View Full Version : Just got back from BWV, anyone else find WDW driving not as easy as one would expect?

02-17-2003, 11:44 AM
We just flew back last night, it was a great trip.

We love BWV, and we were now spoiled by the 1-2 bedroom units. I changed our reservation to a 1-bedroom for our May's trip for the 4 of us and DH would not even complain about the extra points versus a studio.

When we checked in on 2/9, we were told that the resort was 100% sold out. We were given a 2-br preferred view unit overlooking Swan. It was very nice. The front desk told me that this was the only room available. She said all the rooms with people who have not checked in yet have notes saying they cannot be moved. How do you get that? Is it just based on when the reservation was made?

Even though the resort was sold out, we hardly saw anyone most of the time. Not even around us (sides, or above, across the hall), no sound at all. With little kids, it is great to have the washer/dryer right in the unit.

We rented a car for the first time at WDW. I think we will always have a car from now on. However, was I the only one who finds WDW road signs not good? I got lost EVERYWHERE. It seems that you see signs everywhere, but I get nowhere. I got on I-4 a couple times by mistake, I made a wrong turn somewher trying to park at MK and everything was wrong way, gave up and went to Epcot. Went to Publix the first night and of course got lost. Ended up at one point on a dirt dead-end road. It got better as the time went on. But I find it annoying that there are no road names on many intersections and you have to completely rely on WDW signs before the turn. If you ever miss the sign, you could not figure out where you were. The saving grace was that I just start over. But it was harder than I thought. I don't normally get lost while driving. But WDW somehow seems challenging to me. I think I can get around much better now. It was just to my surprise.

Went to Goodings too, despite the higher price, can't beat the location.

We did not cook, only breakfast in the room, cereal and bagels.

Met our DVC guide finally.

We stayed at DD Hilton via Priceline for the last 2 nights. Never again. There was nothing wrong the hotel, plus we got club privilege, but it was just not WDW. DH thinks I am turning into a Disney snob.

The trip was just too short, just have to wait for the next one.

02-17-2003, 12:10 PM
LOL, Luckytso. I remember going around in circles at WDW, trying to follow the signs. One time we wound up in the parking lot at Epcot, trying to get to the Beach Club. We finally got a good map of the area, and after 5-6 trips, we've got it figured out. Guess that's why lots of people prefer the busses. Glad it didn't ruin your trip!

02-17-2003, 01:31 PM
hi: you can get a decent map from bell services/parking valets. we've been using their transportation maps for many years now. at night though, it can be confusing and we've done the epcot parking lot a couple of times over the years. i'm fairly used to the wdw signs now and am usually the designated navigator. see you just have to go a couple of times a year for many years to get comfy with this!

02-17-2003, 02:48 PM
It doesn't seem to help that the bus drivers themselves take a seemingly different route every time from one destination to another.

02-17-2003, 02:55 PM
We do have the map from the Bell Capitain at BWV. It is a very good map. However, even when he gave directions, he gave it based on traffic lights, because there are no road signs. By following his directions the first time, we made a complete loop to get back on to Buena Vista Drive (turned left, rather than right after we passed the guard going out). DH was saying that it was kind of strange why we were passing Beach, Yacht, Swan and Dolphin......

However, by getting lost everywhere, we discovered more roads about our surroundings. Accidentally past Vistana Reosrt, Holiday Inn Family Suites, etc.

Alice Sr.
02-17-2003, 07:23 PM
hehehe we have been going to WDW 2-3 times a year for the last 7 years. We always rent a car. I am the only driver, my DD's are only 15 and 12. You would think that by now I would have it down but no. Their big joke is how many times they see the "You are now leaving Disney World" sign. Next year I can sit in the passenger seat and revenge will be mine.

02-18-2003, 01:04 AM
My parents had a really hard time driving in Disney. I told them, it must be tough to be sooo old. Dads 70 and Mom's 65. Well, Dad told me, If your Mother could read a ******* sign. LOL I drive in Boston every day. I am used to no signs, bad signs, changed roads. To me Disney World has the best signs. Just don't miss one. LOL

02-18-2003, 08:07 AM
I guess I know my way around well enough now that I don't even pay attention to the signs anymore, but I think WDW intentionally takes you the long way around from point A-to-B to give the illussion of a larger size. You'd never guess just how close Epcot,Okw,CBR & Typhone Lagoon are to each other until you've seen aerial photos. I also think that the longer loops break up the congestion that would occur if the shortest possible routes were used. One trick to the signage is to understand that Epcot Resort Area does not mean Epcot. Same with the other parks. They assume you know BW,Y&B,Swan/Dolphin,BCV & BWV are Epcot resort area.

02-18-2003, 08:19 AM
My husband would totally agree with the comment that Disney takes you on big long loops around everything to get you from point A to point B. He's figured out some shortcuts, but you can't follow the signs posted in doing this. I guess that's the benefit of going to WDW so many times.

02-18-2003, 08:39 AM
I had to laugh when I read this post. We have been going to WDW and renting a car every year since 1986, we were there last week and my DH ventured out alone. He went to Downtown Disney and decided to take a different route back to BCV...a shortcut around the back of Epcot. An hour later he arrived back at BCV...he was soooooo lost, finally found a police officer who laughed when he told her where we wanted to be.....he was out past Celebration. My DD and I told him that he's not allowed to travel the world alone ever again!!!

Chuck S
02-18-2003, 10:31 AM
And roads are changing due to construction...look at the intersection that used to be at DTD...it just doesn't "look right" anymore. We go down 2x a year and have a car, I still do the "But I didn't want to go to EPCOT" mistake at least once a trip. Usually on the way back to OKW from AK. We've been staying at OKW for 10 years.

02-18-2003, 10:58 AM
Well, you people officially have me scared. The last two times we were at WDW we stayed at the Poly and the Contemporary, and didn't see the car from check-in to check-out. This time we're staying at OKW and plan on using the car regularly. I HATE getting lost (I am the navigator so I always get in trouble with DH)! Who's got suggestions on the best road map of the Disney area?
:confused: Come on .... for the sake of my marriage ...

02-18-2003, 11:17 AM
They have very good maps at guest services at your resort.
We have been lost maybe 2x's, the road signs are very good, you just have to not panic and watch them carefully.
I have ZERO sense of direction and generally get lost, but, for some strange reason, don't do it at WDW. Go figure.

02-18-2003, 11:34 AM
We always have a car at OKW and I am always the driver. I have a reputation of being able to go into strange places and never get lost. On our last trip in January after a night at the CG, with only one glass of wine, we left the Contempoary and I made a right turn and within 1/4 of a mile I was off the property in an industrial area owned by Disney. I had to ask 2 security guards how to get back to OKW.

My reputation was ruined.

02-18-2003, 12:26 PM
I agree that it can be tricky. It doesn't matter how good the maps are if you can't read them while driving. Once you're on the road, you're at the mercy of the signs, and they don't always tell you what you need to know. And if your exit is closed, or you miss a turn-off....

I was fortunate last year in that I went to a conference at WDW about 6 weeks before our family trip (rented a car both times), so I was able to make most of my mistakes with no one watching. The most humiliating thing was having to pay 50 cents toll on the Osceola Parkway to get back into WDW when I hadn't intended to leave.

02-18-2003, 12:38 PM
Actually it's not that bad, but it does take some time to learn it all.

I'm probably a fairly good expert about getting around. Want to use the back door exit on Buena Vista or on Dopey Drive? Just go past the warehouses.

Best way to VWL from OKW? Go toward the campground. And pass the future(???) site of Eagle Pines on the way.

AK, ASR, BB, Coronado, McDonalds....All easy to get to.

It just takes a little time to learn it all. For me, well I guess it started November 1971, so 31 years later (and 10 years worth of DVC), I've finally got it down pretty good.

Those of you newer to WDW or DVC, don't fret. By 2034 you'll know your way around just fine.:p

02-18-2003, 01:13 PM
I have to laugh. During our first trip about 5 years ago, we got the maps out and tried (in vain) to follow them to get from here to there. Immediately found that the street ID's on the map didn't have any relationship to street and road signs (if you can find them). I quickly found that following the Disney signs was the only way I could be sure of getting to where I want to be. They are completely in charge of traffic control by means of taking you around in circles, but at least I know I'll get there.

It helps to know what the "Epcot Resorts" are, and the "Magic Kingdom" resorts, since resorts aren't named until you get right on top of them. I also found that going to Crossroads and Publix (or any other grocery store) was easier if I just follow the signs to Downtown Disney and then exit through all the convention hotels.

02-18-2003, 01:30 PM
I can relate to this thread!! LOL!

We've driven around on our past two trips and have missed one of those direction signs (a few times) and ended up taking a big loop around to get to where we were going.

I didn't feel to bad about missing one of those signs when on our last trip to AKL we were on the bus going to MK and the bus driver missed one of those signs!! He apoligized as he pulled into the Swan parking lot to turn us around and head back out to the main road to make the turn to MK.

The nice thing though is if you do miss one of those signs there always seems to be another sign up ahead to get you going in the right direction. Even if it does take you longer to get there, I never felt lost.


02-18-2003, 01:51 PM
Luckytso, thanks for breaking the ice here. Apparently, we have all had these great stories for years but were too embarrassed to share them. You've let all of us WDW directionally challenged people come out of the closet! We would be fine if my DH took direction as well as I can read a map. Don't tell him I said that. Diana

02-18-2003, 02:01 PM
Well, now I don't feel quite so bad. We rented a car for the first time in January at the WDW Car Care Center and weren't sure how to get out of the parking lot! The sign said "to I 4" or something like that and we wanted to get back to OKW. We found some signs confusing or not complete, but were doing better after a few days. We didn't do much driving after dark, only to Crossroads area which we knew how to get to from OKW. I do think next year will be better as we'll be a little more familiar with the roads.

02-18-2003, 02:22 PM
Hi Luckytso!
I laughed when I read your post too. I'm glad you kept a good attitude about it and started learning your way around as time went on.
We know our way around DW but I do believe the signs are confusing. Sometimes the sign is far ahead of the intersection and then there are no signs at the intersection.
There are often easier ways to get from Point A to Point B than the way the signs direct you.
You'll soon be an expert!

I'm glad you fell in love with The Boardwalk!

As you know, it's my favorite Disney Resort. :)

Did you get to go on Buzzlightyear? Did you see Buzz in the park?

Your May vacation will be wonderful. May is a beautiful time in Florida!

Looking forward to reading more about your trip!

Simba's Mom
02-18-2003, 02:43 PM
Well, all you directionally challenged people, DH and I are just fine! It takes an hour to get from WL to Epcot, right? And aren't there about 8 Tower of Terror billboards on property that look just alike?

02-18-2003, 03:20 PM
Well, all you directionally challenged people, DH and I are just fine! It takes an hour to get from WL to Epcot, right? And aren't there about 8 Tower of Terror billboards on property that look just alike?

ROTF!!!! Actually, there are 16 TOT billboards that are EXACTLY alike. :) And...you made GREAT time from WL to Epcot, tell me your secret. ;)

02-18-2003, 03:25 PM
The intersection that is the most fun is the one right after entering the MK. I like the people who are all the way to the left who want to go the the WL or camp grounds. They have to cut off A LOT of people on their way to the right.

02-18-2003, 05:57 PM
Whew, I thought I was the only one who got lost at WDW. Now it makes sense, no wonder we see signs that don't make sense to us. For example, coming back from MK to BWV, we saw signs saying going straight to MK, while we thought it should be going the other way (since we just drove from there, not to keep going..) I guess this is Disney's way of traffic control.

Montessori, yes, we made it to the Buzz ride on Sat (1st day since refurbishment), and DH went on the ride 6 times, he got over 850,000 points, he was quite proud. We saw Buzz, Jesse, and even Bull's Eye (sp?). Lots of characters. I wish they have the live Buzz show like the one in Disneyland. BWV is now definately our favorite. Thanks

Can someone give me some easy short cuts to the parks? For example, we realized on our last day that coming out of BWV, if you cross Buena Vista Drive, you will be going directly into MGM's parking lot, while if you follow the signs, you would be turning at the intersection for a detour.

02-18-2003, 06:49 PM
I don't jhave much trouble in WDW. - Orlando is another story.

02-18-2003, 08:45 PM
LOL, Been there. I'm really not fond of driving - even places I know well. So driving places I don't know is horrible.

I love the "Is it better to rent a car than take Disney transportation?" debates - obviously, the ones that get there faster in their rental car aren't the one's that have discovered all sixteen Tower of Terror billboards.

Pig Pen
02-18-2003, 09:26 PM
Reading this thread was the best thing I did all day! DH and I practically get a divorce everytime we drive around WDW. We got lost going from AK to AKL last time (somehow we couldn't get out of AK parking lot and twice ended up going back towards Epcot - I kept saying WE SHOULD NOT BE SEEING SWAN/DOLPHIN IN FRONT OF US!!)

Then we got lost going from MK to CSR. The biggest hint that we were heading the wrong way was when we had to pay that darn toll....

And, at least once per trip, we end up on I-4 when we are trying to get onto 192. We have also ended up on a road to nowhere east and south of Celebration. It ended at a lake. We could actually SEE the interstate, but we just couldn't figure out how to get ON IT!

Needless to say, in May we are flying and taking towncar service. Disney buses rule.

02-18-2003, 10:00 PM
We left at 4 AM to get an early start on the long drive back to NY. "We just go thru downtown Disney and I-4 will be right there, right?"
"Where are all of the DD hotels?"
"Why is it so dark?"
"We're lost. Great start, huh?"
"There's a street sign. I can just make it out. What the heck is Vineland Apopka Road?"
"I can't find it on the map".
"Oh well, I'll make a right and hope for the best".
Lucky choice, it took us to I-4. Arrived back on Long Island 22 tired hours later. (Would have been 20 hours, but of course there was late night traffic at the Verrazzano Bridge, and parts of the LIE and Northern State were closed...)
I bought an Orlando street map the next trip.
Worth the $5!

Paul in CT
02-18-2003, 10:19 PM
Although it seems that there are new "roads" every time we go to WDW, one of the things I like about WDW is that even when you get "lost", it's not too difficult to find your way back. One of the advantages of being a DVC member is that you get plenty of practice at getting around. :teeth:

02-19-2003, 09:38 AM
We always get a car & I am the driver. But DH is the best navigator. He know one way to get everywhere & if we just stick w/ his "one way" we are fine. It's when we start to get creative that we get lost. Whenever he is not in the car, DSs & I get lost. Their line is: "That was good Mom, we only made ____ u-turns".

02-19-2003, 10:12 AM
I can identify with all that everyone has said and have come to some conclusions:

*The concept of "shortest distance btwn 2 pts is a straight line" is somehow lost to Disney

*This is what happens when "imagineers" design the roads instead of "enginees"

*Take Bonnet Creek Pkwy. to get to MK

*Everytime we go we have to re-orient ourselves according to the resort location

*The best map we got, for very local streets, was from the Medical Bldg(I think Medquest or something-it is the free standing emergency room. on Apopka-Vineland)

*To avoid tolls from the airport take Sand Lake Road
*If all else fails-get On-Star or some navigational system for your car.

02-19-2003, 11:25 AM
This thread is making me feel soooo much better. I get lost everywhere, WDW is no exception. At least I'm not the only one! :D

Pig Pen
02-19-2003, 10:38 PM
This is my favorite thread right now and I keep checking for new stories. This just cracks me up.

02-20-2003, 10:48 AM
OK I don't feel so stupid now. It got to be a standing joke "Do we really have to get on I4 to go anywhere??" My saving grace for finding OKW was the lighthouse on the corner of whatever that street is. After 4 days I got a little better and at least stayed off I4. LOL on the Epcot parking lot deal, I did that at least three times !!

02-20-2003, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by buzz5985
LOL I drive in Boston every day. I am used to no signs, bad signs, changed roads. To me Disney World has the best signs. Just don't miss one. LOL

I have to agree....driving around Disney is a piece of cake compared to Boston.

I'll take WDW signs over the Big Dig ANYDAY!:p

02-20-2003, 12:50 PM
OMG...i feel so much better...i usually am the navigator..DH bad sense of direction...one problem is we just get oriented and then may move to another resort......had a new Dodge Durango from Dollar ..so he want ed to drive everywhere....we ended up a AKL too often....one night i said" As long as we're here we might as well go in"...i wish i could see the grounds from a plane......

02-20-2003, 02:32 PM
From a Brit over the pond you a;; make me feel so much better. I thought only the Brits got lost having to cope with driving on the wrong side of the road as well LOL. yes I do get lost but you have made me feel so much better now.

02-20-2003, 03:17 PM
sometimes - but I have a back route into WDW and generally use back routes -

In 1993 WDW had great signs- but a couple of years ago 1999? they decided that all hotel guest should use the same exit -WHAT!

So I know generally where I want to go and how to get there - but WDW signs are silly at times and misleading at best - sorry you got lose.

for the off property
you have to send off for their vacation guide - this includes several maps - with hotels on one, theme parks and other shows on another - it now goes up to where Universal is so it is real helpful. It is free.

Have you send the AAA map of Orlando - it acts like people are only interested in where the theme parks - not hotels, restuarants and the other stuff. I can't believe a travel company put out such a map.

02-20-2003, 05:55 PM
Boy, am I glad I'm not the only one! On our Christmas trip, we were at Ft. Wilderness and the Poly to eat out and check out the decorations, etc. I still don't know what happened, but I had the WORST time finding a way to get going in the direction I needed to go from there to get back to BWV. I wound up going in circles a few times, thinking "How can it be this hard?"

The sad part is that I'm usually very good at getting places and have a natural inner compass. But that experience of circling around and around without knowing what I was doing wrong was really humbling. :( Guess that's what they call "character building." ;)

02-21-2003, 02:02 PM
This thread is really surprising to me. Maybe it's due to the fact that tooling around Chicago every day has gotten me acclamated, but I had absolutely no problems driving down at WDW. Maybe we did take the long way around, but I followed all the signage and had no problems getting where I wanted to be in a short amount of time.

We even took a couple of day trips, one being to Daytona, and really had no problems whatsoever.

I know I will never be without a car down at WDW.