view of a ferry boat cross Seven Seas Lagoon at sunset

Which Disney Resorts Have Boat Transportation To Magic Kingdom? (2024)

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Want to know which Disney resorts have boat transportation to Magic Kingdom? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

One of the highlights of visiting Disney World is taking just about every form of transportation humanly possible all in one place.

What better way to start off your day at Magic Kingdom than to take a leisurely boat ride across the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake?

There are 4 resorts that offer boat transportation to Magic Kingdom:

✔️ Grand Floridian
✔️ Polynesian
✔️ Wilderness Lodge
✔️ Fort Wilderness

You can also take a boat to Magic Kingdom from the Transportation and Ticket Center – well it’s actually a ferry.

Read on for more details about how to get to Magic Kingdom by boat!

Magic Kingdom ferry boat crossing the water at sunset

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Which Disney Resorts Have Boat Transportation To Magic Kingdom?

Like I mentioned, there are 4 Disney resorts with boat transportation to Magic Kingdom.

You’d think there would be 5 since there are 5 resorts around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, but one of them does not go to Magic Kingdom.

That resort would be the Contemporary because you can actually just walk right up to Magic Kingdom.

For all other resorts in the area, here’s how to take the boat to Magic Kingdom.

1. Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

When looking out over the Seven Seas Lagoon, Magic Kingdom is straight out from the Grand Floridian.

You have to option to walk, take the resort monorail, or take a boat over to Magic Kingdom.

This boat route starts running 30 minutes prior to park opening, so it’s not the best rope dropping option, but it’s a fun way to get to Magic Kingdom anyway.

It also runs until 45 minutes after park closing.

Grand Floridian boat dock to Magic Kingdom

When returning, directly outside of Magic Kingdom there is a boat dock that has each route labeled, so you’ll know exactly which boat to get on.

Usually the cast members do a pretty good job of making sure everyone is getting on the right boat too.

2. Polynesian Resort & Spa

The Polynesian is also directly across the lagoon from Magic Kingdom.

From the Polynesian, you have several options to get to Magic Kingdom.

You can take the resort monorail or you can walk over to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and take the express monorail or a ferry.

Or, you can take a boat.

As mentioned in the sign in the photo below, this boat route starts running 30 minutes prior to park opening and runs continuously until 45 minutes after park closing.

Polynesian Resort boat dock to Magic Kingdom

3. Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge is tucked back over along Bay Lake.

It is not connected to the other monorail resorts, but luckily it’s right on the water, so it’s easy to take a boat over.

You can see in the signs in the photo below that there is a direct boat to Magic Kingdom and there is another boat that just goes around to the resorts.

So just make sure you’re taking the right boat!

Wilderness Lodge boat dock to Magic Kingdom

4. Fort Wilderness

To my knowledge, the only direct way to get from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom is by boat, unless there is inclement weather where boats are inoperable.

In that case, buses should become available.

One option when this happens is to take the bus to Epcot instead.

Then once you arrive at Epcot you can take the monorail over to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

From there, you can take the monorail or ferry into Magic Kingdom.

When you’re able to take the boat to Magic Kingdom, there are two routes from Fort Wilderness.

One that goes directly to Magic Kingdom and another one that goes around to the resorts.

The route that goes around to the resorts (Wilderness Lodge and Contemporary) generally does not run until 3 pm.

Fort Wilderness boat dock to Magic Kingdom

One Additional Way To Get To Magic Kingdom By Boat

Beyond the 4 Disney resorts that offer boat transportation to Magic Kingdom, there is one more way you can get to Magic Kingdom by boat!

Ferry Boat From Transportation and Ticket Center

A fun way to get to Magic Kingdom is to take the ferry from the Transportation and Ticket Center.

The ferry holds up to 600 people and takes about 10-20 minutes to get to Magic Kingdom (including if you’re waiting to board a ferry).

There are two decks that you can board on the ferry.

The lower deck can accommodate wheelchairs and strollers, so I like to leave that deck for those that need it.

The ferries will start running 30 minutes prior to parking opening and run continuously until 1 1/2 hours after park closing.

These times also include extra magic hours.

If you’re interested, there are 3 separate ferry boats you’ll see here and they’re named: Richard F. Irvine, Admiral Joe Fowler, and General Joe Potter.

ferry boat to Magic Kingdom

3 Types of Boats at Magic Kingdom

When looking at boat transportation from Disney resorts to the Magic Kingdom, there are 3 different types of boats you can take.

1. Ferry

The ferry is the large boat pictured below.

It just runs back and forth between Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

The lower deck can accommodate ECVs, wheelchairs, and strollers without transferring or folding them up.

view of a ferry boat cross Seven Seas Lagoon at sunset

2. Cruiser

The Cruiser is the boat pictured below on the left that’s enclosed.

This boat runs on a couple different routes.

When traveling between Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness, you’ll have a cruiser.

One of the boats on the route between Magic Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge is also a cruiser.

What’s nice about the cruisers are that they can accommodate ECVs and wheelchairs without transferring.

cruiser boat and water taxi boat crossing in front of Magic Kingdom

3. Water Launches or Water Taxis

These are the more traditional looking seafaring boats.

When you take the boat between Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian you’ll have this boat.

You’ll also have this boat as one of the options when you go between Magic Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge.

The route that just goes between the resorts also uses this boat.

A major downside of this boat is that it cannot accommodate ECVs.

water taxi parked at the boat dock outside of Magic Kingdom

Boat Routes To and From Magic Kingdom

There are 4 boat routes that run to Magic Kingdom.

Each one is designated by a specific flag color.

These colors are gold, green, red, and blue.

Keep in mind there is always clear signage about where to go, so you don’t need to know about the routes or have them memorized or anything.

This is just some fun Disney knowledge for those interested in the operations and logistics of the boats.

Gold Route

The Gold Route runs from Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian, then back to Magic Kingdom in a continuous loop.

This route exclusively uses those water launches or water taxis that can’t accommodate ECVs.

Those in a wheelchair must be able to transfer out of their wheelchair while on the boat.

They feel much fancier than the other boats, so maybe that’s why they’re used for these resorts.

Again, this route starts operating 30 minutes prior to parking opening and runs continuously until 45 hours after the park closes.

It takes about 20 minutes to complete the loop, so the wait time could be as much as 10-15 minutes depending on where the boat is on the route and if there are any delays from other boats on the water or transferring guests.

One way to remember what order the route goes in is that it runs in the opposite direction of the monorail.

Green Route

The Green Route just runs back and forth between Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness.

This route has two cruisers, so ECVs and wheelchairs can be accommodated without needing to transfer.

The total travel time for this route is 13 minutes each way.

In general, you’ll likely have a 10-20 minute wait in-between boats.

This route is VERY popular as the evening approaches because of guests that have dinner reservations for Hoop de Doo Revue.

Since there are no buses that run from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness, any Magic Kingdom guests or monorail resort guests will need to take the boat over if they don’t have their own vehicle or they don’t want to take a rideshare service.

Red Route

The Red Route exclusively runs back and forth between Magic Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge.

This route is unique in that one boat is a cruiser and the other boat is a water launch.

So depending on which boat you get, if you’re in an ECV, you’ll have to wait for the cruiser.

This route takes about 8 minutes to get to Magic Kingdom.

In general, your wait time is only about 8-12 minutes in-between boats, which is one of the shortest wait times.

Blue Route

The Blue Route is the route that just runs between resorts.

This route makes a continuous loop between Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, and the Contemporary.

Water launches are the only boats used on this route.

As of the time of writing this post, this route doesn’t begin running until 3 pm, so keep that in mind if you’re using it to get around for a dining reservation or anything important.

This is the other route that can get very busy for those with dinner reservations at Hoop de Doo Revue since there are limited transportation options from this area.


Enchanting Extras Around Magic Kingdom

Disney World has this collection of unique experiences that they refer to as their “Enchanting Extras Collection“.

A couple of these enchanting extras relate to boat transportation around Magic Kingdom, so I thought I’d mention them here.

Guided Fishing Excursions

There a variety of fishing excursion options outside of Magic Kingdom.

You can enjoy catch and release fishing in Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.

These excursions are available at Fort Wilderness, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge.

You can choose from the Sun Tracker pontoon boat that accommodates up to 5 guests or the NITRO bass fishing boat that accommodates up to 3 guests.

Additionally, you can choose from a 2 hour or 4 hour excursion.

On occasion, you may be able to add an additional hour when you arrive at the marina, pending availability.

Also, if you’re wanting to go solo, there’s a discount available.

When you book these excursions, the guide, rod, reel, tackle, artificial and/or live bait, and a variety of Coca Cola beverages are included.

As a side note the NITRO boat will not include live bait.

You’re able to bring your own beverages as well, including alcohol if you’re 21+ years old and have valid identification.

Call (407) 939-FISH to make your reservation!

Specialty Cruises

Another “enchanting extra” is the specialty cruises.

Enjoy a unique view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks on your own fireworks cruise!

These are available at the marinas of all the area resorts that are connected to Magic Kingdom by water – Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness.

Your cruise will have a captain and a variety of snacks and soft drinks.

Banners and balloons are included in the price if you coordinate that in advance for your reservation.

These cruises can seat up to 10 guests and start at $449 + tax.

You can call (407) WDW-PLAY to make your reservation.

Some tips to keep in mind with these fireworks cruises:

  • Check the showtimes 2 weeks prior to your scheduled cruise to ensure there actually is a scheduled fireworks show that night.
  • Remember that it is always possible that the fireworks could be cancelled due to inclement weather or some other unforeseen circumstance.
  • You’ll have to arrive 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to the time the fireworks are set to begin in order to get checked in.
  • These boats do not have full-size dining tables and instead just have a cocktail table to eat your included snacks on.
  • Wheelchair and ECV transfers are required.
  • There is a 24-hour cancellation policy for this experience, meaning that the full price will be charged if you cancel within 24 hours of your excursion or if you just don’t show up for your excursion.

Boat Transportation Tips Around Magic Kingdom

Boat operations are highly dependent on the weather.

If there is lightning in the area, the boats will temporarily cease operation until they are given the all clear.

Additionally, water levels can potentially impact boat operations.

I believe for Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon something catastrophic would need to happen for their operations to shut down, but other water ways around Disney World have been impacted by low water levels.

During a visit to Disney World in early May 2024 the boats that run from Disney Springs to Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, and the Port Orleans resorts were not able to run until they got enough rain, which wasn’t expected to happen for at least a couple weeks.

No Luggage or Alcohol on Boats!

A random tip that you probably would have never thought about is that no luggage or alcohol is allowed on any of Disney’s boats.

So say you’re resort hopping and you spend a couple nights at Wilderness Lodge and then a couple nights at the Contemporary.

You can’t take your luggage on the boat to get from one to the other if you don’t have your own car.

Instead, you’d have to get a rideshare service like Uber or take a bus from your resort to any theme park, then take a bus to the resort you’re trying to get to.

Traveling With Children on Disney Boat Transportation

For those traveling with children, there are a couple tips to keep in mind.

On boats, all strollers have to be folded up and stowed in a way that they don’t inhibit any evacuation routes.

So essentially they just need to be out of aisles.

Additionally, if your stroller is a medical stroller, you’ll just follow the guidelines as if your stroller is a wheelchair.

This means on the boats like the launches/water taxis the child must be able to transfer out of the stroller, but on the boats like the cruisers and the ferries kids can stay in the stroller.


Frequently Asked Questions About Disney Boat Transportation To Magic Kingdom

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve seen in my research and experience with boat transportation to Magic Kingdom from the Disney resorts.

How much do boats cost at Disney?

Disney boat transportation is always 100% free!

You don’t have to be staying at the resorts to use this transportation either.

It’s available to all Disney guests.

Are boats available anywhere at Disney?

No, but many of the resorts and theme parks at Disney have access to boats.

Boats obviously rely on water, so boats are only available at resorts and theme parks that are connected by water.

For example, Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon connect Magic Kingdom, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Transportation and Ticket Center, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness.

Additionally, there is a different water way that connects Epcot, Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Swan, Dolphin, and Hollywood Studios.

There is also another water way that connects Disney Springs, Saratoga Springs, Treehouse Villas, Old Key West, Port Orleans Riverside, and Port Orleans French Quarter.

boat dock at Disney Springs

Can I take a wheelchair, stroller, or ECV onto a Disney boat?

Yes and no.

It depends on the type of boat.

The ferries can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and ECVs without needing to transfer out of them.

The cruisers, which are the covered boats outside of Magic Kingdom can accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs without needing to transfer, but you’ll need to fold up your stroller.

Lastly, the water launches/water taxis, those historic looking boats, don’t accommodate ECVs at all and all wheelchair and stroller riders must transfer out and fold up their device.

Do you get motion sickness on Disney boats?

If you’re someone that’s prone to motion sickness, it’s definitely possible.

Most boat rides are anywhere from 5-15 minutes, so you’re not on the boat very long.

Generally the larger the boat the less motion sickness you should feel.

So if you’re prone to motion sickness, be sure to bring any medication or any device you use to keep from getting sick.

Also, consider only using the ferry rather than the cruisers or water launches if you have to take a boat.

Otherwise stick to the monorail or buses.

Do you get wet on Disney boats?

Usually no, but it’s definitely possible.

The ferry generally doesn’t pick up enough water to get splashed at all and it’s covered, so even if it’s raining you shouldn’t get wet.

The cruisers are covered in the middle, with some outside seating in the front and back.

With those, it’s possible to get wet from rain or some minor water splashing in inclement weather.

Lastly, the water launches/water taxis are the ones where you have the highest chance of getting wet, but it’s still not very common.

The seats are covered, so you’ll stay pretty dry in the rain unless it’s blowing in sideways.

What happens with the boats when there are storms?

Boat operations take every type of weather on a case by case basis.

They will always stop operating if there is lightning within a certain radius.

If there is just rain and thunder, boats can still run.

If water becomes too choppy for the smaller boats, they may hold off running until it settles down a little bit.

There’s never really a set time limit either for these situations, so they may be closed for 15 minutes or the entire rest of the day.

I recommend just going in with realistic expectations!

Other transportation options will become available if boats have to stop operating.

What are the operating hours for boats at Magic Kingdom?

The boats that have routes that actually drop off at Magic Kingdom begin running 30 minutes prior to park opening.

This includes when the park opens early for resort guests.

The boats will then run continuously until 45 minutes after the park closes.

Though the ferry will run continuously until 1 1/2 hours after park closing.

There is another boat route that just goes between Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, and the Contemporary.

This route currently doesn’t begin running until 3 pm.

To my knowledge, this route also concludes 45 minutes after Magic Kingdom closes, but that’s not 100% confirmed.

Should you take boats if you want to rope drop?

Personally, regardless of where you’re arriving from, there is a better way to get to Magic Kingdom for rope drop unless you’re staying at Fort Wilderness.

Fort Wilderness does not run buses to Magic Kingdom, so definitely take the boat unless you want to drive to the Transportation and Ticket Center and take a monorail or ferry from there but that sounds like a lot more work.

If you’re staying at the Grand Floridian or the Contemporary, just walk.

If you’re staying at the Polynesian, take the monorail.

For those at Wilderness Lodge, you could take the bus or a boat and they’ll generally get you there about the same time.

If you’re parking at the Transportation and Ticket Center take the express monorail or the ferry boat.

What other Disney transportation goes to Magic Kingdom?

You can take a monorail to Magic Kingdom, which I feel like is the most popular method.

There’s an express monorail that just runs between Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center.

There’s also a resort monorail that connects Magic Kingdom, Contemporary, Transportation and Ticket Center, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian.

You can even take a monorail in from Epcot.

It will stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center and then you’ll just transfer to one of the monorails that goes to Magic Kingdom.

Most other guests will just take a bus from their resort.

These buses drop off right at the Magic Kingdom entrance.

If you’re not staying at a Disney resort, then your bus will drop you off at the Transportation and Ticket Center.

For those driving, you’ll also park at the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Lastly, you can also use a rideshare service to get to Magic Kingdom.

A nice little trick is that if you take a Minnie Van, it’ll drop you off right at the front of Magic Kingdom.

But if you take a regular Uber or Lyft they have to drop you off at the Transportation and Ticket Center.

black monorail parked at the Grand Floridian

Which hotels have a monorail to Magic Kingdom?

The only Disney resorts connected to Magic Kingdom by monorail are the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary.

This also includes the Disney Vacation Club rooms that are at each of these resorts like Bay Lake Tower, the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, and the Grand Floridian Villas.

Contemporary Resort view of monorail track

The Wrap-Up: Which Disney Resorts Have Boat Transportation To Magic Kingdom

To sum this all up, the Disney resorts that have boat transportation to Magic Kingdom are the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness.

While the Contemporary is literally right there too, there is no boat transportation.

You can actually just walk right up and it’s way faster.

For those taking boat transportation around Disney, be sure to be weather aware and to check operation times if you have a reservation or a time crunch for any other reason.