Disney Transport

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Disney Transport
Disney bus in Walt Disney World, Florida.jpg
Nova LFS Bus at the Disney Springs Bus Station
Parent The Walt Disney Company
Commenced operation October 1, 1971 (1971-10-01)
Headquarters 3020 Maingate Lane Kissimmee, FL 34747[1]
Locale Greater Orlando
Service area Walt Disney World/Reedy Creek Improvement District
Service type bus, boat, monorail, and parking lot tram
Destinations 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, 22 resorts, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (special occasions)
Hubs Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon
Stations 8 hubs, 22+ resorts[a]
Depots 1 Bus Depot, 1 Monorail Depot
Fleet 12 Monorails
     Bombardier Mark VI
390 buses[2]
     Nova Bus LFS
     Gillig Low Floor
     New Flyer Xcelsior
Boats
     Ferries[3]
          2 Magic Kingdom-class
          1 Kingdom Queen-class
     7 Motor Launches
     3 Motor Cruises[3]
     9 Friendship boats[4]
     15 River boats[4]
28 Parking lot trams[5]
Operator Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Disney Transport is a mass public transit system of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, Florida. The transportation system provides free service to guests and consists of a monorail system, buses, watercraft, and parking lot trams.[6][7] Most of the routes operated by Disney Transport are buses that run along the resort's public roads maintained by the Reedy Creek Improvement District and private roads. All of these modes of transportation do not charge a fare, which makes the entire network free to use.

Buses[edit]

Except where monorail or ferry service exists or walking is practical, direct bus service is provided from every hotel to every park and to Disney Springs, as well as between parks. The buses are fare-free, and anyone staying at a Disney resort can use the complimentary service between the parks and the resorts, though people who are not staying at a resort can also use the bus for free.[6][8][7] Bus service to and from parks typically starts 45 minutes before the park opens and ends an hour after the park closes; buses from the resorts to Disney Springs run until 2 a.m.[9] Bus stops are located near park entrances; near Disney Springs' Town Center entrance; and along roadways inside the resort (for more expansive resorts) or near the resort's entrance (for smaller resorts).[6]

Features[edit]

At some resorts, there are screens that indicate when the next bus to a given park will be arriving.[10] This technology tracks the buses through GPS technology to give projected wait times, though buses usually run at intervals of no more than twenty minutes.[6][10] On board the air-conditioned, ADA-accessible buses,[6] announcements are played to indicate points of interest and bus stops. These announcements use GPS to determine which announcements should be played at which locations.[11] Although the buses are ADA-accessible and can fit two wheelchairs/motorized wheelchairs per vehicle, people with strollers must fold these strollers before boarding the buses.[8]

Along Buena Vista Drive between Epcot Center Drive and the Disney Springs Lime Garage, new bus lanes were installed between 2014 and May 2016 as part of the renovation of Disney Springs.[12][13] These allow buses headed to/from Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon to use their own, exclusive right-of-way in the median of Buena Vista Drive, thereby enabling bus rapid transit routes to be run to Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon. These bus lanes also have prioritized traffic signals, which will allow buses to travel more quickly through intersections along this corridor.[12][13][14]

Routes[edit]

While the bus system is a hub-and-spoke paradigm, it is more akin to a traditional aviation hub-and-spoke model than to the traditional public transit hub-and-spoke model because it has multiple hubs, both primary and secondary in nature, with the routes themselves usually being non-stop.[15] The four theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as Disney Springs, operate as the five primary hubs. Each of these five hubs have service to the 22 resorts, as well as to the other hubs.[15] There are some routes that do not have direct bus service, mostly when the same route is served by monorail, ferry, and/or walkway. An example of this is the service from Epcot to and from either the Magic Kingdom or Disney's Hollywood Studios, which have monorail and ferry connections respectively, as well as from Disney Springs to the parks[15] (though one-way service from the parks to Disney Springs is provided after 4 p.m.[16]).

The two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, as well as ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, operate as secondary hubs, with service only to some of the resorts and no connection to the other hubs.[15] ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex serves as the smallest of these hubs, with service only on select days, going to and from Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, or All-Star Sports.[17] Direct transportation between the spokes (the resorts) is not provided, unless they happen to be on the same bus route.[15] Buses also are used for internal resort guest transportation within several of the larger resorts.[b] Disney Transport buses also carry cast members around the resort.[11] The Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) acts as the primary hub for the Walt Disney World Monorail System, as well as a transfer point to watercraft service. The TTC is no longer served by Disney Transport buses,[18][19] however it is one of only two transfer points from Disney Transport to Orlando's Lynx service (the other transfer point, Disney Springs, requires a 0.5 miles (0.80 km)[20] walk between the two services).[21]

Typically, no service is provided between Disney Springs and other attractions, except for Typhoon Lagoon, which is an intermediate stop on all of the Disney Springs routes.[15] This is because of the risk of visitors driving to Disney Springs to park for free there, to avoid paying for parking at the theme parks. However, since August 30, 2016, bus service from each of the parks to Disney Springs is available after 4 p.m. to accommodate guests who want to shop after going to the parks, though return service to the parks is not provided.[16]

Beginning in 1983, buses' destinations were marked by a small colored flag on the front of the bus. At the time of the flags' introduction, the resort consisted of two parks, four hotels, the TTC, and the Disney Shopping Village; there were also three bus routes that ran exclusively within the Fort Wilderness Resort.[22] Handbooks were provided so travelers could match the flags with the destinations. However, this became increasingly impractical as more parks and hotels were added, and the flags were retired from the buses in 1995.[22] Now, the destination or destinations are displayed on the electronic route marquee on the fronts and sides of each bus. Newer buses (made from 2015 onward) also have marquees on the backs of each bus.[22]

Fleet[edit]

Disney Transport operates a fleet of Nova Bus LFS, Gillig Low Floor, and New Flyer XD60 Xcelsior bus models. They have approximately 350 buses in their fleet with a further 50 Gillig buses on order as of 2014, which would expand their fleet to 400 buses.[2] This is an expansion from the 319 buses it had in 2012, and from approximately 289 in years prior.[23] Since 2013, some buses have sported a new red-and-gray, or red-and-white, paint scheme with a new "Disney Transport" logo, with more buses to be repainted over the coming years. This is a change from previous livery, in which buses were painted white with a red "Disney" logo and the word "Transport" in yellow-on-purple text next to the logo.[24]

Disney Transport has been expanding its fleet with new Gillig buses, and in 2014, it introduced new articulated New Flyer XD60 Xcelsior buses as a pilot project to increase capacity on certain routes.[23][25] Some of its buses run on a cleaner renewable diesel fuel,[26] and in 2013, Disney Transport began testing the use of all-electric buses on its routes.[27] The fleet currently is the third largest fleet of any Florida transportation system, behind Miami's Metrobus and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.[2]

The Disney Transport bus depot is located at 2451 Recycle Way, Orlando, FL 32830.

Current active fleet[edit]

As of December 2016, there are 390 vehicles in Disney Transport's fleet.

Past fleet[edit]

Monorail[edit]

There are also three monorail lines from the Transportation and Ticket Center to either Magic Kingdom or Epcot, which comprise the fare-free Walt Disney World Monorail System.[7][32] The three lines, and the rolling stock of twelve Mark VI monorails, are maintained by Disney and form part of the Walt Disney World transportation system.[32][33] The monorails are ADA-accessible and stroller-accessible, though there is a vertical gap between the monorails and the platforms, so wheelchair users must use a portable ramp, located at each station, to board the monorail.[8] The monorail system opened in 1971 with the Magic Kingdom "Resort" and "Express" monorail lines; the former runs in a loop between Magic Kingdom and the TTC via the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary Resorts, while the latter bypasses the resorts and goes directly between the TTC and Magic Kingdom via a parallel loop.[8] The Epcot line was added in 1982.[32][33] As of 2013, the system is one of the most heavily used monorail systems in the world with over 150,000 daily riders.[34]

The "Blue" monorail vehicle

Watercraft[edit]

The Richard F. Irvine ferry in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

The resort also maintains a fleet of watercraft providing additional access between various Disney resorts and parks. These ferries are also free to ride.[6] While some route duplication does take place (for instance, the Disney Springs water taxis to the Disney Springs Resort Area duplicate buses to these same resorts), the watercraft provide an alternative way to travel from one location to another.[8]

Strollers can be transported aboard all of the boats, and the ferries, motor cruises, and Friendship Boats are ADA-accessible when water conditions are favorable. Wheelchairs need to be folded for water launches and water taxis.[8]

Routes[edit]

The boats with the highest capacities are the large ferries that traverse the Seven Seas Lagoon between the TTC and the Magic Kingdom. The three ferries are clad in different trim colors and are named for past Disney executives: the General Joe Potter (blue), the Richard F. Irvine (red) and the Admiral Joe Fowler (green).[35]

Motor launches and cruises link several places in the Seven Seas Lagoon, using colored flags to indicate the route. Launches link the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts via the Seven Seas Lagoon, using the Gold Route.[3][36] These launches also connect the Magic Kingdom to Bay Lake via a water bridge to reach Fort Wilderness Resort& Campground, using the Green Route.[3][36] There is also a Blue Route motor launch between the Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, via the Contemporary Resort.[36] A Red Route motor launch/cruise travels from Magic Kingdom directly to the Wilderness Lodge.[37]

Water taxis, which also have colored flags as route indicators link Port Orleans – French Quarter/Riverside (blue), Old Key West (green), and Saratoga Springs (yellow) to Disney Springs along the Sassagoula River. A fourth route, the red-flag route, ferries passengers around Disney Springs.[3]

Friendship Boats also connect the International Gateway entrance of Epcot to the BoardWalk Resort; the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts; the Swan and Dolphin Resorts; and Disney's Hollywood Studios.[3] They also connect Epcot's Future World to Morocco and Germany in the World Showcase.[38]

Type Photo Route Northern/
western
terminal[39][3][35]
Intermediate
stops[39][3][35]
Southern/
eastern
terminal[39][3][35]
Ferry
(3 boats)[37]
General Joe Potter.jpg Magic Kingdom / Transportation
and Ticket Center[3][35]
Magic Kingdom Transportation and Ticket Center
Motor Launch
(7 boats)
Motor Cruise
(3 boats)[37]
 Boats at the Magic Kingdom (2357414779).jpgFlorida Tour, August 2006 (19139428785).jpg Gold flag[36] (2 launches)[8] Continuous clockwise operation (before 3 p.m.) or counterclockwise operation (after 3 p.m.). Stops shown in clockwise order:[39][37]
Green flag[36] (2 cruises)[8] Magic Kingdom   Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Blue flag[36] (2 launches)[8] Continuous circular operation to:[39]
Red flag[37] (1 launch, 1 cruise)[8] Magic Kingdom   Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Water taxi – River boats
(15 boats)[37]
2016 June 10,GOING TO Disney Springs (27125901814).jpg Yellow flag[37] Disney Springs Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Treehouse Villas
Blue flag[37] Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Green flag[37] Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa[c] Disney's Old Key West Resort
Red flag[37] Disney Springs internal service
Friendship Boat
(9 boats)[37]
Ygdoz 1b (7416975520).jpg Epcot–Hollywood Studios[3] Epcot Disney's Hollywood Studios
Future World–Morocco[38] Future World Morocco
Future World–Germany[38] Germany

Parking lot trams[edit]

A parking tram operating at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Disney Transport is also responsible for maintaining the fleet of parking lot trams used for shuttling visitors between the various theme park parking lots and their respective main entrances (except Magic Kingdom's trams, which go to the TTC).[5][7] These trams require transfer from one's wheelchair, and all strollers and wheelchairs must be folded before one gets on the tram, so they are not ADA-accessible.[8] Each of the four theme parks has at least one tram route through their respective parking lots; Magic Kingdom's lot has two tram routes, one to the "Heroes" sections and one to the "Villains" sections.[5]

The original trams, which were ordered in 1969, ran on compressed natural gas. However, these trams had many problems that caused frequent breakdowns.[40] A new fleet came and were modified to look like what they are now by Disney.[40]

Incidents[edit]

From September 25, 2013 to September 25, 2015, Disney Transport has been involved in 27 total accidents that have been reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including two fatal accidents and nineteen others involving injuries.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There may be more than one stop in each resort; some resorts have their own internal buses.
  2. ^ These resorts are Animal Kingdom Lodge, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Fort Wilderness, Old Key West, Port Orleans, and Saratoga Springs.[15]
  3. ^ This stop may be skipped depending on the time of day

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "SAFER Web - Company Snapshot WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS US INC". safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/. US Department of Transportation. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Walt Disney World Fun Facts". Walt Disney World News. 2014-10-31. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Walt Disney World Transportation Water Ferry Boats". Disney World - The Largest Unofficial Online Guide to Disney World, Walt Disney World. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Walt Disney World Water Transportation - Boats: Schedules and Routes - Doctor Disney". Doctor Disney. 
  5. ^ a b c "Parking Trams Overview". WDWMAGIC. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Complimentary Resort Transportation | Walt Disney World Resort". disneyworld.disney.go.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d Bradshaw, Kate; et al. (2013), Fodor's Walt Disney World 2013 (1st ed.), Fodor's, ISBN 978-0-307-92944-0 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Disney World Transportation Vehicles - Monorail, Ferry Boat, Friendship Boat, Bus, Motor Launch". AllEars.Net. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  9. ^ "Park Bus Hours - FAQ". Walt Disney World Resort. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  10. ^ a b "Bus Arrival Monitors at select Walt Disney World resorts". Disney World - The Largest Unofficial Online Guide to Disney World, Walt Disney World. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  11. ^ a b "At Walt Disney World, You Can Sit Back, Relax and Leave the Driving to.. Stitch!?". Stitch Kingdom. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  12. ^ a b "Orlando Theme Park News: New Dedicated Bus Lanes Now Available at Disney Springs". www.orlandoparksnews.com. May 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  13. ^ a b "The New Disney Springs Bus Loop is Now Open for Disney Resort Guests". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  14. ^ "Disney Springs FAQ: Roadwork | Walt Disney World Resort". disneyworld.disney.go.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "Walt Disney World Transport Map". wdwfocus.com. 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  16. ^ a b Storey, Ken (2016-08-30). "You can now take a one-way bus trip to Disney Springs - Blogs". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  17. ^ "Transportation and Parking - FAQ". ESPN Wide World of Sports. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  18. ^ "The Magic Kingdom's new bus stop loop opens on Sunday". 
  19. ^ "Walt Disney World Transportation Map in Metro Style". WDW Focus. 
  20. ^ "Bus Stop - Disney Springs Town Center to Disney Springs Superstop - Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  21. ^ "Disney Area Brochure" (PDF). Lynx. 
  22. ^ a b c Mahne, Keith (2016-06-17). "A Look Back at Walt Disney World's Old Bus Transportation Guides". Disney Avenue. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  23. ^ a b Guinigundo, Andy (2012-09-06). "Disney World making changes to buses, monorails and roadways to meet growth". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  24. ^ "Bus Transportation News". WDWMAGIC. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  25. ^ Frost, John (2014-04-22). "Inside Walt Disney World's new Slinky Buses". The Disney Blog. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  26. ^ "Walt Disney World Bus Fleet Makes the Switch to Renewable Diesel". the Disney Driven Life. 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  27. ^ "Bus Transportation News". WDWMAGIC. 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  28. ^ Total # of Disney buses?, disboards.com.
  29. ^ New Hybrid Bus, wdwmagic.com.
  30. ^ Designline turbine hybrid buses for Disney World?, cptdb.ca.
  31. ^ Status of Disney Transport Designline order?, cptdb.ca.
  32. ^ a b c Monorail Express. "Facts". Retrieved June 13, 2007. 
  33. ^ a b Garcia, Jason (October 15, 2009). "Walt Disney World to bring new monorail train into service". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  34. ^ "Walt Disney World Monorail System". 
  35. ^ a b c d e "Ferry Boat Transportation". AllEars.Net. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  36. ^ a b c d e f "Bay Lake Cruiser boats Overview". WDWMAGIC. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Walt Disney World Water Transportation - Boats: Schedules and Routes". Doctor Disney. 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  38. ^ a b c "Epcot". Friendship Boats. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  39. ^ a b c d e Dave (2010-09-24). "Disney World Boat Transportation System". ExploringWDW. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  40. ^ a b Gurr, Bob (2013-06-05). "DESIGN: Those Were The Times No.11 - 1969 Walt Disney World Tram Design". MiceChat. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 

External links[edit]