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Ask Dad – Park Hopping MK to EPCOT to DHS back to MK

ask-dad-avatar-100We are driving to WDW for 1 day.  We are planning to park hop from EPCOT to MK to HS and then back to MK.  Our plan is to park at MK since we plan to end our day there.  I hope to arrive at MK an hour before EPCOT opens.  How do we get to the EPCOT monorail from MK parking lot?  Do we have to go to MK to catch the monorail, or can we go straight to the transportation station?  Can we park right at the transportation center?  Any suggestions? Am I allowing enough time to get to EPCOT?  Thanks!

The Monorail arriving in EPCOT during the Flower and Garden Festival - Photo by WDW Shutterbug

The Monorail arriving in EPCOT during the Flower and Garden Festival – Photo by WDW Shutterbug

Dad’s impressive Answer

Wow! First off, I applaud your drive to tackle three parks in one day. That’s very ambitious! When parking for the Magic Kingdom, you will actually be parking at the Transportation and Ticket Center (the TTC). Even though it’s closest to the Magic Kingdom, you do not have to go there to catch the monorail! The TTC has a direct monorail to the Magic Kingdom and another to EPCOT.

Allowing an hour should be plenty of time. You may want to check out this overview of parking at Walt Disney World. We also have more specific information about the monorail here to help you plan your day. From the Transportation and Ticket Center it takes approximately 15 minutes to get to EPCOT. To go from EPCOT all the way to the Magic Kingdom takes about 23 minutes, however you also have to factor in transferring monorails and the possible wait time to board.

My friend Kim hit all three parks in one day during her trip this past July. She took a bus to Hollywood Studios, then hopped a boat to EPCOT and entered via the International Gateway entrance, and eventually took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Kim said, “It was exciting to hit three parks in one day, but a little exhausting.”

Friendship Boat docked at EPCOT - Photo by Matthew Cooper

Friendship Boat docked at EPCOT – Photo by Matthew Cooper

You definitely loose quite a bit of time via all of the different forms of transportation. However, the boat ride and monorail can be very enjoyable! As for suggestions, is it possible for you to just end the day at the Magic Kingdom instead of going from EPCOT to the Magic Kingdom and back again? You will be surprised at how much time you lose going back and forth like that.

If you still want to go to Magic Kingdom twice, you can catch a bus directly to Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Magic Kingdom. Keep in mind; if you are going during a busy time of year, crowds can add a lot of wait time to your plan. Not matter what you decide, relax and have fun – you are in Walt Disney World, after all!

Dad’s Bottom Line

Your best bet if you are park hopping for one day is to drive to each theme park. You will only have to pay for parking once and you will save a lot of time in the process. If you decide you don’t want to do all of the driving, take the advice above and enjoy the ride!

See more questions and answers over on our Ask Dad Facebook page.

Comments 0

  1. Looking at the maps, the monorail takes you to front entrance of EPCOT and then you have to work through crowds to get to the International part of the park. Is it easier/quicker to go through the International Gateway when park hopping from MK?

    1. Post


      There is no real way to get to the International Gateway from the Magic Kingdom directly. You’d have to take the monorail or boat over to the Magic Kingdom bus station, catch a bus to the Beach Club and walk to the gateway, but that’s not very helpful. The easiest way is the monorail to EPCOT then walk. It’s about a 5 to 7 minute walk from the front gate to the International Gateway. I’m assuming that they want to spend some time in EPCOT. Monorail is the best way.

  2. We have done three parks in one day. We flew into Ft Myers (visiting in-laws) drove directly to WDW stayed one night at the All Star Movies resort. Started the next day by driving to MK parking lot. Rode the mono-rail to EPCOT then took a bus to HS. Later took a bus back to MK where ended our day. We were among the last people to leave that night. Then we drive back to Ft Myers, got in around 4 in the morning. Exhausting, sure, but well worth it!

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