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View Full Version : worst Disney transportation ever (sorry -- long) guess this is a vent!


dgaston
08-24-2002, 03:54 PM
OK I know I've been a bit skeptical when others have complained about Disney transportation. We've used it well since '88, had a few times at Christmas when we waited a longer time than usual for buses, but now I appreciate newer comppplaints about the logistics. We had always counted on the TTC to be able to re-group and help us get where we needed to be. Now it's almost impossible to go from resort to resort--instead of the recommended one hour, I think it can take close to two. In order to move from resort to resort you always have to have a theme park stop, and to get to another goal (like Downtown Disney or Blizzard Beach), you need to be at a resort.

We tried something new--no rental car with just the two of us celebrating our anniversary. We arrived late on Saturday 8/17 and stayed at an airport hotel. We knew Mears was an option, but decided to take the Lynx bus to WDW Sunday morning. Our hotel had a Lynx stop right outside. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the TTC ($1.10 fee for each) with a transfer from route 11 to 50 at the downtown Orlando bus terminal, and then the confusion began. We asked at the transportation desk the best route to Old Key West -- were told just go to any theme park , "there's an MGM, take that one". Driver says "too full, wait for another. " DH and I decide to take monorail to MK, wait for bus.
Bus arrives after 15 minutes, Hospitality House is last stop at resort. One hour from TTC to resort.

Later that day we were at Epcot, near the front, and had tickets for the Peter Frampton concert at HOB. Since we were near the main gate, we decided to go the bus route, rather than walk back through Future World and take the International Gateway. We now knew there was no bus to Downtown Disney, and that we had to go to a resort first. We decided to take the monorail to MK and use the Polynesian for the Downtown Disney bus. It took us forever! We did not get to HOB for an hour and a half! We missed the opening act, but Frampton himself was wonderful.

On another day we needed to get from Typhoon Lagoon to Downtown Disney. We again knew we could only go to a resort to get a bus to DD, even tho the same bus circles from resort to DD to TL, so picked Caribbean Beach as a resort close to DD. The bus goes around the resort twice! It takes a really long time!

I'm not sure we will ever try WDW without a rental car again. Not having an option of directly going to DD from the parks, and always needing to go either to a theme park to get to a resort, or to go to a resort to get to a theme park or another destination is really a pain, and wastes that precious WDW time.

Thanks for letting me vent.

ncligs
08-24-2002, 04:59 PM
We always fly down and rent a car. So we never have to worry about transportation.Especially going to DD and other resorts for dinner or off-site shopping.:)

Luv2Roam
08-24-2002, 05:03 PM
I am also one who always use to brag about WDW transportation. Not so after our May visit.
I think it was partly due to us being spoiled by being there in January. But it was painfully obvious Disney cut back on their transportation services, as they pretty much have in all areas.
Make sure you voice your opinions to Disney too. I did.

DebbieB
08-24-2002, 06:01 PM
I don't have the patience for the bus system either, we always rent a car. Not only the waits, but they are usually jam packed. We like to travel offsite too, to the outlets & a restaurant or two.

dgaston
08-24-2002, 06:42 PM
Thanks Luv 2 Roam and DebbieB, I am planning on emailing WDW tomorrow with my concerns. I usually have the option of my own car -- from now on it's a necessity. In the past there were trips where the car sat idle. Unfortunately that doesn't work anymore.

AZKathy
08-24-2002, 11:44 PM
We, too, noticed a change in the transportation system this summer compared to the years before. We just thought it had to do with the cutbacks that happened after 9/11....??? We had some very painful and HOT waits on our trip and were very very close to going to the car care center and just renting a car for the remainder of the trip!!!!!

Chip 'n Dale Express
08-25-2002, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by dgaston
I'm not sure we will ever try WDW without a rental car again. Not having an option of directly going to DD from the parks, and always needing to go either to a theme park to get to a resort, or to go to a resort to get to a theme park or another destination is really a pain, and wastes that precious WDW time.

:confused: I'm wondering... Were you staying On Property?

Disney Transportation is set up for maximum efficiency for Disney Resort Guests, in providing direct transportation from a Disney Resort to a Disney Theme Park. With the exception of FW/WL, There are no resort busses at the TTC because there's no need for them. Disney resort guests have no need to go to the TTC.

Disney Resort Guests (Who, by the way, are the ones who pay for the transportation) get direct transportation to and from all four theme parks, both water parks, and Downtown Disney. Average time from Resort to Park is 10-15 minutes. Average interval is 9-15 minutes. Currently, we have acheived a 95% efficiency rating. This means that 95% of the time, we have met or beat our own goals for bus frequency.

As for Resort-to-Resort transportation... Logistically speaking, it's just not feasible. There would be low ridership, plus you have 19 different resorts, with 19 different destinations...

And in regards to Caribbean Beach... the reason the bus does that, is because the Downtown Bus does the internal shuttle. When the bus enters the resort, it circles around as the Internal Resort Shuttle. Drops off DTD guests, and picks up Internal guests. The next time around, it picks up for DTD guests, and drops off Internal guests. The complete cycle is 45 mins, however, from Typhoon to Marketplace would be about 30-35.


By the way... on a side note... Disney has not cut back on it's transportation. In fact, Busses was one of the very few departments that wasn't hit hard with the post 9/11 cutbacks. In fact, in the past year, we've drastically improved our service, providing more efficient service with the same amount of busses.

ncligs
08-25-2002, 07:04 AM
Chip 'n Dale Express,

Thanks for the update on the transportation. When we go to the parks from OKW , sometimes we use the busses and never wait more than 10-15 minutes. Keep up the good work.;)

P.S. Like your signature!!

DebbieB
08-25-2002, 07:24 AM
For me it's a personal choice more than a reflection of the bus system itself. Even if they ran 100% efficiently, I'd probably still rent. I just like the convenience of jumping in the car and not having to wait, not having to go around the whole complex (OKW) or go to other stops (returning to BWV), half the time we end up standing during peak times and end up near screaming kids. Plus, I enjoy driving around WDW, checking everything out, playing the radio...sounds good about now! I always say when we're driving in, this is the life!!! :cool:

drgnfly30
08-25-2002, 08:54 AM
I have to agree that even if the buses were running at 100% efficiency we prefer our own transportation... I have no patience, when I want to go I dont' want to wait for someone elses timetable.. My final decision regarding this matter was during my last trip in 11/01 when DH took the kids to BB & as I went to the POR bus stop to go to MK... bus after bus came for DD & Epcot but after 1/2 hour still no bus to MK, I ended up hopping on a bus for Epcot & taking the monorail to MK, over 1 hour later I arrived...
Part of the reason why we are NOT staying onsite this time, can't weigh the advantage with the disposal of EE days & the poor transporation; Also, part of the reason we are taking the Autotrain down this year... the cost of the train (around $800) was very comparable to airfare, plus we won't have to rent a car when we arrive.

betterlatethannever
08-25-2002, 09:05 AM
Chip 'n Dale Express

I am not disputing that things have improved over the last year. (BTW always stayed on site).

I guess I've been in the 5% of the efficiency rating more than I ever wanted. (I also end up with the longest wait at the grocery store checkout. Just my luck I guess). Example, in February, at DTD waited about 45 minutes for the YC bus. During that time, there were at least 8 busses for the All Stars.

The YC bus does the loop stopping at the Dolphin, Swan, BWI, BC along with the YC.

We've stayed at the Poly in 89,95, and 2000. I know I am getting older and my memory is failing me, :teeth: but it seemed that in 89 there were many different busses stopping at the Poly. In the subsequent trips there were a lot less.

People post asking if the AKL is too much of a hastle using the busses because it is too remote. In reality, we've found that the AKL has the best service because it has dedicated busses, not stopping anywhere else. It doesn't have multiple stops (like the moderates).

Just my 1.25 cents worth.

Ed

AZKathy
08-25-2002, 09:13 AM
Tyler, I am glad to hear that the cutbacks did not affect the transportation system. We must have just had hit the buses wrong and had bad luck with two breaking down. Your imput is greatly appreciated!!!!:D

Luv2Roam
08-25-2002, 11:21 AM
I am very surprised to read the buses were not effected in the cutback.
I think our situation at POR had various issues.
We aren't ones to think we should walk out and a bus be there. But we also think waiting 20+ minutes in a chaotic, unorganized manner is uncalled for also.
We were very disappointed to discover that from the TTC guests could no longer get to a resort, as we had even in January.
We left the Cont (May 31) via the monorail to TTC to get a bus to POR.
No can do. :mad:
We had to get back on the monorail, and there we sat, and sat and sat.
Several minutes later we are told the monorail behind us can't move over a snail's crawl and we have to wait for THAT one to show.
Again, several minutes later, the guests from the defective monorail cram onto ours.
The second monorail trip we thought would take roughly 5 minutes turned into a 45 minute sit, wait and ride.
Luckily we weren't the hundreds of guests who were thinking they gave themselves plenty of time to arrive at Epcot for Illuminations. The monorail arrived at Epcot as it started.
And from there, we get to wait for ANOTHER bus to get back to POR.
We had VERY good bus service January '01 at CSR.
We had PERFECT bus service at ASMo January '02.
The bus service at POR was inexcusable. Totally unorganized. The only good thing that could be said is that eventually you would get to where you wanted to be.
And it wasn't so much the crowds. They were only there because the buses were few and far between and arriving already full.:mad:
I felt bad for the guests who allowed plenty of time, but were not even leaving POR until 5 minutes before they were suppose to be at CRT at MK! This was before the cc PS. We all know how hard those PS' were to get.
We have no desire to stay at POR again, and mostly due to the poor bus service. :p
Could be we were hitting it at the wrong time -- but all week? :rolleyes:
Same schedule we use any other time at the other resorts.
ASMo had their act SO together. Nice orderly lines. First come, first serve. CM's made sure the handicap guests boarded first. One bus coming in right after another when there was a line. It was great.
POR was entirely the opposite.
And then to have service cut off at TTC, no boats or bussing running to West Side DTD during the week, and broken monorails... :p
No transportation cut backs? :confused: Couldn't prove it by me.
We did notice too how the buses were just jammed in with people. To us, it seemed there were less buses running and they were just cramming guests in to compensate for that. We have never been crammed into WDW buses as we had last May. And we were not the only guests making that comment.
DH even pointed out that on previous trips it was unusual not to sit on a bus. This time was the opposite.
Heck, we would go to the bus depot at POR, stand there for 25 - 40 minutes, get stomped on trying to get on a bus, then stand on the bus too.
We were on our feet over an hour before even reaching the inside of a park.
I am hoping never to run into transportation like this at our future stays. Otherwise forget it.
I use to be one to brag about Disney transportation. No way after this last trip.

Chip 'n Dale Express
08-25-2002, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by betterlatethannever
I guess I've been in the 5% of the efficiency rating more than I ever wanted. (I also end up with the longest wait at the grocery store checkout. Just my luck I guess). Example, in February, at DTD waited about 45 minutes for the YC bus. During that time, there were at least 8 busses for the All Stars.
[...][
People post asking if the AKL is too much of a hastle using the busses because it is too remote. In reality, we've found that the AKL has the best service because it has dedicated busses, not stopping anywhere else. It doesn't have multiple stops (like the moderates).

I'm sorry that you experienced that with Downtown Disney. Unfortunetly, Downtown Disney is in a world of its own, and is a nightmare when it comes to keeping busses on time. Many factors can lead to a bus being late... traffic, weather, Typhoon Lagoon, a bus filling up, a bus breaking down, the use of the wheelchair lift, and other random things. Rest assured though, we're working as hard as we can to improve that service. We dabbled a bit with Flex Dispatch at DTD, but unfortunetly, while it worked wonders for the MK, it didn't work with DTD.


As for AK Lodge, you are very correct. AK Lodge will recieve great bus service. It's never very crowded, and although everyone thinks that it is "way out there", in reality, a bus ride to the MK is less than 15 minutes.

Chip 'n Dale Express
08-25-2002, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Luv2Roam
We were very disappointed to discover that from the TTC guests could no longer get to a resort, as we had even in January.

There have not been resort busses at the TTC in many, many years.

Luv2Roam
08-25-2002, 11:50 AM
Chip 'n Dale Express -
First, I truly appreciate you posting and providing insight on Disney transportation. :) We all know how important that area is.

Now my question goes back to the broken monorail vehicle that we experienced in May. As a lay person on monorials, I figure there is a sound explanation. I just don't what it is.... ;)

In our case, when the monrail cab (or whatever they call the transportation units themselves) breaks down, why did they hold up the car (us) in front of the broken one?
Just seems from a guest point of view that
1) we sit while a monorail behind us is barely moving, hence holding up guests in the good monorial in front and throwing a wrench into their plans
2) There must be a monorail BEHIND the one barely crawling also, because the broken one in front isn't moving properly.
Why didn't they have a working monorail behind the broken one transport the guests, rather than hold up the monorial in front?
Seems this way they had three monorails held up, rather than two.:confused:
I always figured there's logic behind they way they did it. Just not sure what it is.

Also, I am curious as to how often the monorail units are serviced. Do they have so many hours or miles and just automatically pulled in for servicing?

Appreciate any insight.:)

Luv2Roam
08-25-2002, 11:53 AM
quote:Originally posted by Luv2Roam
We were very disappointed to discover that from the TTC guests could no longer get to a resort, as we had even in January.

Chip 'n Dale Express- There have not been resort busses at the TTC in many, many years.


Well -- we have been wrong before. But would have swore we did this in January. But we must have not.

Chip 'n Dale Express
08-25-2002, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Luv2Roam
In our case, when the monrail cab (or whatever they call the transportation units themselves) breaks down, why did they hold up the car (us) in front of the broken one?

Also, I am curious as to how often the monorail units are serviced. Do they have so many hours or miles and just automatically pulled in for servicing?

Hrmm... I worked in Monorails for a year and a half, and I'm trying to think of a few situations that might have caused something simmilar to what you are describing. I'd need a few more details in order to figure out though...

My best guess... the monorail behind you was not actually broken down. If you were at the TTC, holding, and you saw the train moving at a snails pace down the hill... my guess is that train had just come out from Shop. When the train comes out from shop, it comes out being driven from Cab 1 (Front end of the train). It then got switched over to the Resort beam, and went into the Contemporary. Now, a lil known fact about the Resort beam... those trains actually drive in reverse. So, the driver had to swtich cabs, to operate out of Cab 6... When they did this, they have to key off the train in cab 1, walk all the way down, and then key it back on in Cab 6. When you key on a train, the computer doesnt know where it is. Until the TCS (Train Control System) figures out where it is, the train is limited to 15mph. Usually this takes a few transponders, and from the Contemporary, it's usually around Pylon 17. Now, when a train first comes out of Shop, it also needs to perform our safety checks on the anti-collision system. This requires the train in front of it to sit at the TTC, while the new train attempts to get close to it. When the new train attempts this, the anti-collision system will kick in, and initiate an emergency stop. At this point, the sitting train may leave the station.

I think this is probably your situation, because it would require the train you were on to sit at the TTC for potentially 10 mins. You could verify this... when the doors closed, the train would have sat there for about an additional 60 seconds before moving. You might have also felt a few lurches... as if the train was going to move forward, but couldn't. (This is normal... the driver is just releasing the brakes)



As for Maintenance... Typically, about 3-5 trains stay out on the beam every night, and the rest head back to shop for nightly maintenance. The trains that stay out at night will get fully inspected, and if need be, they will be brought back to Shop as well. Our trains receive some of the best maintenance Disney has to offer, however, they are about 13 years old, and have logged nearly a million miles per train. The train was designed with a lot of proprietary components manufactured by companies that not longer exist, and as such, finding replacement parts is next to impossible. Maintenance workers are forced to either attempt to repair the part at great cost, or design and create a completely new component at an even greater cost.

Currently as it stands, we're trying to replace a lot of the systems with off the shelf solid-state components that will be easily replaceable should they fail.



In regards to Resort transportation from the TTC... what you might have experienced was a "Floater" bus... basically, the bus is stationed at the TTC to catch stragglers and people who ended up in the wrong area, and for them to take them home. It's just a courtesy bus that we put out when we have the extra staffing.

Luv2Roam
08-25-2002, 12:24 PM
Oh you are SO good! :cool:
I am not sure what the deal was that night with the monorail.
We boarded and sat. And sat. And sat.
Several minutes later the (very nice) CM conductor came around and just said the monorail behind us (which we *assumed* was also coming from the Cont) was coming in at a snail's pace. And he was right.
He said it would be another 10 minutes before it arrived. (Which we probably had already waited that long, if not longer.)
It showed up what I would guess to be another 15 - 20 minutes later. (But there again could be wrong. ;) ) It's watching a microwave -- seems like an eterinity when it's not. ;)
Then once the guests on the slow monorail disembarked, then they came on ours.
All in all it took approx 45 minutes to get from TTC to Epcot. I only know this because many others were stating they thought allowing themselves 45 minutes to get to Illuminations was plenty of time. And in this case wasn't, but normally would be.
Had it been out of Shop, it wouldn't have held guests. So must have been something different. But that's why I couldn't figure out why they held up two other monorails for the slow one. Unless they needed the two monrails to re-board all the guests in the broken one.

jennymouse
08-25-2002, 12:26 PM
Tyler, would you mind telling me how to get back to AKL after the our night at Hoop Dee Doo Review and the hayride? MK closes at 6pm and we won't be finished with HDD/hayride until 9:30pm or so. Will we need to go all the way to DTD to catch a AKL bus? We will be going to HDD on 10/30 & there is the 999 Haunts Ball going on at MK that night....will there be AKL buses still running for the party we could catch?

Would we be better off catching a taxi?

Chip 'n Dale Express
08-25-2002, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Luv2Roam
It showed up what I would guess to be another 15 - 20 minutes later. (But there again could be wrong. ;) ) It's watching a microwave -- seems like an eterinity when it's not. ;)
Then once the guests on the slow monorail disembarked, then they came on ours.

This is what confuses me... I just assumed you were on the Resort beam... but... you say you were going to Epcot... hrmm... that changes everything... lol... You also mention the driver said the train behind y'all... but, then that train pulled into the station at the same time...

Hrmm... Okay... I think I got it. You were on the Epcot beam... and the slow train was on the Express beam? And then it came in, and unloaded onto your train... OOOH... I know!!! LOL

The train that came in and unloaded onto your train was the Express train... not the train behind you. If the train behind you on the Epcot beam is having technical difficulties, and is limited to 15mph, then they will hold the train in front. Once that train gets there, Central will give your train clearance to proceed. Your train will now hold at Epcot. The broken train will either undergo a Maintenace Check at the station, or will go back to shop. Either way, it will be a while before there is another train in the station after your train. So thats why they held it.

Although it may not seem it... there always is a method to the madness! :)

Luv2Roam
08-25-2002, 12:39 PM
Once again you amaze me! :)
Like you, I figured there was a reason. ;)
Now I can amaze any others I may get stuck on a monorail with again. ;) :jester:

Chip 'n Dale Express
08-25-2002, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by jennymouse
Tyler, would you mind telling me how to get back to AKL after the our night at Hoop Dee Doo Review and the hayride? MK closes at 6pm and we won't be finished with HDD/hayride until 9:30pm or so. Will we need to go all the way to DTD to catch a AKL bus? We will be going to HDD on 10/30 & there is the 999 Haunts Ball going on at MK that night....will there be AKL buses still running for the party we could catch?

Would we be better off catching a taxi?

I've never heard of the 999 Haunts Ball before, so I can't tell you if there will be transportation for that. If it's a Disney thing that guests can purchase tickets for, then most likely there will be transportation for it.

I always hate sending guests to DTD to transfer, because it is time consuming. However, you could take an Outpost bus to the Fort Wilderness Outpost, then a DTD bus, and then an AK Lodge bus

jennymouse
08-25-2002, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by Chip 'n Dale Express


I've never heard of the 999 Haunts Ball before, so I can't tell you if there will be transportation for that. If it's a Disney thing that guests can purchase tickets for, then most likely there will be transportation for it.

I always hate sending guests to DTD to transfer, because it is time consuming. However, you could take an Outpost bus to the Fort Wilderness Outpost, then a DTD bus, and then an AK Lodge bus

LOL I guess I better plan on the taxi! Thanks, Tyler!

phillybeth
08-25-2002, 06:30 PM
Why did you go from the Contemporary to the TTC to the Epcot monorail just to get a bus to POR, when you could have just stayed on the monorail and gotten the POR bus from the MK? We have always used the parks as hubs when going from resort to resort. It's faster than going to DTD.

Talking Hands
08-25-2002, 09:48 PM
Only the Ft Wilderness buses for MK go through TTC. Something that has irritated me for years since I pay as much for a cabin when I stay there as I do for a room at AKL.

TeenaS
08-28-2002, 10:45 AM
I have to go with Tyler on this. For me, one of the best parts of a WDW vacation is not driving - I love their transportation system. I've stayed at just about every on-site resort. I usually hit WDW 5-6 times a year. I absolutely love not having to worry about parking, not getting in a hot car after being out in the heat all day (although sometimes I wish the air conditioning in the buses wasn't quite so cold), the short rest in the bus after being on my feet all day - I truly love WDW's transportation. The only resort I hated as far as transportation was WL. I will never stay there again because of the transportation and I let the resort manager know that is why I won't be back. I still can't believe a deluxe resort shares a bus with the campground. It took us forever to go just about everywhere. Overall though, I wish I were able to live in a city that had transportation as well thought out and run as WDW! When I get back to my home airport and have to find my car and actually drive it home, I know vacation is over.

TeenaS
08-28-2002, 10:45 AM
I have to go with Tyler on this. For me, one of the best parts of a WDW vacation is not driving - I love their transportation system. I've stayed at just about every on-site resort. I usually hit WDW 5-6 times a year. I absolutely love not having to worry about parking, not getting in a hot car after being out in the heat all day (although sometimes I wish the air conditioning in the buses wasn't quite so cold), the short rest in the bus after being on my feet all day - I truly love WDW's transportation. The only resort I hated as far as transportation was WL. I will never stay there again because of the transportation and I let the resort manager know that is why I won't be back. I still can't believe a deluxe resort shares a bus with the campground. It took us forever to go just about everywhere. Overall though, I wish I were able to live in a city that had transportation as well thought out and run as WDW! When I get back to my home airport and have to find my car and actually drive it home, I know vacation is over.

lsyorke
08-28-2002, 01:55 PM
"The only resort I hated as far as transportation was WL. "

Teenas, I have to agree. WLV in July transportation was pretty bad. We aways used WDW transportation but after this trip I'll rent a car. We used to stay at Y&BC (prior to DVC) and never had a problem with transportation. I guess I'm spoiled and want my air conditioned boats at that time of year. At WLV if took us at least an hour to get anywhere! Waited for the Contemporary-WL boat for 50 minutes one night. Finally started taking taxis halfway through the trip (added expense but worth it)

CuteKatCar
08-28-2002, 05:59 PM
I, also, love Disney transportation. Which is one of the main reasons we *must* be on the monorail. We spend most of our time at MK so we either walk from Contemporary (there in 10 mins.) or you are the first stop from the GF.

Next year we are splitting between CBR (and I'm very nervous about all the stops the bus makes at that resort) and the Polynesian.

Part of my plan is to go to Seaworld while at the CBR (eliminates one day of doing "buses") and going to parks that are closer to CBR and then when we get to Poly, go to MK and Epcot more.

With 3 trips in the past 4 years, we have never had any problem at all with buses - and we have had nights where it was standing room only on the bus.

Tyler - I love reading all your insightful insider info.

Anna

:) :D

CuteKatCar
08-28-2002, 05:59 PM
I, also, love Disney transportation. Which is one of the main reasons we *must* be on the monorail. We spend most of our time at MK so we either walk from Contemporary (there in 10 mins.) or you are the first stop from the GF.

Next year we are splitting between CBR (and I'm very nervous about all the stops the bus makes at that resort) and the Polynesian.

Part of my plan is to go to Seaworld while at the CBR (eliminates one day of doing "buses") and going to parks that are closer to CBR and then when we get to Poly, go to MK and Epcot more.

With 3 trips in the past 4 years, we have never had any problem at all with buses - and we have had nights where it was standing room only on the bus.

Tyler - I love reading all your insightful insider info.

Anna

:) :D