5 Ways from the Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom (2024)

How do you get from the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom?

If you are staying at the Dolphin or planning a future visit, you probably want to know the different ways to get to Animal Kingdom from the resort.

Below, I will detail FIVE specific ways you can make this journey.

WDW Dolphin to Animal Kingdom:


Option #1: Take the FREE bus to Animal Kingdom!

dolphin resort to animal kingdom using the bus

Did you know that the Dolphin provides FREE bus transportation to Animal Kingdom? And the best part is that the bus stop is just a short walk outside the main lobby entrance. When you exit the front lobby, turn left and follow the covered walkway until you arrive at the bus stop.

dolphin resort bus stop map

Bus service to and from Animal Kingdom begins 45 minutes before the park opens and ends 45 minutes after it closes. Once they start, the buses run continuously throughout the day. I have found that you can typically expect a bus to arrive around every 20-25 minutes.

You will find a screen at the bus stop showing when the next bus to Animal Kingdom is expected to arrive.

bus screen at the dolphin resort

Once your bus leaves the Dolphin, arriving at Animal Kingdom should take about 15 minutes.

dolphin resort to animal kingdom

As you can imagine, since the buses do not cost anything extra, they’re the most popular way to travel. However, at certain times of the day, such as the park opening, you might experience a bit of a line to board the bus. So make sure to give yourself plenty of time to arrive at Animal Kingdom for a reservation or show.


Option #2: Take an Uber from the Dolphin to Animal Kingdom

dolphin resort to animal kingdom using uber or lyft

If you want to get to Animal Kingdom fast, using a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) from the Dolphin is easy. This option can save a lot of time, especially if you just missed the bus.

The easiest place to meet your driver is outside near the Dolphin Resort’s front lobby, as there are plenty of spots for them to stop and for you to get in the car.

The driving distance from the Walt Disney World Dolphin to Animal Kingdom is 5.2 miles (8.4 km), and the drive should take under 15 minutes, depending on the amount of traffic. Another benefit of Uber or Lyft is that they typically drive to Animal Kingdom faster than the slower bus transportation.

The one-way fare from the Dolphin averages under $15.

If you have limited time to travel to Animal Kingdom, I think it is money well spent!

TWO rideshare companies operate in Disney World – Uber and Lyft. Between them both, there are a lot of drivers cruising around. Almost every time I’ve used a rideshare to the parks, I’ve had to wait less than 10 minutes to get picked up.


Option #3: Ride in a MINNIE VAN to Animal Kingdom

One fun thing about using the rideshare service Lyft is that they have partnered with Disney World to provide MINNIE VANS, which are Minnie Mouse-themed mini-vans! 

dolphin resort to animal kingdom using a minnie van

A big benefit of using a Minnie Van from the Dolphin to get to Animal Kingdom is they are driven by DISNEY CAST MEMBERS. I know many people like this fact because the drivers are Disney employees, which provides additional peace of mind.

While using the Lyft app at the Dolphin Resort, choose Animal Kingdom as your destination. Then, order the Minnie Van to come and pick you up.

While this option is fun, as you can see above, it is more expensive than a regular Lyft vehicle. But in addition to a Disney Cast Member driving, here are a few additional benefits of a Minnie Van.

  • They can fit up to SIX people.
  • Includes two car seats, which your driver will install for you.
  • These vans can fit scooters and wheelchairs, but please pre-arrange your ride if you need this service.

Option #4: Take a TAXI to Animal Kingdom

dolphin resort to animal kingdom using a taxi

I know some people don’t like using Uber or Lyft because they don’t know about the person driving or don’t feel comfortable using the app. If this describes you, calling a traditional taxi company for a ride is easy.

Taking a taxi to Animal Kingdom has many of the same benefits as rideshares, such as not having to wait for a bus. But of course, you must pay for the taxi ride, where the buses are free.

If you want to take a taxi from the Dolphin, I recommend calling Mears Taxi, a well-known and trusted company in the Orlando area. You can even schedule and book your ride online.


Option #5: Drive yourself to Animal Kingdom!

Getting in your car and driving yourself is an often overlooked way to go from the Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom. It’s probably the fastest way to travel since you don’t have to wait for someone to pick you up. 🙂

The distance between these two locations is only 5.2 miles (8.4 km). The drive takes under 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

dolphin resort to animal kingdom driving yourself

And here is the BEST news about driving yourself to Animal Kingdom…

As long as you stay at the Dolphin, the parking at Animal Kingdom is FREE! Unfortunately, many guests don’t realize (or forget) that if you stay here, parking at any of the parks does not cost anything.

Getting FREE parking at the theme parks is an incredible benefit of staying at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, as parking costs a minimum of $25 per day at each park.


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Can the Disney Skyliner take me from the Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom?

No, the monorail has no boarding station at the Dolphin. In addition, the monorail does not travel to Animal Kingdom.

If you want a Skyliner boarding station at your hotel, stay at the Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation, or Pop Century.

Can I take the Disney Monorail from the Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom?

No, the monorail does not have a boarding station at the Dolphin, nor does the monorail travel to Animal Kingdom. If you want access to this transportation option from your hotel, you must stay at the Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, or Polynesian Village Resort.

Can I walk from the WDW Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom?

The short answer to this question is NO. First, the distance between the resort and Animal Kingdom is fairly long, at around 5 miles (8 km). Second, there are no walking paths that connect them. You must take the bus, a rideshare/taxi, or drive yourself!

 

Can I take the Disney boats from the Dolphin to Animal Kingdom?

There is boat transportation at the Dolphin, but the boats do not travel to Animal Kingdom. You can take the Friendship Boats to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk, or the Yacht/Beach Club.


What is your favorite way to travel from the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort to Animal Kingdom?

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