely impacted due to scheduled maintenance starting on Tuesday, January 21. The affected loops will included both the Magic Kingdom Resort Loop and the Express Loop. These will both be unavailable for guests during non-peak hours on weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. The weekends should see no closures.

During the monorail closures, additional buses, as well as watercraft, will be available for guests to use. The work on both Magic Kingdom monorail beams is expected to last until the end of March 2014 (weather permitting, of course).

For those who wish to travel to Epcot by monorail, the Epcot’s Monorail Loop will be unaffected and will have normal operating hours.

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The Not-So-Magic Bus: Walt Disney World and Orlando’s LYNX Public Transportation System

by on December 17, 2013

The LYNX route 50 bus from downtown Orlando to Walt Disney World.

The LYNX route 50 bus from downtown Orlando to Walt Disney World.

Most visitors to Walt Disney World must decide between renting a car at Orlando International Airport for the length of their vacation, or relying on Disney’s free Magical Express and internal transportation system if staying in an on-property hotel. But a small number of guests, and a much greater number of employees, rely on Orlando’s public transportation system — known as the LYNX bus — to get to and from the theme parks each day.

I’ve lived less than thirty miles from Walt Disney World’s main gate for almost 20 years, but in all that time I’d never taken public transit to the parks. That changed last month, when I participated in the Transit Interpretation Project (or TrIP) an educational experiment organized by arts activist Patrick Greene, curator of downtown Orlando’s Gallery at Avalon Island. Greene gathered a diverse cross-section of Orlando’s artists, writers, and performers to each dedicate a single day in November to riding LYNX buses and documenting their experiences.

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Do I Need to Rent a Car at Disney World?

by on December 13, 2013

There are few things that make Walt Disney World visitors as passionate as the question of whether or not to rent a car during their vacation. Some folks claim that you absolutely MUST rent a car. Others are horrified by the thought of spending money on a rental when there is perfectly good FREE transportation at Walt Disney World. The reality is that, as with most Disney questions, the answer to “Do I Need to Rent a Car?” is a resounding “It depends.”

If you're staying on Disney property, you qualify for free transportation from the airport to your hotel.

If you’re staying on Disney property, you qualify for free transportation from the airport to your hotel.

I was 100% in the no-rental camp for many years. During my first 20 or so family WDW vacations, we only rented a car twice, and those rentals were just because my husband was attending conferences on site and his company paid for it. I secretly laughed at folks who said that a car was necessary at Disney World. And then I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time, where I learned that having a car would have saved me hours of frustration and waiting.

Staying at a different resort, one a bit further afield, made me realize that the car rental question really has many answers depending on a number of factors. Here are some things to think about to help you decide whether renting a car at Disney World makes sense for your family’s vacation.

What is my budget?

If you’re staying on Walt Disney World property, free transportation via Magical Express is included with your stay. This will get you back and forth from the airport to Disney World. Once you’re on property, there is free transportation to the theme parks, resorts, Downtown Disney, and the water parks via an extensive system of monorails, boats, and buses.

This means that if you’re on a super strict budget and don’t want to allot any money toward in-vacation transportation, then you can certainly get around Walt Disney World without renting a car. No additional expense is required.

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Disney Cruise Line Coverage Now On TouringPlans.com

by on October 25, 2013

Disney Cruise Line's Helmsman Mickey Statue on the Disney MagicToday we’re launching coverage of the Disney Cruise Line!

It’s more than 300 pages and 400 photos – the largest expansion ever to TouringPlans.com. You’ll find detailed reviews of every ship, port, show, restaurant, bar, and activity on-board, plus itinerary, port, and Port Adventure details.

Our Coverage Includes

  • A new Fare Tracker shows you the daily price of every cruise on every ship for every stateroom category. See whether you’ll save money by booking now or waiting, and see how Disney priced the same cruise last year.
  • Complete coverage of Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, including reviews of every Port Adventure activity, what to pack for your day, food and bar reviews, and more.

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Walt Disney World Resort Monorail Hours Limited Starting October 6

by on October 6, 2013

As a result of construction at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail will be operating on a limited schedule beginning October 6, 2013. On that day and for what is projected to be two weeks after, the resort monorail will stop running at 11 a.m. daily and will remain down until 6 p.m. each day. Guests will be re-routed to resort buses and boats in order to get to Magic Kingdom, the Transportation and Ticket Center, and the other monorail resorts.

For those of you traveling on these alternate methods of transportation, be sure to remember that Disney bus and boat rules require that you fold and store strollers, walkers, and other rolling devices.

The Express Monorail will continue to run normally between the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and Magic Kingdom during this period.

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Get to Know MCO: Things You May Not Know About Orlando International Airport

by on August 7, 2013

As a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, I’m also a frequent visitor to Orlando International Airport (MCO for those in the know). On some trips, I’ve spent more time at the airport than I have on park attractions, or in my hotel room. Here are a few tips to make Orlando International a better place to be, whether you’re zipping through or whether you’re hunkered down for hours due to flight delays.

There's no gum at the airport.

There’s no gum at the airport.

  • You can get some last minute souvenirs at the airport. Disney has two official merchandise stores in the main MCO terminal building. SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and the Kennedy Space Center each have one. The selections are not extensive, but if you forgot to get your dog walker a thank you gift, this is a good place for a spur-of-the-moment save.
  • You can get Harry Potter treats without a wait. The wait at the shops at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be positively otherworldly. The airport Universal shop stocks many Harry Potter items such as tees, wands, some Honeydukes brand candies, and Zonko’s oddities, and there’s rarely any wait.
  • There’s an arcade to keep the little ones busy. Look for the King Kong arcade in the main terminal.
  • There’s free wireless throughout the public areas. The former paid Internet kiosks are now inoperable.
  • There’s no gum anywhere. While chewing gum is an ear-popping remedy for many air travelers, you won’t find gum at MCO. Similarly, you won’t find gum at the area theme parks. It’s all part of an effort to help keep the parks clean, which I appreciate, but it can be frustrating at the airport. Bring a stash from home.

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Get to Know the Disney World Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)

by on June 19, 2013

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, chances are you’ll encounter the term “TTC.” TTC is the Transportation and Ticket Center and we’re here to tell you what it’s all about.

TRANSPORTATION

The TTC is, not surprisingly, a major transportation hub at Walt Disney World, serving as a transfer point between boats, buses, and monorails, as well as the parking center for guests driving to the Magic Kingdom.

Take a look at this map of Walt Disney World and you’ll see the TTC in the lower center of the blue blob. It doesn’t look like much, but it can be a big help in getting you from point A to point B. And knowing how navigate the TTC can mean the difference between making the trip from A to B pleasant and efficient or making it a looong night of waiting around.

IMG_0574

Here are some of the transportation related things you can do at the Transportation and Ticket Center:

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New Bus Loop To Be Added To Magic Kingdom

by on March 18, 2013

A brand new bus loop is currently being added to the Magic Kingdom.

This new area will serve as a depot for the over-sized, articulated buses that Disney tested last year. It will also provide additional capacity for the park.

Construction on this new area is expected to start today, March 18, 2013.

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A Walt Disney World Transportation Primer: Monorails, Buses, and Boats, Oh My

by on March 13, 2013

In addition to the dozens of fun and fabulous attraction ride vehicles you’ll encounter during a Walt Disney World vacation (Hunny Pots! Doom Buggies!), you’re also likely to go on some plain and practical rides during your visit. These are the many types of transportation vehicles that do yeoman’s work getting you from point A to point B on the 40 square miles of Disney property. Here’s a primer on the types of transport you’ll find on your trip.

You may use many forms of internal transportation during your visit to Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Magical Express bus service has its own rules, but all of the other forms of transportation listed below can be used by anyone, any time, for free.

Again, except for Magical Express, transportation use has no requirement that you be staying on property or at a particular resort. You don’t have to have any sort of ticket to use these transportation vehicles. The drivers don’t have any mechanism to take payments or tickets or anything like that. Really, it’s free. You may very rarely see some fine print that some transportation is only for resort guests. In 15 years of frequent WDW visits, taking thousands of trips on Disney internal transportation, I have never been asked where I’m staying as a condition of boarding a vehicle. On the three to five most crowded days of the year, you might be asked to show resort ID to get on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, at some times of the day. This is simply for crowd control purposes at the park and has nothing to do with limiting your access to the transportation itself.

You can get anywhere on Walt Disney World property using only this free Disney-provided transportation, but bear in mind that many types of trips will require a mid-route transfer. For example, to get from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot, you’ll need to change monorail lines at the Transportation and Ticket Center, or to get from the Animal Kingdom Lodge to the Beach Club, you’ll need to change buses at the Animal Kingdom park or switch from a bus to a boat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Disney’s Magical Express

by on July 25, 2012

Disney’s Magical Express is a service that provides free bus transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and Disney’s resort hotels, for guests staying at those hotels. While the word “FREE” always sounds good, there may be some situations where using Magical Express does not make sense. There are also some tips and tricks that can make your Magical Express experience better if you do choose to use it. Here’s what you need to know.

Who can use Disney’s Magical Express?

The Magical Express check-in desk at MCO

Registered guests of Disney-owned hotels are eligible for Magical Express Service. These hotels are:

  • Art of Animation
  • All-Star Movies, Music, & Sports
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas, Jambo & Kidani
  • Beach Club & Villas
  • BoardWalk & Villas
  • Fort Wilderness Cabins & Campgrounds
  • Caribbean Beach
  • Contemporary & Bay Lake Tower Villas
  • Coronado Springs
  • Grand Floridian
  • Old Key West
  • Polynesian
  • Pop Century
  • Port Orleans French Quarter & Riverside
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Wilderness Lodge & Villas
  • Yacht Club

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