You’ve figured out what you want to do and You may be thinking this is an obvious question, but there are a few nuances that first-timers may not know about that I want to shed some light on.

Step 1: Fly or Drive?

This is just something everyone will have to figure out on their own, but I’d base them on the following questions:

  • Do you like to drive? If so, how long is your threshold?
  • How heavily does money / budget factor into this equation?
    • If you are trying to save money and live within 200 miles, then definitely drive, for example.
  • Do you want to have a car while you’re there? And do you care if it’s your car?
  • How many people are coming along and how much luggage will you have?

I’m in California, so for me the answer is always fly, but if you’re close enough you should weight the pros and cons of driving.

Step 2: Getting to Walt Disney World

If you drove, then, you just pull up Google Maps and away you go. If you flew, however, make sure you strongly consider Disney’s Magical Express. It is a free bus service that takes you directly from Orlando International Airport to whatever Disney resort you’re staying at. It takes 30-60 minutes depending on what resort you’re at and what traffic is like, but it’s a pretty convenient way to get from MCO to WDW. Magical Express will also take you back to MCO at the conclusion of your trip.

Step 3: Getting to and from the theme parks

Disney has robust transportation options throughout the park, for example:

  • Some of the Deluxe hotels are on the monorail loop, which gives you seamless access to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom.
  • Some of the resorts also have boat service which can take you to and from the parks.
  • All resorts have complimentary bus service which gets you to and from the parks. It isn’t always the fastest, but it’ll get you where you have to go.
    • As a rule of thumb, always allow an hour to get from your resort to the park of your choice, especially if you have dining or FastPass+ reservations.

If you don’t want to rely on Disney, you can always drive and use your car, fly and rent a car, or rely on Uber service from your hotel and between the parks.


Disney provides you with everything you need to get to (and around) their parks, which is great, but that doesn’t mean it’s right or ideal for everyone. Figure out what your priorities are and use that as your guide. For example, if you’d rather save time but spend more, stay at a monorail-attached resort.

This has been a part of our Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World Planning series

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