Let’s face it. Navigating your way around the Walt Disney World resort can be challenging. And even if the traffic doesn’t get you, the walking might.
Tram services from the parking lots to the front of the parks or the main entrance to the Ticket and Transportation Center are still not running.
So, in advance of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, we thought we’d share a little expertise on navigating in and around the property.
Take the ferry out of the Magic Kingdom
When leaving Magic Kingdom at the end of the night, the line for the monorail usually looks massive, as does the line for the ferry boats. That’s because the line for the monorail is massive. But the line for the ferry boats can be deceiving, as about half that crowd are resort guests headed to catch a bus. The ferries also can move 600 people at a time in an open air setting, so its safer during a pandemic. The ferry boats only take six minutes to cross the Seven Seas Lagoon to get you back to the ticket and transportation center. So rather than wait huddled with the sweaty masses for the monorail, try the ferry and get back you to your car quickly.
*If you can’t handle the water and are still in a rush, try leaving earlier or taking the resort monorail. It adds one or two stops on your way back to the TTC, but what’s one or two stops to not have to stand next to some whose deodorant may have given out around hour seven in the Florida heat.
Exit Epcot where you entered
Pay attention to which side of the parking lot you’re on when you enter Epcot at the start of your day. Make sure you exit the park at the end of the night on the same side. There’s still a lot of construction going on for Epcot’s makeover, and you’ll want to cut back on the amount of walking you’ll be doing at the end of the night. If you exit the park on the wrong side, you may find yourself walking around obstacles and detours you could have avoided.
Don’t take the monorail to Epcot
You might think that it’s quicker to park at Magic Kingdom and take the monorail to Epcot. Sorry. Unless you’re park hopping, it’s not. While the trams in the parking lot are down, you’re facing a longer walk from the Ticket and Transportation Center parking lot to the monorail than you would by simply parking at Epcot and walking in. And then you don’t have to worry about putting your hands on the same bars that others have been holding all day long.
Patience makes the day more magical
There is lots of construction going on across the Walt Disney World Resort right now. New overpasses are being installed, traffic patterns in parking lots are shifting. You may think you know your way around and then as if Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother whipped her wand with a Bibbity Bobbity Boo Hoo Hoo — that’s a whole new lane just for buses. Our advice is to remain patient. Don’t get road rage trying to get around four cars only to park right next to them. Or worse, run into them in your attempt to cut them off. Seriously. You’re not going to get on Avatar: Flight of Passage any quicker. Slow your roll.
Let Disney do the driving and spend the night
It may seem like a cop out and it could be expensive to say the least, but our best advice on navigating the parks? Let Disney do the driving and stay the night in one of their resorts. Disney offers some form of transportation, whether monorail, bus or skyliner, from each of its resorts to each of the theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs. It might cost you a little more to stay at say The Beach Club resort, but you have easy walking access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. If you’re traveling on a budget, this might not be the best route for you as it generally costs the life of your first born child to stay at one of the resorts around the Magic Kingdom, but generally there are accommodations to fit everyone’s budget. Florida residents can find special offers on resort stays by clicking here.
Rob Landers is a veteran multimedia journalist for the USA Today Network of Florida. Contact Landers at 321-242-3627 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByRobLanders