The Friendships are my favorite mode of transport at WDW. The Monorails are great. The busses….get you to parks. The Friendships are enjoyable and an experience unto themselves.
The Friendships are boats that take guests from the Epcot World Showcase to the Front of Hollywood Studios with stops at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort, and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels. They run back and forth, along Crescent Lake and the canal leading to Hollywood Studios from about an hour before the parks open until about an hour after closing, stopping at each location roughly every 20 minutes. At peak times, more boats run the circuit
and the interval becomes shorter. The Epcot World Showcase entrance is between the France and United Kingdom pavilions. The Hollywood Studios launch site is at the front of the park to the far left as you exit. Both pickups are closer than bus pickups. If you are staying at one of the above resorts, the Friendships or walking are your options to get to either Epcot orHollywood Studios. They are available for anyone wanting to go between the two parks, or wanting to stop off at one of the resorts.
I like that they are rarely, overly crowded, except at peak times. You can sit inside, shaded from the heat or protected from the cold when it is cool, or if it is nice, there is open air seating at the back. They are reliable at being on time and at arriving at the parks in a reasonable time.. The seats are comfy and the ride is smooth.
The sightseeing along the way is my favorite thing about the ride. The Boardwalk Resort has a turn of the century, New York/New Jersey boardwalk theme. How the different architectural elements come together is impressive. The Yacht & Beach Club Resorts are beautiful with a mid-Atlantic Beach motif. The stop for the Yacht & Beach Club is at a lighthouse on Crescent Lake. There is the shipwreck on the beach which is the slide to the best pool at WDW, Storm-a-long Bay. The last resort stop is at the Swan and Dolphin. They are different, not quite fitting in with the rest. Across from these you can see the pool of the Boardwalk, with it’s Coney Island theme and a slide shaped like a roller coaster, emptying into the pool through a clown’s mouth. The final jaunt along the canal to Hollywood Studios is great for bird watching. We have seen ahingas, herons (great blue, little blue and white), egrets, ducks (mallards and ring-necked), loons, white ibis, hooded merganser, double-crested cormorant, American coots, and gallinult during our Friendship rides.
There are many other reasons to take a trip on a Friendship. There are many great table service restaurants at each of the hotels. The Friendships make it easy to reach these in little time if you are spending your day at either Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Reservations are usually required, but are easier to get than at the parks. There are also good quick service restaurants at the Boardwalk resort including a bakery and pizza window, which has delicious, New York style pizza at a very reasonable price.The Beach & Yacht Club has the famous “kitchen sink” sundae at Beaches and Cream. Street performers (mimes, jugglers, magicians) entertain along the boardwalk at night. A gingerbread merry-go-round at the Beach Club and a gingerbread house at the Boardwalk stand during the Christmas season.
The Friendships are a enjoyable way to commute between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Go for a ride. Take in the sites. Maybe, get some pizza or ice cream. I think that you will become a fan like me.