How do you get to the Disney gate from the villa?
That is kind of a tricky question to answer, because it depends upon what gate you are referring to, as there are a number of them. Your goal should not be to reach a gate, so much as it should be to get where within Disney World you want to go… It’s a big place! Don’t think in terms of ‘Disney’ but rather The Magic Kingdom, or Epcot, or Disney Springs, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom… specifically where you want to go. They’re not all located together, but are instead spread out around the entire huge property, with miles of space between them.
There is no ‘main’ Gate to Disney World. You can read more about that here.
Disney World is 10 miles across by five miles wide. For me, the real issue is not how far away from a gate I am, but how quickly can I get where I want to go.
You can actually be quite close to parts of Disney World, but unable to access them quickly because the roadways are not designed to allow you to do so. Everything at Disney World is part of the show, and the design of the entire property, originally laid out by Walt Disney himself, is meant to provide the traveller with a heightened sense of excitement as you approach the attractions, even if it means taking you miles out of your way to get there. You will see this again on a small scale inside the parks when you see the way the line queues are designed for the major rides.
From memory, there are eight highways that cross the boundary of the Disney property, but only five ‘gates’ which make it look like ‘here you are, you’ve arrived’. Beyond that, each theme park and the two water parks have their own gates, as does ESPN sports, for a total of eleven more. Three of these locations are physically closer to the villa than any of the highway gates!
We instruct all of our guests to use a route that takes them into Disney World on I-4, coming from the South-West, and to take the second exit which takes them directly on to World Drive. World Drive is the main highway that runs North-South through the center of the property. This is absolutely the best way to ‘sneak’ into Disney World because it is a full divided highway that is used very little, right up to where it crosses highway 192 and you will then pass through a major gate (shown in the photo above) welcoming you to Walt Disney World.
It is kind of a cheat however, because by the time you reach this gate, you have already driven through half the Disney property. Right beside and slightly behind this main gate is another gate leading to Disney Hollywood Studios. Passing straight through the gate on World Drive, the Magic Kingdom gate and parking lot is straight ahead a few miles north. Before you reach it however, you will have driven past Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk area, and a number of roads which will take you to all of them.
The drive time from the villa driveway to the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom (at the far end of the property) is just under 15 minutes. This is because the route that we use is the least busy and the most pleasant/least stressful to get anywhere in Walt Disney World. (At least once you are off I-4 which sometimes gets busy due to local traffic volume.) It is almost all open highway driving, with only two traffic lights in between. Technically speaking the drive to the edge of the Disney Property from the villa is five minutes, and probably another six minutes to the World Drive Gate, and another four to the MK gate.
The route that we provide for our guests allows them to be at the gates of the four theme parks faster than most guests who stay right on the Disney property can get to them using Disney transportation! When on vacation, the most precious commodity one has is time. The distance to anything is not the most important issue; the time it takes to get there is, and our guests always comment on how quickly they find they can get to and from the attractions from the villa.
As your arrival date comes closer, after your security deposit is paid, a number of files will be made available to you on your online reservations page. These are all labelled, and you will see one which is a map to the Magic Kingdom from the villa describing the route outlined above, another to the airport, another to the nearest Wal-Mart Super Center, other shopping, and another to Universal Studios.
In the mean time, you can check out the location page where you will see a small map showing the location of the villa in relation to Walt Disney World.