Free Transportation Tour

December 15, 2019

Transportation tour

View of Magic Kingdom, Polynesian, and the Monorail

A fun activity on a day off from the parks is to ride all the modes of transportation Disney offers. Best of all, these are all free! Here are some of my favorite routes.

How you do this ultimately depends on where you are. If you're staying in a Disney resort, you can start right in your hotel. If you're staying off property, parking is free at Disney Springs and you can start with a bus ride.

I find creating the itinerary almost as much fun as the tour itself. Here's an example from the first time we took a transportation tour.

We actually weren't even going to any parks at all. We had dinner plans in Universal CityWalk. My wife and I were surprising her sister for her birthday. We had a few hours to kill before dinner and drove down to Disney to see what mischief we could get into.

Not staying on the property, we parked for free at Disney Springs and headed straight to the bus loops. Scanning the list, I remembered Hayley, my wife, hasn't been inside the Wilderness Lodge. With it's breathtaking lobby and great pool theming, I suggested we start there.

Wilderness Lodge is also great for the tour since it has boat service to the Magic Kingdom.

After checking out the lobby with its Grand Canyon layered fireplace, head toward the back. Notice how the spring fountain inside actually goes outside. Follow it. It's so cool that the fountain flows into the pool! Just past the pool is the boat launch.

One of the neatest parts of this boat ride is that you go over a water bridge. Cars heading to the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom actually go under the waterway.

At the Magic Kingdom enterance, you can take pictures in front of the main street train station and iconic Mickey head planters; just from a slight distance since you won't go past the turnstiles.

When you're ready to go, catch my favorite mode of transportation on the property: the Monorail. For this tour, board the resort line (toward the Contemporary) and we'll visit the Magic Kingdom area resorts.

First stop is the Contemporary. This is the only resort that the Monorail actually goes through! There is an observation deck on the 4th floor with views of Magic Kingdom and Cinderella castle. For tremendous views, head up to California Grill on the roof. If you're there for dinner, they turn off the lights and pipe in the music for the Castle nightime fireworks spectaculars to view them from your table. You can also go outside on the rooftop observation decks. Reservations are usually required, but you might be able to go up for a drink at the bar without one.

Jump back into the Monorail for three stops and get off at the Grand Floridian.

Once off, head straight through the doors and keep going to the railing. The view of the lobby from here is fantastic! More than likely, you'll hear the sounds of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. To head down to the lobby, go to the left for the elevators, or the right to take the grand staircase down. Getting outside can be tricky, the exit is located in the corner opposite of the front doors on the side with the elevators. This can be a bottleneck so be prepared.

Once outside, meander to the left toward Narcoossee's. This spot by the boat launch and Narcoossee's is a great place to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from outside the park. When you're ready, catch the over to the Polynesian.

Be sure to check out the volcano pool and Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.

Catch the bus back to Disney Springs to complete the tour.

(If you're staying at another resort, you can catch a bus from MK)

Other tours

  • Crescent Lake Tour (Coming soon)
  • Disney Springs Tour (Coming soon)

- Chris Marshall

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