Friendship Boats Questions

We have taken two trips and stayed offsite both times. December will be our first onsite trip and I have some questions that I was hoping you could help with!

I was planning on going from Epcot to Hollywood Studios and was hoping to utilize the Friendship Boats so we can rest and take a nice boat ride.

  1. Can we go directly from Epcot to Hollywood Studios?

  2. Where do we pick up the Friendship Boats in Epcot?


Yes, near International Gateway.

Have you ever gone through International Gateway (I did not know it existed my first 10 years of trips to the world). As you walk from UK to France to the right of the bridge leading to France the walkway leads to International Gateway. You exit the park there and the boat dock is on your left. You could also walk (about 25 minutes).

1 Like

Thank you thank you thank you!

I knew the International Gateway was there, but never had a reason (or the time) to use it. My MIL will be on the trip with us and will not be able to make that walk…well, she is but it would take her an hour. She moves painfully slow.

I thought it would be a good way to get some rest and who doesn’t love a boat ride!!!


It is a lovely ride! I will never forget the first time I came from International Gateway and saw the boardwalk area. My son turned to me and asked , “how did we not ever come here before?”.

1 Like

Just be mindful that if you are driving a car and parking it a Epcot, you will need to leave Hollywood Studios while Epcot is still open in order to get back to your car.

I’ve not seen a direct (no stops) route. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t one, just saying I’ve not seen one. You will not have to transfer, but beware you might make stops to load and unload. From what I’ve seen, the route is:

Epcot to:

  1. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  2. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  3. Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  4. Walt Disney World Swan / Dolphin Resort
  5. Hollywood.

Reverse the order for the ride back to Epcot from HS.
I have no idea how long this takes, that’s something I have to search for soon, but websites I see so far say it might take longer than walking. I plan to use these a few times when returning to swan and hopping between epcot and hs myself, but for rope drop, we’re walking. Principal Tinker has a great point about the Boardwalk. I’ve never been yet, but it might be worth checking out for you between HS and EP. I’m definitely stopping because I read about some bakery treat that is a must do. Can’t think of the name right now. I’ll research the time estimates, and post back here.

An explanation from 2010. If it’s still valid, plan on 40 minutes:

More importantly, the snack was a peanut butter/banana/bacon pie type of thing. :grin:

We stayed at Swan our last trip (not recommended) - but it was fun using the boats to get to Epcot / Studios. I also loved watching them from our balcony.

Yes they are very relaxing and it is a nice SLOWWWWWW trip. If you can truly relax and enjoy the downtime I highly recommend them. However the walk isn’t bad at all. But if you are looking to have a quick trip between the two parks - the boats are NOT your friend.

The yacht and beach club is one stop. When I got on at this stop heading to HS there was a group who got up as we left; we assumed they were wanting the swan / dolphin but it turned out they had wanted the yacht club. Their walk was a bit longer than it needed to be.

You’ll want to allow time for the boat to arrive too, which could be 20 minutes if you just miss one or can’t get on. Still worth it though if mil can’t manage the walk. But a surprising number of people use it to get to boardwalk &/or yacht&beach club, so sometimes it can be really busy. Coming back from HS after Fantasmic there are LOTS of people waiting. The queue can be 3 boatloads long very quickly. If you are taking a car, you might want to consider parking at HS, taking the boat to Epcot and then back again. That way at the end of the night your car is there, ready. Could save you a very long and late night.

1 Like

I loved the Friendship boats. It made my stay at the YC! I know walking can be faster but there really is something relaxing about that boat ride. It’s a total reset for me.

Thanks Everyone! 40 minutes is perfect! We can fill up our water and use the time to rest our feet and hydrate.

Even though its the same amount of time (considering her walking speed), I would rather a boat ride than walk for an hour.

I’m looking forward to seeing the boardwalk area!!

1 Like

Any tips for someone to not run into whatever issues you had with Swan? I’ve read so many love/hate reviews, it seems like it has to be 2 different hotels.

I just did a search, and found your review from April. I think I chose swan for the right reasons- proximity to epcot/Hollywood, and the restaurant choices. I just hope housekeeping is in better shape now. Going early Nov.

1 Like

So we did have a great time at the SWAN. The location was fantastic. The rooms were fine. Housekeeping was a bit of an issue - but I hey - it wasn’t horrible. Our view was fun and it was convenient to everything. I do have to say the pools themselves were a bit sad. We had just come from the Portafino at Universal which was spectacular.

We didnt’ dine at the hotel other than pizza and pool side. It was fine and convenient - however its proximity to Boardwalk and YC was wonderful.

It is a fine hotel - nothing spectacular, nothing bad. Our rooms were $400 / night if I paid cash - I would be upset with the quality - but as it was all points and I ultimately paid nothing - it was a value from that perspective.

For housekeeping - I was firm - they said “we are understaffed” - I replied “that is your concern not mine - how are you going to fix this for me”. I don’t demand or expect anything more than what I have paid for - I expect a clean room and towels - especially for a $400 / night room.

1 Like