Transportation

Walt Disney World Extended Monorail Operating Hours for July 4 Holiday

by on July 2, 2014

Late last month, I reported that Walt Disney World was adjusting monorail schedules in order to perform work to update the systems. However, during the busy Independence Day weekend, Disney has adjusted the monorail operating schedule to accommodate the large influx of crowds.

Here’s how the monorail schedule will look over the next three days:

July 3 & 4

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam: 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Epcot Beam: 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.

July 5

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam: 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 midnight
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Epcot Beam: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

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Quick Tips – Resort to Resort Transportation at Disney World

by on June 20, 2014

A train is not good for resort to resort transportation at Disney World

This is not a good way to get from resort to resort.

Hello, readers! I hope you’re enjoying the new voices on the blog this week. In addition to hiring new bloggers, I’ve been going over the galleys for the next printing of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. One the sections I recently reviewed was Part Eight – Getting Around. This is where we give information about arriving at Walt Disney World and how to use the transportation system.

Believe it or not, despite a page length of nearly than 900 pages, the book could give a little more information on the nuts and bolts of resort to resort transportation at Disney World.

The most tricky part of using the Disney transportation system is traveling between resorts. In the Guide, we leave it at “don’t use Downtown Disney as your hub if you can avoid it.” I think we can do a little better than that.

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Walt Disney World Monorails to See New Summer Operating Schedule

by on June 14, 2014

The Walt Disney World monorail system is currently in the process of being updated with an automated operating system. To accommodate for this work, monorail service will be adjusted for the summer. Both Magic Kingdom loops, as well as the Epcot loop, will see service impacted.

Work will begin on June 22 and the monorail line will see a fixed schedule all summer long. Here is a look at the temporary monorail schedule and when you’ll be able to catch a ride on the monorail.

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 midnight
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Epcot Beam: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

During this time, additional watercraft and buses will be available to transport guests.

When completed, the new automated system will allow for faster switching trains on and off the beams, a more frequent dispatch of trains, a more consistent running monorail, and monorail arrival information.

There is currently no time table for when the monorails will return to their normal operation.

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Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon Bus Transportation Changes

by on June 4, 2014

©Rikki Niblett

Yay Disney Buses!

Those who rely on Disney’s bus transportation will have a few new obstacles to deal with when visiting Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon in the near future.

First, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know in relation to Typhoon Lagoon. In a bit of surprising news, due to the fact that the summer season is upon us and many will be traveling to the water park, bus service to and from the park will be  impacted quite a bit.

Before 2:00 p.m., all will work the same way it has in the past: guests will continue to travel back and forth between their resorts and Typhoon Lagoon via dedicated buses.

The change in transportation begins after 2:00 p.m., when guests who wish to head to that water park will first need to travel to Epcot. From there, they will be able to hop on a dedicated bus that will take them directly to Typhoon Lagoon. Similarly, when they wish to leave Typhoon Lagoon after 2:00 p.m., guests will have to return to Epcot and then grab transportation back to their final destinations. This is being done to accommodate Disney Springs construction work. This new transportation scheme begins on Tuesday, June 10.

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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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