The Walt Disney World Monorail- What It Is and Why You’d Use It

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Is it a vital piece of Disney World transportation, or just a futuristic novelty? The Walt Disney World monorail is a bit of both.

History of the Disney World Monorail

The Walt Disney World monorail is part of the complimentary internal transportation. This futuristic vision of Walt Disney incorporates train-like vehicles into a raised track system. The monorail at Disney World operates on three separate tracks which take guests to two different parks and three different resorts.

Monorails, and their predecessors (trains), have always been a big part of Walt Disney’s Vision. When Walt was constructing Disneyland in California, he knew he wanted monorails to be included in Tomorrowland. Walt was a big believer that monorails would be integral to the future of transportation.

Walt Disney World monorail over EPCOT
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At the time, the monorail was just an attraction inside Tomorrowland, rather than a transportation option. With the opening of the Disneyland Hotel, the monorail track was extended to connect the hotel and the park, making it a true means of transportation.

During the planning of Walt Disney World in Florida, the monorail was included as a method of intrapark transportation from day one. The idea was for the monorail to service the parks and the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT.

At this point in the timeline, EPCOT was not a theme park, but rather an elaborate future community for people to live, work, and play. The community was designed to make transportation more efficient through the use of monorails, people movers and other futuristic ideas.

Unfortunately, due to his untimely death, EPCOT never came to fruition in the way Walt imagined, but the monorail did. Today, the monorail faithfully services 2 of the Walt Disney parks and carries around 50 million guests a year.

Monorail Routes at Disney World

Many guests visiting Disney World for the first time are keen to ride the monorail, and one of the first questions they ask is where the monorail in Disney World travels. The second question is whether the monorail goes to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. Since the monorail runs on three distinct lines that do not connect, both are valid questions.

The Disney World monorail does serve the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT parks, but to truly understand the monorail routes at Disney World, you have to become acquainted with a place called the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). You can learn more about the Transportation and Ticket Center here, but in a nutshell, the TTC acts as a hub for two of the monorail lines and for day guests who drive to Magic Kingdom. Leaving the Transportation Ticket Center are 3 different monorail routes, two of them using the same line or track.

  • Walt Disney World Monorail Route One – Magic Kingdom Express: Day guests visiting the Magic Kingdom and parking in the nearby lot will be taken by tram to the TTC. After a quick security screening, guests enter the TTC where they can hop on the Express Disney World Monorail to Magic Kingdom. Monorails leaving the station will travel north, directly toward the Magic Kingdom. When guests leave the park, the monorail will continue in the same direcetion, heading first west, before looping past the Magic Kingdom area resorts to stop again at the TTC.
  • Walt Disney World Monorail Route Two – EPCOT Line: The second line also leaves the TTC but delivers guests directly to EPCOT park. Guests leaving the Magic Kingdom may exit the Magic Kingdom monorail at the TTC and board the line to EPCOT.
  • Walt Disney World Monorail Route Three – Magic Kingdom Resort: Guests staying at any of the resorts along the monorail line will utilize this form of transportation to visit both EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom. As such, monorails traveling this route will head south from the TTC and make stops at each Disney World resort along the way, as well as the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation Ticket Center.

Map of Walt Disney World Monorail Route and Stops

To better understand the monorail routes at Disney World, the following map of the Walt Disney World monorail may make things clearer.

The Walt Disney World Monorail map.
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Disney World Monorail Map

For a quick overview of the Disney World Resort Loop and the Express Monorail Route, you can take a look at the Disney World monorail map, shown above. As depicted, the Magic Kingdom Express line, travels directly from the Transportation and Ticket Center to Magic Kingdom in a loop.

The Express line does not stop at any resort. It whizzes through the Contemporary and then, after dropping guests off at the park, continues past the other area resorts without stopping, eventually returning to the TTC. That means you can hop on this line when leaving Magic Kingdom and receive a non stop ride back to the TTC and your car.

The second monorail line, known as the resort monorail loop, travels in the opposite direction of the Magic Kingdom Express line. It stops at all resorts along the way. The four resorts that can be accessed directly by monorail are the Grand Floridian, The Polynesian and The Contemporary, including Bay Lake Towers.

When returning from the Magic Kingdom to your resort, the monorail will follow the same sequence. The monorail stops in order are as follows: Contemporary/Bay Lake Towers, Transportation Ticket Center, Polynesian Village and then Grand Floridian.

The third monorail line, begins at the Transportation and Ticket Center and travels directly to EPCOT and back. It does not ever travel to the Magic Kingdom.

If you are staying at a Magic Kingdom monorail resort and hoping to go to EPCOT, you will need to switch monorails. This can be done at the TTC. Simply board the monorail at your resort and depart at the TTC and then board the EPCOT monorail.

Understanding Disney World Monorail Stops

You’ve probably realized by now that each monorail line has a different route or sequence of stops. To make it easier to understand, we’ve outlined the Disney World monorail stops according to route:

Disney World Express Monorail Stops

  • Transportation Ticket Center (embark)
  • Magic Kingdom (disembark)

Reverse the order above when leaving the park

Disney World Monorail Resort Loop Stops

  • The Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower
  • Transportation Ticket Center
  • Polynesian Village
  • Grand Floridian
  • Magic Kingdom

EPCOT Monorail Stops

  • Transportation Ticket Center

Reverse the order above when leaving the park

Walt Disney World Monorail Timing

In most cases, you won’t wait more than 5 to 7 minutes for a monorail to arrive at your station. However, there are peak travel times when your wait may be extended due to congestion on the line.

Once onboard, you’ll travel fairly swiftly to where you are going. Disney World monorails are designed to travel over 50 miles per hour, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, so they effectively mimic automobile travel without the traffic.

How long it takes to get to where you are going depends on a number of factors. You can usually expect to reach EPCOT park in under 20 minutes, once the train leaves the TTC. The Express monorail loop is a 2 to 3 minute ride from the Transportation Ticket Center to the Magic Kingdom.

When utilizing the resort monorail, how long it will take to reach your destination will depend on where you are staying and how many people get off and on at each stop, but will generally take less than ten minutes, as outlined below:

  • Polynesian Village Resort/Villas to Magic Kingdom: 5-7 minutes
  • Polynesian Village Resort/Villast to the TTC (for transfor to the EPCOT monorail line): 7-9 minutes
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa/Villas to Magic Kingdom: 3 minutes
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa/Villas to the TTC (for transfor to the EPCOT monorail line): 5-7 minutes
  • Contemporary Resort to Magic Kingdom: 7-9 minutes
  • Contemporary Resort to the TTC (for transfor to the EPCOT monorail line): 1-2 minutes

Secret Tip for Using the Monorail at the Polynesian Village Resort

If your are staying at Polynesian Village Resort and plan to visit both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, be sure to request a room on the northern edge of the property. By staying in either the Moorea or Pago Pago longhouses will have access to a private walkway from the resort to the TTC, making it easier to travel to the park. Instead of boarding the Magic Kingdom Monorail and stopping at the Grand Floridian, Magic Kingdom and Contemporary before reaching the TTC and switching to the EPCOT route, you can walk directly to the entrance for the EPCOT monorail line.

Map of Disney Polynesian Village, demarcating the Walt Disney World monorail line and the walkway to the TTC.

Walt Disney World Monorail Hotels

Some of Disney’s most popular onsite resorts are the Walt Disney World monorail hotels. These premier resorts have been built right along the monorail lline and include: Polynesian Village/Polynesian Villas, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa/Grand Floridian Villas, Contemporary Resort, and Bay Lake Towers.

As mentioned above, the resort monorail loop travels from the TTC to the Polynesian, onto the Grand Floridian, then to Magic Kingdom. After Magic Kingdom the monorail stops inside the Contemporary for access to that resort and Bay Lake Towers, before completing the loop back at the TTC. It is worth mentioning that the express monorail travels the same loop in the opposite direction.

If you are leaving the Magic Kingdom and looking to board the monorail back to your hotel, be sure to get on the resort monorail. The Express line will not stop at any resorts.

Each resort has its own monorail stop, with the exception of Bay Lake Towers, which shares a stop with the Contemporary. To access the stop from the Contemporary, the monorail platform is on the fifth floor. In fact, it is the only thing on the floor.

Contemporary lit up at night, the modern DIsney World resort hotel
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You will have to take the elevator or escalator to the 4th floor and then take the small escalators up to the monorail platform. To reach Bay Lake Towers, you will take the escalators from the monorail platform to the connecting pathway between the Contemporary and this resort.

To access the monorail from the Polynesian resort head to the second floor of the lobby, or Great Ceremonial House. Once there, the monorail station will be at the front of the building.

At the Grand Floridian, the Walt Disney World monorail station is also located on the second floor.

One big advantage to staying at a Walt Disney World hotel is convenience. Of course it’s a breeze to step out on the monorail platform, board your car and take a leisurely line to the park. However, there is an additional benefit for guests traveling to the Magic Kingdom.

When you board the monorail at a Walt Disney World monorail resort, you’ll pass through security before getting on. That means when you get to the park, you can avoid the long lines waiting to be screened or have their bags checked. You will have already accomplished this step with far fewer people.

What Is It Like Inside the Monorails?

The interiors of the monorails are quite spacious. Each monorail car has two sections. Padded benches facing opposite directions divide the two sections. There is an additional bench opposite the center as well.

Monorail interior
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Each bench can easily hold 4-5 adults. The monorails have plenty of floor space for strollers, and for guests to stand. Overhead bars provide a place for standing guests to hold on.

Currently, most of the monorail interiors feature a teal color scheme. But, at the time this article is being written, many of the monorails are undergoing an inside makeover.

The redesign may change the interior color schemes to match the exterior stripes featured on each monorail.

Additional Tips For Using the Walt Disney World Monorail

When using the Walt Disney World monorail, it helps to know some insider tips. Here are are a few of ours.

Boarding the Monorail

An essential tip for using the Walt Disney World monorail system is to know how to board quickly. Often times cast members will assign you a slot to wait, but if they do not, head to the slots with the least amount of people. Many guests wait at the center which causes a bottle neck when boarding.

Know the Travel Options for Your Resort

The best piece of monorail advice is to know your routes. Knowing your routes and your other transportation options can help you get to the parks faster.

For example, knowing that both Magic Kingdom monorails will get you to the parks is helpful, but knowing the express one does not stop at the resorts will save you a lot of time if you need to reach the TTC. On the other hand, if you do need to reach one of the Walt Disney World monorail hotels, you’ll want to make sure you do not board the express train, or you could find yourself in a quick loop back to where you started.

Also, during peak times, the monorails can be very crowded. Knowing that you can walk to the TTC from the Polynesian, or to Magic Kingdom from the Grand Floridian can save you some time waiting. Water craft also service many of the same hotels that the monorail does, and a boat ride just may have less of a wait to board.

It is also important for guests staying at a monorail resort to know that the monorail cannot take them to all the parks. Transportation to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom will be provided by bus.

Booking a Room at a Walt Disney World Monorail Resort

Nowadays when booking a room inside a Walt Disney World resort, you can request a room, or a room area where you would like to stay. Depending on your needs, you may opt to book a room closer to the monorail station for easier access.

When we stay at the Polynesian, we usually try to choose a room halfway between the Great Ceremonial House (where the monorail platform is) and the walkway to the TTC. This ensures fast access to both the Magic Kingdom monorail and the EPCOT line at the TTC.

At the end of the day, the monorail may not have become all that Walt Disney imagined, but it is still a great Disney World transportation option! There is no more relaxing, fun and picturesque way to travel to EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom than the monorail.

Book Your Disney World Monorail Hotel Today. Ask Us for a Free Quote!

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

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