Ahoy seafarers, dreamers and Main Street, U.S.A. goers- it’s time to set sail to the Magic Kingdom. I will admit, until very recently I had not taken this tranquil voyage since 1973… It is a pleasant ride, and provides a beautiful overview of not only the Magic Kingdom but the three surrounding resorts on Seven Seas Lagoon (Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa).
The majority of the ferryboat’s passengers are those who drive to this park and walk or take a tram from the parking lot to the main transit hub, the Transportation and Ticket Center. The last time my family used a car at Walt Disney World Resort was forty years ago, and hence our hiatus! (Guests of Disney’s Polynesian Resort may find a short walk to the ferryboat loading dock a convenient method of travel also.)
Three separate ferryboats (the Admiral Joe Fowler, the Richard F. Irvine and the General Joe Potter) transport Guests to and from the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom, though during off peak hours they may not all be in service at once.
Ferryboats generally begin operating about one hour before the park opens (including Morning Extra Magic Hours) and one hour after park closing (including Evening Extra Magic Hours), but operation is dependent upon weather conditions and the season. Departure does not follow a strict schedule, but crossings generally take place every 15 minutes. Each boat offers a lower and upper level, with bench seating ( life jackets within) and standing room that together accommodate up to 600 passengers. Though slower than the Express Monorail (mainly due to loading, docking and unloading), its capacity to move large numbers of guests is greater.
– Each vessel is a double decker and is modeled after the famous Staten Island Ferry!
– The “Admiral Joe Fowler” is named for the gentleman who was Construction Manager of Walt Disney World from 1968 through 1971.
– “Richard F. Irvine” was the president of WED Enterprises during the Walt Disney World design phase.
– “General Joe Potter” is named for the legend who engineered field construction and was know as “Mr. Disney” in the Orlando area.
– The ferryboats were initially designed to be luxury vessels that would host private charters after hours.
Top PT Tips:
– Ferryboats are fully accessible to wheelchairs, Electric Conveyance Vehicles, medical strollers, double strollers and strollers, with no transfers or folding required. (Making the ferryboats more user-friendly than buses or water launches). In addition to very steep inclines on the Monorail approaches and disembarkations, temporary ramps must be put in place by Cast Members to enter and exit the vehicles.
– Children with sensory stimulation concerns will generally find the ferryboats quieter, less crowded and far more sedate than all other forms of Magic Kingdom transit.
– Because ferryboats are basically open air vessels, they are not climate controlled. Those with temperature sensitivities or intolerance should take other forms of transportation.
Bon voyage and as always, enjoy the journey.
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Focused on the Magic.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
The Walt Disney World Buses~ yourfirstvisit.net
Disney’s Magical Express~ The Disney Kids
The Monorail~ Heidi’s Head
Ferryboats to the Magic Kingdom~ DISTherapy (You are here!)
Motor Launches~ Focused on the Magic
Friendship Boats~ The Disney Point
Ferryboats to Downtown Disney~ Can Do It Mom aka Mouse Fan Diane
The Walt Disney World Railroad~ Return to Disney
Surrey Bikes~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
Parking Lot Trams~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts
Walt Disney World Walking Paths~ Disney Living