What are the transportation options at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground?
One issue that can be intimidating for many guests staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is figuring out how to travel from the resort to the theme parks, shopping areas, and other Orlando area activities.
I know when our family travels to Disney, knowing our transportation options BEFORE arriving is incredibly comforting.
In this post, you will learn about all the modes of transportation available at Fort Wilderness so you know EXACTLY how to get where you need to go.
6 Transportation Options at Fort Wilderness:
Option #1. Take a boat! (FREE)
A unique and fun way to travel from Disney’s Fort Wilderness is the launch boats (sometimes called a water taxi).
Where do the boats at Fort Wilderness go?
There are TWO places you can travel by boat directly from Fort Wilderness. It’s a relaxing ride, and you get some unique views as you cross Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. You’ll travel through narrow channels, across the open lake, and under the monorail track on your way to your destination.
Destination #1: Magic Kingdom
The first destination is Magic Kingdom Park, which you can get to on the boats flying a GREEN flag. Once the boat leaves Fort Wilderness, it’s roughly a 13-minute ride to the entrance of Magic Kingdom.
Destination #2: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Contemporary Resort
The boats with BLUE flags make a loop from Contemporary Resort to Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness, which is convenient if you have a dining reservation at one of the other resorts.
Pay close attention to the signs on the dock to make sure you line up for the correct boat.
Where is the boat dock at Fort Wilderness?
The boat dock is located at the northern end of Fort Wilderness, on Seven Seas Lagoon. To find it, go to the back of Fort Wilderness and head towards the lake.
Here, you can also view the nighttime water pageant that crosses Seven Seas Lagoon! It’s a light-up parade of floats with an undersea mystery theme. This is one of my favorite FREE activities that comes with staying at Fort Wilderness.
How do I get to the boat dock at Fort Wilderness?
Finding the boat dock can be a bit harder than you might think due to the INCREDIBLE SIZE of Fort Wilderness.
The campsites, cabins, and activity areas encompass over 700 acres. To put that into perspective, Fort Wilderness is way bigger than Magic Kingdom, which takes up only 107 acres! 🙂
Due to the vast size of Fort Wilderness, Disney has an internal bus shuttle that travels around. To get to the boat dock where the water taxis are located, take the internal shuttle buses to the Settlement Depot, then walk north towards the lake. It’s hard to miss the boat dock once you get close, and you will see plenty of signs that point you in the correct direction.
Option #2: Take the FREE Disney bus!
Did you know Disney World provides FREE bus transportation from Fort Wilderness? Being able to jump on and off these buses is one of the best benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort.
Since the Disney buses are free to ride, it’s the most popular way to travel from Fort Wilderness. It can be quite crowded at busy times, like right before the parks open. Our family usually leaves about an hour before we want to arrive, just to be safe.
How do I get to the bus stops that leave Fort Wilderness?
There are TWO bus stops at Fort Wilderness that have outbound service to other parts of WDW.
Bus Stop #1: Settlement Bus Depot
This stop, located at the northern end of Fort Wilderness, is where you can catch a bus to Magic Kingdom. If you’re traveling to a resort close to Magic Kingdom, you can take this bus to the park and then transfer to the resort bus as well. Magic Kingdom is close to Fort Wilderness, and the bus ride should take under 10 minutes.
Bus Stop #2: Outpost Bus Depot
To go to the other parks and resorts that aren’t near Magic Kingdom, or Disney Springs, you must go to the Outpost Bus Depot. This stop is at the front of Fort Wilderness, near where you check-in.
It’s also right in front of the Trail Blaze Corral, where you can take trail rides on the Disney World horses. 🙂
Unfortunately, because of the vast size of Fort Wilderness, you will likely have a long walk to get to the Bus Depot from your campsite or cabin. Luckily, you can use the internal shuttle system or even rent a golf cart to get around! In addition to saving time, having a golf cart at your disposal is way more FUN than using the internal bus shuttles. 🙂
Where do the buses at Fort Wilderness go?
The short answer is anywhere at Disney World!
The buses from Fort Wilderness provide direct service to:
- Magic Kingdom: It takes about 10 minutes to get here by bus and is 3.4 miles (5.4 km) away.
- Epcot: The ride takes approximately 10 minutes. It’s 4.6 miles (7.4 km) away.
- Hollywood Studios: Typically, the bus ride is 10-15 minutes and is 7.2 miles (11.5 km) away.
- Animal Kingdom: The bus ride is typically between 10-15 minutes. It is 6.5 miles (10.4 km) away.
- Disney Springs: The bus ride is approximately 10 minutes. It is 4.6 miles (7.4 km) away.
In addition, you can get to these locations from Fort Wilderness with ONE bus transfer.
- Blizzard Beach: Take the bus from Fort Wilderness to Animal Kingdom. Then, get off the bus and find the shuttle going directly to Blizzard Beach.
- Typhoon Lagoon: Take the bus from Fort Wilderness to Disney Springs. Then, get off the bus and find the bus going directly to Typhoon Lagoon.
- ANY of the other Disney World Resorts: Do you have dinner reservations at the Wilderness Lodge? Or do you want to check out the Polynesian Resort for your next vacation? Luckily, it’s EASY to get to any of the other 20+ Disney hotels from Fort Wilderness using the free Disney bus transportation. All you need to do is take the bus to Disney Springs or the nearest theme park. Then get off the shuttle and find the bus that goes directly to the resort you want to visit!
- ESPN Wide World of Sports: Check with the front desk regarding bus transportation here. The schedule and operating hours change depending on what events are being held. If there are no direct buses, you must take a bus to one of the parks and transfer to ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Option #3: Take an Uber from Fort Wilderness
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are fantastic convenient options if you’re short on time.
How do I use a rideshare at Fort Wilderness?
If you don’t want to wait for the bus, using a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) from Fort Wilderness Resort is easy. Just open the app and select your destination, and you will be matched with a driver within seconds.
Make sure you mark your location CORRECTLY in the app to avoid any delays. Uber and Lyft drivers cannot pick you up directly at your campsite or cabin. You must meet them at the front of Fort Wilderness.
The best place to get picked up is near the Fort Wilderness Reception Outpost, near the Outpost Depot bus stop. There is plenty of space for your driver to stop and pick you up.
Between Uber and Lyft, 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. 🙂
Where can I go with an Uber or Lyft from Fort Wilderness?
One of the best things about using a rideshare service is it can take you anywhere, whether you want to stay at Disney World or not!
If you want to reach your destination quickly, using a rideshare service is the way to go. This option can save a lot of time, especially if you just missed the bus. I would also advise using a rideshare if you have an early breakfast at another resort!
In addition, there are so many things to do outside of Disney World. An Uber or Lyft can get you to any of these places:
- Sea World <– One of my favorite places. 🙂
- Universal Theme Parks
- Downtown Orlando
- Restaurants, parks, etc. Honestly, you can go anywhere you want!
Option #4: Take a TAXI to your destination
I know some people don’t like using Uber or Lyft because they don’t know 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 has many of the same benefits as rideshares, such as not waiting for a bus or boat.
And just a reminder that you must meet your taxi at the front of Fort Wilderness, near the Outpost.
Option #5: Take a MINNIE Van from Fort Wilderness
Disney World has partnered with Lyft to provide MINNIE VANS, which are Minnie Mouse-themed mini-vans!
This option will be more expensive than a regular Lyft vehicle, but there are quite a few added benefits:
- 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.
- They can fit up to SIX people.
- The fare includes up to 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.
In my opinion, the best advantage of taking a Minnie Van is they are authorized to enter Fort Wilderness and pick you up DIRECTLY at your campsite or cabin.
Imagine coming back to your resort after a long day with tired kids in tow. You get dropped off at the front entrance, but your cabin is all the way at the north end of Fort Wilderness. So you have to either take the internal shuttle at Fort Wilderness, drive your golf cart with sleepy kids in the back, or walk all the way there. But with a Minnie Van, you don’t have to worry about any of that!
How do I get a Minnie Van to pick me up?
To schedule a Minnie Van, choose your destination using the Lyft app. Then, order the Minnie Van to come and pick you up. Although it probably doesn’t make sense for each trip, it’s perfect in those situations where time or energy are in short supply.
Option #6: Drive yourself!
Getting in your car and driving yourself is an often overlooked way to travel from Fort Wilderness to other Disney locations. The distance to the theme parks and Disney Springs isn’t very far, and driving around Disney World is pretty easy. The hardest part is usually navigating the traffic!
One benefit of driving yourself is that the parking at Disney Springs and all four parks is FREE! Unfortunately, many guests don’t realize (or forget) that if you stay at a Disney World Resort, parking does not cost anything. Free parking is an incredible benefit of staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, as parking costs a minimum of $25 per day at each park.
In addition, you have the convenience of being able to go anywhere you want in Orlando without waiting for outside transportation. We often spend a day or two at another location, like the beach or Sea World, and having your own car really helps! 🙂
Can I walk from Disney’s Fort Wilderness to the theme parks or other resorts?
No, you can’t walk to any of the theme parks, Disney Springs, or other resorts from Fort Wilderness. You must take one of the options described above.
However, there are plenty of places to walk within the Fort Wilderness Resort! The list of recreational activities here means there’s something for everyone:
- Pony, wagon, and carriage rides (these cost extra money, but you can see the horses for free!)
- Canoe, Kayak, and Golf Cart Rentals
- Bike Rental
- Basketball and Volleyball courts
- Segway nature tours
- Jogging trails
Does the Disney Skyliner stop at Fort Wilderness?
The short answer to this question is NO. There is no boarding station for the Skyliner at Fort Wilderness. If you want a Skyliner boarding station at your hotel, stay at the Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation, or Pop Century.
Are there any internal transportation options at Fort Wilderness?
YES! Since Fort Wilderness is so big, Disney provides ways to get around within the resort.
Option# 1: Internal Shuttle Buses
Below is a picture of one of the internal bus stops at Fort Wilderness. You can take the shuttle anywhere inside Fort Wilderness Resort, such as the Meadow Trading Post, the Outpost Depot, the pool, and the campfire area. I counted 12 bus stops for the internal shuttle, so finding one near your campsite or cabin is easy.
Option #2: Rent a Golf Cart!
You can rent a golf cart for your stay at Fort Wilderness, which will make getting around the resort fun and easy. Think how much better it would be to take a quick drive over to the pool or up to see the water pageant instead of walking all that way! 🙂
Can I take the Disney Monorail from Fort Wilderness?
No, the monorail does not have a boarding station at Fort Wilderness. 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.
What is your favorite transportation option while staying at Fort Wilderness?
Leave a COMMENT below!