One of the most iconic things that come to mind when imagining a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort is the famous monorail. My family loves the Walt Disney World Monorail System.
In fact, instead of a traditional train under our Christmas tree, we have a monorail. It trundles around its little elevated track and says “Please stand clear of the doors! Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!”
My kids love it. Who am I kidding, I love it!
The monorail that goes around our Christmas tree has a blue stripe. Passengers waiting in line to board the monorail can guess which colored stripe will decorate their monorail.
Each vehicle is named by its color: monorail lime, monorail peach, monorail teal, monorail orange, etc.
Can you ride the Disney monorail for free?
Yes, but you might have to pay for parking.
When my baby brother (now in high school) was a toddler, he was obsessed with all things Disney transportation. He especially loved the monorail.
When my dad and stepmother would take him on a trip to Disney World, he did not care about any of the rides in the parks. He just wanted to ride the bus, monorail, friendship boats and ferries.
This was before the days of the Disney Skyliner, but I’m sure he would’ve loved that, too.
My dad is an airline pilot and can fly standby on his airline’s flights when there’s space available for little to no cost.
So he came up with a plan to take my baby brother on his dream Walt Disney World vacation showcasing all of Disney’s modes of transportation WITHOUT purchasing theme park tickets. I tagged along for the ride(s).
We flew into Orlando and rented a car. Then we drove to the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC), where we had to pay for parking.
Once parked, you can process through security and access buses, ferry boats and all three monorail lines.
We rode both the Monorail Resort Loop and Express. We also rode the EPCOT Monorail to and from EPCOT. Upon arrival at EPCOT, the monorail route takes visitors into the park at loops around Spaceship Earth.
From EPCOT, we took a bus to Port Orleans Resort and rode a boat to Disney Springs. From Disney Springs, we took a bus back to the Transportation and Ticket Center. Finally, we hopped in the rental car and drove back to the airport.
It was a whirlwind day.
Where does the monorail go at Disney?
There are three monorail lines at Disney World, all of which are headquartered at the Transportation & Ticket Center.
Two of the tracks follow the same route through the Magic Kingdom Resort area. Both routes make a loop around Bay Lake with stops at the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation & Ticket Center.
The Express Monorail runs counter-clockwise and only stops at the TTC and Magic Kingdom. The Resort Loop Monorail runs clockwise and makes additional stops at each of the three resorts on Bay Lake: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Access to the monorail loop is one of the best amenities guests can take advantage of when staying in one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts in this area.
Staying at a Disney hotel along the monorail loop can be especially helpful for guests using a stroller or wheelchair.
When using bus transportation, you’ll be required to fold up your stroller. On the monorail, you can let sleeping kids lie and wheel your stroller directly into the cab.
The EPCOT Monorail takes guests from the Transportation & Ticket Center to EPCOT and back. It takes about 15 minutes to travel from one park to the other, or 30 minutes round-trip.
The monorail typically begins running a few hours before the park’s opening. Service continues for approximately 2 hours after the earliest park closing, which will usually be EPCOT.
Is the monorail worth it at Disney?
The monorail is absolutely worth it! It’s true that you may save time by taking an alternate mode of transportation in some circumstances.
However, a ride on the monorail is such a unique and memorable experience. My suggestion is to plan at least one trip on the monorail during your trip.
Remember that Disney resorts have some excellent restaurants. Perhaps make a reservation at O’hana or Chef Mickey and plan to ride around the resort loop before or after your meal.
How long does it take to ride the monorail loop?
It takes about 30 minutes to complete a circuit on the Resort Loop Monorail.
This route includes stops at three Disney World Resorts: Disney’s Polynesian Resort, The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
How long does it take to get to Magic Kingdom on the monorail?
The trip to or from the Magic Kingdom on the Express Monorail takes about 10 minutes.
If you take the Resort Loop Monorail, it will take about 15-20 minutes with the three added stops.
Can you ride the monorail at Disney World without a park ticket?
Yes. You do not need a park ticket to ride the monorail. You will have to pay for parking at the TTC.
However, if you’re not in a hurry, you have the option of parking for free at Disney Springs and taking a bus to EPCOT, the Magic Kingdom or the Transportation & Ticket Center.
Disney Springs offers bus service to each of these locations that also have monorail stations. You could also get dropped off at the TTC.
Is the monorail or the ferry faster to Magic Kingdom?
In most cases, the ferry is going to be faster. The ride on the monorail and the ferry both take about 10 minutes.
However, the ferries transport huge batches of people. If there are lots of people in line, the ferry is going to be faster.
However, if you’re arriving around the middle of the day and it’s not busy, the monorail may be faster. This is due to the ferry waiting for more people to board while the monorail continually loads small groups every few minutes.
What are your tips for the Disney monorail? Let us know in the comments.