UPDATE: Friendship Boat Service to Epcot Suspended in November-December, International Gateway Will Remain Open

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A representative from Disney was nice enough to reach out to us today to give us the official word on what’s happening at Epcot’s International Gateway next month. This update comes just a few hours after our “rumor” post earlier today.

Despite what information is being distributed by the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, International Gateway will remain open November 28th through December 18th, 2018, but Friendship Boat service to the park will be unavailable. Disney will offer resort guests bus service to the front entrance of Epcot, or they can still walk to International Gateway and enter there.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • Swan and Dolphin is only saying that Friendship Boats won’t be in service, they never mentioned the IG closing entirely.

      • Way to get people in a panic and then backtrack – great reporting Tom! Just to summarize, you took second or thirdhand information, which is always 100% reliable, especially via word of mouth, and rather than confirm with Disney, you try and incite panic from guests staying at EPCOT area resorts without any fact based information. Yes, I know you prefaced it with the caveat of “RUMOR”, but again, if you just did a little homework and a little real journalism, you could have reported accurate information the first time.

        • Mark,

          You could not be any more incorrect. A lot of guests have been asking about this possible closure long before we posted (see the lengthy thread over at the DIS), thanks to what they were told verbally by the Swan and Dolphin. Disney was refusing to answer anyone (or it had just not reached the proper people yet to get an answer). The rumor post (which is valid because it meets the common definition of what a rumor is, being discussed by many without any confirmation as of yet) caused enough stir that an actual, factual answer was finally rendered by Disney and the Swan and Dolphin was contacted to correct what they were telling guests when they called them.

          If you wish to continue you witch hunt every time we post something as RUMOR, you certainly can. I think the growing readership of this site shows a trust level that is adequate in relation with with how often we end up distributing factual information at an earlier date. If we cared what people with your agenda thought, it would have left these guests in the dark even longer. Keep in mind Disney still hasn’t even distributed this info to guests staying at their Epcot area resort hotels.

          • Tom, thanks for the clarification. As it is not always possible to get correct info from the hotels it’s good we have someone like you to take the time to track down the full details. Thank you. As a P.S. It seems these days no matter what there will be “haters” out there running amok with the BS comments.

        • Wow, that’s harsh. He clearly said it was a rumor. Nice that we got an inkling and could check it out ourselves.

      • It is on their web site:


        “As Disney Skyliner construction continues near International Gateway at Epcot in the coming months, International Gateway will remain open to Guests traveling along the connected pedestrian walkway.

        During construction, Friendship Boat service will remain available to the resort hotels around Crescent Lake as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While Friendship Boat service to Epcot is expected to be unavailable from late November until mid-December, Guests will be able to use bus service or the walkway to access Epcot. “

        • Yes, I have seen that, I’m telling you that verbally, they had told several guests that the reason for that was the gondolas and that International Gateway would be closed. Specifically, in my phone call with Disney, Disney was aware of this and was contacting them about it.

      • It is about time they put the monorail or a gondola through the empty black squares of the Swan and Dolphin. I knew that monorail driver was right

  • This is better news than the original post, but is there any more clarity in that the Friendship boats will not be available to just the International Gateway or are the Friendship boats not available entirely (meaning to and from the Boardwalk and HS as well)? Thanks for the updates.

  • Thank you SO much for clarifying. We are staying at BI specifically to be able to walk, during the period of time!

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