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View Full Version : Park Closing.... Gridlock?


jalpert
03-12-2012, 10:19 AM
We've been to WDW once, used Disney buses and for the most part they were fine. However, we like a lot of restaurants in resorts and we were either transferring through parks or just using a taxi.

One of our big issues with the buses were park closing/after fantasmic/after wishes etc. Obviously, with so many people, the lines got long and we were worried about spending 40-60 minutes trying to get a bus after a long tiring day.

My question is, if we were to rent a car, are the roads/parking lots going to be so busy that it'll take us the same amount of time due to traffic? I have the end of a football game in mind, you can sit a while trying to get out of the area.

Sorry if this has been asked, but I did seven or eight searches and couldn't find an answer. If we are just going to sit in traffic 30 minutes trying to leave the parking lot, we might as well just take the bus. Thanks.

goofy4tink
03-12-2012, 10:22 AM
Using the after a football game is a very good analogy for park closing. Yes, it can be very crowded. AFter all, all those cars are doing the same thing, at the same time. Now, Disney is very good at moving people, but it is still going to be congested to some point.
You may want to linger a bit in the park and allow that first wave of traffic to exit the parking lots.

Also, if you are in a lot that uses the trams, you are going to find waits for that tram as well. But, once in your car, you can go directly to your resort and not worry about making any stops along the way.

GrnMtnMan
03-12-2012, 11:34 AM
The worst traffic jam I've ever seen was when Typhoon Lagoon closed about an hour early because of thunderstorms. Complete gridlock. Took nearly an hour to get out. Civil society broke down..more than a few drivers stayed inches from the car in front of them to prevent parking lanes from entering exit lanes (i.e, no alternating courtesy). Resort buses were stuck in this same mess.

lotus14
03-12-2012, 01:52 PM
Personally, even if it takes the same amount of time to get back to the resort, I'd rather be in a car. Off my feet. In air conditioning. Not wondering when the heck the next bus will arrive. Not holding tired kids. Guaranteed seat on the way home.

This will be our first time off site and with a car and after all the headaches of taking buses after park close (even with lingering in the park) you couldn't pay me to take a bus then again.

Donna M
03-12-2012, 02:09 PM
Personally, even if it takes the same amount of time to get back to the resort, I'd rather be in a car. Off my feet. In air conditioning. Not wondering when the heck the next bus will arrive. Not holding tired kids. Guaranteed seat on the way home.



That's an excellent point; if you have to wait, might as well be comfortable.

fla4fun
03-12-2012, 03:35 PM
Well, I think it depends. If you know the park hours in advance, and plan your meals so you will finish just before or well after the peak travel times, then you won't have many issues. Also, although I've had issues a few times with getting out of the theme park parking lots, once out of the actual lot, the traffic on the roads was not nearly so bad.

Unless you are traveling at the very busiest times of the year (like Christmas week) you can typically park at a resort you have an ADR booked in. Sometimes they give you a three hour time limit, but even when I've encountered that, I haven't had an issue completing my meal in that time. So most of the time you shouldn't be in the actual theme park parking lots for a resort dining ADR. That is a big help!

ccgirl
03-12-2012, 03:59 PM
We've been to WDW once, used Disney buses and for the most part they were fine. However, we like a lot of restaurants in resorts and we were either transferring through parks or just using a taxi.

One of our big issues with the buses were park closing/after fantasmic/after wishes etc. Obviously, with so many people, the lines got long and we were worried about spending 40-60 minutes trying to get a bus after a long tiring day.

My question is, if we were to rent a car, are the roads/parking lots going to be so busy that it'll take us the same amount of time due to traffic? I have the end of a football game in mind, you can sit a while trying to get out of the area.

Sorry if this has been asked, but I did seven or eight searches and couldn't find an answer. If we are just going to sit in traffic 30 minutes trying to leave the parking lot, we might as well just take the bus. Thanks.

I always rent a car and everytime I have timed it, I have always gotten back to my resort prior to the bus. Once my DH and myself split up to time it. Other times we have been with friends who took the buses. We were back 45 minutes prior to them thanks to the wait times.

I tend to go in May and October and would not compare it to a concert or football game. It is much better and very light. I find the signage quite adequate and much prefer my rental car.

jalpert
03-12-2012, 04:48 PM
Thanks guys. We are looking at going late February so hopefully it shouldn't be bad. Our desire to go to Universal one day, dine at a bunch of other resorts, and the bust wait times have made us seriously consider a car.

MonorailPilotMulan
03-12-2012, 06:29 PM
In late February, it really shouldn't be busy enough to have gridlock while leaving the Magic Kingdom. DHS is a different story since the exit dumps into a traffic light intersection. Its always going to busy getting out of there. Epcot or DAK shouldn't be so much of an issue either. But I also agree with the poster the commented tht I'd rather be in my car in gridlock than on a bus in gridlock or waiting for a bus lol

pigletto
03-12-2012, 08:33 PM
And this would be why I can't ever bring myself to stay until park closing. I usually high tail it out of there when the fireworks are about half way done. Sometimes I skip them all together.
Car or Bus .. that's the plan. If we're exhausted we just don't want to deal with another hour or more of trying to get out of there.
But.. we're also rope drop people so we just can't see both ends of the day without one end being miserable:rotfl:

Shelly F - Ohio
03-12-2012, 09:46 PM
I would linger a bit. Remember even though they say the park closes at 11:00 or whatever time, they are not going to kick you out of the park right at that time. In fact they like the fact that people linger through the shops and buy stuff before leaving. We prefer to be seated in our car with our own space rather than standing waiting for a bus. And standing up during the ride to our resort. And listening to cranky, crying kids.

MonorailPilotMulan
03-12-2012, 11:33 PM
I would linger a bit. Remember even though they say the park closes at 11:00 or whatever time, they are not going to kick you out of the park right at that time. In fact they like the fact that people linger through the shops and buy stuff before leaving. We prefer to be seated in our car with our own space rather than standing waiting for a bus. And standing up during the ride to our resort. And listening to cranky, crying kids.

...the best idea is to either leave a little earlier than the end of the fireworks or just plan to stay an extra few minutes. Many Main Street locations don't close until one hour after park closing and you get to watch the "Kiss Goodnight!"

Or if without kids, you can do what my DF and I do. Position yourself with an easy escape route during the fireworks and don't linger. As soon as the last firework explodes, hustle a little to the exit. You'd be surprised how people just tend to sit around and think about what they are going to do before they move after the fireworks.

goofy4tink
03-13-2012, 06:45 AM
Personally, even if it takes the same amount of time to get back to the resort, I'd rather be in a car. Off my feet. In air conditioning. Not wondering when the heck the next bus will arrive. Not holding tired kids. Guaranteed seat on the way home.

This will be our first time off site and with a car and after all the headaches of taking buses after park close (even with lingering in the park) you couldn't pay me to take a bus then again.

I can completely understand why people like to rent a car in WDW...really, I do. I've done it myself, but usually because I've flown into Sanford, or I'm heading someplace during, or after, my WDW stay.
But, I have no issue with the buses. One of the things I really enjoy about the buses are the people I meet. Yes, there are always going to be obnoxious, rude people on the buses. But, for the most part, I have run into some pretty terrific people. I get to spend some time chatting with them. It's kinda fun. But....then it does add some time to the overall return to your resort at park closing.

jalpert
03-13-2012, 10:45 AM
...the best idea is to either leave a little earlier than the end of the fireworks or just plan to stay an extra few minutes. Many Main Street locations don't close until one hour after park closing and you get to watch the "Kiss Goodnight!"

Or if without kids, you can do what my DF and I do. Position yourself with an easy escape route during the fireworks and don't linger. As soon as the last firework explodes, hustle a little to the exit. You'd be surprised how people just tend to sit around and think about what they are going to do before they move after the fireworks.

We did that at Fantasmic. We were going to wait it out, but naturally we ended up fairly close to the exit. After the show ended we booked it, and the wait for the bus was reasonable. We are trying to avoid "booking it" anywhere.

We are not lingerers :-) With no kids and low crowds we had plenty of time to do the shops during the day. Also, we tend to be rope drop people so we prefer to get back ASAP and prepare for another early day.

From what I've gathered,bus or not, it can be sticky leaving any park during the mad rush. We'd still take the bus to MK, but unlike Epcot and HS, Wishes doesn't end right at park closing so maybe there isn't as bad a rush? It would make sense to me that a bunch of people would leave after wishes, but a bunch of people wouldn't because the park is still open.

dburg30
03-13-2012, 03:01 PM
I can completely understand why people like to rent a car in WDW...really, I do. I've done it myself, but usually because I've flown into Sanford, or I'm heading someplace during, or after, my WDW stay.
But, I have no issue with the buses. One of the things I really enjoy about the buses are the people I meet. Yes, there are always going to be obnoxious, rude people on the buses. But, for the most part, I have run into some pretty terrific people. I get to spend some time chatting with them. It's kinda fun. But....then it does add some time to the overall return to your resort at park closing.

I have been VERY fortunate in my 'bus buddies'.. I honestly can not remember a trip that I had any issues at all with other riders. And I use the buses only. I fly into MCO and hop on the bus from there.. :) And I agree, many times you meet some really nice peeps on the trips and even a 'long' trip back to the resort doesnt seem bad at all.