5 Ways from Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom (2024)

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How do you get from Disney’s Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom?

If you are staying at the Riviera Resort 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.

Disney’s Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom:

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

Did you know Disney World provides FREE bus transportation from the Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom?

And the best part is that the bus stop is just a short walk outside the main entrance.

Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom

When you exit the front lobby, turn right and follow the covered walkway until you arrive at the bus stop.


When you arrive at the bus stop, make sure you find the correct line for the bus going to Animal Kingdom. Don’t worry; signs clearly mark where you need to stand.

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 the bus stop showing when the next bus to Animal Kingdom is expected to arrive.

Once you board the bus and leave, your ride should take 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic.

Since the Disney buses are free to ride, it’s the most popular way to travel to Animal Kingdom from the Riviera. 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.

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

Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom

If you don’t want to ride on or wait for the bus, using a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) from the Riviera Resort is easy. 

The easiest place to meet your driver is outside near the Riviera front lobby, as there are plenty of spots for you to get in the car. You could also walk down to the bus stop or one of the large parking lots at the resort, as there are many open areas for the driver to park quickly. Regardless, make sure you mark the location you want to be picked up CORRECTLY in the app to avoid any delays.

The driving distance from Disney’s Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom is 5.3 miles (8.6 km), and the drive should take under 15 minutes, depending on the amount of traffic. Another benefit of taking an Uber or Lyft is that they typically drive to Animal Kingdom faster than the slower Disney buses.

I have found the one-way fare from the Riviera Resort averages under $15.

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

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

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 the Riviera 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 to go from Disney’s Riviera 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 5.3 miles (8.5 km). The drive usually takes under 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

riviera resort to animal kingdom

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

As long as you are staying at the Riviera, 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 Riviera Resort, as parking costs a minimum of $25 per day at each park.

Related Posts:

Can I walk from Disney’s Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom?

The short answer to this question is NO. First, the distance between the resort and the theme park is fairly long, around 5.3 miles (8.6 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 the Riviera Resort to Animal Kingdom?

The short answer to this question is NO. A huge benefit of staying at the Riviera Resort is that you can walk to a boarding station for the Disney Skyliner. But there is no way to go to Animal Kingdom this way. The Skyliner only goes to two parks, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.


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

monorail at disney

No, the monorail does not have a boarding station at the Riviera. In addition, the monorail does not travel to Animal Kingdom. The monorail only travels to two theme parks – Magic Kingdom and Epcot. If you want to use the monorail from your hotel, you must stay at the Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, or Polynesian Village Resort.

What is your favorite way to travel from Disney’s Riviera 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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