One of the biggest Walt Disney World components travelers need to acquaint themselves with is Disney World transportation.
With the reopening of the theme parks, transportation has changed quite a bit. Basically, we all have to relearn the system and practice extreme patience.
There’s no doubt Disney is doing everything in its power to ensure Disney World transportation runs smoothly and efficiently, but guests should keep in mind going in that transportation may run slower than usual due to limited capacity.
With that, here’s what you need to know about transportation.
Will Magical Express still run?
Guests arriving and departing from Orlando International Airport can still use Disney’s Magical Express until Jan. 1, 2022 when the complimentary service will come to an end.
Those who arrive prior to Jan. 1, 2022 will be transported back to Orlando International Airport after their stay via Magical Express until Jan. 10, 2022. After this date, Disney won’t provide complimentary transportation back to the airport.
Mears Transportation, the third party operator of Disney Magical Express, has announced its own service called Mears Connect, which will provide transportation between Orlando International Airport and resorts in the Disney World area. The service will launch January 2022. You can make your reservation starting May 2021. Pricing isn’t available yet.
Until then, take note of the following changes:
- Luggage delivery service for those arriving to and departing from the airport is not be available.
- Magical Express guests will be responsible for picking up checked luggage from baggage claim so it can be loaded onto the motorcoach and be taken to your Disney Resort hotel.
- Luggage assistance will be available at the front of your Disney Resort hotel, including luggage storage and/or transport to the room.
- When departing, make sure your luggage is with you and loaded onto the motorcoach, because the resort airline check-in service will not be offered at this time.
What about other forms of transportation?
Here’s what’s currently running:
- Buses between Disney Resort hotels, theme parks, and the Disney Springs area
- The Disney Skyliner
- The Monorail and Ferry Boats
- Friendship Boats (run between Hollywood Studios, Epcot, BoardWalk Villas, Swan and Dolphin, Yacht Club, and Beach Club Villas)
IMPORTANT: Minnie Vans remain temporarily closed at this time. The Epcot monorail won’t initially run and water taxis will be limited at Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT UPDATE: Monorail service is currently temporarily suspended to Polynesian due to the resort undergoing refurbishment. The resort also won’t reopen until summer 2021. All that said, the walkway to the Transportation and Ticket Center will remain open, where guests can still access the monorail and ferry boats to Magic Kingdom.
Keep in mind that transportation operates with physical distancing measures in place to help reduce capacity. This means there might be transportation delays.
It’s important to budget enough travel time (at least around 60 to 90 minutes), especially if you have dining and experience reservations.
Should I rent a car instead?
This depends on how comfortable you are boarding public Disney transportation that’s available to all guests. There might also be delays, so this choice is completely up to you.
If you’re thinking about renting a car, my friends over at WDW Prep School have a guide all about renting a car at Walt Disney World that you should check out.
What about parking?
Self-parking is available. Valet service is temporarily unavailable, with the exception of guests with disabilities who may need parking assistance (make sure you have a valid disability parking permit). Parking feels still apply for Disney Resort hotel guests.
Important: Parking trams aren’t available.