This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of on-site vs. off-site Disney transportation for your adult Disney for couples trip.

Arriving to Disney World for a couples-only trip is nothing short of magical. It’s just the two of you, and despite the teeming crowds of other travelers, somehow it still feels like the entire magical world is yours.

What can totally dash that peaceful and whimsical feeling? Feeling like you made the wrong choice about where to stay and how to get to and from the Disney theme parks.

Save yourself the trouble now by thinking this through. Your future vacationing self with thank you, eyes closed while sipping a chilled cocktail in the World Showcase, blissful as ever.

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What Are the On-Site Disney Transportation Options?Disney monorail sticker.

Before we get into the pros and cons of on-site vs. off-site Disney transportation, let’s go over your options.

First, we’ll go over your on-site transportation options if you’re staying on Disney World property, including parking considerations and costs.

Note that this information is for registered Disney resorts, meaning the ones owned and operated by Disney.

Disney Transportation

Disney Skyliner sticker.

Here are your transportation options if you’re staying on Disney World property:

  • Boat: Water taxis and ferries go from select Disney resorts to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. See the full list of resorts here.
  • Bus: Travel to and from all of the Disney theme parks and Disney Springs in a Disney bus.
  • Monorail: The monorail goes to and from the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian resorts to Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
  • Skyliner: The Skyliner goes to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios from four Disney resorts — Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera.

Your Own Transportation

If you have a car on Disney property, you can also drive yourself to and from the theme parks and Disney Springs.

Pro Tip: Having a phone mount for your car makes it much, much easier to navigate. Orlando and Disney World roads can be tricky.

A phone car mount for your Disney World packing list.

According to the Walt Disney World parking page, standard parking is included for Disney hotel guests. (That means registered Disney resorts, not any of the other hotels on Disney property that are actually run by a third party.)

Alternatively, you can call a Lyft or Uber to take you to and from the parks. Disney also has its own rideshare service — the Minnie Van — that you can book through Lyft.

If you’re dropped off at a Disney theme park by a friend or rideshare, there’s no parking fee.

Disney Resort Parking

Disney Polynesian resort sticker.

Overnight Disney resort parking is free if you’re staying at that resort. However, if you’re staying at the Dolphin or Swan hotel, parking costs $36 per night.

If you visit other resorts that you’re not staying at during your Disney for couples trip, you can park for free there, too. It’s possible that security won’t let you visit via car, though, based on crowd level and time of year. In that case, you can park at Disney Springs and take a Disney bus to the hotel you want to visit.

What You Should Know About Staying at a Non-Disney Resort on Disney World Property

An Airbnb in Orlando, Florida.

There are a number of non-Disney-owned resorts on Walt Disney World property, and they have their own transportation and parking options.

We’ve stayed at a number of these resorts over the years, and the transportation options aren’t nearly as attractive as the ones run by Disney. The buses don’t run as frequently as Disney buses, making it far less convenient to get your day started.

It’s best to have your own car when staying at a non-Disney resort, even if you’re technically on WDW property. Remember, that means you’ll have to pay for parking, so factor that into your budget.

💰 How Much Do You Need for a Disney World Daily Budget?

What Are the Off-Site Disney Transportation Options?

People driving through the Walt Disney World entrance on a Disney for couples trip.

If you’re staying off-site on your Disney for couples trip, your transportation options are limited to driving yourself or using a rideshare. Some off-property resorts do offer transportation to and from the parks, but it likely won’t be convenient enough to take advantage of.

Driving your own car means you’ll have to pay for parking, while a rideshare (or a ride from a friend) will drop you off near the park entrance and you won’t have to pay for parking.

Here’s what to know about theme park and Disney Springs parking if you’re staying off-site on your Disney for couples trip.

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Disney Theme Park and Disney Springs Parking

The Orange parking garage at Disney Springs.

Theme park parking starts at $30 per day, and you can visit any or all of the four Disney World theme parks. Annual Passholders get free parking.

🎠 What Are the Four Disney Parks in Florida?

There’s no cost to park at Disney Springs, and there’s also no cost for entry into Disney Springs. We deep-dive this topic here.

On-Site vs. Off-Site Disney Transportation: Pros and Cons

The All-Star bus stop at Hollywood Studios.

There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to where to stay and what type of transportation to use in Disney World. Comparing the pros and cons of each option will help you figure out what’s right for you on your upcoming Disney for couples trip.

Pros of On-Site Disney Transportation

  • Buses run to and from Disney theme parks from all of the Disney hotels.
  • You rarely have to wait for a long time at a Disney resort to catch a bus to your chosen theme park, even if you’re staying at an All-Star resort, the most budget-friendly ones Disney offers.
  • Certain Disney resorts have additional transportation options, like boats, monorail and Skyliner.
  • If you have your car or a rental car, you can park at a theme park for free.

Cons of On-Site Disney Transportation

  • Getting a bus from a theme park back to your Disney resort can take quite a long time, especially (a) at night and/or (b) if you’re staying at a budget resort.
  • If you leave the park at closing, with all of the other guests, Disney transportation can be packed, and you can wait a long time to get on the monorail, Skyliner, etc.
  • It can be overwhelming to travel to your hotel with a ton of people at the end of a long Disney park day.

Pros of Off-Site Disney Transportation

  • You can save a lot of money by choosing an off-site Disney hotel or even an on-site non-Disney resort, which balances out the cost of parking at the theme parks.
  • Stopping for coffee or breakfast on your way to Disney World is cheaper than buying these items on-property.
  • If you have an Annual Pass, you won’t have to pay for parking.

Honorable Mention: Regardless of where you’re staying, if you have a car, you’ll have total control over when and where you travel.

Cons of Off-Site Disney Transportation

  • If you don’t have your own car, you’ll need to rent one, which can be tedious and pricey.
  • You’ll be farther from Disney property, so it’ll take you a longer time to get where you’re going.
  • You’ll have to contend with Orlando traffic, which can be wild.
  • Parking costs $30 per day unless you have an Annual Pass.

Final Thoughts About Planning Your Disney for Couples Trip

Skyliner depot in Disney World.

There’s no one way to do a Disney for couples trip. The combination of hotel and transportation options you choose will be based on your preferences and goals for that specific trip.

The only way you can get it wrong is if you don’t give it some thought ahead of time. And if you make a choice that you totally don’t vibe with, consider it a learning lesson for your next romantic getaway.

Getting everything together for your WDW trip? Yay! Here are Disney World packing list items we swear by.

Disney World Transportation FAQ

Is it faster to drive or take Disney transportation?

If you’re staying on Disney property, it’s typically faster to drive to a Disney theme park than take Disney transportation. You can leave when you want and you won’t have to wait for others to board.

However, the walk into the park will be longer than if you take Disney transportation because you’ll be walking in from the parking lot. Disney transportation drops you off right near the park entrance.

Can you use Disney transportation if you’re not staying on property?

Yes, you can use any of the Disney transportation options even if you’re not staying on property. The easiest way to do this is to start at Disney Springs or a Disney resort and navigate to the Disney transportation you’re looking for from there.

For example, if you want to ride the Disney Skyliner, you can park at Disney Springs, take a Disney bus to the Art of Animation resort, and then take the Skyliner from there.

If you’re park-hopping at Disney World but you’re not staying on property, you can park at the first theme park and then take a bus to another theme park. Just make sure to be back at the parking lot before that theme park closes — otherwise, there may not be transportation running.

How do I park for free at Disney World?

If you’re staying at a Disney resort or you have an Annual Pass, you won’t have to pay for parking at any of the Disney theme parks. Disney Springs parking is always free.

Is the Disney monorail free?

Yes, the Disney monorail is free to ride regardless of where you’re staying (on-property vs. off-property) and if you have a park ticket for that day.

Can you ride the monorail without a ticket?

Yes, you don’t need a ticket for the monorail or a park ticket in order to ride the monorail.

Does the Monorail go to Epcot?

Epcot ball sticker.

Yes, the Epcot and Express Monorails go to Epcot. You can pick either of these monorails up at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

Does the monorail go to Animal Kingdom?

No, the Disney monorail does not go to Animal Kingdom. It goes to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and three hotels (Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian).

See our Grand Floridian sticker here.

Can you ride the Disney Skyliner without a park ticket?

Yes, you can ride the Disney Skyliner without a park ticket. The best way to do this is to start at one end — either the Riviera or Art of Animation / Pop Century — and then ride it down the line.

The Disney Skyliner map with travel routes.

🍹 Here’s a step-by-step guide to the Disney Skyliner bar crawl for your Disney for couples trip!

Does the Skyliner go to Magic Kingdom?

No, the Disney Skyliner does not go to Magic Kingdom. It goes to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and four resorts — Riviera, Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation and Pop Century.

What resorts does the Skyliner go to?

The Disney Skyliner goes to four resorts: Riviera, Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation and Pop Century. The Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts share the same Skyliner stop.

Does the Skyliner go to All-Star Movies?

No, the Disney Skyliner doesn’t go to any of the All-Star resorts in Disney World. The only transportation to and from the Disney All-Star resorts is bus transportation.

Do Disney buses go from resort to resort?

No, Disney buses only go between a designated resort and the destination, like a Disney theme park, water park or Disney Springs. Even the buses that service nearby resorts, like the three All-Star resorts, don’t usually go from one resort to another.

How do I get to Magic Kingdom from the parking lot?

If you’re driving to Magic Kingdom on your Disney for couples trip, you can’t park directly in front of the park entrance, like at the other Disney theme parks. Instead, you’ll park at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). From there, you can either take the ferry or monorail to Magic Kingdom.

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