Monorail, Ferry, or Bus: Getting to the Magic Kingdom
Let’s face it, Disney World can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re new to it all. All you know is that you want to get to the Magic Kingdom!
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can take a bus or a boat directly to the Magic Kingdom, then be prepared to make decisions!
Whether you take an off-site hotel shuttle, Uber, or drive yourself, you won’t actually be at the Magic Kingdom.
You’ll be just outside of it at the Transportation and Ticket Center, known to the hardcore Disney peeps as the TTC.
Because you have to make this extra stop before crossing through the park gates, we recommend arriving at the TTC 1 hour before the park officially opens if you’re hoping to rope drop. (Don’t be crazy, always rope drop Magic Kingdom!)
The TTC offers 3 different transportation options to get you to the Magic Kingdom: Monorail, Ferry, or Bus.
The monorail is the most Disney classic way to get to the park. The concept was dreamed by Walt Disney himself, and even U.S. Presidents have taken rides through this iconic transportation vehicle.
It has become so iconic that the monorail is practically an attraction in and of itself. That being said… It is not the quickest way to the park.
In fact, it is so popular that the monorail is actually the slowest way to Magic Kingdom. Even if you’re at the TTC over an hour before park open it will have a massive line. The monorail is back up and running at full capacity, so the line moves pretty quickly, but just the sight of the line can be pretty intimidating.
The ferry is my personal go-to. It is the perfect blend of speed and sights. It has a huge capacity and we have never had to wait to get on.
You usually just wait for it to fill up before sailing away. This generally takes 10 minutes. Plus, if you’re traveling with kids, what kid doesn’t get excited about a big boat!?
Now just picture it… You push off from the TTC and you can literally see the Magic Kingdom and the iconic castle getting closer and closer. Pure magic.
PRO TIP: You may be tempted to go upstairs on the top deck for a better view. Resist the urge. The boat doesn’t turn around when it docks, so walk all the way to the front of the boat. Now, you will be among the first off!
Real talk here… the bus is the, *sigh*, fastest mode of transportation to get to the Magic Kingdom. We’re pretty sad about this because there is nothing fun about Disney buses.
It has been our experience that they are filled with the grumpiest people. If speed is the name of the game, take the bus from the Transportation and Ticket Center.
WHY ALL THE FUSS???
Why all this confusion? Why not just allow people to go straight to the Magic Kingdom? You can drive directly to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom! Why is this different?
Walt Disney World has the stop at the TTC because of what they learned shortly after opening Disneyland in California. When people realized that Disneyland was going to be a true success, businesses flocked to Anaheim, California and built cheap hotels and trinket shops practically on top of Disneyland.
Walt Disney vowed that the Florida Project would be in a Disney bubble. Disney felt it was necessary to create the TTC to prevent gawdy tourist trap shops from being mixed with Disney magic. It definitely worked! You can’t see anything but Florida swamp at the TTC and Magic Kingdom.
The reason why we don’t have an extra stop before entering the other parks is because Disney solved the crowding issue another way: They bought all the land.
To put it in perspective – Disneyland property in California is 500 acres and Walt Disney World property in Florida is 27,000 acres. Yup. No gaudy crowding there!