When you’re vacationing at Disney, time is everything, which is why the best way to make the most of your travels is by planning ahead. Figuring out how to get to Magic Kingdom and deciding on how you wish to experience the magic of Disney is the first step in the right direction.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a must-see destination for everyone. Be it to relive your own childhood nostalgia or to watch your children experience it, you’ll be eager to know how you can spend the least time traveling from your resort to the park and more time within the Magic of the Kingdom’s walls.
Here, we go over everything you need to know regarding transportation to Disney’s Magic Kingdom to make your experience as enjoyable and memorable as possible.
How to get to Magic Kingdom if you’re an onsite guest
Yes, onsite guests have free parking at the theme parks, but this doesn’t mean parking is truly free or even affordable! Resort parking comes at hefty per-day prices that are roughly the same as the parking fees at the parks.
This makes it most economical for even onsite guests to arrive in Orlando by plane, not by car, and take advantage of Disney’s extensive transportation system. Plus, the sheer expanse of Disney’s Magic Kingdom makes the convenience that its dedicated transportation offers an absolute necessity.
There are a few modes of transport to Magic Kingdom that guests can choose between when staying at one of the onsite resorts. To save time, the Express Monorail is the best choice. It travels along the resort line, with its destination marked for Magic Kingdom. However, if you wish to use the ferry boats, visit one of the other parks first, or enter EPCOT, then the TTC is the only place you need to go. Using the Skyliner is not a direct option.
Transportation and Ticket Center
The Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) is Magic Kingdom’s very own transportation hub. From here, you can opt for all sorts of transportation options from ferries, monorails, water taxis, and buses.
The TTC opens half an hour before the scheduled opening of the parks and closes an hour after they close. The buses, ferries, and monorails can be accessed starting from the parks’ opening hours.
You will also find a designated drop-off and pick-up site for taxis. If you reside at Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge/Copper Creek Villas or Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, you can take a boat or bus to Magic Kingdom.
Other basic amenities that are available at TTC include restrooms, ATMs, beverage and snack kiosks, and even a small gift shop. Ticket booths and customer service stations are also present for any inquiries you may have.
Bag and security checks are performed at TTC before guests are allowed to continue their journey to Magic Kingdom. These checks may also be performed at any one of the Disney-owned resorts before boarding onsite transport.
If you’ve got the time and like the idea of walking cobbled pathways marked by lake views, then skip the other kinds of transportation and put on your best pair of shoes. Whether you’re after a romantic stroll with your partner, some family bonding time, or just some time with yourself, Disney pulls out all the stops to ensure that your walk to Magic Kingdom is memorable.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort are all resorts within walking distance of Magic Kingdom. The closest of the three is Disney’s Contemporary Resort, while the most entertaining walkway is the one from the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
When taking the newly built walkway from the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to Magic Kingdom, you’ll be met by beautiful winding roads, the monorail criss-cross overhead, and peeks of the Cinderella Princess Castle through the trees. The walk is around 0.8 miles in all and takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
The Contemporary Resort walkway was one of the first walkways to be built and was built with function and efficiency in mind. It’s a narrow path that will lead you to your destination in no time at all. Only half a mile long, this walk certainly beats the time you would spend waiting for the monorail.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which is located a little over a mile and a half away from Magic Kingdom, is the furthest walk of the three. If you hate crowds and waiting in lines, then opt for an early morning walk to get there before everyone else!
Disney offers a free shuttle service to those staying in onsite resorts. The buses start as early as 45 minutes before the parks open and take guests back to their resorts up to an hour after the parks close.
The rides take approximately 25 minutes and operate at intervals of 20 minutes. Some of the buses are also wrapped in Disney themes complete with characters and movie scenes which make them exciting for children looking forward to starting their Disney adventure!
Make sure to download the My Disney Experience app, which lists all the bus timings for each resort.
If your vibe is more Ariel than Cinderella, opt for a ferry ride from TTC to get you to the Magic Kingdom. The two-storied ferries do not follow a regular schedule and routes may take anywhere between 15-20 minutes, but are so worth it for the enchanting experience of floating down a canal to your magical destination.
Ferryboats transport visitors every day, and begin half an hour before park hours and stop only an hour and a half after the parks close. During rush hour, it may be difficult to find seating and you may have to stand throughout your journey.
Make note of any sudden weather changes as they may affect availability. If you are traveling with a stroller, you may have to fold it while on board. Ferries are wheelchair/ECV accessible.
While ferryboats connect the TTC to Magic Kingdom, water taxis sail from the resorts directly to Magic Kingdom and the other parks.
Water taxis are a special mode of water transportation that Disney has for resort guests. They carry a select group of paying passengers across the lakes surrounding Disney World directly to the parks. These include Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and even Disney Springs.
Water taxis to Magic Kingdom make multiple stops at different Disney resorts on their 4 routes distinguished by distinct colors. All of them are wheelchair/ECV accessible.
The Gold Flag Launch route starts at Magic Kingdom and heads to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Polynesian Resort, before making its way back to the Magic Kingdom. The route takes about 20 minutes in all.
The Green Flag Launch route runs from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The travel time on this heavily used route is around 13 minutes.
The Red Flag Launch route of around 8 minutes travels from the Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
The Blue Flag Launch route consists of transporting guests around Bay Lake between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, and Contemporary Resort. This route meets at Contemporary Resort.
Disney’s famous monorail needs no introduction! Despite the crowds, it remains a must for any visitor to Walt Disney World.
The monorail system consists of three lines that together make stops at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort as well as the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), Epcot, and Magic Kingdom Park. Onsite guests of any of these resorts can conveniently access the monorail right outside their stays.
The monorail is operational 30 minutes before the park’s opening time and functions up to one hour after the park closes. The waiting time for the monorail varies from 10-20 minutes.
Although the monorail is a great way to get to your destination in under 20 minutes, you would be better off switching to the Express Monorail Service at the TTC if you’re looking for an even quicker mode of transport to the park. Wheelchairs are provided to those who require them. It should be noted that glass containers of any type are not allowed on the monorail.
What’s the best way to get to Magic Kingdom for an onsite guest?
The best way to get to Magic Kingdom depends on you and your family. Every form of commute has its merits and is worth exploring if you have the time. While monorail is nostalgic for some, the crowd might be too much for others. Some others may not feel comfortable commuting via water with children.
We suggest looking up the schedules and routes of the monorails and buses beforehand and to utilize the customer service kiosks for inquiries. Another tip is to keep tabs on weather forecasts if you are opting for water transportation. You can also choose to switch to a different form of commute when you head back so you get the chance to experience them all!
Options to get to Magic kingdom if you are an offsite guest
Disney offers a lot of amenities for its onsite guests, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t thought about its offsite guests too! To have a hassle-free vacation at Disney World, offsite guests can take advantage of transportation options and amenities like ferries, monorails, complimentary transport facilities, and free parking spaces.
Guests who are not onsite are advised to get to the parks early to beat the crowds and traffic. Although it’s true that onsite guests of the park have the advantage of time, with a bit of planning and figuring out your transportation, you can make the most of your Disney vacation as well.
The ferries of Magic Kingdom are a standalone attraction by themselves. The journey offers stunning views of the Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake.
If you are driving from your location you can park your car at the Magic Kingdom parking lot before taking a tram to the TTC for a ticket. While the ferries are complimentary, it’s worth noting that they do tend to get crowded.
The travel time on a ferry from TTC to Magic Kingdom is around 10 minutes but the waiting period can vary.
Disney’s ferry boats typically begin half an hour before park opening time and cease the day’s operations about an hour after the park closes. Remember to consider water traffic and weather prior to deciding on taking the ferry.
Monorails are as accessible as ferries, and also available to board from the TTC. Known as the Express Monorail, these 10-minute rides are free and have waiting periods of about 10-20 minutes. The monorail starts 30 minutes before the park opens, but if you find that one of the resorts is closer to you than the TTC, you can also take one of the Resort Monorails instead.
Being courteous to the other passengers in a rush is one of the basics that you need to be aware of while taking the Monorail. If you’re traveling with a stroller, move it to the side so that it doesn’t cause any trouble for the other passengers. Glass containers of any type are not allowed on the monorail.
Self-parking at TTC
Located at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), Magic Kingdom’s only parking lot is huge, just like the park itself, and is divided into two areas named “Heroes” and “Villains.” The parking fee for day guests is a whopping $25 per day for a car or motorcycle but is transferrable between parks.
From the lots, guests are required to hitch a tram to TTC and then take connecting transport. Depending on where you’ve parked, this can turn out to be time-consuming, as you will have to manage hopping on and off different modes of transport. If you want to avail of perks such as preferred parking or parking spots close to the monorail/ferry boarding locations, you will need to pay extra.
The lots open at least two hours before park opening time, giving guests plenty of time to reach their destinations.
If you’re on a shoestring, the local LYNX Transportation might be the way to go. This is a cheaper alternative to paying to park your own car every day or opting for Uber or Lyft. Buses that go to Disney World have stops in front of the TTC, from where you will be able to hop on one of the above-mentioned transportation options.
It should be noted that while this option is easier on the wallet, it will eat away a considerable amount of your time and energy, especially when traveling with small children. There is also a half-hour wait period between buses.
Taking a Taxi
TTC has a designated drop-off/pick-up point near the bus stops for taxis. From there, you can catch a tram to the TTC entrance and use a monorail or ferry to get to Magic Kingdom.
While Taxis are certainly a convenient option, they can burn a hole in your pocket. Uber rides around Disney World cost around 10-20 bucks, but are subject to change during peak hours when surge charges may cost you double. Some Ubers have car seats, but it’s best to call in advance to check or carry your own as Florida law makes car seats compulsory for children under the age of 2.
Lyft, in collaboration with Disney, provides “Minnie Vans” for those wanting a comfortable and easy ride between Disney destinations. The advantage to using this is that you will get a direct drop-off at Magic Kingdom, as opposed to TTC.
Some guests prefer getting dropped off at Disney Resorts and hitching a bus or even utilizing the walkways that connect the closer resorts (Contemporary, Grand Floridian, or Polynesian) to Magic Kingdom. Security checks are made along the walkways. Whether or not this option turns out convenient and affordable for you will depend on your hotel’s location and the type of experience you are after.
What’s the best way to get to Magic Kingdom for an offsite guest?
There is no singular best way to get to Magic Kingdom for an offsite guest. It depends on the time you have, your allocated budget, the size of your group, and even the kind of activities you want to do. It’s best to plan a couple of hours extra if you are an offsite guest since crowds and waiting periods are unpredictable.
FAQs About How To Get To Magic Kingdom
Which Disney hotels can you walk from?
You can walk to Magic Kingdom from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. All three have walkways that lead right up to Magic Kingdom, the closest of which is Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
The walkway from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is one of the newer additions featuring serene pathways, waterfront views, and the soaring monorail above.
Walking times will vary between 8-15 minutes depending on the hotel and how easily distracted you get.
Which Disney hotel is closest to the Magic Kingdom?
Located just 0.5 miles away, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the closest to the Magic Kingdom.
How many acres is Disney World?
Disney World covers an area of 25,000 acres (39 sq mi). There are 4 distinct theme parks, each with its own entrance. The Magic Kingdom’s entrance, accessible via the TTC, gives you access to the parking lot and other transportation facilities such as monorail and ferry. Onsite guests can avail these complimentary transport facilities to get to their resort and access the park.
Where does Uber/Lyft/Mears drop you off and pick you up?
The standard drop-off/pick-up point for Uber/Lyft/Mears ride-shares is at Disney’s TTC, near the bus stop.
How do you get from TTC to Magic Kingdom?
The most direct way one can access Magic Kingdom from TTC is either using Disneys’s complimentary monorail or ferry. You can also use the monorail or ferry to go to one of Disney’s resorts and try the water taxis or buses.
Are you required to carry your car seats for a day at Disney World?
If your child is below 5, then the answer is yes. You may want to invest in a travel-friendly booster seat as lugging around a full-sized seat can get exhausting. However, if you are traveling by taxi, then both Uber and Lyft have the option to add a car seat for a few extra bucks.
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