One thing our family likes to do, well at least I like to do is take the boat and ferry transportation at Walt Disney World. It is a great way to sit down and relax before you head into the park, or as you are leaving for lunch or the day. While no where near as popular as the bus or the monorail it is still a great way to enjoy being at Disney.
I think one of the biggest questions I had before I did some research a few years ago was where can I ride the boats to and from. I will try to break down some of my travels by park to give you an idea of how to cruise in style. Also be sure to check out the Quick Tips for some Disney Tips and Tricks.
Most trips we take to the Magic Kingdom start out with a Ferry from the Ticket and Transportation Center. The ride to the park is breath taking. To be able to see Cinderellas Castle & Space Mountain slowly come into view as you get closer is exciting for adults and children alike.
Also if you are staying at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, and Ft Wilderness a smaller boat is available to and from the Magic Kingdom. It can get rough on windy days so be careful.
Quick Tip - Schedule a lunch at any one of these Disney World Resorts as a break away from the Magic Kingdom. They are no where near as crowded, and the food their is excellent!
A boat ride is available both to and from the park and is excellent to lull little ones to sleep for a quick power nap.
Getting to Epcot or Hollywood Studios from the Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Dolphin and Swan Resorts you have an option to take a Friendship Boat.
Besides the trip into the Magic Kingdom on the Ferry, the ride between Hollywood Studios and Epcot on board one of the Friendship boats is one of my favorites. I myself have passed out with my head against the glass after a long day at the parks. There is something about the hum of the engines and the vibration in the seats that is like a tranquilizer.
Quick Tip - We always try to squeeze in a quick snack or sip on our water while on board. I am not sure if Food & Drink is permitted but we try to be quiet and always clean up any mess me might make. For parents I have 2 words GOLD FISH!
When I schedule our trip and figure out what parks we are going on what days we usually do Epcot and Hollywood Studios together on the same day so we can take the boats.
Quick Tip - The Boardwalk is beautiful at night. Stop off half way between Epcot & Hollywood one night and enjoy a leisurly stroll or dine at one of the fine restaurants like Kouzzina's.
You can also take a Friendship boat around the World Showcase with stops at Morroco and Germany.
Quick Tip - Take the boat around the World Showcase for some excellent photos of Space Ship Earth and the other lands around Epcot.
Lets not forget Old Key West and Saratoga Springs has hourly boat service to Downtown Disney. I am not a DVC member so I have never taken advantage of this boat ride. Maybe next trip we will take it just for some pictures and to say I have done it.
Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside use the Sassagoula River Cruise as a means of transportation to Downtown Disney and yet another thing to add to my to do list :)
Photo from flickr.com
I hope this has somewhat enlightened you on another form of transportation around the Walt Disney Resort. It is a great way to see the Disney Parks, can be less crowded that the more traditional forms of travel, and hosts some unique picture talking oppurtunties.
This article was featured here on the Chip and Co website.
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