Trip Preparation

How to get into the Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks found at Walt Disney World. It is the original theme park and is unique from all other theme parks because you can’t simply park and then walk to the entrance of the park. At the Magic Kingdom you have to take a method of transportation, unless you are coming from the Contemporary Resort (which is the only place you can walk to the Magic Kingdom from). There are 4 ways to gain access to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. Each of the these require more time than entering all the other theme parks. You can use the resort bus service, monorail, riverboat or water taxi.

Bus Service

The bus service is available to anyone staying at a Disney resort. These buses take you straight to the bus parking lot outside of the Magic Kingdom. The bus runs continuously throughout the day, an hour and a half before the park opens and an hour after the park closes. Go to your resort’s bus stop, or one of the many bus stops found on your resort property, and jump on the Magic Kingdom bus. There will be screens telling you when to expect the next bus. After you disembark your bus upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom, it will be a short walk up to security and through the gates.


If you are staying at one of the three monorail resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian or the Grand Floridian) you can use the monorail that runs through or along side of your resort. For any guests heading to the Magic Kingdom from off property or non Disney resorts the monorail is one of your two transportation options. There are three monorails running from the Ticket and Transportation centre, which is the Magic Kingdom parking lot. One takes you to Epcot, one takes you to the Polynesian resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort and then back to the Ticket and Transportation Centre and the other takes you directly to the Magic Kingdom. The direct to Magic Kingdom is the clear choice for efficiency. The monorail starts running an hour before the park opens.


There is a large riverboat that goes back and forth from the Transportation and Ticket Centre and the Magic Kingdom all day long. This riverboat only accepts passengers. There’s no vehicles, it’s simply massive amounts of people boarding and disembarking. Guests will walk onto the riverboat, which then sails across the water to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. After disembarking the boat, guests will have to go through security and the gates before actually entering the Magic Kingdom.

Boat Transportation

5 resorts have boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom. Grand Floridian and the Polynesian share a boat and the Contemporary, Wilderness and Fort Wilderness share a boat. The boats begin transportation a half hour before the park opens. So if you want to get to the Magic Kingdom before the crowds and for that magic hour before the park actually opens, you’ll want to grab another mode of transportation. These boats are small but I’ve never seen anyone left behind.

It’s another aspect of your vacation that you’ll want to take some time thinking about. Just getting yourself familiar with the idea is going to put yourself ahead of the pack. Any method of transportation is going to be busy and full at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. The middle of the day, most methods of transportation are going to be empty. In the evening you’ll see everything filling back up again as guests make their way back to the parks for evening entertainment and other guests leave the park.

The monorail is my favourite way to get to the Magic Kingdom, especially at night because you get to see Main Street U.S.A. all lit up. It also is its own ride. It’s an awesome way to start your magical day.

For more information on the Magic Kingdom check out these previous post:

Magic Kingdom: Fantasyland

Magic Kingdom: Tomorrowland

Where to have breakfast at the Magic Kingdom

Where to have lunch at the Magic Kingdom

Security at the Magic Kingdom

Gain Entry to the Magic Kingdom before it opens

A Birthday at the Magic Kingdom