Disney’s Wilderness Lodge & Fort Wilderness Transportation: Tips and help

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Orlando Vacation Questions

How do I get from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge over to Grand Floridian?

If I’m staying at one of the cabins at Fort Wilderness, how do I get to Magic Kingdom?

Wilderness Lodge & Fort Wilderness transportation map
Wilderness Lodge & Fort Wilderness transportation map.


OI Answers

For many veteran visitors to Walt Disney World the answers to these questions may be common knowledge. But to the first time visitor, the world of Disney transportation can be a dark and confusing place. But fear not! Let me show you exactly how easily this can work for you.

 

How do I get from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge over to Grand Floridian?

First things first. Click here to open my custom-made Google map (the map will open in a new tab or window). Once it is open, be sure to switch it to Satellite View so you can see the trees and whatnot.  It makes more sense then.

Disney's Fort Wilderness: Boat directions.
Disney's Fort Wilderness: Boat directions.

Okay, so to get from Wilderness Lodge over to Grand Floridian, you have a few options.The boring one is to take the Disney buses from Wilderness Lodge. Depending on your time of travel, you may have to make one stop and transfer to a new bus to get from Wilderness Lodge to Grand Floridian.

The fun option is to, first, take the complimentary boat that launches every 15 minutes or so from the Wilderness Lodge boat dock to Magic Kingdom. This is a very enjoyable ride that takes you through Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.

If you want to expand your tour, you can take the other boat from Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness (next door), and then from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom. Do that, and here is some of what you’ll see:

[youtube_video]3JLgNzyYAPo[/youtube_video]

Once you’ve arrived at Magic Kingdom, you have two choices: If you really liked the boat ride, you can skip across the dock and take another boat directly to Grand Floridian. If you’d prefer a new mode of transportation, walk off the dock and head to your left. Look for the “resort” monorail (don’t get on the “express” monorail). The resort monorail stops at Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian, as well as the Ticket & Transportation Center. The monorail travels clockwise, so Grand Floridian will be the last stop before it returns to Magic Kingdom.

Keep in mind that you can also take a boat directly from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Polynesian resort. However, there is no boat from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Because you can walk from Contemporary to Magic Kingdom or take a bus, Disney just decided not to offer a boat (See my Magic Kingdom resort area secrets, number 3).

Magic Kingdom boat lunch sign: No boat to Contemporary.
Magic Kingdom boat lunch sign: No boat to Contemporary.

Depending on crowd levels and exactly when you get to the transfer spots (e.g. did you get to the dock right before or right after the last boat left?), this whole trip could take up to 45 minutes. But it is very enjoyable–especially the boat ride(s)–and there is plenty to see.

 

If I’m staying at one of the cabins at Fort Wilderness, how do I get to Magic Kingdom?

Let’s open up the Google map by clicking here. Like the first question, you have a few choices for transportation. The complimentary options are Disney buses or the Magic Kingdom boats. However, before we talk about that, we need to look at the map (either my Google map or the map below) and note just how big Fort Wilderness is. This point is important because the biggest challenge with transportation at Fort Wilderness may not be getting to and from the campground as much as it may be getting around the campground.

Disney's Fort Wilderness map - March 2011.
Disney's Fort Wilderness map - March 2011.

If you want to save this map, click on it to view it full-screen and then right-click in the center of the photo.

Buses pick up at numerous locations throughout the Fort Wilderness campsite property. But, they also make numerous stops as they travel around the property. If you want to take a bus all the way to Magic Kingdom, you must first get to Settlement Depot (see the map above or my Google map), take a bus from Settlement Depot to Wilderness Lodge, and then from Wilderness Lodge to Magic Kingdom.

That’s why the better way (because it’s more fun and it’s simpler), is to get yourself down to the Fort Wilderness boat docks, and then take the boat directly from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom.

Disney's Fort Wilderness: Sign for Magic Kingdom boat.
Disney's Fort Wilderness: Sign for Magic Kingdom boat.

Check out my video in the first question to see some of the sights, or you can view the video in full-screen right on YouTube.

I would allow 45 minutes to an hour for this one. Again, it will depend greatly on crowd levels and whether you get to the dock just as the boat leaves, etc.

Have fun!

Oh, by the way, if you want to see the back of the Fort Wilderness map, where it shows all of the recreational activities at Fort Wilderness, here you go…

(The recreation map might look kind of crummy when you click it to view full-screen. But if you right-click in the center of the photo and save it, it’ll look better.)

Disney's Fort Wilderness recreation map - March 2011.
Disney's Fort Wilderness recreation map - March 2011.

Originally posted March 3, 2011 – updated March 25, 2011

Taylor Strickland Taylor Strickland is the Owner & Editor of Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

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