5 ways to go from Old Key West to Animal Kingdom (2024)

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How do you get from Disney’s Old Key West Resort to Animal Kingdom?

If you are staying at Old Key West or planning a future visit, you probably want to know how to get to Animal Kingdom from the resort.

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

Old Key West Resort to Animal Kingdom:

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

Did you know Disney World provides FREE bus transportation from Old Key West to Animal Kingdom? Being able to jump on and off these buses is one of the best benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort.

To use the buses to get to Animal Kingdom, you must first find the bus stops at Old Key West. Because Old Key West is such a big resort, there are five different locations where you can board the buses. The good news is that no matter where you stay within the resort, you shouldn’t have a very far walk to a bus stop.

Here are the FIVE different bus stops, listed in the order they PICK UP guests at Old Key West:

  • #1. Peninsular Road
  • #2. Old Turtle Pond Road
  • #3. South Point
  • #4. Miller’s Road
  • #5. Hospitality House / North Cove

Here is a map of where you can find each bus stop at Old Key West.

old key west to animal kingdom

Bus service to Animal Kingdom typically begins 45 minutes before the park opens and ends 1 hour 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 minutes.

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

Since the Disney buses are free to ride, it’s the most popular way to travel to Animal Kingdom from Old Key West. You can expect a bit of a line to board the bus at certain times, such as in the morning around the park opening. So make sure to give yourself plenty of time to arrive at Animal Kingdom for a reservation or show. Our family usually leaves our room about an hour before we want to arrive, just to be safe.

Once your bus leaves Old Key West, Animal Kingdom is 7.5 miles away (12.1 km). The drive should take a little under 20 minutes.

But please be aware that you will probably be on the bus longer than 20 minutes, depending on which stop you board the bus.

That’s because you must wait as the bus drops off and picks up guests at the other stops before finally leaving for the theme park. For example, if you get on the bus at Peninsular Road (Stop #1), it’s estimated that it will take 15 minutes just to get through the rest of the bus stops within Old Key West before finally leaving for Animal Kingdom.

One strategy that some guests use is walking directly to one of the last bus stops, which would be Miller’s Road (#4) or Hospitality House (#5). They do this to avoid spending additional time on the bus.

The Hospitality House bus stop is outside the main lobby entrance. You can expect the biggest lines for the bus here.

But I want to warn you this plan could backfire.

During busy times, such as in the morning, the bus may already be full of guests by the time it reaches these last stops. If that happens, the bus will drive by, and you must hope the next one has room for you.

If using the free bus transportation to get to Animal Kingdom sounds frustrating, keep reading to learn about other options. 🙂

Option #2: Take an Uber from Old Key West to Animal Kingdom

old key west to animal kingdom via uber

If you don’t want to ride on or wait for the bus, using a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) from Old Key West Resort is easy. Just open the app and select Animal Kingdom as your destination, and you should be matched with a driver within seconds.

Because Old Key West is such a big resort, it’s important that you mark your location CORRECTLY in the app to avoid any delays. No matter which building you are staying in, a  parking lot will be nearby, offering plenty of room for your driver to pick you up.

The driving distance from Disney’s Old Key West Resort to Animal Kingdom is 7.5 miles (12.1 km), and the drive should take about 15 minutes, depending on the amount of traffic. Another benefit of taking an Uber or Lyft is they typically drive to Animal Kingdom faster than the slower Disney buses.

I have found the one-way fare from Old Key West averages under $15.

If you have limited time to travel to Animal Kingdom, I think it is money well spent! The best part about using a rideshare service while staying at Old Key West is that you don’t have to deal with your bus stopping at multiple places within the resort before finally leaving for the park. You also don’t risk the bus being full when it arrives at your bus stop.

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. 🙂

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! 

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

While using the Lyft app inside the 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

old key west to animal kingdom via 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 has many of the same benefits as rideshares, such as not waiting for a bus. But of course, you must pay for the taxi ride, where the Disney buses are free.

If you want to take a taxi from Old Key West Resort, 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 from Disney’s Old Key West 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 7.5 miles (12.1 km). The drive usually takes about 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

old key west to animal kingdom

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

As long as you are staying at Old Key West, the parking at Animal Kingdom is FREE! Unfortunately, many guests don’t realize (or forget) that if you stay at a Disney World Resort, parking at any of the parks does not cost anything.

Getting FREE parking at the theme parks is an incredible benefit of staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, as parking costs a minimum of $25 per day at each park.

Related Posts:

Can I walk from Disney’s Old Key West to Animal Kingdom?

The short answer to this question is NO. First, the distance between the resort and the theme park is long, around 7.5 miles (12.1 km). And second, there are no walking paths that connect them. You must take the bus, a taxi/rideshare, or drive yourself to get there!


Can the Disney Skyliner take me from Old Key West to Animal Kingdom?

The short answer to this question is NO. The Skyliner only goes to two parks, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. There is also no boarding station for the Disney Skyliner at Old Key West.

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 boats from Old Key West to Animal Kingdom?

No. While there is boat transportation at Old Key West, the boat does not travel to Animal Kingdom. You can only take the boats from Old Key West to Disney Springs.


Can I take the Disney Monorail from Old Key West to Animal Kingdom?

monorail at disney

No, the monorail does not have a boarding station at Old Key West, 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. And so you know, the monorail only travels to two theme parks – Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

What is your favorite way to travel from Disney’s Old Key West Resort to Animal Kingdom?

Leave a COMMENT below!

Scott K
Scott K

Scott is the owner and creator of Resort Rat. He and his family were bitten by the Disney bug in 2017 on their first DW visit with kids. They have been on a Disney bender ever since, visiting the park numerous times per year. He loves writing about Disney, especially the incredible resorts. You can learn more about him on his author page. Or hear more about the Resort Rat story on this page.

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