Remember that Disney World is a vast destination; guests need to allow time to arrive at the theme park of their choice.
To get to the Magic Kingdom, the most convenient scenario is to stay at one of the Disney World resorts that have monorail or boat transportation. (Read more.) Both options are fun, convenient, and save time. The monorail continues on to the Epcot theme park as well. Epcot and Disney's MGM Studios can also be reached by boat -- read about boat transportation at Disney World.
From all Disney World resorts, the excellent Disney buses run continuously to the theme parks and waterparks and are blissfully cool on a hot day. The buses also shuttle from one theme park to another. (The Disney buses are intended to be used by Disney Resort guests or by theme park guests who have a Park Hopper pass, but in practice people freely board the buses without being checked.*)
Don't assume, however, that your bus ride from a Disney World resort to a theme park will be quick: Walt Disney World is the size of Boston and the ride to the theme park of your choice can take fifteen minutes, plus the wait-time for a bus. (Most buses run about every twenty minutes.) The buses are a huge convenience but guests need to allow time to get around.
Meanwhile, visitors who aren't staying at Disney World have a couple of options. Most non-Disney resorts offer free shuttles to the theme parks, but typically these shuttles run just a few times a day. Visitors probably won't be able to return to their resort mid-day to give little kids some nap-time or a pool break, which is a good strategy during a hot day in the theme parks. And at night, guests need to return to the right bus parking lot and locate the right bus, out of many, for their resort.
Alternatively, guests could drive their own vehicle to a theme park in their morning, which may get the day off to a quick start. The end of the day may be more complicated: guests who've park-hopped using the Disney Bus system will need to get back to where they parked the car. (See information about parking at Disney World.)
- continue to More Perks of Staying at a Disney World Resort
*Always check for updates!