Boats to & from Epcot


#1

I’m not sure if there is a proper name for this service, but I know I’ve seen and heard a little about boat transportation that is available to and from Epcot. Does anyone know where boats go and where they pick up? I’m guessing they’re tied to certain resorts, and maybe also one or two of the other parks? This is something I’ve always wanted to try out, but have never figured out how it works. Without knowing the right name for it, I wasn’t able to find it in the archives here on MB. Some info and/or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!:blush:


#2

The boats to and from Epcot are called Friendship boats. They run between Beach Club, Boardwalk, the Swan/Dolphin, Epcot, and HS (MGM). If you go out the back gate at Epcot, between United Kingdom and France, you will come to a boat dock on your left. If you’re going to Beach Club, and maybe Boardwalk, it’s quicker to walk. If you’re at HS the dock is to the left as you exit the park, just keep left and you’ll find it.


#3

Try the walk (if you’re up to it) from HS to EPCOT or vice versa. It’s a nice walk (20 minutes or so) and I find it relaxing


#4

Yes, the walk might be faster, but we LOVE to take the Friendship Boats! It’s a relaxing ride and a great way to sightsee…of course, the walk is great, too


#5

You must not go during the summer! :laugh: There would be nothing relaxing about it in 95 degree weather.


#6

Even if it only took half the time to walk, I’d still ride… I love the outside seats on the back of the boats. The Friendship boats (also called “launches”) are among my favorite WDW things to do, especially at night!


#7

So true. The transportation (maybe not so much the busses) are really part of the experience. It’s an attraction


#8

Great information…thanks! :wub:


#9

I’ve never done this before, but I would like to try both walking AND the boats if we end up getting to go back later this fall when it’s a little cooler outside. Either way, it beats waiting for a bus!


#10

Broaden that out to: “You must not be going between mid May and late October”.

Let’s also address the Friendship service.
Friendships don’t enter Epcot proper, so you must enter and exit the park through the International Gateway to get the boat. The entire route from Epcot to DHS takes about 40-45 minutes. It is always faster to walk from the Boardwalk and usually Yacht\Beach to Epcot than it is to take the boat. It’s also usually faster from Swolphin as well. It just depends if you feel like walking and getting there already or waiting and riding.

On the DHS side, there’s usually more people waiting for the boat because a lot of guests don’t know there’s also a bus between DHS and Epcot’s main entrance and more hotel guests use the Friendships to get to DHS than they do to get to and from Epcot. The bus is also better because you get taken to the main gate\parking area and don’t need to walk through all of Epcot just to get back to your car (assuming you’re driving).


#11

Not always!
It depends on where you’re trying to go.
The bus from Epcot to DHS is very much faster than the boat and takes you to the top of the park, not the bottom.
Remember, the Friendships ARE the buses from both Epcot and DHS for the 5 Crescent Lake/Epcot deluxe resorts (7 if you count the DVCs at Beach and Boardwalk as well). Those hotels have no bus service to either park. This is similar to the monorail resorts not having any bus service to Epcot, only the monorail.
And keep in mind that boats only run every 20 minutes or so and it takes 45 minutes to go from DHS to Epcot.
There are also many times that I’ve taken the boat from DHS and gotten off at Swolphin then walked the rest of the way into Epcot from there rather than waste an extra 15 minutes or so on the boat and probably miss Illuminations.


#12

I asked last week about the walking path. It was very nice of Keljen to send us this link about the walkway between DS and Epcot. Check it out.
MouseSteps - Walking the Disney’s Boardwalk (with plenty of photos!)


#13

[QUOTE=Soundgod;972777]
There are also many times that I’ve taken the boat from DHS and gotten off at Swolphin then walked the rest of the way into Epcot from there [/QUOTE]

Yes, we have also done this and it works well. Sometimes it depends on what comes/goes first too. If we see a boat leave, we head for the bus and vice versa. IMHO, the boats are almost always the slowest mode of transport, but usuallu the most enjoyable!


#14

Since we usually stay at the Swan, we spend a lot of time on the Friendship launches, also sometimes referred to as “water taxis”. It is a nice, leisurely boat ride. Not the fastest way to be sure, but quite enjoyable.

Also, I do so much walking at WDW that there are many days that that walk looks awfully long to me.


#15

[QUOTE=ddoll;972797]
Also, I do so much walking at WDW that there are many days that that walk looks awfully long to me.[/QUOTE]

So my initial thought of including “besides, a little walking is good exercise” in my post would have been a bad idea?!? :slight_smile:


#16

Thanks for mentioning my link - I like walking everywhere, even if I’ve been at the parks all day. :slight_smile: The friendship boat can get hot and it is faster for me to hoof it!

Denise


#17

Thanks to Dave & Denise for the MouseSteps link!


#18

[QUOTE=ddoll;972797]Since we usually stay at the Swan, we spend a lot of time on the Friendship launches, also sometimes referred to as “water taxis”. It is a nice, leisurely boat ride. Not the fastest way to be sure, but quite enjoyable.

Also, I do so much walking at WDW that there are many days that that walk looks awfully long to me.[/QUOTE]

Of course if you’ve ever pounded out 3 or 4 parks in one day, or if there’s a monsoon, we get pretty grateful for a waiting Friendship.
Unless you’re on a tight schedule. Then that last leg or two turns into nail biter time.


#19

[QUOTE=Soundgod;972771]Broaden that out to: “You must not be going between mid May and late October”.

I have been going early May for the Flower and Garden Show and late October for the Food and Wine Festival and MNSSHP for the last 10 years or so. I have been there in the summer and probably would ride the boats in that summer heat.


#20

I like riding in the back of the boats. Way cool. And travelling with two gas bags (the boys) - very considerate of the other passengers.