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Old 07-10-2018, 12:25 AM   #1
Dani S
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Wilderness Lodge to Grand Floridian early?

We leave on Friday for a 13 day trip to WDW and I couldn't be more excited!! The bulk of the trip will be at Saratoga Springs with my parents and my sister and her family. My daughter and I are going a few days early and staying at WL, and then staying a few days later at the end of the trip at the BC. (The BC is a HUGE surprise for my daughter's birthday! It's her favorite resort because of Stormalong Bay!)


This will be our first time at WL and I have a question about the transportation there. We are going to 1900 PF at the GF for an early breakfast one day and I'm wondering what is the best way to get there? Should we take a boat to the MK, then the monorail to GF? Or would it be better to take a boat to the Contemporary, then monorail to GF? How early do the boats generally start running? (I don't think there is a boat from WL to GF?)
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:14 AM   #2
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Honestly? I'd just pay for a taxi. It's literally out of the Wilderness Lodge, straight over the lights, past the Poly, turn right and then up to the Grand Floridian. It is a so much quicker route by land rather than on the water. Also, on one of our recent stays at the Wilderness Lodge, we waited 20 minutes for a boat back to the resort, so if you have a reservation to make, I wouldn't risk waiting for a boat.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:32 AM   #3
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The boat to MK is a lovely but leisurely ride, often with a 10-20 minute wait as indicated. Then, it’s about another 20 minutes riding the resort loop monorail around to the GF with stops at CR, TTC and Poly. That’s assuming you needn’t wait for the monorail at the MK.

There is a small boat from the MK to the GF and then the Poly. However, I’m not sure how early that route begins running. Plus, there’s another possible lengthy wait for the next boat. Also, it cannot take strollers, wheelchairs or ECVs if such are a concern.

The boat from WL to the CR is by request only which would be impractical in your situation anyway. That one is really only useful when wanting to go to the CR for some reason since the skipper at the WL dock must radio the request even though there’s a boat coming toward the dock. You end up waiting for the requested boat.

We had our own car when we stayed at WL and simply drove when needing to get anywhere quickly which is why I agree that a cab is definitely better than any Disney means.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:55 AM   #4
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In our experience last October, there was a boat that ran from CR to WL to FW in a continuous cycle. And one that did the opposite... CR to FW to WL. So it was never an issue for us to get back and forth from BLT to both FW and WL. But it can be a lengthy wait.
If you do choose to use Disney transportation the best route would be boat to CR and then take the monorail to GF. But give yourselves plenty of time.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:07 AM   #5
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Hmmmm, perhaps we had to request due to needing the larger boat because of DH’s powerchair. Then, too, we were at WL nearly four years ago.

Sorry about giving misleading info.

Even if you happen to get right onto the boat and monorail, it will still take about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the GF what with all the monorail stops. Early in the day, those stops can be fairly long depending upon how many are trying to get to other resorts or to MK for ADRs or ropedrop.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:24 AM   #6
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I agree with the taxi. We never had great luck with the boat being a reliable method of travel when at WL.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:02 AM   #7
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Thanks so much! Our reservation is for 8:00 am, so I'm now thinking the taxi is the way to go! We'll save the boats for the way back!
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:30 AM   #8
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We used the boats most of the time while at WL.

But, unlike many others, we regard Disney transit time as another type of experience and never minded how long it took by boat.

The boat ride was especially relaxing going home after hours in the parks. Often damp and chilly, too, so having windbreakers or longsleeved shirts you can pull on quickly is a good idea.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:34 AM   #9
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I agree that taxi is the fastest. If you want a relaxing return to WL - definitely take the boat from GF to MK and then the MK boat to the WL. It may take some time but it is such a nice way to enjoy and take in the surroundings.

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Old 07-10-2018, 12:33 PM   #10
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I was going to suggest Lyft or Uber. Our friends used those services a lot on a recent trip and it was really reasonable.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:41 PM   #11
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I’m not sure of boat times early in the morning, but if they are running I’d take WL boat to MK, then hop on GF boat.
If that’s not going to work I’d take Lyft or Uber. As mentioned, it’s a short trip just past traffic lights.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:05 AM   #12
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When we were stayed at the Poly in March, we were told the boats run 1 hour prior to and after the park officially opens/closes.

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