Transportation Tips for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

It’s no secret that Disney’s Art of Animation is one of the most fun resorts for children! Around every corner, you’ll find larger-than-life characters from favorite Disney animated films.

But if you’re planning a stay at Art of Animation, you might wonder how you’ll get to and from the parks. Additionally, you could have a breakfast reservation at Chef Mickey’s and have no clue how to get there!

In this article, we’ll cover as many destinations as possible. That way, you’ll have an idea of how to get where you’re going using the transportation options provided by Disney.

As always, these tips are based on our personal experience traveling around Walt Disney World. By the time we finish, you should have a good base knowledge of how transportation works at Disney’s Art of Animation.

Transportation Options at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The following transportation options are available to guests of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

  • Disney Skyliner
  • Disney’s Bus Service


Art of Animation utilizes the Disney Skyliner as a mode of transportation. The Skyliner’s resort hub sits in the center of Hour Glass Lake.

A bridge sits across the middle of the lake connecting Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Guests of either resort will walk to the bridge to access the Skyliner.

From Art of Animation, the Skyliner travels directly to Disney’s Caribbean Beach, the central Skyliner Station. For reference, all of the Skyliner lines at Walt Disney World feed back to Disney’s Caribbean Beach. We’ll discuss how to transfer to each location below.

On the day of this visit, the Skyliner had the following posted hours:

  • Hollywood Studios (7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.)
  • Epcot (7:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.)
  • Pop Century and Art of Animation (7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.)

Times can vary for the Skyliner. When you first set out to use the Skyliner, you might want to snap a photo of the hours to have it on your phone.

With that said, these hours are pretty typical throughout most of the year. In general, Disney transportation begins running one hour before the park opens.

Since guests of Art of Animation are currently eligible to take advantage of the early theme park benefit, the Skyliner begins running one hour ahead of those operating hours.

For example, today, Epcot opens at 9:00 a.m., but resort guests can enter the park as early as 8:30 a.m. Therefore, the Skyliner begins operating at 7:30 a.m. for Epcot.

Additionally, the Skyliner usually runs up to two hours after the park closes. This allows everyone time to exit the park and return to their rooms.

Tip: You do not have to be in a hurry to leave the parks when they close. Many shops stay open, and some guests have dining reservations that extend past closing time. We like to let the crowds clear out as much as possible when leaving the parks late.

If you’re using a wheelchair or ECV, there’s a separate boarding area when you enter the Skyliner’s queue. A cast member will assist you with the loading process.


Disney’s Art of Animation offers bus service to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and the water parks. Buses begin running one hour before the park opens and run up to two hours after each destination closes.

Like the Skyliner, the one hour before applies to the park’s opening time for resort guests. So if Magic Kingdom opens for resort guests at 7:30 a.m., buses will begin running at 6:30 a.m.

Most importantly, when the Skyliner is down or during inclement weather, you’ll use buses to travel back and forth to Art of Animation from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We’ll go over these specifics for each location in the following sections.

If you’re using a wheelchair or ECV, there’s a separate waiting area for each queue at the bus stop. You’ll want to wait in this area so the bus driver can quickly identify you upon arrival.

The bus driver will board you before allowing anyone else on the bus. Then your family will get to board first. This insures that you aren’t separated from your party.

Upon arrival, all guests will exit the bus. Then the bus driver will lower the ramp so you can exit.

*Details for those with mobility issues (i.e., wheelchair, ECVs) can be found here on Disney’s site.

When you return to Art of Animation via Disney’s bus service, you’re dropped off at the entrance to the Ink and Paint Gift Shop. You can enter the gift shop and continue to the resort’s lobby, Animation Hall, or Landscape of Flavors.

There’s a large pathway through the center of the store that leads to either destination. Both will then continue back outside. From there, you can head directly to your building.

Additionally, the entrance to Animation Hall is a little further down past the gift shop entrance if you would rather not walk through the gift shops. It might be a good idea to go this way if you’re trying to avoid the temptation of buying something.

Art of Animation to Epcot

When traveling to Epcot, you’ll use the Disney Skyliner to travel from Art of Animation to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. From Caribbean Beach, you’ll transfer to Epcot.

When you exit the Skyliner at Caribbean Beach, there are two other lines. You’ll want to continue straight across the walkway and join the line for Epcot.

If you happen upon a long line, a cast member will direct you to the end of the line for your destination. Someone usually holds up a sign indicating the end of the line.

Don’t be too discouraged if you see a long line. The Skyliner boarding process tends to move quickly. However, it will pause from time to time to board guests with an ECV or wheelchair.

After boarding the Skyliner, you’ll lift from Caribbean Beach and almost immediately drop down to Disney’s Riviera. No worries, you’ll stay on board here. So hold tight and do not exit.

After traveling through the Riviera, you’ll make your way to Epcot. This is a beautiful ride where you’ll see most of the Epcot Resorts before dropping back down to the International Gateway.

When it’s time to leave Epcot, you’ll exit the park at the International Gateway and return the same way to your resort. So, again, you’ll stay on at the Riviera. Then, you’ll exit at Disney’s Caribbean Beach and join the queue for Art of Animation.

For those who do not know, the International Gateway is Epcot’s secondary or back entrance. A walkway leads to the International Gateway between the France Pavilion and United Kingdom Pavilion.

It’s a straightforward process. But if you find yourself confused, don’t hesitate to ask a cast member whether or not you’re headed in the right direction.

What if the Skyliner is down?

Sometimes the Skyliner goes down. Unfortunately, this happens in inclement weather and sometimes for other reasons.

During the rainy season, it’s common for the Skyliner to go down briefly as storms pass through the area. Therefore, you’ll want to consider the weather when coming and going from the resort or parks.

As mentioned above, bus service is provided to Epcot when the Skyliner is not available. However, that is usually the only time bus service is offered to Epcot.

But what should you do if you’re at Epcot and the Skyliner goes down? In this situation, you’ll want to exit via the International Gateway.

At the exit, a cast member will provide directions. From my experience, one day, we were directed to catch a bus at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. And on another day, we had to walk to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn to catch a bus. (Both resorts are within a 5-10 minute walking distance.)

Both times, a special bus was sent to pick us up. That bus dropped us off at Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. So make sure you exit at the correct location.

The bus driver will let you know, but sometimes when you’re tired, you aren’t fully paying attention. There’s only one bus stop at Disney’s Art of Animation, so you wouldn’t want to miss it.

Art of Animation to Hollywood Studios

When traveling to Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Art of Animation, you’ll take the Skyliner from the resort to Caribbean Beach. From Caribbean Beach, you’ll exit and take a hard left to join the queue for Hollywood Studios.

This line from Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios is direct. You won’t drop down or make any turns on the way like you do when traveling to Epcot.

In the event the Skyliner goes down, bus transportation will be provided to and from the resort to Hollywood Studios. You’ll be dropped off at the main entrance bus stop like all other guests traveling to the park via Disney’s Bus service.

If you’re leaving the park, a sign will indicate the bus stop for Art of Animation. You’ll walk directly past the Skyliner at Hollywood Studios to get to the bus stop. So you’ll know for sure when you leave whether or not it’s operating.

Art of Animation to Magic Kingdom

Guests can take Disney’s bus service to and from Magic Kingdom. There’s a sign at all of the resort bus stop that indicates when the next bus is arriving.

It takes approximately 15 minutes to reach Magic Kingdom from the Art of Animation. Of course, that time can vary depending on several factors. Not to mention, you could luck up on a bus every time you come and go.

Or you could have what I call lousy bus luck and find yourself continually waiting at the bus stop. Over the many years visiting Walt Disney World, I have found that while often difficult, it’s best to accept that playing the waiting game is part of it.

There’s no reason to let waiting 20 minutes for a bus ruin your day. It happens often when you take advantage of Disney’s complimentary transportation options.

Art of Animation to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests will also use bus service when traveling to and from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here is a look at the sign that shows when the next bus is coming.

These signs will fluctuate based on the location of the bus. For instance, if a bus gets stopped at a traffic light, the time will change when it refreshes.

Art of Animation to Disney Springs

Bus service is available to and from Art of Animation to Disney Springs. Note that bus service from Disney Springs only travels back to Disney Resorts.

Related: Disney Springs Transportation Options

So if you’re at Disney Springs and want to go to Magic Kingdom, there’s not a bus option. For example, you might go to Disney Springs for lunch and then plan to spend the afternoon at Magic Kingdom.

From Disney Springs, the easiest method would be to take a bus to one of the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts (Polynesian, Contemporary, and Grand Floridian). From there, you could take the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

All of the monorail platforms are located inside the resort’s main building. If you get confused, there should be signs near each bus stop indicating the path to the resort’s lobby.

Tip: I don’t want to overwhelm you too much. But you can use this same logic for traveling to and from other destinations. For example, if you want to leave Disney Springs and visit Animal Kingdom, you can take a bus to any resort and then take another bus to Animal Kingdom. However, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the closest resort to the park. So it would likely be quickest to take a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, exit at the first stop, and wait for a bus to Animal Kingdom.

Art of Animation to Disney’s Water Parks

Unfortunately, we rarely see direct bus service to and from Disney’s Water Parks. When Blizzard Beach is open, you’ll take a bus from Art of Animation to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

From there, you’ll find the bus stop that provides a transfer bus to Blizzard Beach. You’ll return to the Art of Animation the same way.

For Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, you’ll take a bus from Art of Animation to Disney Springs. From there, you’ll take a transfer bus to Typhoon Lagoon, which is across the street.

However, when you return, you’ll have to locate the bus stop at Disney Springs that returns to Art of Animation. It’s usually a bit of a hassle to return.

So you’ll want to pack a change of clothes and give yourself time to dry out for the ride back. The buses are freezing, and you’ll join guests at the bus stop who are coming from Disney Springs.

Other Transportation Tips for Art of Animation

During your visit, you might want to visit other resorts for dining or touring. As mentioned, you might have breakfast at Chef Mickey’s one morning.

If going to Chef Mickey’s from Art of Animation, we would take a bus to Magic Kingdom. You must walk through the security checkpoint at Magic Kingdom, but not the ticket entry.

From there, you can take the walkway to Disney’s Contemporary or hop on the monorail. Just make sure to get on the resort monorail. The express monorail won’t stop at the resorts.

This same route works if you’re visiting the Polynesian or Grand Floridian. For instance, if you were headed to ‘Ohana for breakfast, you would take the monorail to the Polynesian.

For the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin), you can take the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios or Epcot. Then you would exit and walk or boat to any of the resorts.

Friendship boat service is available at both parks and each of the Epcot Resorts. Beach and Yacht club share a boat dock at the lighthouse.

Related: Disney’s Friendship Boats

Lastly, if you’re visiting Wilderness Lodge or Fort Wilderness, you might take a bus to Magic Kingdom and board a boat to either resort. We like to allow about an hour and a half for this method.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide gave you an idea of how to efficiently get to and from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. I know how overwhelming it can be to figure out how to travel from one place to another.

Of course, there are plenty of alternatives. If you’re in a pinch for time, you might take a Minnie Van or other car service.

For more information about the resort, all of our articles are listed in our guide:

Or you might enjoy the following:

Additionally, you can preview all of our transportation guides:

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