My family and I recently participated in the excellent backstage experience “Disney’s Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour” at Walt Disney World in Florida. It is a wonderful offering, as described in our full post on the tour. The challenge is that the tour requires you to be at the front gates of the Magic Kingdom Park between 7-7:30am. Most of the Disney transportation services are just coming into service at that hour of the morning and the advice given to us was that from our Disney resort, Wilderness Lodge, the best way to make sure we were there on time was to use a private taxi.
In fact, we were told to use a taxi by the Disney travel booking desk when we signed up for the tour, by the front desk at our hotel and by the transportation services desk at our hotel who happily arranged for a taxi. All three DIsney’s touchpoints told us the same thing; it won’t be a problem and takes lass than 15 minutes for the taxi to get you to the Magic Kingdom. We booked a cab for 6:55am, expecting to arrive at 7:10am.
Except you can’t take a taxi to the Magic Kingdom. Really. It is impossible. And we didn’t find that out until we tried do it on the advice of Disney itself.
Our taxi was ready at 6:55am. By 7:05 am we had gone about a mile and $5 when he let us off. It didn’t look like the Magic Kingdom but the driver told us it was as close as taxis can get, so just follow the path through the trees.
And we came to Disney’s Transportation and Ticket Center, a hub of bus and monorail lines quite a distance from the Magic Kingdom. A bit concerned that our driver let us off in the wrong place, we asked a Disney employee who told us, “your driver was right, this is as close to the Magic Kingdom as a taxi can take you. You have to use the monorail from here.”
Ahhhhhh, no one had told us that part in any of our conversations. So there we were, with the clock ticking now seeking a monorail. The monorail was running, but service was infrequent. Luckily, we made it to our tour at 7:29… with just a minute to spare.
So, be warned early risers, no matter how many people (people who should know better) tell you to take a taxi to the Magic Kingdom, it cannot be done. You must also take a monorail, and your travel time is totally dependent upon the level of service the monorails provide at that hour of the morning.
Just some friendly advice. Now go sign up for the steam train tour!