Getting Around Orlando-Walt Disney World
The best way to get around Orlando is with a car, but the best way to experience Disney World is on foot. Orlando's top things to do, as well as its hotels, sprawl across the city's 101 square miles — not to mention the fact that Disney World is actually in a different city, Lake Buena Vista. You can rent cars in Orlando, but you can also find them at Orlando International Airport (MCO). And if you're a guest at one of Disney's resorts, a Magical Express will shuttle you to and from the airport. However, once you're inside, your own two feet are the best way migrate from one ride to the next. If you do grow fatigued, Disney offers a host of free options for moving between the parks and hotels, including bus, monorail and ferry boat routes.
|On Foot||Visitors walk, jog and push strollers all around Walt Disney World. Carry several maps with you, because you never know when one will get lost or drenched by a water ride, an afternoon shower or your own sweat. And to be efficient, you should plot your path before you begin the day — you'll have a lot of ground to cover. You'll also be surprised at how exhausted (and sore) you are by the end of each day. While you can tour Orlando's individual neighborhoods by foot, you'll need a car to get from one to the other.|
|Car||You cannot drive around Disney World, but a vehicle will best allow you to explore Orlando. Other theme parks are spread out in the metro area and are easy to drive to. Avoid rush hour, when Orlando's highways become parking lots for several hours each day. And note that taking side streets isn't a reliable option.|
|Taxi||Taxis are stationed at the airport and in downtown Orlando, but it is nearly impossible to find one elsewhere. If you want to avoid renting a vehicle, you can have your hotel call a cab for you.|
Buses run routes through all of the Walt Disney World parks, but you may have to transfer from one to the other. Usually, they run every 20 minutes, departing from the entrance of every Disney resort. You'll find the routes drawn on maps at each bus stop. This is not the fastest option, but it'll certainly get you where you want to go.
For bus service in Orlando, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority offers LYNX. Dozens of bus lines serve Orlando and its nearby suburbs, and fares are just $2 a ride; $4.50 for an all-day pass or $16 for a seven-day pass.
When touring along Orlando's International Drive or the Major Boulevard areas, the I-RIDE Trolley is the way to go. A single-fare pass is just $2, while an all-day pass will only set you back $5. It operates daily from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The monorail is the fastest way to move in Disney World. But with only three lines, coverage isn't great. The "Express" line carries passengers to and from the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center. Between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, visitors take the "Epcot" tram. The "Resort" route stops at three of the Disney resorts, the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom.
Granted, the ferries move slowly, but they are (occasionally) the fastest and most direct means of getting from point A to B in Walt Disney World. You'll find them at docks around the lakes, but don't hop on one unless you know where it is headed. Most are going back and forth between resorts.
|Disney's Magical Express||
Disney's Magical Express Transportation runs between Orlando's airport and select Disney World resort hotels, but you have to schedule the shuttle beforehand online or by calling 407-939-6244. This free shuttle service is available to resort guests between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.