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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Boats, Busses, and Trains--Oh, My!

 If you have a yearning for various forms of transportation, the Walt Disney World Resort is your place to be. This vast 47 square miles boasts busses, trams, trains, boats, bicycles, and monorails.

Let’s talk trains. If you want to travel by train at the Walt Disney World Resort, there’s the Walt Disney World Railroad at the Magic Kingdom to ride on. You can take the train all the way around Magic Kingdom or get off at stops at Frontierland or Toontown/Tomorrowland. There’s also the Wildlife Express Train at Animal Kingdom that takes guest to and from Rafiki’s Planet Watch—click here to read more. If smaller trains are more to your liking, you can ride the children’s train at Downtown Disney—Marketplace—click here to read more. If train watching is more your style, the Germany Pavilion in EPCOT has a lovely garden with G-gauge trains.

You could include monorails into the train category, too, but since it is Disney, monorails get their own category. The 11 monorails travel along the million dollars per mile monorail track at the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Here’s a secret tip: If you are at the Polynesian Resort and want to go to EPCOT—don’t take the Resort Monorail to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) and switch to the EPCOT monorail line. Instead, take the short walk from the Polynesian to the TTC and get on the EPCOT monorail—this will take less time. We were having breakfast at ‘OHANA—click here to read more—and were headed to EPCOT for rope drop. I asked in the lobby which door would take us to the sidewalk to walk to the TTC. The man behind the counter gave us a curious look and said, “You must come here often, as most people don’t know they can walk to the TTC.” I just smiled. What was interesting about walking to the TTC to catch the EPCOT monorail was that all non-resort guests, meaning those people not staying at the Walt Disney World Resorts, were quartered off. Non-resort guests were not allowed to get to the monorails or the ferry to the Magic Kingdom, as it was before 9:00 am. You see, Magic Kingdom had “extra magic hours” from 8:00-9:00 am only for resort guests. As I walked past all the people waiting, I was reminded once again about the benefits of staying on-site. Anyway, click here if you want to read more about Monorails at Disney.

 Boats: Whew! This category goes from the huge, multi-story ferries that take guests back and forth from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom, to the 2 person Sea Raycers that are available for rent at various resorts. Let’s start with the ferries. There are 2 ferries that make the journey across Seven Seas Lagoon. Their horns are deep and evoke a magical sensation that something wonderful is about to happen. Guests parking in the parking lots of the Magic Kingdom have two choices to get to and from the Magic Kingdom—monorail or ferry. The launches that take guests back and forth between the Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness are the next in size. Then there are the Friendship Boats—these boats are smaller than ferries, but still hold many guests. They travel the route between EPCOT’s International Gateway and Hollywood Studios with stops at Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, and Yacht and Beach Club Resorts in between. The Friendship Boats have helped us park hop between Studios and EPCOT. There are also the boats used for special cruises on the Seven Seas Lagoon—click here to read about the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise. There are the large pontoon boats that are for guests at Port Orleans, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and Downtown Disney. There are also smaller launch boats holding about 30 guests that go between the Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness. After that, it is all about guest rentals—yachts, pontoon boats, cruisers, and raycers. You could spend days trying to experience the various boats that are part of the Disney fleet.

Then there are all the attractions that involve boats, like the Libertybelle Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom. Let’s see. . .others would include Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, Jungle Cruise, Grande Fiesta Tour, and Living with the Land. Then there’s the flume rides—Splash Mountain and Maelstrom. Let’s not forget Kali River Rapids and it’s rafts!

Trams: I included this category, as for children, this can be an attraction all on its own. And, Disney recently announced that they are adding doors to the sides of the trams. Trams are used in parking lots of all 4 Disney parks. Personally, we haven’t experienced trams, but we have seen them in use. Guests who drive to any of the 4 Walt Disney World Parks, have the option of using a tram to get either the park entrance, or in the case of the Magic Kingdom, to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) to then ride the ferry or monorail.

Bicycles: Bikes of all shapes, sizes, and number of passengers are available for rent at most Walt Disney World Resorts. Renting a bike at our resort is still on the husband’s list of things to do.

Busses: Finally! We are well experienced in the bus system at Walt Disney World. Busses run 24/7 between Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World Resort.--click here to read more. Then there are the resort busses. Busses make regular runs between each of the 21 resorts and the various parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney. We use busses to get to and from the parks, park hop, and get to and from the airport. In some resorts, there are even “internal busses” like at Fort Wilderness and Caribbean Beach. There’s a dedicated phone line from your resort room phone to contact the Walt Disney World Transportation Center should you have questions about bussing.

Whew! That’s quite a list and I didn’t even get to ponies, horses, carriages, and horse drawn wagons. Again, it can take many, many visits to the Walt Disney World Resort to experience everything it has to offer. When is your next visit?

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