Disney’s Monorail Or Ferry Boat, The Age Old Question

Disney Monorail in front of Magic Kingdom

The big day finally arrives, your trip to the Magic Kingdom! You have researched rides, dining and other details to plan for your magical visit. You arrive at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and are quickly faced with your first decision. How should you get to the Magic Kingdom? The decision whether to take Disney’s monorail or ferry to Magic Kingdom is one that many guests don’t think about before they arrive at the parking lot, but it’s a decision that every guest must make.

Keep reading for details to help you make the decision of whether to choose the monorail or ferry to get to Magic Kingdom.

Taking The Monorail

Disney Monorail traveling to Magic Kingdom

Is the monorail the right choice for you? There is nothing quite like the feeling of riding on the Disney monorail system. It’s a unique transportation system that you don’t often find in the US. Additionally, you’ll get to go through the Contemporary Resort! That combined with views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake and the deluxe resorts that surround them are sure to start your day in a magical way.

At the TTC you will have the option of going directly to the Magic Kingdom on the Express Monorail or taking the Resort Monorail. If you aren’t in a rush you may want to try the Resort Monorail and enjoy the views of the different resorts as you make your way to Magic Kingdom. One of the great features of the monorail is that no matter where you are seated or standing you will have a great view and any children in your party will also be able to see out the windows fairly easily. Another advantage of the monorail is that it is a completely enclosed, air conditioned vehicle.  So you will protected from those rainy days or high temperatures as you ride in comfort to Magic Kingdom.

The monorail runs approximately every 10 minutes during busy times and the Express Monorail will get you to Magic Kingdom approximately 10 minutes after loading. The Resort Monorail will take approximately 20-30 minutes.

Taking The Ferry

Ferry Boat transporting guests to Disney's Magic Kingdom

What about the ferry? The delightful feeling of a peaceful boat ride is unique in its own way. On a warm day with a window view the ferry provides you with that instant “I’m on vacation” feeling. However, unlike the monorail, views on the ferry are a bit harder to obtain. Many guests end up seated or standing in the middle area of the boat which will often have a limited, obstructed views because of other passengers riding along with you. Children in your party will likely not be able to see much if they are situated in the middle of the boat.

Better views can be had on the upper floor or around the sides of the boat. Of course, getting to the upper floor means climbing stairs, making it difficult for guests with strollers and/or mobility issues to get a nice view. The ferry is mostly standing room so this is another factor to consider in your decision. Additionally, windows on the ferry are open so guests are exposed to the elements. On nice days this makes for a beautiful and pleasant ride, but on rainy, cold or windy days this will definitely have you questioning your choice to ride the ferry.

The ferry runs approximately every 15-30 minutes. The trip across the Seven Seas Lagoon only takes about 10 minutes, but this does not include time for docking, or loading and unloading of passengers.

With either option there is always the possibility of delays which can lengthen your waiting time. Ensure that you leave yourself plenty of time to get to the Magic Kingdom or back. Nothing decreases the enjoyment of the ride of either the monorail or ferry like feeling rushed and stressed. Also keep in mind current COVID restrictions will increase lines and wait times.

So, Monorail or Ferry?

Both options provide guests with a special experience that has the ability to enhance their magical day. My personal preference is for the monorail as it feels faster and I enjoy the views. In my opinion since the monorail runs higher in the air it offers a better view with more to look at. However, whenever I am going to the Magic Kingdom on a warm day with low crowds and am not in a rush, I love choosing the ferry for its unique experience.

At the end of the day when the crowds are heavy it can be a hard decision on which transpiration option to choose to head back to the TTC. I recommend taking the monorail as views at night from the ferry are very limited and depending on the weather the ride can be uncomfortable. Even if the thought of walking up the hill to the monorail entrance after a long day at Magic Kingdom feels a bit overwhelming, you are likely going to get back to the TTC faster on the monorail. 

For those who are feeling ambitious, there is now a third option. The new walkway from Grand Floridan to Magic Kingdom is now open, which means guests can travel on foot all the way from the TTC to Magic Kingdom via Polynesian and the Grand Floridian. The walk will take you approximately 35 minutes but it will definitely be a peaceful and beautiful way to travel to the Magic Kingdom.

Whether you choose to take the monorail, ferry or walk to Magic Kingdom, make sure to relax and enjoy the trip!

Written by

Allison Freedman

Contributing Writer

Allison is a registered nurse and mother of 4 daughters ranging in age from 2 to 13 years old. She is a Canadian farm girl whose love of Disney started at a later age. After taking her family on their first Disney trip 10 years ago she was hooked. She now spends all her free time researching and dreaming about her next Disney vacation.

2 comments on “Disney’s Monorail Or Ferry Boat, The Age Old Question

  1. Great article! Thoughtful and insightful, I look forward to more seeing more of Allison’s articles!

    1. We love Allison’s articles too! She always has great info about her travels to Disney World. Keep an eye out for more to come from her.

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