We have all taken advantage of the Disney bus system, ridden the Monorail, and most likely driven a car to get from one place to another at Walt Disney World. The entire Disney transportation system is extraordinarily efficient and well operated, and even though there have been a few very serious incidents, considering the number of people being transported it is very safe! The only issue I have with it comes from the feeling of rush-rush-rush that I get while being moved around. I like to take it easy when on vacation (after all I’m old) and it is difficult to relax on a crowded bus or Monorail.
There is a terrific alternative if you are traveling around the Epcot, Epcot Resort, Swan/Dolphin or Disney’s Hollywood Studios areas. There are boats that traverse the World Showcase Lagoon that will give you a different perspective on that area – try them, it’s a very calming experience. These boats are called ‘Friendships’. There is another ‘Friendship’ route being operated that goes from the Epcot International Gateway area to the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, Swan/Dolphin, and then on to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It also operates in the reverse direction. What a marvelous way to get from one place to another in a relaxed, slow, and calm way. You may want to avoid sitting outside at the very back of the boat because of increased engine noise but it’s really not that bad.
Does using this service for transportation purposes really make sense? It does, and here is how we use it. Being Park Hopper fans, sometimes we will spend a partial day at Epcot and then wander the Boardwalk area or even spend the rest of the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We get there on the Friendships. More often we will spend a day at the Studios with an evening Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) at one of the wonderful Epcot restaurants and we use the Friendships to travel between the parks. The trip, with stops, takes 25 – 30 minutes so if you have an ADR plan accordingly.
There are so many ways to do so many things at Walt Disney World that it can quickly become mind boggling for newer travelers. We have friends who are frequent and regular travelers to Walt Disney World who knew that those boats were there but they had no idea where they went. They do now and they really enjoy them. Look around for alternatives, you might be surprised what you find! As always, Enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!