Planning Basics: Get to Know the WDW Transportation and Ticket Center
Walt Disney World trip planners are likely to run into the acronym TTC. TTC stands for Transportation and Ticket Center. As the name implies, the TTC is a hub where many of Disney’s transportation options intersect, and you can purchase WDW tickets.
There are several forms of transportation represented at the TTC: personal cars, taxis and ride share vehicles, trams, monorails, buses, ferryboats, and foot traffic.
The TTC serves at the gateway to the Magic Kingdom (MK) parking lot. Take a look at the above screenshot from Google Earth. The Magic Kingdom theme park is at the top of the picture. There is no theme park parking directly at the park; instead the big gray box at the bottom is Magic Kingdom parking lot, obviously far removed from the park itself. If you’re driving to the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be directed to park in that lot. From the lot, you’ll walk or take a tram to the TTC where you will select further transportation options to get to the Magic Kingdom. (The bit of gray to the right of the Magic Kingdom is the parking lot for the Contemporary hotel. Staff there are increasingly strict about making sure that guests wishing to park there have actual business at the Contemporary.)
Parking in the Magic Kingdom (or other theme park) lot is free for WDW annual pass holders and for guests staying at the Disney World resort hotels. Day guests will be required to pay a parking fee, currently $25 per day for a car or motorcycle, or $50 per day for a car or motorcycle in a preferred spot closer to the TTC. Oversize vehicles pay an additional fee.
There are special areas for guests with disability placards and for electric vehicles. There is one electric vehicle charging space near the front of the Jafar parking lot and four spaces near the front of the Zurg parking lot.
As is obvious in the photo above, the Magic Kingdom parking lot is larger than the theme park. It’s a near imperative that you make note of where you parked (Simba lot, row 115, half way down the row, for example). Taking a photo of your row number is an easy way to remember. Bonus tip: If you’re driving a rental car, also make note of your car’s make, model, and plate number. Again, a quick phone photo takes care of this. Once I knew where I parked, but it took me quite a while walking down the row to figure out which car was mine. If you have a rental with remote key fob access, you can click the fob to make the horn honk, but not all rentals have this feature.
Trams are open-air vehicles that run continuously from the parking lot to the TTC entrance and back. If you’ve parked in the front sections of the lot, Jafar or Aladdin, it may be faster walk between the TTC and your car. However, if you’re further out, or if you have toddlers or elderly guests in you party (or if it is 90+ degrees and 90% humidity), using the tram to get you closer to your car can be a real sanity saver.
As noted on the signage above, trams do not service the Disability Parking Area.
Taxis and Ride Share Vehicles
Taxi and ride share (Uber, Lyft, etc.) pickup and drop off for the Magic Kingdom is located at the TTC, not at the park itself. As you face the park, the taxi area is to the right, near the bus transportation area.
If you want to use a taxi or ride share vehicle to access or depart the Magic Kingdom, be aware that you will often save time by using the Contemporary hotel as your pick-up/drop-off point rather than using the Transportation and Ticket Center. The Contemporary is a seven-ish minute walk from the Magic Kingdom for an able adult. It often takes well over seven minutes to use Disney transportation to get from the park to the TTC, particularly during heavy-use hours such as park closing time.
If you’re taking a taxi or ride to share TO the Magic Kingdom, you can also sometimes save time by using the Grand Floridian as a drop point. The Grand Floridian is just one monorail stop a way from MK. However, if you’re leaving the MK, the Grand Floridian and Polynesian are less advantageous pick-up points, because they are both further away from the park than the TTC is.
One HUGE exception to the rule that automobile traffic servicing the Magic Kingdom is routed to the TTC is the Disney World Minnie Van service. Minnie Vans are allowed to drop guests directly at the Magic Kingdom. If you’re in a time crunch, this will be the fastest way to get from many WDW resorts to the Magic Kingdom. Bear in mind, however, that Minnie Van pricing is now variable (a change since the linked article) and can be quite expensive depending on your departure location.
There are three monorail lines that converge at the Transportation and Ticket Center: the direct Magic Kingdom line, the Resorts line, and the Epcot line.
As the names imply, the Magic Kingdom line makes a continuous loop between the TTC and the MK, with no other stops. The Resorts line makes a loop with stops at TTC, the Polynesian resort, the Grand Floridian resort, the Magic Kingdom, and the Contemporary resort, then back to the TTC, in that order. The Epcot line makes a continuous loop between the TTC and Epcot, with no other stops. If you want to travel from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot via monorail, you’ll board at the Magic Kingdom, exit at the TTC, and transfer to the Epcot line. You must transfer at the TTC; there is no monorail that travels directly from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot.
Monorail service is frequent, with guests rarely having to wait for more than 10 minutes, and often much less, for the next monorail to arrive.
Hours of operation for the monorails vary seasonally and each of the monorail lines may have different hours from the other lines. In general, the monorails start running about an hour before park opening, but there are enough exceptions to give any detailed planner a headache. If you need to be at a resort or theme park very early in the morning, for a character breakfast or tour, for example, please check with Guest Relations or your hotel concierge desk to assess whether the monorail system will meet your transportation needs. Personally, I tend to mistrust the monorail timing prior to an hour before park opening and typically plan to use a car, taxi, or ride share if I need to be somewhere before about 8:00 a.m.
Bus transportation to/from the WDW resort hotels and the Magic Kingdom takes place directly adjacent to the Magic Kingdom park, not at the TTC. If, for example, you wanted to take a Disney bus from the Magic Kingdom to Port Orleans French Quarter, you would get the bus just outside the park exit, not at the TTC. You can also get a bus directly from the Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS), Animal Kingdom (AK), and, after 4:00 p.m., to Disney Springs. (For transportation from Magic Kingdom to Epcot, take the monorail.)
All other buses, those not owned by Disney and not serving WDW property, do depart from the TTC. Examples of these buses include those serving non-Disney hotels located the International Drive, charter group buses, and Orlando area public buses such as the Lynx system.
Note, several years ago, guests wishing to take a bus from the MK to DHS and AK did have to get that transportation at the TTC. Recently, Disney expanded the bus parking area at the Magic Kingdom and service to other theme parks takes place directly at the MK, not at the TTC.
Guest who do not want to use a monorail to get to from the TTC to Magic Kingdom, or if the monorail is down for maintenance, may use the ferryboat service. (And conversely, the ferryboats may not run during adverse weather conditions.)
As with the monorails, the ferry hours vary seasonally. Generally you can expect the ferry to run from about one hour prior to park opening to about one hour after park closing. There is no set schedule for the ferry, though typically the ferries arrive every 15-20 minutes. The ferries have limited bench seating; during busy times you may be standing during your trip to/from the TTC and the MK.
It’s personal preference as to whether you take the monorail or the ferry to the park. Some guests simply enjoy one form of transportation over the other.
The Polynesian resort is the only location that is directly walkable from the TTC. A clearly marked path runs directly from the hotel to TTC. Find it to the far left of the TTC as you face the Magic Kingdom – in the same general area as the ferry, but closer to the parking lot and tram zone. The walk is less than five minutes from the edge of the TTC to main building of the Poly.
There are many good reasons to stay at the Polynesian, but one of my favorites is that guests of the Poly can walk to the TTC, thus having easy monorail access to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot, without transfers.
There is no fee to use the WDW trams, monorails, ferryboats, and buses. Anyone may use them regardless of how long they’re visiting WDW or where they’re staying. So, once you’ve paid your parking fee, you’re not paying anything additional to use the Disney transportation.
Not surprisingly for the Transportation and TICKET center, there are about a dozen ticket sales booths at the TTC, though you’ll rarely find all of them manned. At the ticket booths, you can purchase theme park tickets, special event tickets, annual passes, and the like.
Unless you’ve planned a spur-of-the-moment trip to WDW, there is very little reason to use these, or any, ticket booths. WDW theme park and water tickets can, and should, be purchased in advance either online or on your phone. Buying your tickets in advance will allow you to make FastPass+ reservations prior to your visit. Even if you’ve decided that you don’t need or want to use FP+, stopping at the ticket windows to make a purchase will only slow you down unnecessarily.
The primary valid reason to stop at the TTC ticket windows is if you’ve purchased your ticket in advance, but need to use the ticket window as a “will call” location to pick up a physical ticket medium.
In most cases, guests of the WDW parks will need either a plastic ticket (looks like a credit card) or a MagicBand to scan at the park entrance turnstiles and at FastPass touchpoints. You may have bought your tickets online but do not yet have your physical card/band. This may happen if, say, you bought your tickets online just a few days in advance so Disney didn’t have time to mail you card/band, or if you live in a country where Disney doesn’t mail tickets/bands. If you’re in this situation, you will need to stop at a ticket booth, Guest Relations office, or WDW hotel front desk to collect your physical ticket.
In years past, there had been electronic ticket vending machines at the TTC. These have been removed and now all TTC ticket purchases must happen at a manned booth.
During the past several years, Disney has decentralized much of the theme park security screening. For example, guests boarding the monorail at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary now have their theme park security screening done at the hotel, before monorail boarding, rather than at the Magic Kingdom. Guests walking to the MK from the Contemporary are screened on the footpath from the hotel to the park. This change has reduced much of the foot traffic bottleneck at the MK entrance and has sped up access to the park once you’re at the entrance.
Part of this change is that all guests arriving at the Magic Kingdom via the TTC are screened there rather than at the area directly in front of the park. The screening at the TTC is that same as at other WDW security areas. Bags/backpacks/purses/etc. must be removed from your body and all zippers opened. A security cast member will inspect your bag to make sure there are no weapons, glass bottles, or other prohibited items. Many, but not all, guests will also be asked to step through a metal detector, much like at an airport.
There are restroom areas at both sides of the TTC.
Other comfort amenities include a Joffrey’s kiosk that sells coffee-based beverages and a small selection of pastries (think giant pink donuts), several soft-drink vending machines, and a small shop called Mickey’s Gift Station. Mickey’s Gift Station offers a minimal inventory that includes a few tee shirts, ear hats, and trinkets like keychains. This is the only place at the TTC to get food other than the Joffery’s pastries – bagged candy and crunchy snacks like pretzels.
There is no air conditioned or indoor waiting area at the TTC (other than the tiny gift shop). There is, however, a spacious covered area next to the ferry loading zone. If it’s pouring out, or you need a bit of respite from the Orlando sun, that’s your best option.
WHAT’S NOT AT THE TTC
In addition to the now defunct electronic ticket machines and TTC to theme park buses, the TTC has had other features in the past that no longer exist. Many years ago, the TTC offered lockers where guests could leave luggage; these are now gone. If you have luggage, plan to leave it at your hotel or in your car. There are guest use lockers at the theme parks, but they are sized to fit a purse or knapsack, not luggage.
Additionally, the Lost and Found office for Walt Disney World had previously been located at the TTC. There is no longer a physical Lost and Found office available for guests to visit. If you lose something at WDW, first check with the Guest Relations office or front desk of the theme park or hotel where you last had your item. If it’s been more than a few hours, you need to submit an online form describing your item, and they’ll work with you electronically to help you locate your stuff.
Personally, I wish that the TTC was a bit more scenic and entertaining, with at least a cursory attempt at a Disney magic feel. After all, the first time many guests end up setting foot on Disney property will be at the TTC. Instead the place really looks like the bus/train station that it is.
On the plus side, the TTC is quite functional. The signage is good and it does have the fundamental services you need to start your day in the parks.
Let us know about your TTC experiences. Have you been able to find your way around easily? Do you have any tips for making your time at the TTC more efficient or enjoyable? Tell us in the comments!
13 thoughts on “Planning Basics: Get to Know the WDW Transportation and Ticket Center”
Excellent article and photos. Can you do the same for the other parks and Disney Springs?
Yes! We are planning to do more “Back to Basics” posts in the coming weeks.
Can you elaborate a bit on what you’re looking for? Transportation options at each park and where to find them? How to navigate the entrances to the parks? Or did you mean something else?
Hi, Erin. Yes to all. I enjoyed seeing the signs with the names of the parking spaces and the photos of the entrances. I know that most people are not interested in what I would like to see but I really enjoyed your entire article with a combination of words and photos. I use a wheelchair and I try to get photos of the Disability Areas such as Parking or entering buses, boats and monorails using a wheelchair. I find it difficult taking a photo when traveling solo. I also find it difficult taking photos of the attractions since I don’t want to slow the process of entering the ride to take photos and holding up the guests behind me or anyone.
I would love to find information regarding transportation from hotels to parks for special events like EMM (no EMH). For example on my upcoming trip (First week of May) I am staying at Ft Wilderness and doing Early Morning Magic Fantasyland at MK, but I can’t find any information on how to get there. Somehow I doubt the boat from Ft Wilderness to MK is running at that time of day, but normally the boat is the only method of transportation from this resort to MK.
You always hear “X transportation starts 1 hour to park opening” but that leaves people scratching their heads when it coms to things like special events. On the one hand surely there is no way Disney is going to leave us up in the air, but on the other it’s hard to find information on what the proper procedure is.
Good suggestion. We’ll work a post about this topic.
Got it. Trust me, if you have a question, then I’m sure lots of other people have the same question. We’ll add your suggestions to our list of post topics.
In the meantime, have you seen our series from a few years ago with photos of all the ride vehicles and access points. They’re overdue for an update too, but I’m waiting for Galaxy’s Edge to open so I can include those attractions. In the meantime, see:
Thank you, Erin. 🙂
Great article and very comprehensive, Erin.
On my trip last week, I learned something about the Monorails at the TTC I had not caught on to previously and it is important to those with disabilities. The tracks for the Monorails at TTC from left to right looking towards the Magic Kingdom are Resort Line, Express Line, and Epcot. Most regulars know that. With someone in a wheelchair or elderly person going to Epcot, if on the Resort Line, they have to take a long ramp down and a long ramp up to access the Epcot Line. Yet, if you are on the Express Line, you only have to walk across the platform to the Epcot Line. That is an important distinction for those with disabilities or who find that ramp a tough climb!
Thanks again for a great article!
Thank you, Patricia. I remember doing this exact thing one time, but I couldn’t remember how to do it. And that ramp up to the TTC monorail and MK monorail is very steep for some manual wheelchair users if they may not have the arm strength.
There is an elevator on the EPCOT monorail side going from EPCOT to the TTC which is nice.
So I must remember when leaving MK to get in line for the Express Monorail when traveling to EPCOT so that I can just roll across the platform at the TTC to the Epcot monorail.
Another thing worth mentioning, the bus to HWS and AK from MK operate out of the TTC before MK park open and after MK park close.
Thank you, Ian. I didn’t know that either.
THIS IS THE ONLY SITE THAT EXPLAINS THE TRANSPORTATION SET-UP CLEARLY ! THANK YOU ! JUST TO BE ABSOLUTELY SURE … IF I’M GOING FROM ANIMAL KINGDOM TO MAGIC KINGDOM ON A PARK HOPPER DAY, BY WDW BUS, I DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO THE TTC TO SWITCH TO THE MONORAIL. THE BUS WILL PICK ME UP OUTSIDE A/K GATES & DROP ME OFF OUTSIDE M/K GATES ? I STILL GO THROUGH SECURITY AT MY SECOND PARK, RIGHT ? I HAD BEEN READING OLDER SITES THAT SPOKE OF AN EXPRESS BUS THAT ACTUALLY PICKED YOU UP & DROPPED YOU OFF “INSIDE” THE PARKS ……… NEGATING THE NEED FOR SECURITY. BUT APPARENTLY THAT IS NOW DEFUNCT. SAD !