Boats at Walt Disney World - Part 2: Marinas Around 'The World' -
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles
2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
A Journey Into The Past
Agent P's World Showcase Adventure
Around the World on a Segway
Beach Club
Becoming Disney Parents
Blizzard Beach Water Park
Boats at Walt Disney World
Boats at Walt Disney World - Part 2
Bringing Along Baby
Characters in Flight
Comparing Cars Land and New Fantasyland
Confessions of a Recovering Park Commando
Coping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Disappointing Disney
Disney Admission Options for Military Families
Disney Alone Time
Disney's Single Rider Lines
Doing Disney Without Ever Riding a Ride!
Don't Let it Rain on Your Parade
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot
Enjoying Walt Disney World Without Thrill Rides
Enjoying While Expecting
Epcot - Not Just for Grown Ups
Epcot's 30th Anniversary
Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot's Mission Possible
Epcot's World Showcase
Exploring Morocco in Florida
Extra Magic Hours - Yes or No?
Finding Your Favorite Characters
First Time Parents in the Magic Kingdom
Four Generations, Four Parks, One World
From Commando-Touring to Crawling
I Can Dig It: Dinoland, U.S.A.
Jedi Training Academy
Keeping Toddlers Entertained at Walt Disney World
Lessons Learned Part 1
Lights, Cameras, Education!
Lions and Tigers and Learning, Oh My!
Making the Most of Disney's Animal Kingdom
Mini-Golf at Walt Disney World
My Disney Mistakes - Part 1
My Disney Mistakes - Part 2
My Experience with Disney's Disability Access Card
Nature-Inspired Design Segway Tour
Navigating Naps While Touring the Parks
New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom
Our Experience With My Disney Experience
Overlooked Attractions at Animal Kingdom
Overlooked Attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Overlooked Attractions at Epcot
Overlooked Attractions at the Magic Kingdom
Planning a Girls-Only Vacation
Planning Your Disney Vacation with FASTPASS +
Pleasure Island Today
Rafiki's Planet Watch
Ride or Drive
Scooting Around the World
SeaWorld Orlando
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Spending Easter at Walt Disney World
The End of the Toontown Era
The Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia by R.A. Pedersen
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom
The Seas With Nemo And Friends
The Sum of All Thrills
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal
The World is Your Classroom
There's an App for That - Part 2
Tips For Traveling With Your Bestie
Tom Sawyer Island
Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party
Transportation at Walt Disney World (Part 1)
Transportation at Walt Disney World (Part 2)
Typhoon Lagoon
Undiscovered Future World
Using Technology to Plan Your Disney Trips
Walt Disney World for Dudes
Whatever the Weather
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 1
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 2
Why Epcot Is My Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park
Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom

WDW Dining Articles
'Lounge'-ing Around Walt Disney World
'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort
1900 Park Fare Dinner -- The "Other" Cinderella Meal
A New Look at Disney's California Grill
Advanced Dining Reservations
Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge
Be Our Guest in New Fantasyland
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
Boma at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Budget Breakfast
California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Choosing Your Disney Dining Reservations
Cinderella's Royal Table Breakfast
Coral Reef
Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace
Dine with An Imagineer
Dining at Walt Disney World
Dining Review
Dining Review: Victoria & Albert's
Disney Character Dining Around the Globe
Disney Dining Plan
Disney Dining Plan
Disney Dining Plan
Disney Dining Plan
Epcot's Food & Wine Festival
Flying Fish Cafe
Free Disney Dining Plan Deal
Fulton's Crab House
Fulton's Crab House
Going Deluxe with Your Dining
Grown Up Night Out
Is the Deluxe Dining Plan a Good Value
Kona Cafe
La Hacienda de San Angel
Making the Most of Your Meal
Mama Melrose's at Disney Hollywood Studios
Mission: Burger
Monsieur Paul's Restaurant
New Adult Beverage Offerings at Animal Kingdom
New Disney Dining Plan Restaurants for 2012
Not A Chicken Nugget in Sight - Almost
Paradiso 37 - Taste of the Americas
Party For The Senses
Planet Hollywood
Pre-Historic Eats at T-Rex
Raglan Road at Downtown Disney
Rediscovering Nine Dragons
Safari Celebration Dinner
San Angel Inn
Signature Dining at Walt Disney World
Signature Disney Dining
T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney
Tea at the Garden View Lounge at Disney
Teppan Edo
The ESPN Club at Disney's BoardWalk
The Garden Grill
The Hollywood Brown Derby
The Kosher Traveler At Walt Disney World
The Maya Grill at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
The Plaza Restaurant
The Princess Storybook Breakfast at Akershus
The Turf Club at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Tokyo Dining
Trail's End at Disney's Fort Wilderness
Tusker House at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tusker House Character Breakfast
Tutto Italia
Using Garden Grocer During Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Veggie Dining At Disney
Veggie Dining At Disney
Via Napoli
Victoria and Albert's
Wheat-Free Walt Disney World
Yachtsman Steakhouse From a Vegetarian's Point of View
Yak & Yeti
Yak & Yeti at Disney's Animal Kingdom

WDW Making Magic Articles

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

Boats at Walt Disney World - Part 2: Marinas Around 'The World'

Walt Disney World photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 04-28-2011

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Touring  

Boats play an important role in life at Walt Disney World, with some operating as means of transportation, others used in attractions, while some are just there for relaxation.

Having looked at the first two categories in previous article, now it's time for a bit of boating for relaxation.

It may be something that you’ve never thought of, particularly if you’re desperately heading from one park to the next in order to visit all your party’s “must-see” attractions, but sometimes you can have just as much fun away from the parks, messing about on the waterways of Walt Disney World.

There are lots of different marinas scattered throughout the resort, although perhaps the one that most people will be familiar with is Captain Jack’s Marina at Downtown Disney Marketplace. You may have seen lots of boats sitting in a dock there and wondered what they were for. Well, the answer is simple–they’re there for you, or any other guest, to rent for as long as you want.

Marinas are located at many of the various Walt Disney World resorts, and they’re not all deluxe ones either. For example, you may be surprised to find that there are marinas at the Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans, and Fort Wilderness resorts. Of the deluxe resorts, most are graced with marinas. On Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, unsurprisingly all the deluxe resorts located there have marinas. That gives you a choice of the Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian resorts. Over at the Epcot resorts though, this doesn’t hold true, with only the Yacht and Beach Club boasting its own marina. And oddly enough, while Old Key West has its own marina, the other Disney Vacation Club resort nearby that’s also located on a waterway, Saratoga Springs, doesn’t have one. Instead, its dock is merely used for boats taking guests over to Downtown Disney.

Old Key West - view from the river photo
Old Key West - view from the river

Old Key West, as seen from the river that runs through the resort, with a Sea Raycer / one of the ferry boats that runs from Old Key West to Downtown Disney in shot. - photo by chezp

Which one is the best to try? Well, it depends on what you want to see, and there’s plenty on offer at each area. Personally, I have a soft spot for the marinas in the Downtown Disney area (Captain Jack's, Port Orleans, and Old Key West), as you get some wonderful views, not only of that area, but Saratoga Springs and its Treehouse Villas, Old Key West, and Port Orleans. Another good option is to rent from the Yacht and Beach Club marina, as you can head up towards either Epcot or the Studios.

Although you’ll share the waters with Disney boat transportation wherever you pilot your rental craft, we’ve generally found Disney's skippers to be very good at giving inexperienced amateurs a wide berth, so don’t let that put you off.

So what’s available at these various marinas? Well, if you fancy putting in some effort yourself while you’re out on the water, then you can take out a pedal boat, canoe, or kayak. That may not be everyone’s idea of fun (it sounds like torture to me), but if it floats your boat, a pun I just couldn’t resist squeezing in, then they’re reasonably priced at around $7 for half an hour. These human-powered craft won’t necessarily be available at every marina, but you should find them at the Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, and Fort Wilderness.

Perhaps because they’re motorised, you’ll usually find the rest of Disney's various rental craft at every resort’s marina. So what else is available? Well, let’s start with the smallest first, which are Sea Raycers by Sea Ray boats, or what Disney fans fondly know as “water mice.” These are small, two-passenger boats that do sit very low in the water, compared to Disney’s other boats.

We took one of these out once and, although fun–they certainly pack a punch when you’re able to run them at full throttle–we didn’t like the fact that we were so close to the water. We found that, because they’re quite small, we did get hit by waves from other, larger vessels when we were out, so since then, we’ve tended to steer away from them. To rent one, you’ll need to be at least 12 years old and at least five feet tall. They’re not cheap at around $35 for half an hour’s boating.

To be honest, we feel that we get much better value for money from some of the larger boats in Disney’s fleet, which is why we tend to go for those. Our personal preference is for the SunTRACKER pontoon boats, which are 21 feet long and can take up to 10 people in total. To be honest, even though it’s just the two of us, it doesn’t feel strange at all, as there’s plenty of space to spread out, either at the front or the rear of the boat. In a way, it’s nice to have all that space at your disposal and it is a lovely luxury to have for a very small price. For one of these boats, you’re looking at around $50 for the first half hour. If you have a bigger party, that can be superb value, especially as that’s not much more that you’ll pay for the Sea Raycers.

Another option, and one that we haven’t tried out yet, are the slightly smaller 17 foot Boston Whaler Montauk boats. The only reason we’ve never tried them is that we’re very happy with the pontoon boats and, as they’re pretty much the same price for the first half hour’s rental, we can’t see the point of going for something a bit smaller.

If you’ve got some sailing experience, which neither of us has, then you may be able to rent a 12 foot sailboat, which is much cheaper at more like $25 for an hour’s time on the water.

If you’re worried about being able to pilot one of these bigger boats, then honestly, don’t be. My husband’s only previous boating experience was one vacation along the River Thames a number of years ago. The Cast Members are very good at talking you through everything you need to know, and there’s always time for questions. If you’re not sure of anything because you head out on to the open water, then just ask.

Generally, the longer you rent your boat for, the better value you’ll get, as often the rate for an hour is less than if you’d hired two boats for half an hour each. You don’t have to worry about going over your rental time either, as you pay when you return your craft. You will usually have to leave a credit card as guarantee while you’re out on the boat, and we’ve also been asked to leave photo ID in the past. It’s a good way of ensuring that you do return the boat, although as most of the major waterways in the Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Downtown Disney resort areas aren’t linked to each other, it would be pretty hard to mount an escape bid from property on them!

If boating is something you’ve never tried your hand at, I can’t think of a better place to give it a go. You certainly get a new perspective of a familiar resort whenever you’re out on the water, and it’s definitely something worth trying out.

Beach Club - Marina photo
Beach Club - Marina

Marina at Beach Club - photo by OffKilter_Lynn

About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

Reader Comments:

Nice article Cheryl. We love renting the SeaRaycers, and have rented twice at MK resorts. I'm thinking of renting at POR next trip, we love the river and scenery too when on the boat to DTD. Or maybe at YC/BC? WE are doing a split stay so will be at both.

     Sue M. on April 28, 2011 @ 7:11 pm
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 04-28-2011 - Article #633 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.

Post-Trip Disney Gift Card Magic For Us
by Her Dotness
13 Dec 2014 at 5:30pm
Was sorting through our gift card collection from the trip, all of which had been used, I thought. Stuck in a wad of receipts was one with a...
(click title above to view replies)

Discounts on Disney Vera Bradley!
by HollyH
25 Nov 2014 at 7:34am is having a sale on Disney Veras now until Wednesday. 10%-20% off (have to buy 3 Vera items to get 20%). Code VERALOVE There was...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 8905

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.