Driving Around Walt Disney World Resort
April 11, 2017
Walt Disney World is a popular destination and unique in many ways; one very notable one is the size. Most people do not realize how big Walt Disney World is until they are on property. Once at your resort you realize you have to get around and that walking is not an option. Many guests utilize Disney transportation to get to the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, Disney’s Boardwalk area and Disney resort hotels. For the guest that rents a car or drives their own, I recommend a little preparation for driving around Walt Disney World before you arrive. This will help you much more than you know.
Walt Disney World is conveniently located off of major interstates. So no matter what direction you are coming from, you will not miss the signs for Walt Disney World. Driving around The World is fairly easy if you pay special attention to the signs. Getting to the parks is the easiest. Simply follow the signs to the park you are going to (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollow Studios, and Animal Kingdom). They are everywhere!
However, if you are headed to your resort this is where looking at a map before arriving and knowing a few things can help you out a lot! It will help you figure out what park is closest to your resort. Once you know this, you can follow the signs that say “Magic Kingdom Resorts” or “Animal Kingdom Resorts”. If you do not know what park is near your resort, you could be driving around in circles. So let’s not let that happen. Here is a list of resorts and what park vicinity they are located.
Magic Kingdom Area Resorts
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Wild World of Sports Area
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Epcot Area Resorts
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs and Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Remember to look over the map of Walt Disney World before you arrive. Click here for map. Drive slowly and pay attention to the signs. You are not the only one on the road that is unsure of where they are going. I try to stay in the middle lane until I am sure of what direction I am turning. At night it can get a little harder to see the signs so take your time. If you have navigation on your vehicle or phone, use it!
If you are visiting a park and not staying on Disney property you will have to pay parking. The current parking rate is $20.00* for most vehicles, but if you would like preferred parking the rate is $35.00* per day. Once parking is paid, you can visit any of the four parks on the same day and not have to pay again. If you are a guest staying on Disney property, theme park parking is free. You will be given a parking pass to keep in your car when you check into your resort.
If you are driving to Walt Disney World this is a must know! Walt Disney World has a Car Care Center. If is located near the Magic Kingdom and is a full service operation that provides most emergency services (except towing). You can reach them by calling 407-824-0976. Hours are weekdays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturdays from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sundays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Also good to know is that when on Disney Property and you need help, flag down a security guard. They can assist with minor emergencies like a flat tire, a dead battery, running out of gas or contacting someone if you need a tow.
There are three Speedway Gas stations on Disney property. All three are easily accessible for those driving around Walt Disney World Resort. One is located on Buena Vista Drive across from Disney Springs and another is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios area near the entrance to Boardwalk Inn. The third one is located on the right side of World Drive as you exit the Magic Kingdom. Over the years I have learned that Speedway gas stations are very competitively priced and at times they are less than off property. As an extra convenience, they are open 24 hours a day.
Getting around Disney with your own car is not that hard; by the end of the week you will be a pro. Having your own car does offer a few perks. You will not be on a bus making four or five stops before getting to your resort. You can get to places much quicker. And, if you have your own car you can drive to the beach for a day or get out and see what Orlando is all about. You have the freedom to come and go as you wish.
If you are thinking of planning a trip to Disney I would be happy to help you book and plan your vacation and help you find fun things to explore on your vacation.
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Have a magical day!
*cost as of 12/02/16