Thrifty Thursday: Just a (Free) Disney Boat Ride Away

The water taxis or ferry boats or motor launches or Friendship Boats (lots of names!) are one of my favorite ways to get around Walt Disney World. Sure, they aren’t the fastest way around the resort but they sure are a peaceful way to travel….and they are free!

There are so many different options of water taxis too! Some of the most popular ones are the boats to and from the Magic Kingdom. There are a few different choices here.

Take a water taxi/motor launch to MK from:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground 
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Transportation and Ticket Center (3 boats are usually running this route to and from)

We love visiting or even staying at the MK resorts and taking the boat to and from them. It’s really cool if you can catch the fireworks while on one too:)

Epcot and Hollywood Studios also have their own set of ferry boats or Friendship Boats!

You can get to and from Epcot/Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the boat by way of:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

Most of these ferry boats stop at more than one resort so it’s a great way to see what each has to offer. For Epcot, these boats drop you off at International Gateway which is almost like a secret entrance to the park! You are right in the thick of World Showcase, making this mode of transportation a great way to save time and your feet if you have a dinner reservation or want a great spot for Illuminations:)

The last area of Disney that has access to boats is Disney Springs.

You can get to Disney Springs by way of:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

This boat ride is a nice scenic route on the Sassagoula River. 

The great thing about the boats or ferries is that you don’t have to be staying at the resort it launches from to enjoy it. You can take a bus or monorail to the resort and then catch one of the boats to a park, or vice versa.

I would avoid the bosts right after a fireworks display or when a park closes, though. At these times you may find the launches really crowded and not worth the longer time it takes to travel. The boats are best enjoyed in low crowds if possible.

Overall, I think the boats are a fun and relaxing way to travel around WDW. I like how it forces us to slow down and enjoy the moment and soak up the scenery, which Disney has in abundance and sometimes we miss because we are darting here or there. Plus, there is just something about being on the water that keeps me at peace. :) Next time you are in Disney, explore the magic of the free boat transportation!

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Tina works full time as a school counselor in an elementary school. She lives close to Baltimore, MD with her husband Dave and her 13 year old stepdaughter, Ashley. They also have a furry family member, a cat name Frodo, that keeps life interesting in their house! Tina began visiting Disney World as a child with her family, and now her, Dave & Ashley take a trip to the World every year. She considers herself a Disney “fanatic” and once her family is finished one trip, she is already planning their next one. Tina loves to find the best deals, even in the busy seasons (she can only go when schools are off!) and loves sharing those deals & tips with anyone and everyone! What Tina loves most is the magic of WDW, it makes her feel like a kid again. She hopes that every family has the opportunity go to the World and experience the magic for themselves because it has a way of reminding its visitors that dreams do indeed come true! Read more of Tina’s work on her blog A Not So Bland Life, where she writes about home decor, cooking, couponing, traveling, and and of course, Disney!

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