When my son John Paul was little, he was obsessed with trains.
We have a lot of train traffic through our little town. He’d always get so excited when we’d get stuck at a crossing watching the variety of cars go by.
His favorite song was Casey Jr. from Disney’s “Dumbo.” He loved Thomas the Tank engine. In fact, any story that featured a train, including the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” episode, “Choo Choo Express.” We watched it a least a half dozen times on our way down to Orlando.
So, as we planned his first Disney World trip, we focused a lot of energy on the Walt Disney World Railroad and the Magic Kingdom loop.
Then, in the days leading up to our trip to the Walt Disney World Property, they closed the train for repairs. It wasn’t supposed to be closed long. We hoped for the best.
Ultimately, it was a couple of days after our trip finished that they reopened the thing.
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We’ve been a little hit or miss on our Disney planning over the years.
On Sofia’s first day at Disney, my plan was to take her on Small World for her first ride – closed.
Later, we’d planned a trip to Hollywood Studios a year in advance. We missed the opening of Toy Story Land by a couple of days.
We also missed the opening of Disney Skyliner at our favorite Walt Disney World Resort, the Caribbean Beach, by a few weeks.
Then on our most recent trip, Ainsley missed out on Frozen Ever After. The ride closed for the evening with her in line.
I’m sure there have been times we’ve narrowly managed to see a key event or hit a ride right before it closed down. However, the near misses are a lot easier to remember than the near hits.
The Walt Disney World transportation system
On our trip, we used the Walt Disney World Monorail System as a backup. We were staying in one of the Disney Resort hotels that wasn’t on the Magic Kingdom monorail.
So we arrived at the Magic Kingdom via the Disney World bus service, which is not exactly the public transport of the future. However, Disney buses are a fairly effective and efficient way of getting around.
Still, JP was immediately enamored with the sleek, futuristic monorail trains. When it was getting close to the time for him to take his nap, his mom and I had planned for one of us to take him back to the hotel while the other stayed with our oldest, Sofia, to enjoy some one-on-one time in the Kingdom.
I told JP it was time to ride the train.
We hiked out of the park and up to the monorail platform. He was so excited to ride that I considered changing monorail routes at the transportation center so we could ride the EPCOT monorail line. But ultimately, I decided on the resort monorail loop.
So we found an empty monorail car and toured the monorail resorts, where we waved to the people at Chef Mickey, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
He made it a full loop before he climbed up on my chest and went to sleep. We went round and round listening to the voice announce each stop and enjoying the blast of air conditioning.
He awoke aboard a train, and he has been enamored with the Disney monorail system ever since. He asked for monorail trains for two Christmases in a row and got the EPCOT monorail station to go with it.
Can you monorail from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom?
The answer is yes, but it’s not direct. You have to transfer lines at the ticket center. But you can ride the EPCOT monorail to and from the ticket center at the Magic Kingdom parking lot.
This is especially handy if you have a park hopper and want to hit those two parks specifically.
However, it’s important to note you could take different routes to get there. All of these would work in reverse as well.
You could take a ferry boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the ticket center then get on the EPCOT line to ride a monorail the rest of the way.
There are also Disney buses that connect the parks.
Which is the most efficient transportation system to get from EPCOT to the Magic Kingdom or vice versa?
I would think the monorail is the fastest way, but I’ve heard from other frequent Disney guests who claim it’s the buses.
If you get a chance, ask a handful of Disney employees who work the transportation system for their opinion. I’d think they have the best info.
How long is the monorail ride from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom?
With the transfer of lines, plan for about 25 minutes, but that can vary depending on crowds. On our most recent trip, we’d try to play it by ear at the transportation center.
If the crowd looked smaller at the Magic Kingdom ferry, that’s where we’d go. If the monorail routes looked less crowded, we went that way.
At park close, I like the actual ferry ride and we were told it’s faster to the parking lot, but the cattle crowd trying to get on is kind of a bummer.
There are long lines for the monorail too, but it’s more organized.
What is the best way to get from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom?
I like the monorail and the ferry system, but if you factor everything in, there is something to be said for just getting on the bus and getting dropped off right near the entrance.
Where is the monorail from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom?
The monorail service to the Magic Kingdom is at the ticketing and transportation center.
At EPCOT itself, it’s right there by the front entrance.
Does the EPCOT monorail line connect to any other parks?
No. There are no monorail routes to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. Currently, it doesn’t appear that Disney is moving in that direction.
The still relatively new Skyliner system connects EPCOT’s International Gateway in the rear of the park next to World Showcase to Hollywood Studios and to a trio of Disney Resort hotels.
Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Art of Animation and the Riviera Resort are included. If you want to get to Animal Kingdom or from Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios, you’ll need to take a bus.
What do you think of the monorail system at EPCOT? Let us know in the comments.