“Can I park at Epcot and go to Magic Kingdom?”
This is an extremely common question for so many Disney vacationers. The answer is yes, you can absolutely park at Epcot and go to Magic Kingdom. Whether your plan is to enjoy Epcot before heading to Magic Kingdom or vice versa, it’s pretty simple to get back and forth between the two.
Even though it’s pretty easy to do, it can be just a little bit confusing for a first timer. We’ll explain exactly what to do, so you can spend more time having fun and less time worrying about your vehicle.
Before you start, check the operating hours of both Epcot and Magic Kingdom. The Epcot monorail track and the Magic Kingdom monorail track can operate on a different schedule and the Epcot track may close earlier than the Magic Kingdom one on any given day.
Step 1: Park at Epcot
This step is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s worth noting, for the sake of clarity. Typically, there will be Disney employees directing you toward specific parking areas within Epcot. It doesn’t much matter where you choose to park within Epcot’s parking lots.
Step 2: Walk or Take the Tram to the Epcot Entrance
After you park your car, head to Epcot’s entrance. Most of Epcot’s parking spaces aren’t too far from the entrance, so walking to the front of the park is fairly easy. If you don’t feel like walking, hop on the next available tram and it will give you a ride to the front.
Step 3: Make Your Way to the Epcot Monorail Station
While you’re walking or riding the tram to Epcot’s entrance, you’ll probably notice the monorail track suspended above the parking lot. This is the track you’ll be riding on to get to the Magic Kingdom.
When you get to the front of Epcot, do not scan your ticket and actually enter the park. Epcot’s monorail station is right in front of the park gates. It’s a big, winding, concrete structure that will be directly above the tram when it stops to let people off. Walk through the security check, if there is one, then look for the ramp that will lead you to the top of the station.
You’ll be climbing the equivalent of two floors to get to the loading station for the Magic Kingdom monorail. Thankfully, this walkway is in the form of a ramp, so disabled guests can climb without issue. Once you get to the top, wait for the next monorail and hop on.
Step 4: Ride the Monorail and Exit at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center)
The monorail from Epcot only has one stop, so don’t worry about choosing the right stop. Soon as it stops at the TTC, get off and walk down the exit ramp. You’ll probably notice a lot of people heading in the opposite direction. If you’ve been to the Magic Kingdom before, you probably already know where to go from here. You’ve got two options that we’ll outline in the next step.
Step 5: Take the Ferry or the Monorail that is Labeled “Magic Kingdom”
It’s smooth sailing from here. The ferry is usually the most popular choice, but it’s also the slowest. Our recommendation is to take the Magic Kingdom monorail. It’s much faster than the ferry 99% of the time. Just make sure you don’t accidentally get back on the Epcot monorail. The monorail that runs from the TTC to Magic Kingdom is on a different track than the monorail that runs from the TTC to Epcot.
Step 6: Exit the Magic Kingdom Ferry or Monorail and Follow the Ramp to the Magic Kingdom Entrance
And that’s it, you’ve made it to the Magic Kingdom! If you need some suggestions on what to do, take a look at The Ultimate Guide to the Best Magic Kingdom Lands. Another helpful story for planning is the Insider’s Guide to Magic Kingdom Fastpasses.
Step 7: Getting Back to Epcot
To get back, you’ll follow the route you used earlier in reverse. Head for the ferry or monorail to get back to the TTC. Find the sign for the Epcot monorail and go to the station. Finally, jump on the monorail and end back at Epcot. *Make sure you pay attention to the hours of operation before you start your trip.
BONUS: What do I do if the Epcot Monorail track is closed for the night and you parked at Epcot?
If you’re leaving Magic Kingdom and missed your time for boarding the Epcot monorail to retrieve your vehicle, you can do one of two things.
First: If the Disney buses are still running, head to the bus station attached to the East side of the Ticket & Transportation Center. It’s possible you can board a bus going directly to Epcot. If that bus is not running to Epcot, you can take it to a resort and then to Epcot – OR – if the bus is completely empty, oftentimes the bus driver will allow you to choose your destination.
Second: You can use the Lyft app to hail a Minnie Van (driven by Walt Disney World employees within Walt Disney World property), or simply hail another Lyft or Uber driver to pick you up from your destination. All Lyft and Uber drivers can enter the Walt Disney World parking lots for free and pick guests up from anywhere.
It’s also important to note that you can continue entering the parking lots for free after the park has closed, so you don’t run the risk of your vehicle being trapped inside Disney parking lots all night.
Important Things to Know About Park-Hopping Via Monorail:
- Make sure to pay attention to park hours before starting
- Make sure you find out what the scheduled monorail hours are for the day
- The monorail train from Epcot-TTC monorail and the Magic Kingdom-TTC monorail can have different operating hours
- The train from Magic Kingdom to the TTC typically operates up to 90 minutes after Magic Kingdom closes for the night
- The train from the TTC to Epcot typically runs for an hour or more after Epcot closes
- If you are taking advantage of Magic Kingdom’s Extra Magic Hours, you should almost always plan to park in the Magic Kingdom parking lot
Bonus: Facts About Disney’s Monorail System
The presence of Walt Disney World’s monorail was groundbreaking in the United States for it’s time and remains an iconic part of guests’ magical experience. It’s a fixture not only for it’s efficiency, but it’s classic design as well. Here are some interesting facts about the system.
- The Walt Disney World Monorail System began operation on October 1, 1971 with two Magic Kingdom routes
- Disney’s monorail was the first of its kind in the United States
- The first two routes were the Express, taking passengers directly to Magic Kingdom from the TTC, and the Resort, which stops at all monorail resorts
- The second route, connecting Epcot to the TTC, opened with Epcot on October 1, 1982
- The Disney Monorail System has over 150,000 riders per day, making it one of the most used monorail systems in the world
- Over 50 million Disney guests ride the Walt Disney World monorail every year
- The entire track is 14.7 miles long, including the Epcot leg
- There are 12 paint schemes on the individual monorail trains
- The paint schemes are: Red, Coral, Orange, Gold, Yellow, Teal, Lime, Green, Blue, Silver, Black, and Peach
- Monorail trains are powered by eight 113-horsepower motors connected to a 600-volt electrical busbar mounted on the side of each beam
- The monorail beams are constructed from concrete with a polystyrene core for weight reduction
- The Magic Kingdom Express route runs on the outer loop in a clockwise direction
- The Magic Kingdom Resort route runs on the inner loop in a counter-clockwise direction
- The monorail has its own “shop” on the WDW property, allowing easy maintenance for the train cars
- The monorail shop is located next to Space Mountain, around the bend of the main route
- Diesel powered “work tractors” pull train cars to the shop
- On July 5, 2009, an unfortunate accident caused a collision between the Pink and Purple monorails, killing the pilot. This is the only fatal incident.
- Until the 2009 crash, monorail pilots were able to hand out “co-pilot” tickets, giving up to four guests the opportunity to ride along in the pilot’s cabin
- The iconic “Please Stand Clear of the Doors” audio recording played on the trains was recorded by the late Jack Wagner, known as the “Voice of Disneyland”
- The spacing between train cars is tracked by a moving blocklight system “MAPO”, located in the cab of each train
- Distance from one train to another is measured in “blocks”
- The MAPO system ensures that the train cars maintain a distance of at least two blocks at all times. They will stop the train if that distance is compromised
- Since 2014, automation is largely responsible for conducting the monorails. The pilot’s main responsibility is to oversee each train in case of emergency