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Walt Disney World Transportation Guide for Wheelchair Users

August 7, 2017

We have put together our Walt Disney World Transportation Guide for Wheelchair Users. WDW transportation is more than busses and monorails. Find out which forms of transportation are wheelchair accessible to the theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. Not all of them of the fastest but sometimes the journey is part of the adventure.

Walt Disney World Transportation Guide for Wheelchair Users

Monorail

The Walt Disney World monorail is the most iconic form of transportation at the resort. You can take the monorail from the Transportation and Ticket Center to the Magic Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom resorts, or Epcot. It is not always the fastest way to get where you are going but it’s a must do for us at least once every trip. Every Monorail station is wheelchair accessible and Cast Members will place a ramp out for you to board.
Walt Disney World Monorail
The easiest station to navigate is at Epcot. There are ramps when you exit and an elevator to use to return for your departure. The TTC and Magic Kingdom have ramps leading up to the stations that can be difficult for wheelchair users. For more in depth information check our our guide for the Walt Disney World Monorail.

Bus

You can grab a bus at any Walt Disney World Resort, theme park, and at Disney Springs. At the resorts you’ll see a square with the wheelchair symbol. Sitting there helps the bus drivers see you. But I don’t usually park there until I see the bus I am waiting for pulling up. Just make sure to sit where you can keep an eye on what bus is coming next. Most resorts (if not all) have a screen that shows what time the bus you are waiting for will arrive.

Once the bus arrives you will be loading first. If you need help up the ramp someone in your party can give you a hand. Once you are inside the bus driver will help you get into the open wheelchair spot and add the tie downs to your wheelchair. Just let them know where everything should go. After that you’re all set! Once you get to your destination you will have to wait a few minutes for everyone to depart. The driver will then take the tie downs off of your wheelchair and you are ready to go.

Occasionally a bus will arrive that already has every wheelchair spot taken or you’ll get to the bus stop and everyone has already loaded. You’ll have to wait for the next bus to arrive. We have only had a few occasions where we have had to wait a really long time for another bus to arrive. To avoid the wait we try to get to the bus stops early if we are trying to make rope drop. When we’re leaving we either try to leave before park closing and the fireworks or we hang out for 20 or 30 minutes until the crowds die down a little.

Boat

Magic Kingdom Ferryboats

If you are traveling to the Magic Kingdom from the Transportation and Ticket Center, we recommend taking the ferryboats. I know people love the monorail but I find it to be easier and sometimes faster. Especially if the express monorail isn’t running.
Magic Kingdom Ferry
The ramps to and from the ferry are easier for me to manage. Plus, if it is busy, the monorail can be very cramped. The ferry on the other hand has plenty of space and fresh air.For more photos and information you can visit our post about the Magic Kingdom Ferryboats.

Friendship Boats

Another fun way to travel is on Disney’s Friendship boats. They run between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with stops at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts and the Swan and Dolphin Hotels. Boats generally run about every 20 minutes. There are also Friendship boats in Epcot that run between Canada and Morocco and Mexico and Germany in the World Showcase but I would only take one if it’s something fun you would like to experience.

Disney Friendship Boat

A Cast Member will place a ramp for you to enter to boat at the back. There is a designated wheelchair seating area where you can either park your wheelchair to sit on the bench or to stay in your wheelchair. Once you reach your destination they will place the ramp out again for you to exit. For more information and photos check out our post on Disney’s Friendship Boats.

Disney Springs Ferryboats

Another fun boat ride can be taken to and from Disney Springs. If you are staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort you can board a ferryboat. We have only done this from the French Quarter Resort but it was very easy. It’s also a very pretty and relaxing ride.

Boat at Port Orleans Resort

The ramp to board is similar to the ones to board the Friendship boats. There are a couple of spots for wheelchair users on board. The benches in those areas lift up and you just have to back into the space. After that just put on your brakes and enjoy the ride.

Wilderness Lodge Water Taxis

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has two water taxis. The first takes you over to the Magic Kingdom. It is a lot bigger than most of the other water taxis used at the resorts.

There isn’t a ramp to board. Most of the time the dock will be at the same height as the boat. But that can change depending on water levels. In this first photo, the water was at a perfect height and I rolled straight onboard.

But in the next photo you can see that the water level was a little lower. In these cases I just had Andrew help me so my front wheels didn’t get stuck between the dock and the boat. There isn’t designated wheelchair seating onboard but there are spots in the front that are big enough for you to park.

There is also a water taxi and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge that will take you to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. These boats are much smaller and not wheelchair accessible. If you are wanting to visit Fort Wilderness you can take a bus that goes between the two resorts or take the walking. The trail is  0.75-miles long, shaded, and paved. We’ve taken it before and really enjoyed it. You may even see a few deer along the way!

Other Water Taxis

There are also water taxis located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. In our experience these are not wheelchair accessible. Most of them are very small and you would need to be able to step down into them and your wheelchair will have to fold. But if you have had a different experience please let us know!

Minnie Vans

Disney recently launched the Minnie Van service. For now, Minnie Vans are available for guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club resorts. But the service will be expanding in the future. Rides cost $20 and can accommodate up to six people. You can use the Lyft app on your phone to schedule a pick up or visit the valet desk at the resorts between between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. According to the Orlando Sentinel two of the Minnie Vans will be wheelchair accessible. We’re hoping to try it out on our next visit to the parks. Mostly because I think the vans are cute. 🙂

Minnie Van service at Walt Disney World Resort

Photo Credit: WDW News (David Roark, photographer)

Also keep in mind that you can schedule a Mears Taxi at any of the resorts valet stands or the front desk. We typically get Cast Members to call for us because the response is a little faster and they make sure we get an accessible van.

Using Your Own Vehicle

And of course, using your own vehicle is an option when you are visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts. If you have an early dining reservation at another resort, you can drive over and park for free. They will just need to scan your MagicBand at the gate to the parking lot. Parking is also free for resort guests at the theme parks if you decide to drive. And if you are looking for wheelchair parking, just follow the blue lines on the pavement or ask a Cast Member for directions. Parking is also free at Disney Springs. You can find out more information about parking at Walt Disney World in this post.

WDW Transportation - A Guide for Wheelchair Users from Rolling with the Magic