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Friendship Boat service temporarily suspended for Epcot’s International Gateway

One of my favorite modes of transportation at Walt Disney World is the FriendShip Boat service from EPCOT, to the Epcot area resorts, and onward to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Who cares if you can walk there faster, sometimes a leisurely ride down a canal is just what the spirit needs.

If you’re planning on visiting Walt Disney World soon and love take the boats like we do, here’s an important update to the service. Walt Disney World has issued an advisory that the popular FriendShip Boat service that operates on Crescent Lake will not be stopping at Epcot’s International Gateway entrance for a few weeks.

Starting November 28, FriendShip Boat service to and from Epcot will be unavailable through early December. No exact reopening of the stop was given.

This temporary closing is due to the Disney Skyliner construction. Temporary structures will be placed near future routes, which may affect certain areas around International Gateway at Epcot.

Friendship Boat service will remain available to the resort hotels around Crescent Lake, as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The pedestrian walkway to and from Epcot will remain open.

Bus service to and from Epcot will be available at from Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels.

It really is faster to walk though. Or perhaps Disney should invest in some scooters or a fleet of golf carts? Any other ideas?

4 thoughts on “Friendship Boat service temporarily suspended for Epcot’s International Gateway”

  1. Well, back in the 1990s, the area just outside the International Gateway — where the Skyliner station is being built, to be exact — was the stop for the tram service that ran from Epcot to the Swan & Dolphin. They could always bring that back on a loop that goes around Crescent Lake…

    Seriously, though, for those with mobility impairments, that boat service is one of the great things about staying at the Epcot-area resorts. While I don’t always need a scooter or wheelchair to get around, after certain medical treatments, I find that I tire out more quickly and really appreciate the boat service back to my resort. It’s why we usually stay at the Boardwalk or Beach Club Villas, to be honest. Since we won’t be there over the next couple of weeks, it won’t be anything I’ll need to worry about, thankfully.

    Taking a bus from an Epcot resort to the front of Epcot would really ruin my mood. But, construction on the Skyliner needs to happen.

  2. Not sure I understand how pedestrian traffic can continue while not safe for the boats? More concerned if International Gateway will get a makeover to accommodate the increased traffic the Skyliner will bring. Security, entrance scanning as is today cannot stay the same.

    1. My guess is that the pedestrian walkway will be covered by a metal/wood structure (like scaffolding) that will allow pedestrians through in a sort of “tunnel” to the International Gateway.

      I’m also concerned about the increased traffic there once new transportation opens. Hopefully, they’ll add some additional bag checks and turnstiles to allow for more people to pass through per hour. The slow nature of the Skyliner, though, might mean that traffic is sent through at a rate not much greater than the current rate, adding only a few more people per minute to the lines there. The whole area could use some refurbishment anyway, so maybe that’s part of the plan.

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