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View Full Version : DEBATE: Disney Monorails. Magical - Yes. But Effective?


DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 10:31 AM
So as not to consume the infrastructure thread with talk of the monrails that should have been, let's give it it's own thread ;).

You will hardly get an argument that the Disney monorails, as they exist, are Magical :). Who doesn't come away from multiple trips on the monorail with "Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas" etched into their memory :tongue:. Furthermore, they serve the MK rather well.

Seeing that monorails are often bantered about as what could have been/could be a solution to the WDW transportation system woes, let's look bit closer at these Magical wonders, and explore from a guest point of view whether they are truely efficient, and could be effectively used on a larger scale. We'll leave all talk of money and cost-benefit aside, leave out the comments about management being too cheap, and look at it from a guest use point of view, and how a resort wide system might be designed from a guests point of view.

Let me start with these observations regarding the existing monorails.

1) As stated, the existing monorails are pure Magic (even though I often think they are overrated - but we can talk about that later :eek: ).

2) Minimum time to make the MK resort loop is 15 minutes, all stops included, no waiting for a train. With a wait and traffic it can take as much as a half hour (I know it can as it happened to us, several times, on different trips).

3) Minimum TTC to Epcot one way trip, no stops, takes 10 minutes (or is it longer?), again with no waiting for a train.

If monorails were to be implemented resort wide, I submit that the followig would have to be true (based on logical assumptions which I'm sure everyone will challenge :().

1) Every venue throughout WDW could not be connected to a single monorail line as it would take way too long to make the loop.

2) There would have to be a hub somewhere that would connect several different lines. That could be the TTC, or most likely there would be an outlying hub.

3) There would likely be at least 3 monorail lines. As the MK loop shows, 4 stops over a relatively short distance will take 15 minutes. Take a line that runs beyond Epcot and then stops at 4 places and you would have a half hour trip to the TTC, plus another 10 or so to the MK after connecting at the TTC. As such, the various lines would have to be somewhat contained.

Practically, you might be able to have one line that extends beyond Epcot to serve the Epcot resorts, as well as MGM. Another line could serve Port Orleans, OKW, CBR, Typhoon Lagoon and DTD. Another line could serve Coronado Springs, Blizzard Beach, the All Stars, AKL and the AK.

4) Any monorail trip to a theme park would involve one or more transfers.

There you have it, a bare-bones framework for a monorail system. Given that, one must ask if such a system would be all that efficient. While it would be much more Magical than busses, I have real doubt that it would be as efficient or effective as the current bussing system.

Take Coronado Springs or AKL under such a system. You'd have to travel the AK line, making several stops along the way, and transfer at the central hub. After making that connection you would travel to the TTC. Another connection gets you to the MK. So, you have two transfers, waiting time for monorails, and 30 minutes of train time. All in all you probably wouldn't get from CS or AKL to the MK in any less than 45 minutes. If that can be done in 20 minutes via bus, would such a monorail system better than the system of busses that currently exists?

Here is your chance to be transportation infrastructure imagineer for a day. Be practical, and think, would a resort wide monorail system be all that efficient? Furthermore, if it resulted in longer trip times than the busses do, would it be all that Magical?

I think the monorails that exist to serve the MK are great. They are unique and innovative and serve a contained area in an efficient manner. The monorail that serves Epcot is nice as well, but I always wonder what it's ridership level are and does it really serve that many people. I also often wonder why monorails are not more commonly found throughout the US if they are truely an efficient and effective means of public transportation over a wide area. What do you think? Thoughts, ideas? I know this stuff is very "if pigs could fly", and some people don't like to talk about that sort of stuff, but if monorails ideas are going to keep being talked about, let's really talk about them.

PS - As stated, let's try to be realistic. For example, trip times could be greatly reduced if a new fandangled high speed monorail was invented. However, that technology doesn't exist today so don't even go there ;).

WebmasterCricket
03-04-2003, 11:01 AM
Honestly, I think the monorails are only perceived as magical because they are Disney monorails. I've ridden other things like them and sorry, but they were just like riding a city bus, but slower.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 11:36 AM
I think what makes the monorail magical is the scenery around them. If they created more monorail lines and you'd have to transfer more then one time and it became a logistical nightmare then it would no longer be magical or fun.

They wouldnt be too effective either if you had to transfer more then once. Tranferring once to a more central statition then the ttc would be acceptable but more then one transfer would just.......suck.

I think their just isn't an ideal transportation sytem for the way wdw is spread out

wdw4us2
03-04-2003, 11:39 AM
There was talk a few years ago of moving the TTC to Epcot because it is more centrally located on the property. This would probably be a good thing if the monorail was expanded.

I don't see the feasibility of having the monorail extended to every resort. However, I do think that it would be workable if it were extended to Disney/MGM Studios and the Epcot Resort Area (Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach). If Epcot were the TTC, people staying at the MK Resort Area could take the monorail to Epcot as well as other resorts and Disney/MGM Studios. Resort to resort travel is probably the biggest deficiency of the current WDW transportation system.

Just suppose you are staying at the Polynesian and would like to spend some time at Boardwalk to go dancing and drinking after 9 pm. With the current system, you'd have to take a bus to DTD and then catch another bus to Boardwalk and do the reverse on your way back to the resort. Anyone who's ever done this knows that you're looking at a (generally) 1 hour one-way trip. I'm sure that a monorail system would be more efficient time-wise. I'm sure someone will say that you can drive that distance in less time, but my scenario is for people without a designated driver.

The monorail is also more environmentally friendly that the buses are. Just think of the pollution reduction, fuel consumption and road wear and tear that would occur with the number of bus routes that could be eliminated.

These are just some random thoughts without taking the costs of monorail expansion into consideration.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 11:51 AM
Just suppose you are staying at the Polynesian and would like to spend some time at Boardwalk to go dancing and drinking after 9 pm. With the current system, you'd have to take a bus to DTD and then catch another bus to Boardwalk

thats happened to me several times but i dont think it's possible to link the monorail to the boardwalk. If they placed a new ttc at epcot it would have to be by where the epcot parking lot is now right? so then youd have to walk through epcot to get to the boardwalk hotel assuming there are no hotels linked to the monorail. So either way it's a nightmare. plus if epcot closes at 11 but your partying till like 1am your beat to get back to the monorail. you'll have to do the bus thing of hell again.

wdw4us2
03-04-2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by BRERALEX
If they placed a new ttc at epcot it would have to be by where the epcot parking lot is now right? so then youd have to walk through epcot to get to the boardwalk hotel assuming there are no hotels linked to the monorail. So either way it's a nightmare. plus if epcot closes at 11 but your partying till like 1am your beat to get back to the monorail. you'll have to do the bus thing of hell again.

What I meant to say (if it wasn't clear) is that the new TTC would be at Epcot AND the monorail line would be extended to the Epcot Area Resorts as well as Disney/MGM Studios.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 12:20 PM
would it be all the epcot resorts or some of the epcot resorts and is there room to fit a monorail line to handle either and if not then did they map out where they placed everything well enough.

a monorail line to MGM hell yeah i just didn't think you could fit a line to the epcot resorts. And even if you could then it starts to become an eyesore so many of those grey colored monorail line all over the place

mjstaceyuofm
03-04-2003, 12:32 PM
DK - you have some real good ideas. I think you've set us out on the right foot.

My plan is kind of a hybrid between monorails and busses that deviates slightly from your plan. I think it would take a number of lines similar to what you have proposed. Each of these lines would serve a particular area of the world. I would envision three monorail lines: you’d have a line that serves the AK area, one for the Epcot/MGM area and one for the MK area. Each of these lines would have a minimum of three separate stops – the designated park(s) (potentially including water parks and DTD) for that line, a local hub, and a central hub where all three lines would meet. The local hub would serve as a port to load passengers for the resorts in that area. All the resorts for a particular line would have busses that take people from the resorts to its particular monorail line hub. The monorail would then go to the central hub where people could switch to whatever line they wanted to. Now the obvious caveat to this is further proliferation of Baron’s caste system where you’d have certain resorts that have monorails attached (i.e. the existing monorail resorts and maybe AKL on the AK monorail line, Y&BC on the Epcot line…)

So say you’re at Wilderness Lodge and want to go to CS. You take a bus to the MK monorail line local hub. Take MK monorail to the central hub, switch to the AK monorail line and get off at it’s local hub and take a bus to CS. I know we’re talking about 4 different trips but what this system does is the following:

1. Eliminate any and all busses at the theme parks/water parks/etc.
2. Create a continuous loop of localized busses that just frequent hotels.
3. Reduce the number of busses making long hauls between places like VWL and Epcot/AKL/MGM.
4. Create a central monorail hub that has no busses.
5. Create a uniform system in which everyone has to take the monorail to go to a park.

Hopefully this reduces the number of busses required and gets the busses away from taking those long hauls.

Realistically, this most likely could not be retrofitted to the existing monorail lines and would require a total re-working of the current monorail system. But were talking hypotheticals here, right??? :crazy:

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 12:34 PM
OK. I think they should use a good protion of the epcot parking lot to build TTC 2 (the sequal).

1.Have one line going to DTD then to MGM and back to epcot a big circle line.

2. have another line going from epcot ttc to animal kingdom, another nice and smaller loop that goes just to the park and back.

3. busses to the waterparks.

4. noone goes to wide world of sports anyways so who cares.

mjstaceyuofm
03-04-2003, 12:38 PM
A bus ride can be unique, just as a monorail ride can be unique, if it is not the same as simply what you can find anywhere else.Actually, I too like the bus rides myself - leave the driving to someone else. That's good for me...An hybrid double-decker well-themed bus with an open-air second deck...Scoop, aren't you a lawyer? You know this would never fly... I can just see the lawsuits now:

Man taking picture from double decker bus falls out, breaks legs.

"all I wanted to do was get a picture of the castle...." says man....

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 12:38 PM
And even if you could then it starts to become an eyesore so many of those grey colored monorail line all over the place
For this reason I believe Disney would be better served by a subway system, rather than monorails. But again you have to consider whether that would be any more efficient than the current WDW transportation systems.

I work in Manhatten. While the NYC subway system is not as asthetically pleasing as, say, the DC Metro, it is extremely efficient. Every morning I have to go from Grand Central to Penn Station. Maybe a mile. Certainly a much shorther trip than getting form one end of WDW to the other. My subway ride, including a transfer, is 15 to 20 minutes. Even if Disney put in an efficient subway system, guests still wouldn't be able to travel around WDW any quicker than they do now.

Busses aren't sexy, at least not the bus system Disney has now, but it is hard to say they are inadequate (oops - that is the other thread ;)).

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 12:45 PM
subway system sounds mad cool and would be a great way to get around but you miss alot of excitement of the environment. i love that little loop the monorail does around the 'ball' when your pulling into epcot and i love being able to see the mk gates when your pullin into mk.

a subway sytem would be ideal transportation wise really, (i'll be using them when the car show comes back to the city), but not asthetically pleasing, and i think detrimantal to the experience. there'd be no build up to pulling up to the park. even when your on the resort monorail you know you can look out and see the castle and you can see the rockets in tommorrowland moving and you know the place is alive and your excited (at least i get excited). being underground would take alot away from the experience.

An hybrid double-decker well-themed bus with an open-air second deck would be every bit as magical to me (if not more) for traveling throughout WDW than a monorail.

man that would scare the hell out of me, i'd need some tequilas in me first.

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 12:49 PM
My plan is kind of a hybrid between monorails and busses that deviates slightly from your plan.
Interesting ideas Matt. However, here is the problem I see. As it stands now, you get on a bus, you get off at the park. Can't get any simpler than that. As interesting as your plan is, 1) people still have to take a bus, albeit a shorter ride, and 2) after that they have to make a couple of connections. Will that really be a more efficient system than we currently have. Furthermore, is that system going to entice peoople to stop driving. Come next November we'll have 3 kids, and will be pushing 2 strollers. The last thing I'm going to want to do is navigate those strollers thru 2 or three different connection, including a bus. As it is now, I roll out to the car, fold the stroller once, have the kids sit comfy in a car seat, and reload them at the park. An all monorail system where I could keep the kids in the strollers from the time I leave the room to the time I enter the park might entice me to forgo the car.

Curious, what engineering firm do you work for. I work for one of the biggies headquartered in NY (although I'm an accountant type and not an engineer ;))?

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 12:54 PM
a subway sytem would be ideal transportation wise really, but not asthetically pleasing, and i think detrimantal to the experience.
True, you wouldn't get the same approach as you do on the MK monorail. However, you don't get that on a bus either. Frankly, the highway and traffic view you get from a bus isn't ll that asthetically pleasing either.

Just think of the incredible things Disney could do with the blank canvas that would be the new underground subway system. If anyone could make the ride magical, make the ride an attraction in and of itself, it would have to be Disney.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 01:01 PM
Come next November we'll have 3 kids, and will be pushing 2 strollers.

coughcoughsuckercough. that will be the biggest pain in the booty to keep breaking down the stroller and reloading them. but no matter what you would do you would need to make two transfers with a bigger monorail system.



Be practical, and think, would a resort wide monorail system be all that efficient?

no. fun to dream it up but no there would be too many transfers.

Just think of the incredible things Disney could do with the blank canvas that would be the new underground subway system. If anyone could make the ride magical, make the ride an attraction in and of itself, it would have to be Disney.

I thought of this of course but having rid the subways many times after awhile you don't even look out the windows and there wouldnt be much room to work with to make it work.

Of course this is all hypothetical but being that your an engineer is it even possible to really gut out a subway sytem this late in the game with how big wdw has become. and if not does that mean i should hop over to the other thread and bash them for not thinking it out well enough lol.

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 01:12 PM
Honestly, I think the monorails are only perceived as magical because they are Disney monorails. I've ridden other things like them and sorry, but they were just like riding a city bus, but slower. Again, customer perception = business reality.


Now, I'll preface my monorail comments by again saying I am not a transportation engineer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

However, while transportation engineers are very good at engineering efficient transportation systems, they are not experience at looking at transportation as a "value add" to a resort vacation destination like WDW. As has been pointed out many times, WDW is a unique situation and must be viewed without pre-conceived notions about what works in New York, San Francisco, or Souix Falls.

Yes, there are things to learn from a city's transportation system, but again, WDW has other factors at play.

For instance, the quickest route is not ALWAYS going to be the most desireable for WDW guests. Most will sacrifice a few minutes in speed if the experience is upgraded. This dynamic rarely comes into play in transportation systems designed to deal with work commutes.

So with that in mind...would a WDW-wide monorail make sense for WDW?

I don't know, but I know it COULD and should be studied in great detail before being dismissed.

What I can say is that this issues of grey colored monorail lines all over the place can be tossed out immediately. They are considered a bonus by the vast majority of guests who stay at resorts that they are serviced by, and just about everyone of us gets at least a bit of enjoyment at watching a monorail glide by.

The monorail that serves Epcot is nice as well, but I always wonder what it's ridership level are and does it really serve that many people. The only pertinent numbers would be the number of people that take it from the MK resorts to Epcot. Its not really a practical option if going from an Epcot resort to MK. I know I said guests will sacrifice a few minutes for Magical transportation, but trying to catch a boat or walk to Epcot's WS, then walk to the front of Epcot to catch the monorail makes it much more than a few minutes difference than the bus. If one could catch a Monorail at the resort itself, that would be a different story.

All that said, I'll take a look at a map and see what I can propose that would at least be worth considering. But my initial take is to make the Epcot/MGM area the central Monorail hub. All lines would pass through all stations in this area, including the Epcot resorts (deluxes at least) as well as MGM and Epcot.

From there, the lines would "spoke" out. A line would be one that travels between ends of different spokes (though the spokes would likely still actually be loops). For instance, one might be the MK/AK line. You would NOT need to transfer if traveling from an MK resort to the AK area, or the Epcot area for that matter, since you would pass through it.

I'll look at it some more later, but that's what comes to mind initially.

One final thought for now, though...I don't think its really fair to say that at least some Monorail expansion would not be efficient. My understanding is that Disney has indeed worked out some expansion plans, and likely would have implemented them were it not for a reluctance to come up with the up-front capital.

Bob O
03-04-2003, 01:13 PM
The monorails are very nice and magical but it is impratical from a cost perspective to have one monorail system going to all the parks and all of the resorts.
Unlike some here i have had no problems with the disney transportation system as it curremtly is and much perfer to drive in my rental car than be on a bus with a bunch of strangers.
The money disney has available should be used to improve the park's and let the transportation run the way it is. Any money spent on the transportation system or additional monorails is less money that will be available to spend improving the parks which is in every park.
It all gets down to proper planning and where you choose to stay on the grounds. And if off-site again it gets down to having a plan ot action which reduces the amount of trouble you may encounter.

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 01:15 PM
coughcoughsuckercough. that will be the biggest pain in the booty to keep breaking down the stroller and reloading them. but no matter what you would do you would need to make two transfers with a bigger monorail system.
I'll take the "pain" that comes with #3 ;). The one benefit to a monorail system would be that you wouldn't have to break down the strollers. Roll on, roll off :).
Of course this is all hypothetical but being that your an engineer is it even possible to really gut out a subway sytem this late in the game with how big wdw has become. and if not does that mean i should hop over to the other thread and bash them for not thinking it out well enough lol.
I'm not an engineer (but I do play one on TV :crazy: ), but I really do work for an engineering firm. Actually the one that built the original subway system under NYC over a hundred years ago. Given everything that would be required to put in a subway system, no - I don't think it is realistic logistically. Being a numbers guy - oh, the cost if they tried, but I said we wouldn't talk about that ;).

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 01:24 PM
One final thought for now, though...I don't think its really fair to say that at least some Monorail expansion would not be efficient.

true. But it seems the next time if there is a next time that they expand the monorail lines if they don't go all out there will be an uproar. I think it's gonna have to be an all or nothing situation which is why maybe they've waited so long to expand aside from the amount of money it would cost.

I do think lots and lots and lots of grey monorail lines would be a factor in not expanding ALL over the place. lots of places have restricitions on eyesores and a huge expansion which would bring about many lines would not only be a large eyesore but such an eyesore you would ruin lots of the great pituresque shots you have now of the resorts.

but yeah i do think some expansion is needed. Maybe a monorail line from mmk to ak so all the grand floridian guests dont have to take that long bus all the way to see the animals. Is Ak monorail expansion even worth it? Even they realize it's half day park as stated in the new disney magazine.

I'm not an engineer

oops. sorry. crounch out some numbers on how much a huge monorail infrastructure renovation would hit the mouses wallet!!!!! j/k.

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 01:24 PM
Disney has indeed worked out some expansion plans, and likely would have implemented them were it not for a reluctance to come up with the up-front capital.
I think this is quite an assumption. Even before ME tightened the purse strings there were probably lots of plans that were conceptualized and put to paper but didn't happen for a variety of reasons. You've been riding shotgun with Baron too long and all you can see as motivation for anything is $$$$ ;).

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 01:33 PM
I think this is quite an assumption. Its my impression that this has actually been discussed publically by Disney. If nobody else remembers it that way, I'll back off my statement as I agree it would be too much of an assumption.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 01:34 PM
maybe DTD should have the TTC and there is room over there......knock down disneyquest HAHAHAHA i kill me.

a line goes from the d.t.d.t.t.c. (wow) a line goes to OKw and PO and back

another line goes to MGM to AK

another line goes to Epcot

another line goes to Mk

a line is built from epcot to AK

a line is built from Ak to mk

It's already too many lines too many transfers. under the current system whats the biggest problem.....the boardwalk? maybe there should just be a baby express monorail from the boardwalk to DTD instead of having to catch a bus back to dtd you take an express monorail and then you catch a bus.

you know what my biggest problem is gonna be pickin the right monorail when i come out of a club drunk. im going to end up in queens.

mjstaceyuofm
03-04-2003, 01:53 PM
DK - I hear you on the transfer thing. I have 2 little guys and the strollers are a pain...

My "plan" was just a hypothetical idea. Yeah, it does seem a bit much with all the transfers, but there is potential. Let me answer your points.

1. Yes you still have to take a bus, but it is a shorter distance and hopefully at more frequent intervals.

2. Connections are required, but the beauty of it is that the process is always the same no matter where you want to go on WDW property... Bus, local hub, central hub to park - reverse the process to get back to your hotel (or any hotel of your choice...).

3. Will people stop driving? Hard to say, but if it becomes easier, quicker, and simpler to get anywhere on WDW property using the same process, it might do the trick. Plus, you always take a monorail to a park....

Or, you could really up the ante and eliminate parking at the parks (save for handicap, etc...) and have ALL parking located at the central hub.

I'll send you a PM about the firm thing....

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 02:03 PM
a central hub between epcot and mk of course would be awesome. open 22 hours a day to service me coming out of PI.

my central hub would have 4 lines.

1. to mk

2. epcot to mgm

3. AK

4. dtd

Estimates put the monorail expansion price tag around $1 Billion.

thats from the intercot website in an article about monorail expansion nixed for the bigger bus system. I really would rather have 1 billion or part of put into expanding AK and bulldozing CA
and refurbishing everything in need of refurbishment

Another Voice
03-04-2003, 02:54 PM
The "rumored" once and cancelled master plan:

The main line would extend the MK-Epcot beam down to the Disney/MG Studios and to the Animal Kingdom. Stations at Epcot and the Studios would be built allowing for guests to travel both north and south. By reconfiguring the Magic Kingdom Express Line to be part of this beam, there would have been no need to transfer trains when traveling between any of the parks.

Associated with the center line would be regional lines – just as the Magic Kingdom Resort line loops around the Seven Seas Lagoon and connects those resorts to the TTC. Epcot would be the central station for an extension to Downtown Disney and the Hotel Plaza. Also considered was a centralized parking facility for day guests. Since the roadways around Epcot can handle the traffic, off property guests could park in a new lot and "park hop" across the property using monorails instead of driving from one lot to another. This central parking plan may/might/could have been built further south, nearer to I-4 and US 192 to provide better highway access.

Monorails are by far the most efficient means of transporting guests on property. Any kind of rail system – heavy, light, monorail or subway – works best when moving large volumes of people between areas of high concentration on a predictable schedule: something like an urban rush hour or several theme parks. Busses, even slightly cheesy touristy open air kinds, work best on low demand, low density areas because they can uses existing roadways where cars still car the bulk of the traffic. These areas could have included moving people between resorts, within resorts, or from resorts to centralized stations.

All of these issues are well known within the company and there have been several attempts over the years to correct the situation. Some came very, very close to being built. But restoring the transportation system on property doesn't produce big enough dollars in an on a simple spreadhseet enough for a certain executive. It's far easier to make the guests deal with the problem ("please allow one hour to travel to your destination") then it is to create a real solution.

P.S. – the monorail system wasn't nixed in favor of a "bigger bus" system. The whole "Magic on Demand" fiasco was an attempt to reduce the size of the fleet, not expand it.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 03:12 PM
P.S. – the monorail system wasn't nixed in favor of a "bigger bus" system.

oooops my bad your right wrote that too fast.

monorails are ahhh ok. theone at newark airport is downright depressing cause your passing by the ANheiser busch building and two sucky towns, newark and elizabeth.

themeing themeing themeing

mjstaceyuofm
03-04-2003, 03:12 PM
Especially the one at the mall outside DetroitYou have been out of the Metro Detroit area for some time, eh Scoop?

The monorail you're talking about was taken out of service (I mean completely dismantled) in the early to mid-90's....

Another Voice
03-04-2003, 03:16 PM
Anything that cruises up and down Hollywood Blvd. hauling tourists is by the definition "cheesy".

The same goes for hearses used as tour busses, Humvees stretched out into limos and any wheeled vehicle which contains a working hot tub.

BRERALEX
03-04-2003, 03:48 PM
I just can't wait to see the big concrete pillars cut through the Boardwalk...

exactly. it would be too much too many lines too opposing to the beauty of the resorts and the overall atmosphere. my university can't even get a parking deck because it would be too much of an eyesore. So I couldnt see it possible for them to build so many new routes that it wouldnt interfere with the overall themeing.

ahh maybe they should just cut big holes into the swan and dolphin and run the track through there and to boardwalk and link it all up. it be gross.

wdw4us2
03-04-2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by DisneyKidds
For this reason I believe Disney would be better served by a subway system, rather than monorails. But again you have to consider whether that would be any more efficient than the current WDW transportation systems.

While I like this idea, and it would certainly take care of the concerns of the "ugly pillars" from the monorail, this would not be a reality in Florida.

Anytime you dig underground in Florida, you run into water in a very short distance. Also, the ground is mostly sand, not soil. This is one of the reasons the Utilidor under the MK is actually the ground floor and the park is the second floor. I don't see how they could build an underground subway without it costing a fortune, if it could be done at all.

doubletrouble_vb
03-04-2003, 04:19 PM
Wondering why some type of light rail couldn't be put in to handle the Epcot/MGM/DTD loop with stops at hotels. It'd be easy to theme it. Such a loop would be cost justified if you can move people from hotels to profit centers. One thing that stops me from going to either Boardwalk or DTD at night is the sheer amount of time spent in transit or worse yet...waiting for a bus a 1AM.

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 04:26 PM
Are the ugly pillars a major source of complaint from guests at the GF, Poly and CR?

Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a route that would not take it down the middle of the BW?

But, as Mr. Voice alluded to, monorails are most effective during peak people moving times. However, that only happens a few times per day (probably just opening and closing). So it would benefit large portions of guests....after all, that's why they call them peaks, right?

In the end though, I think we all agree that there is no longer anything inherently novel about a monorail. So, with that novelty gone from when they were first introduced, the question of efficiency comes into the forefront. All I can say is that you are too quick to discount the intangible benefits of the Monorail. Novel or not, people like it. They like the views from the elevated track, they like seeing it whiz by, and they like going through the CR. If Monorail expansion is done with these things in mind, it will continue to have appeal. (That does NOT mean I am discounting any other alternative form of transportation)

You know, we have BART here in the Bay Area, but you can't compare a BART experience that consists of the smell of urine and views of the Projects with a Monorail experience in WDW. I've yet to have to step over a sleeping hobo to get off of a WDW Monorail.

hopemax
03-04-2003, 05:12 PM
Does anyone know anything about http://www.skytran.net/?

I believe that Personalized Rapid Transit is the future, but I don't know how viable it is right now and in the swamps of Florida (I really can't believe you guys are talking subways in Florida!).

So I answer my own question, kinda. Sample project:

http://www.skytran.net/03economics/s10.htm

Another Voice
03-04-2003, 05:44 PM
"I just can't wait to see the big concrete pillars cut through the Boardwalk..."

You're right - dirty overcrowded busses spewing black smoke across the vast plains of asphalt are much more appealing.

Let's just settle on "magical" open air donkey carts for those that want it. The rest of us will simply avoid going to WDW.

airlarry!
03-04-2003, 06:23 PM
I just want all the people who think monorails, even with the allegedly 'big ugly concrete pilings', are inherently less magical than buses to speak up so we can 'count the noses.'

It makes sense to AT THE VERY LEAST put in a monorail to the DTD area. I can't believe Disney has never done it yet. I know many people, many people who don't want to drive out there, but would gladly hop on a monorail out the old village to shop and be entertained.

Barb
03-04-2003, 06:29 PM
All I can say is that you are too quick to discount the intangible benefits of the Monorail. Novel or not, people like it. They like the views from the elevated track, they like seeing it whiz by, and they like going through the CR. If Monorail expansion is done with these things in mind, it will continue to have appeal.

I agree. I can't help but smile when we're driving up to the Magic Kingdom gate and the monorail goes whizzing by. Before we bought into DVC, my husband would insist we only stay at the monorail resorts. While I can't debate the pros and cons of the reality of the monorail, I can tell you that all the things raidermatt stated are an important part of our WDW trip.
Adding any sort of efficient transportation system can only be a plus. When the buses become a problem, people tend to drive their own cars from park to park. Why wouldn't they want to make getting from one place to another easier for their guests?

d-r
03-04-2003, 06:43 PM
I want to say that I was thinking exactly what HOPEMAX said - in terms of both a subway in the high water table, and in the implementation of sky-tran like system. I think about this every once in a while, and it seems to me that is the way to go!

DR

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 06:54 PM
Skytran is an example of the kind of thing that WDW should consider.

As I said, it doesn't HAVE to be a Monorail expansion.

DVC-Landbaron
03-04-2003, 08:06 PM
WOW!! What a thread!! It’s very hard to play catch-up with something this unwieldy. But that never stopped me before!! :crazy:

My first thought, while reading it the first time was all the negative views of monorails. It is a position I do not understand. Some salient samples: Originally posted by Mr. J. Cricket
Honestly, I think the monorails are only perceived as magical because they are Disney monorails. I've ridden other things like them and sorry, but they were just like riding a city bus, but slower.
Originally posted by thedscoop
Multiple concrete lines with all the required pillars and stations throughout WDW would just look bad and, unlike some other types of transportation are pretty permanent.
Originally posted by thedscoop
Well if monorails have become passe' for Fairlane Center in Dearborn, Michigan, then by all means, Disney needs more...

I just can't wait to see the big concrete pillars cut through the Boardwalk...

I really can’t see for the life of me how some obscure (and if you don’t happen to live in that city it is obscure) monorail system has anything whatsoever to do with Disney’s monorail system! Maybe someone can explain it to me.

And I really want to know, especially from Scoop since he seems to head the charge on this issue, if you can really, honestly, truly and from the bottom of your magical heart, tell me you find a bus more “Disney” that the monorail?

The second thought that struck me was from BRERALEX when he said: I think there just isn't an ideal transportation system for the way WDW is spread outThis, of course, is in the wrong thread. It should be included in the infrastructure thread (but lord knows if I’ll ever have time for that one with the rate Mr. Kidds brings up new topics!!!). It is EXACTLY what I meant by the term ‘haphazard’ with little or no foresight. Thank you for summing it perfectly and understanding, on the most basic level, the meaning of it all!!!

Third thought. I cut out and saved all those zany references to subways. It was a little tough through the tears of laughter, but I managed. I got all the way up to wdw4us2 and decided to scraps all the inane references in favor of repeating this little gem of wisdom! Anytime you dig underground in Florida, you run into water in a very short distance. Also, the ground is mostly sand, not soil. This is one of the reasons the Utilidor under the MK is actually the ground floor and the park is the second floor. I don't see how they could build an underground subway without it costing a fortune, if it could be done at all.Thank you wdw4us2!! You literally took the words out of my mouth!!!
An hybrid double-decker well-themed bus with an open-air second deck would be every bit as magical to me (if not more) for traveling throughout WDW than a monorail…

… Imagine how much fun it would be to travel from your resort to MK on a sunny day on the open air level of a double decker bus that does not spew out any nasty emissions.Scoop, Scoop, Scoop. What am I goin’ do with you?? Do you really think an open air double decker bus would fly in June, July or August?! Come on!! You’re going to cut capacity in half for more than half the time!! Not to mention the other issues that have been brought up by other posters! I’ll grant you that it is ‘Rockwell’, as it paints a pretty Walt type picture. But like most of his depictions of ‘normal’ life, it just doesn’t work in the real world!!

Last thought (hey!! Who was it that said hurray!??) It is of course Raidermatt!! WOW! When I’m catching up I sometimes start formulating responses as I’m reading though the thread the first time. Every time I have a thought on a subject or think of some pithy remark, Sir Matt’s been there – done that!!! It pleases me no end!!!! But at the same time it’s a bit frustrating!! He keeps stealing all the good bits!!!! Such as: For instance, the quickest route is not ALWAYS going to be the most desirable for WDW guests. Most will sacrifice a few minutes in speed if the experience is upgraded. This dynamic rarely comes into play in transportation systems designed to deal with work commutes.And! What I can say is that this issues of grey colored monorail lines all over the place can be tossed out immediately. They are considered a bonus by the vast majority of guests who stay at resorts that they are serviced by, and just about everyone of us gets at least a bit of enjoyment at watching a monorail glide by.
And then there’s the exchange with Mr. Kidds, with Sir Matt taking the first quote! (double quote alert!) Disney has indeed worked out some expansion plans, and likely would have implemented them were it not for a reluctance to come up with the up-front capital. I think this is quite an assumption. Even before ME tightened the purse strings there were probably lots of plans that were conceptualized and put to paper but didn't happen for a variety of reasons. You've been riding shotgun with Baron too long and all you can see as motivation for anything is $$$$

OK, Mr. Kidds!! Take it back!! You are WRONG!!! Plain and simple!

There were probably NOT lots of plans that were conceptualized and put to paper but didn't happen for a variety of reasons.

If you think about it Ei$ner came in relatively shortly after EPCOT. And try as I might I can’t think where those plans would have had them build a monorail! All the resorts (save the Golf Resort, which was never part of the plan) and ALL the theme parks were connected by monorail! It is Ei$ner that did away with that “Standard”!!!!

One more dangling thought: The problem is then that you have a system designed for peak times operating during a day which most of the time is non-peak.Yeah! Kind of like running empty buses back and forth between resorts at three in the afternoon, or at any time opposite of the rush! VERY EFFIECIENT INDEED!!!! :crazy:

Whew!!!! I’m done!! I'm going back to read the link provided by Hopemax. I'm sure I will like it!! She 'Gets It'!!!

airlarry!
03-04-2003, 08:49 PM
Is this Skytran thing for real?

My only beef with it...it seems to be only for 1 or 2 people. If it had capacity for 5-6 people, then I would seriously go nuts for it. It Looks Cool!

crusader
03-04-2003, 10:34 PM
All I can say is that you are too quick to discount the intangible benefits of the Monorail. Novel or not, people like it. They like the views from the elevated track, they like seeing it whiz by, and they like going through the CR. If Monorail expansion is done with these things in mind, it will continue to have appeal. (That does NOT mean I am discounting any other alternative form of transportation)

Your right - there is a novelty about the Disney monorail that transcends time. Its mere vision to an arriving guest holds an intrinsic value that can only be surpassed by the sight of Cinderella's Castle. Two Disney Icons worth their weight in gold.

But to expand or not? There is always room for expansion - at least connect the Studios and make parkhopping more of a pleasure. How many times does a guest board the monorail to ride it between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot? This change will not diminish the appeal at all.

The simple fact is that it can't be all of one thing. It requires a mix for different traffic patterns and goals. So, I agree that a bus only option would be bad as would a monorail only option.

In the end though, where is the biggest demand for this within WDW?

Until it becomes a real capacity issue there does not appear to be any demand for this.

hopemax
03-04-2003, 10:37 PM
It seems for real, I just found that site today so I'm no SkyTran expert, but from what I've picked up today.

Smaller cars are chosen because the average car in the US carries 1.15 people. Think about all the people who are driving to and from work everyday and all the other things that you do by yourself. This system is meant to get those people off the roads.

The designers do mention larger cars can be added. But that does increase the construction costs, and there's no point in paying for something that the majority of users aren't going to use. Especially when this guy is just trying to get the system off the ground. He needs to present a system that is as cheap as possible. New technology scares a lot of people, especially the accountants who haven't taken their engineering classes. :)

WDW is different than the average city. If a study concluded that the average party at WDW was 3.3 people, I'm sure that the conclusion would be a 4 person car makes financial sense. But they aren't designing this system for a theme park (not that it can't be adapted to serve one).

Good quote for some of our discussions...

Very few users need or want to go exactly where other users are going, when they are going there. Users want to go where and when they wish or need to. Automobile usage patterns are a clear, gigantic, long-term, multi-decade, unarguable, incontrovertible existence proof of this behavior. As much as engineers, transport planners, environmentalists, or anyone else may wish for more sensible, rational users, our opinions are irrelevant and useless. Users are as they are. We must accept this, or live in denial, or worse, in a fantasy world, and see our solutions ignored by users. This happens a lot. Pragmatism wins. Idealism looses. SkyTran is about being pragmatic.

manning
03-04-2003, 11:02 PM
If walt was here, he would more than likely build it. Eisner wouldn't. No guts or vision.

DVC-Landbaron
03-04-2003, 11:16 PM
If Walt was here, he would more than likely build it. Eisner wouldn't. No guts or vision.I disagree!! It has nothing to do with guts and/or vision (although you are right; he has neither). It has to do with priorities. And ultimate goals.

Walt's priority and goal was to create cutting edge, magical, alternative "experiences' for his guests.

Ei$ner's priority and goal is to make money!

And that is the difference!

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-04-2003, 11:37 PM
Okay... phew... what a read... I'm going to make a generalized reply, and then possibly go back and identify more specific replies.

First off, for those who either don't know me, or don't know my background... My name is Tyler, and I've worked for Disney Transport for the past 2.5 years. I pretty much hang out on the Transportation board only, so that's why I'm a lil late with this discussion. :)

At any rate, I've worked both in Monorail and Bus operations, and am well versed on the ins and outs of our Mass Transportation System. In addition to all this, I am also going to school, to eventually go into the Transportation Systems Planning & Design field. Although I do not have my degree yet, and am not an engineer, I do posess a lot of real world knowledge about Disney's current transportation system. One advantage that I have... I am there EVERY DAY... I see the backstage happenings. I see how things work. I see what y'all don't see. And in case you haven't noticed, I have a very strong passion for what I do.

In regards to what guests want... They really don't care about the Monorail. Then what do they want? Quick, fast, efficient transportation from Point A to Point B. No stops, no connections, no transfers. No fuss, no muss. They'd PREFER it to be via monorail, however, throw in a transfer for the Monorail, and the majority of guests would prefer to take the faster, and direct bus. I cannot tell you how many people complained to me about the transfer at the TTC to get to Epcot. "Can't we take a direct bus?" was a common question. In reality, the actual transfer process is a very confusing thing for many people. You really would be surprised. And I'm not talking about foreigners who don't speak English... I'm talking about your average Joe and Jane Smith.

Any ideal transportation system for Disney should include ZERO transfers for major locations. The time it takes to get from resort to theme park (and reverse) should be no longer than 20 minutes travel time. As it stands now... to go from Grand Floridian to Epcot via monorail can take almost 25-30 minutes, depending on the status of the beams. There is no bus route that exceeds much more than 20 minutes ride time. The Epcot Resorts with AK comes close... and perhaps with DTD it might run up to 23 minutes... but it's within reason. At night during the peak rush, they split Boardwalk, so that alleviates that problem there.

A few folks mentioned what we call Environmentality. Disney actually has experimented with alternative fuel busses. However, at this time, Fuel Cell and CNG bus technology is NOT very reliable. It's extremely expensive, and breaks down frequently. Especially in the Florida climate with the abuse that daily service at Disney would inflict.

In reality... today's Diesel engine is 80% cleaner burning than one of just a few years ago. In fact, they are just as clean burning as a Compressed Natural Gas powered bus. Not to mention, they're cheaper, more fuel efficient, and pretty much all heavy duty diesel engines are rock solid reliable.

Disney currently has 265 busses in guest service. The 71 new busses that we have received all use cleaner burning ultra low sulfer diesel fuel, and have low emission engines. 11 of our older busses also have low emission engines. The rest of our busses have older engines in them, but we are in the process of replacing them with low-emission versions. Very few of our busses "spew black smoke" as some folks say.

Back to Monorails... they do require an enormous amount of energy to power those trains. Those buss bars hold 600 volts of DC power, and each train can draw in excess of 1700 amps at any given moment. Although you may not see it, I'd imagine there might be some smog at the power plant used to generate that power.

Going back to Monorail Expansion... let's now focus on COST. A lot of folks blame the cheapness on Eisner. Well, let's examine this here from a business perspective, since WDW is a business.

Cost per mile: $98m-$107m per mile. This number is not exaggerated, but rather the actual cost per mile for the new Las Vegas monorail which uses the same exact beamways as Disney.

Cost per train: $25m. (The cost for a Bombardier MVI four-car train is $17m. Disney uses 6 cars. At an estimated $4m per extra car, $25m is a safe estimate.)

Plus... don't forget switch beams, an extra maintenance shop area, and stations. Now, as you can see, this is getting pretty expensive, very quickly. And don't forget, Monorails are NON-REVENUE GENERATING... So, where is all this money going to come from? The resorts it services.

So what resort is it going to service? The All-Stars are the busiest... however, they also have the cheapest rooms. No money there. What about Caribbean Beach? But then... why pay $300/night for a Monorail Resort when you can have one for $100/night.

Now we have to think about Logistics. Let's not forget these resorts were not designed to handle monorail beams and stations. If the Monorail goes to Caribbean Beach... how many stops? The bus makes seven stops, so that folks don't need to walk far. Realistically speaking, the Monorail would really only be able to make one, maybe two stops within the resort. That means LONG walks. Plus, where does it go? Will people have to transfer?

Now, lets say it hypothetically did make all seven stops... Hypothetically of course, just to prove a point. What if the train fills up at the 4th stop? What happens to the rest? They have to wait for the next train. Which also fills up. And the next one as well. After all, it is the morning rush. Dont think that will happen? Take a look at the Grand Floridian. I should know, I used to work that monorail station as my bidline. Seats fill up at the Contemporary, standing room fills up at Polynesian... and my guests had to try and squeeze on. Most of the time, they had to wait for the second train...

THAT is the problem with a fixed guideway system.

Disney is VERY UNIQUE with our guest traffic flow, which is why the bus system does work so well. It's very flexible. If a bus fills up, the next bus starts where the previous left off. It's that easy.

Having worked in Bus Operations... I can tell you, our system is gosh darned efficient. We move mass amounts of people in relatively short amounts of time. We run at 97-100% efficiency, which is pretty decent considering how many dispatches we do. Not perfect, but VERY close on the grand scale. A monorail cannot come close to what our busses do. (In fact, we often times supplement the Express monorail)


So, lets look back. Spending $500m - $1b on a system that would cause headaches, delays, and more problems... and will never fully recover the money associated with it. (For those of you in Boston... sounds like the Big Dig, eh? lol) Does it really make sense now?

Anyhoo... I need to get some sleep. I will write more when I am more coherant.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-04-2003, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by thedscoop
That is not necessarily true if Disney would think outside the box and use several of the now very well-powered electric, hybrid, or alternative fuel busses.

Once the technology becomes rock solid... then perhaps. However, right now, it's not reliable. It's prone to failures and breakdowns.

Originally posted by thedscoop
An hybrid double-decker well-themed bus with an open-air second deck would be every bit as magical to me (if not more) for traveling throughout WDW than a monorail.
That's actually not possible... If you look at an alternate fuel bus, you'll notice some big things on the roof... essentially, fuel tanks. A necessary evil. Ugly things. And yet, the thing would still need to be refueled at least two to three times per day.

As for a double deck... wouldn't clear a lot of clearances. And open air? Umm... don't forget how often it rains down here.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-04-2003, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Yes, there are things to learn from a city's transportation system, but again, WDW has other factors at play.

Actually... they've come to us... trying to figure out how we move so many people so efficiently.


Originally posted by raidermatt
One final thought for now, though...I don't think its really fair to say that at least some Monorail expansion would not be efficient. My understanding is that Disney has indeed worked out some expansion plans, and likely would have implemented them were it not for a reluctance to come up with the up-front capital.
Yes, the up front capital is enormous... but perhaps the reason it has not come to be was they realized... "Hey... this really won't work."

DVC-Landbaron
03-04-2003, 11:47 PM
Chip 'n Dale Express

Thank you!!

I can't wait for part two!! :bounce:

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-04-2003, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by Another Voice
Monorails are by far the most efficient means of transporting guests on property. Any kind of rail system – heavy, light, monorail or subway – works best when moving large volumes of people between areas of high concentration on a predictable schedule: something like an urban rush hour or several theme parks. Busses, even slightly cheesy touristy open air kinds, work best on low demand, low density areas because they can uses existing roadways where cars still car the bulk of the traffic. These areas could have included moving people between resorts, within resorts, or from resorts to centralized stations.

I beg to differ. Monorails are NOT the most efficient means of transporting guests on Disney property. Why? Because they are FIXED GUIDEWAY systems. No flexibility. Busses have the flexibility to expand and contract. To go to points A, B, C, D AND E. And Directly. No transfers.

Originally posted by Another Voice
All of these issues are well known within the company and there have been several attempts over the years to correct the situation. Some came very, very close to being built. But restoring the transportation system on property doesn't produce big enough dollars in an on a simple spreadhseet enough for a certain executive. It's far easier to make the guests deal with the problem ("please allow one hour to travel to your destination") then it is to create a real solution.
Hrmm... Spend ONE BILLION DOLLARS on a monorail expansion that will cause headaches, extra lines, and increased travel time. That's a lot of money, with no return. I don't care if this IS Disney... it's still a business, and any good business man knows that it would be a foolish decision to spend that kind of money on something that wouldn't accomplish what it was set out to do.

Originally posted by Another Voice
The whole "Magic on Demand" fiasco was an attempt to reduce the size of the fleet, not expand it.
Once again, I beg to differ. Magic On Demand was created to maximize efficiency, while decreasing guest wait times. We are now able to respond faster to Signal 72's (Full bus), and take care of our guests. MOD = Better Service, same amount of buses.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-05-2003, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by manning
If walt was here, he would more than likely build it. Eisner wouldn't. No guts or vision.

It's not about guts or vision. It's about weighing the cost and effect. Believe it or not, Walt Disney World is a BUSINESS... and in order for it to stay in business, people need to make financially sound business decisions. Expanding the monorail would not be financially wise for the company. And remember... just because the monorail looks cool, doesnt mean that it will solve the so-called transportation problems. In reality... it'd cause a whole ton more.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-05-2003, 12:06 AM
One more post, and then Im going to bed! lol


Someone mentioned PRT... Unfortunetly, although it's a novel concept... it would not work on the grand scale of WDW. Our capacity needs are too high. The system would just not be able to handle the morning rush, or a park exit.

crusader
03-05-2003, 05:32 AM
Chip-N-Dale -

thank you. Very well articulated and informative.

Do you know if there is more of a reason why the planning doesn't include linking the Studios to the monorial system besides money?

d-r
03-05-2003, 06:09 AM
I've seen another page somewhere with the same sort of idea as skytran, individual cars that loop off the main beam to pick up and drop off at individual stations, but that used three seat cars. The idea being, if you had 1-3 people you could use the same car, if you had four you could put two in each of two cars, and so on from there. So there is never an odd man out. I prefer that idea.

Basically, you walk up to the station and push a button for the station that you want to go to, a car swings out and picks you up and takes you there directly. The other page I saw (I don't remember where anymore, sorry), had an emergency button so that if someone jumped in the car with you at the last moment it went straight to the police station.

I get what chip and dale express is saying about the flow; it is hard for me to think about what this sort of system would be like with a park emptying out, but I don't think it would work very well.

I think I would like to see some sort of compromise between the current system, and some sort of light rail options to hubs. I'd try to connect each resort to a hub. I'd leave the existing monorail alone. I'd add in a steam train from WL and Ft.W to the TTC and through Ft.W. I'd add in a street car through Port Orleans/ Dixie Landings. I'd center things around hubs, and the hubs connect directly. Maybe use something like the skytran for all stars, coronado, carribean beach, okw (because they have parking lots all around them where the skytran things could go). A boat from animal kingdom lodge to animal kingdom park. A monorail hub at all the parks, water parks, downtown disney. I'd try to figure out a way that you could get from any resort to any park in one transfer, resort to hub, hub to hub. Then from any resort to any other resort in two transfers, resort to hub, hub to hub, hub to resort. I don't think that would be "worse" than the bus system. I guess it could be worse though. Right now, to go from AK to any park you take a direct bus. This way, you'd have to wait for a boat to AK, then a monorail to the park hub. So it would be worse in a way. To go from AKL to any other resort, you just take the first bus to any park, then the bus or transport from that park to the resort (well, you'd be smart; if you want to go to the polly you'd go to MK from AKL then to polly; if you wanted to go to Yacht Club you'd go to MGM and catch the boat, but you wouldn't go to epcot because you'd have to walk all the way across it). If the parks are closed when you are going back you either go to downtown disney if you want to go to pleasure island or just take a cab. I think the resort-hub-resort would probably be better than that. I would not want a hub right at AKL because it would mess with the theming; same thing for WL, PO, etc. I totally understand what chip and dale express is saying about guests wanting to get directly from A to B without a transfer. So I guess it wouldn't work. I think a few transportation improvements though, like my wilderness train and AKL boat, would be really cool and nice!

Honestly, though, just a personal opinion, I don't think people do enough planning for just eating somewhere around where they are staying - "I'm going from the all stars to eat at Trail's End, what's the best way?" Well, the best way is to just spend the night at fort wilderness!! The way people like to go from resort to resort to eat is the part of the plan where the transportation system really breaks down the most, and I don't know if they really anticipated that people would do it as much as they do. I like to eat near where I'm staying. If I stay at AKL, I'll eat at Boma and Jiko. I'm staying at BWV I'd rather have breakfast at spoodles than Boma, if I'm at the polly I'll be happy at Kona, or if I'm at wlv I'll just go to whispering canyon, you know what I mean? I like eating at epcot restaurants or epcot resorts when I stay in the epcot area, and around the monrail loop when I stay in the magic kingdom area. It feels GREAT to come back to the resort and not have a big hastle about getting somewhere to eat because it is right there or right next door. I like just the natural flow. I would rather split a trip in half and stay 1/2 in the epcot area and eat over there, and 1/2 in the magic kingdom area and eat over there. People think it is a hassle to move, but I think it is easier than transporting! Or take two smaller trips, one at MK area, and the other one at epcot area, and eat close to home both times. Also people don't do enough common sense planning about where they will be and where they will eat. Eat at downtown disney when I go to pleasure island, etc. If I'm at AKL and I want some tonga toast I'll go to Kona on the way to MK. "I'm staying at all stars and want to eat at Trail's End, what's the best way?" Well, get up that morning and take the bus to the magic kingdom, spend the next several hours there and when you are hungry take the boat to ft. wilderness. This is why people want cars, but most of the time I'm happy not to need a car - a very few times we've had a car but most of the time we don't. But that's just me I guess.

airlarry!
03-05-2003, 07:34 AM
M. Express:

I enjoyed reading your posts and the insiders look.

Not to quibble, but the run from the All-Stars to the MK is not 20 minutes. It is longer, more in the 30 minute range. I haven't been since 2002, but have the really changed out all of the black smoke busses? If they have changed out the fleet since '02, more power to them. I'm not sure I believe that.

I understand your points about the efficacy of using monorails to move all the people, all the time, everywhere across the resort.

I agree.

But that's not the issue. No offense to your job or your avocation, but many people think buses in their present form at WDW are ugly, boring, smelly and non-magical. So the issue for them is, how can I effectively move (not necessarily efficiently mind you) but effectively move people to places that need more people in a more magical way.

One solution is the Disney Seas bus line. It's got that futuristic look that alleviates the boring, non-magical. But it's still smelly, I assume. (If you don't think so, take this little exercise. Stand by the back bus entrance when it is full and you have to wait on the next one. When it takes off, draw a deep full breath into your lungs. Enjoy!)

I believe M. D-R hit the nail on the head. EVERY park needs some form of 'magical' transportation, be it safari vehicles from AKL to AK. Most every resort should have them too.

Someone mentioned what a good businessman would do. He would invest in monorail or skytran or some other form of 'magical' transportation, and make it go somewhere that could make money. It's kinda simple. There's no charge for the monorail, but the hidden charge is that it goes to a park with a ticket. You've got DTD just sitting there, waiting for lots of customers on some days, and no really efficient way to get there.

Don't believe me? Try taking a bus from PO to DTD and back one day....I did it one time, and I'll never do it again.

crusader
03-05-2003, 07:45 AM
Someone mentioned what a good businessman would do. He would invest in monorail or skytran or some other form of 'magical' transportation, and make it go somewhere that could make money.

Without turning transportation into an enterprise in and of itself there is no way to invest wisely in this type of endeavor. The system at WDW is operated as pure overhead. How would this billion dollar improvement generate any new business and recoup the financing?

Miss Park Avenue
03-05-2003, 09:12 AM
Where does Disney recoup the cost of enhanced "free transportation?" By enticing more people to stay onsite.

The monorail, with all it's problems, provided an enjoyable ride to the parks, the boats do too. It's the ride you get before you even hit the parks! The busses fill a need, no doubt, but with so many, one may ask, "Why stay onsite and be at the mercy of the busses when you can stay offsite and drive in your own comfy car?" Getting to the parks used to be part of the fun, now it's a chore. That is why, (in my humble opinion), onsite rooms are not filled.

OK, after reading the original post, I dreamed this up:

1. move the TTC to a more central location and revamp the monorail system (or something more innovative) into a sort of giant figure 8 throughout. Connect the four parks and DTD. The new TTC would have two levels and if you wanted to get off to switch trains you could, or just stay on and enjoy the scenic route.

2. Put a peoplemover around DTD. Maybe a peoplemover around the boardwalk area too. I think we learned that anything can be themed well enough to not mar the beauty around transportation,(look at the monorail station at GF.) The train at WL and FW is great and I thought a train at AKL would be great too. Or something quieter that wouldn't freak out the animals. These and other innovative, fun, magical, forms of transportation could take guests to monorail stops. (face it, every resort can't have a monorail stop)

3. Make the new TTC a destination in itself with shops and characters and restaurants (think of the $$$$ that might generate). The old TTC is an eyesore on a premium piece of land, which brings me to number 4....

4. Add a deluxe resort on the old TTC property (DVC poly villas???)

A redone monorail system CAN generate money if you think outside the box. The enhanced guest experience would mean more onsite guests. It would make getting to the parks more enjoyable than sitting in traffic. THE KEY IS to keep it innovative, "ahead of it's time". Something new to explore and enjoy. Something that provides a view of all the fun coming to us. Something that will get us excited to arrive at the parks and a have stress free trip back to the resorts. Make the offsite guests wonder what they are missing while sitting in thier cars.

BTW, I absolutely LOVE the sky tran idea. Still would have to have some kinks taken out before it could be implemented in WDW, but it's new, high tech, very Disney. Definitely worth a look.

BRERALEX
03-05-2003, 09:56 AM
Tyler those were great posts, thank you.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 10:28 AM
Peak times……………………

There has been a lot of talk about peak vs. non peak times and how the monorail would be most efficient during the morning and evening peak ridership. I’m not so sure about that. Think of the volume of people traveling on the busses at those times. Next, think about the MK resort monorail during those same times.

Think……………………..think……………………………….think some more…………………………

OK, if there were one central monorail line that connected all the parks, or even an Epcot area hub where other lines transferred, you will have more people riding the monorail than the system would be able to handle. On the MK resort monorail during those peak times you have only 3 resorts and one park, yet it is standing room only, pack ‘em in like sardines conditions. Now imagine people from more than a dozen resorts, going to every park, riding a single monorail line. The crowding would be incredible, and it wouldn’t be for a short trip either. I’m sure the magic of the monorail would wear off pretty quick during these trips. Add more trains you say. That probably isn’t practical given the cost of those trains and the fact that they’d be empty most of the rest of the day. The busses provide very direct, targeted routes and keep all the guests from having to tax the same exact route. As such, I believe it is much more efficient than resort wide monorails would be. Maybe the monorail would be more magical than the busses, but would they? That brings us to………………..

Magical monorails…………………..

As I stated before, I do think that the monorails as they exist are magical. They are unique and novel. They are efficient and effective in their service of the limited MK resort area. The one line most people see is not unpleasing to the eye. However, while there is a novelty the MK and Epcot monorails, what about once they become commonplace throughout WDW? They may not seem so novel any longer, and perhaps a little bit of the magic would be lost. Also, while the existing monorails might not be ugly, if there was a beam in sight everywhere you looked it might not be so attractive – but I do think that would be a minor issue. Then you have the efficiency issue. Yes, people might not mind spending a few minutes longer to get where they are going if it is via a pleasant monorail ride. But how much longer are they willing to spend? Then, if that time is standing in a packed monorail for an extended period is the ride likely to be all that pleasant? I don’t think many people want a packed NYC subway like experience during their WDW vacation. Maybe the busses give that kind of experience now, but crowded busses isn’t the argument I hear most, usually the knock is on the length of the trip.

Speaking of subways…………………

Baron, I spoke of subways as a means of transportation for WDW and stated that, in our hypothetical world, they would be a better solution than a monorail. If you bothered to pay attention, I also pointed out that they would not be feasible.

In the end, I have to agree with Tyler. While a monorail might seem like a magical concept, when you lay it all out and try to figure out a way to make it work it just isn’t that practical a solution. That, as much as anything, is why any monorail plans that might have existed went nowhere.

I have to say, BaronRaider, as much as many of the things Scoop and I say might drive you crazy, your tired bit about $$$$$ being the reason for EVERYTHING (from CR observation decks to monorails that never were) is putting me to sleep ;). You guys are just way too green for me (jade is green, right?) :crazy: :tongue:

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-05-2003, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by airlarry!
Not to quibble, but the run from the All-Stars to the MK is not 20 minutes. It is longer, more in the 30 minute range.
Um, no. All-Stars to Magic Kingdom is 13-14 minutes. A round trip MK to AS Movies to MK again is approx 30 mins. But the one way guest trip is only 13-14 minutes.



Originally posted by airlarry!
I haven't been since 2002, but have the really changed out all of the black smoke busses? If they have changed out the fleet since '02, more power to them. I'm not sure I believe that.
Many of our busses have recieved new engines. Others have been re-tuned and/or rebuilt by Detroit Diesel. Our widebody RTS's used to be real bad. They're the ones with top exhausts, and are 102" wide versus the regular 96" wide. When you'd step on the accelerator, black smoke would come spewing out of the top exhaust. No longer. Out of the 35 we have, we have maybe 3 or 4 left to work on.

But the main problem lies with the 6v92TA engine... it just isn't as clean burning as we would like after 2 years of service. So, we're now starting to replace them with Series 50 engines. Low emissions, better fuel economy, more torque, and they're just cooler engines, I think. :) 4805-4814 have had the S50 engine since we bought them in 1994... 4795-4804 will be getting the upgrade as a test to see how well they do. So far 4801 was the first... a few minor problems, but so far so good.

Another Voice
03-05-2003, 10:31 AM
Mr. Express –

Thank you for joining our motley little crew over here. I very much appreciate your information and your opinion. Like you I am not an engineer, but I don't intend on ever becoming one. I do, however, have my own "unique" experience with WDW's transportation issues.

"Because they are FIXED GUIDEWAY systems. No flexibility. Busses have the flexibility to expand and contract"

The flexibility offered by busses is that you can change their routes on a whim (provided the road is already built). That's great when the concentrations of loads vary from location to location or when you've got a far-flung city and need to be able to accommodate summer routes to the beach. Yet in WDW's case, it is extremely unlikely that a theme park is going to pick-up and move across town. There will never be a need to change a monorail route because suddenly the demand just isn't there anymore.

The other claimed flexibility to busses is the "flexibility" in capacity. All that means is you can add more busses on the same route. Provided you have the busses and the drivers. A monorail train has a capacity many times that of a bus, adding a single additional train, if even needed because of the initial higher capacity, is the equivenet of adding five or more busses. The cost of having five busses arriving at the same place at the same time is tremendously higher. Better yet, a single monorail train can be in service all day with its higher capacity – overflow busses sit doing nothing except wasting their capital investment.


"Spend ONE BILLION DOLLARS on a monorail expansion that will cause headaches, extra lines, and increased travel time."

Well, isn't preventing all those headaches why you hire traffic engineers in the first place? The assumption that any new system would be just like the old one (point-to-point) only bigger is absolutely wrong. If you read my "rumor", you'll see the main line would allow travel between all of the parks without any transfers at all. Even modern day Disney can adapt and learn.

As for the costs – do you have any idea how much revenue is lot by having thousands of guests strung out on curbs waiting for busses all day? Increased spending, additional spending opportunities from giving guests the freedom to move about and increased resort occupancy would pay for the expansion – er, according to "rumors". The plan was killed because Eisner thought he could get a better return for the capital elsewhere, like investing in plane leases for United Airlines. The question about WDW's need for a system and the financial justification for it have never been an issue. It's always been a corporate political matter – 90% ego and 10% greed. Added into the mix are all the various groups within WDW fighting for their budget (Mr. Express, are you going to tell us 'railers and Bussers get along fine with each other?) add to the mix with just a touch of General Motors tossed in for good measure. It makes an interesting stew.

The guests complaints received from people complaining transferring at the TTC are dwarfed by those people who waited a hour for a bus, got stranded at Downtown Disney, or who's poor grandmother was forced to stand on a lurching buss from Point A to Point X.

You're right, WDW is a business. But it's more – it's a resort. People go their to have a good time, to enjoy themselves, to escape the mundane realities of normal, everyday life. Tramping about on a bad suburban bus system is not what people are expecting. Internal studies are "rumored" to show that both the Wilderness and Animal Kingdom Lodges are a significant disadvantage because people hate the busses. A resort has to provide a compelling environment that people want to pay money to see. You can't do that by screeching about the economics of a bus system they hate.

As for 'Magic on Demand' and reducing the number of busses and drivers…how'd you think they'd justified all that software development?

The simple fact of the matter is that retrofitting any transportation system – whether rail or busses – into an already established environment is costly and full of problems. It would have been far better to build the expansion and it's transportation net at the same time (as with EPCOT Center). But now, there are no "good" solutions any more, simply "less bad" ones.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 11:27 AM
Just a quick note on money. It would be one thing to spend $500m to $1b on a new, "non direct reveue" generating, magical transportatin system if it were guaranteed to be faster, more efficient, and solve a mjority of the problems with the existing system. It is another thing to spend that much money on the transportation equivalent of go.com.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-05-2003, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Another Voice
The flexibility offered by busses is that you can change their routes on a whim (provided the road is already built). That's great when the concentrations of loads vary from location to location or when you've got a far-flung city and need to be able to accommodate summer routes to the beach. Yet in WDW's case, it is extremely unlikely that a theme park is going to pick-up and move across town. There will never be a need to change a monorail route because suddenly the demand just isn't there anymore.

It's not about the theme parks... it's about the resorts. As you say, "That's great when the concentrations of loads vary from location to location" And that's exactly the issue... the concentration of loads varies throughout the resorts during different times of the day. We can guess and estimate where people will go and when... but ultimatly, it's a crap shoot.



Originally posted by Another Voice
The other claimed flexibility to busses is the "flexibility" in capacity. All that means is you can add more busses on the same route. Provided you have the busses and the drivers. A monorail train has a capacity many times that of a bus, adding a single additional train, if even needed because of the initial higher capacity, is the equivenet of adding five or more busses.
One thing about the Monorail... it's capacity is not as great as everyone thinks. The Rated maximum crush capacity is 364, normal capacity is 316. However, on an average park exit... unless there is a tour group of Brazillians, the average capacity runs around 244 or less. (Due to unfolded strollers and such)

Originally posted by Another Voice
The cost of having five busses arriving at the same place at the same time is tremendously higher.

Not really... between the cost of the electricity (very great) and station attendants (because a monorail station will need at least one, if not two) my guess would be that the monorail would be once again greater in cost. I wish I still had my figures on the cost of electricity required for those trains... it was exorbanant.





Originally posted by Another Voice
If you read my "rumor", you'll see the main line would allow travel between all of the parks without any transfers at all. Even modern day Disney can adapt and learn.

Park to Park, perhaps... but what about the resorts? And remember... once you add all those stops in, that really slows things down.



Originally posted by Another Voice
As for the costs – do you have any idea how much revenue is lot by having thousands of guests strung out on curbs waiting for busses all day?
Isn't it presumtious to say that they're out waiting for busses, but wouldn't be waiting for a monorail? And what if that monorail arrives quicker... but takes longer to get to the final destination? When it all comes down to it... whatever form of transportation they have is going to take time.



Originally posted by Another Voice
(Mr. Express, are you going to tell us 'railers and Bussers get along fine with each other?)
We work as a team... mostly because people like myself have been in multiple areas. We have bus drivers that are former monorail pilots, and vice versa. Same with Watercraft. We even have outings together. We're not enemies. We don't consider a person better or worse because of the department they're in. I have friends in both Monorails and Watercraft... we get along great. And at the end of a long day, we all share simmilar stories about what we encountered during the day.


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Another Voice
[B]The guests complaints received from people complaining transferring at the TTC are dwarfed by those people who waited a hour for a bus, got stranded at Downtown Disney, or who's poor grandmother was forced to stand on a lurching buss from Point A to Point X.
First off... No one forces anyone to stand on a bus. And don't forget, you have a 62% chance of getting a seat on a bus, and only a 40-50% chance of sitting on the monorail.

As for wait times... 95% of all guest complains about wait times are grossly exaggerated, or complete fabrications. Hate to say it, but it's true. 5% may be true, but 95% are not. I cannot tell you how many times I've been driving, and I hear a driver get on the radio to let the dispatcher know a guest claims to have been waiting for a bus for 45 mins... 5 seconds later, a driver gets on and says he was just there 5 minutes ago. I've had it happen to me... it happens all the time.




Now... one more thing that I want to mention, that no one has brought up...

MECHANICAL FAILURE.

It's going to happen at some point. Monorail, bus, PRT, BRT, watercraft, automobile, doesn't matter. It will break down at some point.

When a monorail experiences a technical difficulty... (which is often, due to the electronics involved) it often times holds up the entire system. Because of the nature of a fixed guideway system, one train can't pass the broken down train. This can often cause delays of up to an hour... and that's just on our current small system. On a larger scale system, it could potentially be longer. 240 people on the train, plus thousands waiting at the stations could be inconvenienced...

With a bus... one bus breaks down... a maximum of 72 people are inconvenienced for a few minutes until a replacement bus arrives and takes them onto their destination.

I've had both happen to me before. When my monorail died, many hundreds of people were inconvenienced as maintenance tried to repair my train. If that wasn't sucessful, I had to go back to shop... a timely process. Then they have to replace the train... another timely process.

When my bus decided to die in front of the Polynesian, I had about 25 people on board... within 5-7 minutes, they were on another bus off to Caribbean Beach.

DoeWDW
03-05-2003, 01:05 PM
Tyler, thanks for joining us! Your information is very interesting and helpful. I, for one, hope you stick around on this board.

Hopemax, the Skytran link was excellent. I think this is a VERY Disney system and much less expensive than the monorail. However, it does have some of the same limitations as the monorail on long, single threaded sections if there's a breakdown. All in all, though, I think the Skytran idea has merit and would be worth looking into.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 01:45 PM
First, another welcome to Mr. Express. Its always good to have different viewpoints, particularly from those close to certain pieces of the puzzle.

We can guess and estimate where people will go and when... but ultimatly, it's a crap shoot. I can accept minor variations, but not a crap shoot. Geez, just as a guest I can figure out certain patterns. I'm sure Disney can do this quite well. Certainly the heaviest periods are rather easy to predict.

Then what do they want? Quick, fast, efficient transportation from Point A to Point B. No stops, no connections, no transfers. No fuss, no muss. They'd PREFER it to be via monorail, however, throw in a transfer for the Monorail, and the majority of guests would prefer to take the faster, and direct bus. Again, its all a matter of how fast, how easy, and how direct. Busses make multiple stops as well, and its not all that fun stopping at 5 CBR stops before you get to your area. Further, direct bus service is not available resort to resort. We are told to allow an HOUR, and that is often wishful thinking.

I can understand the problems with having transfers, but these can be minimized.

Not really... between the cost of the electricity (very great) and station attendants (because a monorail station will need at least one, if not two) my guess would be that the monorail would be once again greater in cost. I wish I still had my figures on the cost of electricity required for those trains... it was exorbanant. Fixed rail is much cheaper than busses. Yes it uses electricity, which causes pollution, but its per capita pollution rate is much less than motorized transport.

Isn't it presumtious to say that they're out waiting for busses, but wouldn't be waiting for a monorail? Only if we presume the transportation engineers would develop efficient schedules. I can only say from experience that the average wait for a bus (and boat too, for that matter) has been much longer for us than our waits for the Monorail.

First off... No one forces anyone to stand on a bus. What an intresting viewpoint... Other than not riding the bus, what other options do the SRO folks have?

As for wait times... 95% of all guest complains about wait times are grossly exaggerated, or complete fabrications. Hate to say it, but it's true. 5% may be true, but 95% are not. I have no doubt that there are exagerrations, but to say that 95% are GROSSLY exaggerated or COMPLETE fabrications is just not true. While I don't work in Disney's transportation department, I have analyzed many of these types of situations as they relate to customer perception, employee perception and reality. Invariably, the reality lies between the two.

I cannot tell you how many times I've been driving, and I hear a driver get on the radio to let the dispatcher know a guest claims to have been waiting for a bus for 45 mins... 5 seconds later, a driver gets on and says he was just there 5 minutes ago. I've had it happen to me... it happens all the time. Yes, and I can tell you about the time my wife waited ONE hour for a bus to the GF. Perhaps some driver claimed to have stopped, but none actually did.

In the end, I have to agree with Tyler. While a monorail might seem like a magical concept, when you lay it all out and try to figure out a way to make it work it just isn’t that practical a solution. Just a quick comment to DK....Just as the Monorail is not the only form of transportation in the MK area, it would not have to be the only form of transportation elsewhere.

Expanding the monorail would not be financially wise for the company. I disagree.

Believe it or not, Walt Disney World is a BUSINESS... Let's get beyond this right from the start. Most are well aware of WDW's status as a BUSINESS. Much of the reason their practices and decisions are being called into question is the declining performance of that business.

Decsions to focus on the lack of a direct revenue stream instead of providing a unique entertainment experience are HURTING business. Of course Monorails do not generate revenue directly. Neither do busses. Or swimming pools. Neither do the shows and attractions in the parks. They never did (except under the old ticketing system). Does that mean investing in them is not justified? Of course not, but Disney's direction has been to limit this investment because of the difficulty in tieing it to a tangible revenue stream.

The problem is, these things indirectly tie to many revenue streams. Just because somebody couldn't quantify the impact does not mean there is no impact.

Mr. Express, I appreciate your viewpoint, and certainly you are knowledgeable about the nuts and bolts of WDW transportation. But providing family entertainment is about much more than nuts and bolts. Disney is selling an experience, and everything that happens inside the gates is a part of that experience. So there is most definitely great value in considering things other than whether something might take 2 extra minutes.

As I've said before, the solution does not have to be just the Monorail. Furhter, it doesn't even HAVE to include the Monorail. But to say that there is no problem is not taking into account the real reasons why people pay so much money to take WDW vacations.

Walt's Frozen Head
03-05-2003, 01:51 PM
There is an old saying that recommends making things as simple as possible, but no simpler.

The fact is that there are two distinct transportation needs at WDW. Enormous instantaneous load routed to/from relatively few destinations during park open/close, and light instantaneous load routed anywhere on property all day.

An effective transportation system must address both those traffic patterns.

The best solution would involve a fast, high-capacity, short interval loop connecting major access points, with local service to specific points of interest emanating from those access points.

Everything Tyler says appears absolutely true, but it is presented as though the only question was "how can we get this down to one system?" It is easy to see only the negatives of the opposite position, if you feel it has an either/or relationship to your own. Both bus and monorail have their place in the real world Disney transportation system.

The root of the problem is that for too long, Disney has habitually made the decision to invest in the low upfront expense and high flexibility of the bus infrastructure, even at times when the World's geography changed, and the real need was to invest in the other type of transportation (and by the way, lest one take me for a fuddy-duddy who doesn't want to greet the new millenium, I would welcome some Disney-designed or Disney-backed alternative mode of transporatation... that kind of innovation is a Disney tradition, too. I just don't see how busses, even souped-up busses, are Magical).

Your monorail construction numbers are indeed whopping big. But the numbers were smaller, the last time this was too expensive; smaller still, the time before that; smaller still, the time before that... and all the way back to... wow, who were those guys before Eisner?

Tyler, a lot of frustration is directed not at Disney employees for doing the best they can with what they've got, but at Disney(c), for its lack of vision, creativity, and sense of what contributes to the guests' Disney Magic; over a decade or more. It's hard to swallow the "it's the economy, stupid" defense more on the basis of its position at the end of a long line of such defenses than any invalidity of the claim, itself. So this time their alibi pans out, to a degree... I assure you, the need will be greater and the numbers more whopping, the next time we have this discussion.

-WFH

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 01:53 PM
Scoop, a few of your statements from your last post should be emphasized:

...but I propose that Disney look beyond monorails (or importantly at least the existing type of monorails) to created a new solution to transportation. You know I place more value on the Monorail than you do, but still, I absolutely agree with this statement.
During this process, many ideas like subways and Skytrans will probably be shot down. But, surely something is on the logisitical horizon that could be designed to address Disney's somewhat unique transporation needs. Yes.

And, if there isn't, then they need to take what they have, whether it be boat, bus, monorail, tram, trolley car, or whatever, and "re-create" it to make the experience of travelling to the magical destination itself magical. I doubt that there isn't anything out there, but if that turns out to be the case, yes, I agree.

Think unique when the same ole same seems the only way. Absolutely, never settle. Let the "other guys" do that.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 01:58 PM
Looks like I could have saved myself some time, and some cutting/pasting by waiting for the Head's post.

Well said, every word.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 02:36 PM
Just a quick comment to DK....Just as the Monorail is not the only form of transportation in the MK area, it would not have to be the only form of transportation elsewhere.
As I've said before, the solution does not have to be just the Monorail. Furhter, it doesn't even HAVE to include the Monorail.
Matt, I'm not saying their aren't shortfalls to the current system. There are things that could be, should be, improved. However, I don't think monorails are a practical part of the solution. It doesn't appear you are sold on the fact that they are either.
Your monorail construction numbers are indeed whopping big. But the numbers were smaller, the last time this was too expensive; smaller still, the time before that; smaller still, the time before that... and all the way back to... wow, who were those guys before Eisner?
It doesn't matter if Disney spent 100m in 1986 dollars, another 100m in 1990 dollars, 100m in 1995 dollars, etc. each time they had to make an addition to the monorail system, Disney still would have spent 1billion inflation adjusted 2003 dollars, and for what? The ABC of transportation systems? It is so easy to sit back now and say Disney should have put in a monorail from the beginning, but boy how we'd criticize if they had spent all that money and we were no better off, or (gasp) worse off, than we are today. I'm of the opinion that that money would have been a waste and we should be glad they didn't spend it. So the magical resort wide monorail was the one go/ABC/Family Channel/Pick your favorite big mistake that Disney didn't make. Of course, that doesn't mean Disney should not have spent some of that money on other transportation solutions. Again, I'm not saying that Disney couldn't have done things over the years to make certain aspects of the transportation system more efficient and magical, but I'm not convinced a monorail was ever the right answer.

ps. Are you allowed to ignore someone and post to their threads :crazy: :confused: ;) :tongue: You're welcome :)

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 02:53 PM
However, I don't think monorails are a practical part of the solution. It doesn't appear you are sold on the fact that they are either. Frankly, none of us have the necessary information to make this call one way or the other.

Its not just the cost of the Monorail, but the cost of alternatives, the cost of the current system, the long term expense, the difficult to quantify benefits of each potential plan....

Further, we would need to know Disney's future plans for the resort, such as a the most likely timetable for other parks, resorts, or other expansions.

We simply do not have enough info to justify either completely writing it off or whole-heartedly endorsing it.

My opinion is that it could legitimately play a part in the new system whatever it maybe, even if that only included extensions to MGM and DD. But its not like I'd sign my name to it based on the info I have, even if somebody gave me the authority. But I woudn't kill it either.


It doesn't matter if Disney spent 100m in 1986 dollars, another 100m in 1990 dollars, 100m in 1995 dollars, etc. each time they had to make an addition to the monorail system, Disney still would have spent 1billion inflation adjusted 2003 dollars, and for what? The ABC of transportation systems? C'mon...use one VERY questionable investment to prove another unrelated investment would be a poor choice? Further, a little perspective, please. I don't remember what ABC cost, but Fox Family was $5.2 billion.


Again, I'm not saying that Disney couldn't have done things over the years to make certain aspects of the transportation system more efficient and magical, but I'm not convinced a monorail was ever the right answer. You shouldn't be. Again, we don't have the info necessary to make that kind of blanket call, in EITHER direction.

Of course, that doesn't mean Disney should not have spent some of that money on other transportation solutions. And really, that's all that matters isn't it? Because of this, we are left to debate whether A, B or C would have been best, when the reality is we get none of the above.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 03:13 PM
use one VERY questionable investment to prove another unrelated investment would be a poor choice?
No, I'm not using one to prove another. I am convinced a resort wide monorail would have been a mistake. I am just pointing out that it would have been another in a long line. Think of how we rail on the investments made in ABC, go, Fox Family (all colossal failures) - just insert Resort Wide Monorail and we'd be having the same old discussion, talking about the strategic mistake they made that prevented them from implementing truely efficient transportation.
We simply do not have enough info to justify either completely writing it off or whole-heartedly endorsing it.
But we do, apparently, have enough info to deternmine that the only reason Disney didn't do it was because they were/are too cheap ;).
Its not just the cost of the Monorail, but the cost of alternatives, the cost of the current system, the long term expense, the difficult to quantify benefits of each potential plan....

Further, we would need to know Disney's future plans for the resort, such as a the most likely timetable for other parks, resorts, or other expansions.
Guess what. There are people who had all this info, and they decided that the monorail wasn't worth doing. Oh, I forget, that can't be the answer - it HAD to have been $$$$$$$.
Because of this, we are left to debate whether A, B or C would have been best, when the reality is we get none of the above.
True. However, maybe one of those alternatives we consider should be pretty close to what we have today (just with better resort to resort options ;)) - have you even considered that?

rwodonnell
03-05-2003, 04:09 PM
Hello all -

This is an interesting thread to me, I'm usually more of a lurker on the DISboards.

We drive to WDW, so we have our car, and still we use the WDW transportation rather than drive around. For one, I'm tired of driving :) and two, strapping 3 kids into car seats every time gets old. Plus, they enjoy the various things, even the buses. (Are there really 2 "s"s in busses?)

Also, in our last trip, I think we had Tyler as a driver, and he was hysterical! Unfortunately, we only were on his bus once, but he made it a very memorable trip, with little witty sayings, jokes and fun facts. It was great!

All this got me thinking about an easy way to make the current system more "magical" (I for one would rather see Disney spend money on a 5th park, perhaps a thrill park, because I'm into that kind of stuff more). So in the interest of making the current system more "magical" for the least amount of money, I came up with these less grandeous ideas:


Hire more drivers like Tyler. Make the ride more like the Jungle Cruise, and less like a city bus experience.
Put characters on the buses! Of course, this could lead to over-crowding! :) And I don't know how much it costs to have someone dressed in character...
Theme each bus according to its destination. Animal Kingdom buses look like safari buses, Epcot's maybe like rockets, Magic Kingdoms maybe like, I dunno, various rides (i.e. flumes, haunted manion cars, etc.) Of course this kind of limits the bus's reusability, so....
Instead of theming the buses by destination, theme them after a character, sort of like the Stars in Motorcars parade.


I realize this thread was supposed to be about the monorail, but like I said, I think a lot of guests would be pretty happy if they just made the buses a little more magical. I really liked scoop's idea of the double-decker! Maybe my suggestions are no more practical, I don't know.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 04:11 PM
I am convinced a resort wide monorail would have been a mistake. How? Based on your assumption that someone at Disney completely studied the plan and shot it down? Why is it that with such a long line of bad decisions, you have faith that they made the right one here?

just insert Resort Wide Monorail and we'd be having the same old discussion, talking about the strategic mistake they made that prevented them from implementing truely efficient transportation. A common argument from Disney Defenders.... "If they had done A, it wouldn't have worked and we'd be complaining." A self-fullfilling argument. I can only agree that we'd be complaining if I accept your assumption that it would have been a bad move. Further, it ignores that they chose B, C, or none of the above, and THAT is not working.

But we do, apparently, have enough info to deternmine that the only reason Disney didn't do it was because they were/are too cheap . No, we just have a pattern of reluctance to invest where there is no DIRECT and easy to identify revenue stream.

Guess what. There are people who had all this info, and they decided that the monorail wasn't worth doing. Oh, I forget, that can't be the answer - it HAD to have been $$$$$$$. Worth what? By definition, if they determined it wasn't worth doing, that means it was a $$$$$ based decision, i.e. it wasn't WORTH the $$$$$. Do you think they would have said no if it were free?

But that alone is not the problem. The problem is you are trusting the decision-makers at Disney. These are the same decision-makers who made the long list of bad decisions you mentioned.

Why does that convince you?

However, maybe one of those alternatives we consider should be pretty close to what we have today (just with better resort to resort options ) - have you even considered that? Yes, I have considered it. Based on the philosophy that EVERYTHING is a part of the show, and the driving force behind WDW is to provide a unique family entertainment experience, what we have today, even with resort to resort busses, falls short.

Of course, if you do not subscribe to this philosophy of what WDW should be (and therefore what would be the most profitable in the long term), you may disagree.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 05:02 PM
Scoop, hotels aren't unique either.

I don't know where you are finding all these Monorails, but they are not covering the country. Further, the experience Disney provides on a Monorail, with elevated views of WDW, is very unique when compared to Monorails that you apparently see on every street corner.

Very few people travel or commute by boat.

Its all relative, but boats and moreso Monorails are far MORE unique than busses.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 09:18 PM
Scoop, you've taken a phrase like "unique entertainment experience" and taken it to mean literally unique, period.

The existence of a monorail in a shopping mall in Michigan does not negate their value as a unique experience in WDW.

True, it is not "as unique" as it once was. But the Monorail combined with WDW views, and experiences like riding through the Contemporary, is still a unique entertainment experience.

The point is that the live or death of future monorails shouldn't be an issue of "uniqueness' not when you have the things at shopping malls and airports these days. Its not as simple as being "unique". As I said, the Monorail experience as it exists at WDW remains unique. I really can't see how you can say that thing at the airport detracts from the WDW Monorail experience.

There simply aren't Monorails all over the country (and that is not sarcasm), and further, very few of the ones that do exist provide anything close to a WDW experience.

On this one, it appears that at least a little nostalgia is driving the call for more monorail expansion because they certainly don't represent the unique or cutting-edge transporation technology they once did. I'm sure there is a bit of nostalgia, but regardless, just like boats, an expanded monorail has the potential to be a part of a successful transportation plan.

Thus, the answer remains: Find new options or "recreate" existing options. Sure, and one of those existing options is the Monorail.


Once again...I am not saying an expanded Monorail IS the answer, or even a part of the answer. I'm only saying that it cannot be written off just because Disney decided not to execute it, or because its not as cutting edge as it once was.

One thing is for sure, and that is that when it comes to being Magical and unique, it ranks ahead of the busses without a doubt.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 10:36 PM
How? Based on your assumption that someone at Disney completely studied the plan and shot it down?
Nope. Based on 10 years of using Disney transportation. Based on what transportation infrastucture knowledge I've been able to garner by working in the biz. By using a bit of guest point of view common sense. The fact that a whole host of professionals likely concluded it wasn't the best idea is only icing on the cake.

I have to ask, have you ridden the MK resort monorail during peak morning ridership? I'll point it out again. 3 Resorts, 1 park, SRO for 5 to 20 minutes. The number of rooms at the 3 monorail resorts combined is a drop in the bucket compared to all the other rooms that would be taxing the same monorail line in any expansion scenario. 15x the number of people, 3x the distance - even if they ran 10x the number of trains (which wouldn't work either) it just doesn't add up.
I'm only saying that it cannot be written off just because Disney decided not to execute it, or because its not as cutting edge as it once was.
I agree, but these aren't the reasons I believe a monorail isn't the answer. If you have been reading along you'd realize that. Again, the fact that people who invested a heck of a lot more time than I have saw fit to write it off is only a bit of confirmation.
Why is it that with such a long line of bad decisions, you have faith that they made the right one here?
You know all about those investment picking experiments. You know, monkeys throwing darts that outpick the "experts". Maybe the no monorail decision was a lucky dart ;). Seriously, you can't get them all wrong. Furthermore, back when such decisions were likely made, ME still had the right people around him and Disney was still making good decisions despite his ineptitude.
Further, it ignores that they chose B, C, or none of the above, and THAT is not working.
And this is undisputed fact because a bunch of people, from one of several divided camps, on an internet bulletin board don't like it? The current system may not be perfect, but I'd hardly say it isn't working. Maybe I'll throw out a poll or two to see what a wider cross section of DISers think.
Worth what? By definition, if they determined it wasn't worth doing, that means it was a $$$$$ based decision, i.e. it wasn't WORTH the $$$$$.
There we go - back to $$$$$$. There are a lot of things that have worth besides $$$$$ (but if you believe otherwise it might explain why everything always comes back to that ;)). Maybe they determined it wasn't worth the effort, the time spent, the upheaval and construction mess created, to build something that wouldn't improve a thing.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-05-2003, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Fixed rail is much cheaper than busses.

Im not so sure I agree... One monorail costs $25m to purchase. 4 busses, the equivilent, costs a little over $1m. Monorail maintenance is quite a bit more expensive than the bus. Fixed guideway systems (at Disney at least) require a host/hostess at every station. So right there, it could be the same, if not more manpower. And the electricity costs more than the diesel fuel.



Originally posted by raidermatt
What an intresting viewpoint... Other than not riding the bus, what other options do the SRO folks have?

You may always wait for the next bus. You may not like that option, but it exists. Same with the monorail. Happens all the time.


Originally posted by raidermatt
I have no doubt that there are exagerrations, but to say that 95% are GROSSLY exaggerated or COMPLETE fabrications is just not true. While I don't work in Disney's transportation department, I have analyzed many of these types of situations as they relate to customer perception, employee perception and reality. Invariably, the reality lies between the two.

As it stands right now, we use computerized dispatching which monitors dispatching frequency. In addition, we also have host/hostesses at key locations to monitor the arrival of busses. Our typical statistics for "On Time" busses is in the 95-100% range. These are facts, with proven data. Not saying that a bus might not run a bit late... there's that 5% that do run over the 20 minute interval mark. However, there are also the days where we do run at 100% efficiency.


Originally posted by raidermatt
Let's get beyond this right from the start. Most are well aware of WDW's status as a BUSINESS.
Then would you agree that it is foolish to invest one billion dollars in a system that might not solve the problems like we want, and has no chance of ever producing any form of noticable return. If Disney is going to invest that much money into something, they're gonna make gosh darned sure that it does what they want it to do.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Walt's Frozen Head
The fact is that there are two distinct transportation needs at WDW. Enormous instantaneous load routed to/from relatively few destinations during park open/close, and light instantaneous load routed anywhere on property all day.

Actually... in the morning... we go from currently 19 resorts, with 36 different bus stops to 4 heavy traffic destinations (theme parks), and 4 minor destinations (DTD & Water parks). All compressed within a three hour period.

At night... we have extreme heavy traffic going from four major locations to 19 resorts, with 36 different stops, compressed within a 90 minute period. Plus, medium heavy traffic going in the opposite direction... from the 36 stops to one location... DTD.

One thing you have to be careful of when thinking about a mass transit system is the route it will take, and the traffic pattern that it will have. Too many separate lines will be cluttered and confusing. Too many stops within a line, and the train will fill up prematurely. Hence why we really need a system that is extremely flexible. If there is a surge in guest demand for one area, we need to be able to react.

The thing about Disney is that we are very unlike any major transit system out there. Our needs are quite different. While a fixed guideway system might work GREAT for the Las Vegas strip... it might not have the same benefits here at Disney.

Originally posted by Walt's Frozen Head
(and by the way, lest one take me for a fuddy-duddy who doesn't want to greet the new millenium, I would welcome some Disney-designed or Disney-backed alternative mode of transporatation... that kind of innovation is a Disney tradition, too. I just don't see how busses, even souped-up busses, are Magical).
There are other options out there, one of which I would like to see Disney take a look at. It's simmilar to a fixed guideway system... but without the fixed guideway. It's a neat system, however, I fear that it may be confused with "a souped up bus." More on that later.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by rwodonnell
Plus, they enjoy the various things, even the buses. (Are there really 2 "s"s in busses?)
According to the dictionary, it is acceptable to use either buses or busses. :)


Originally posted by rwodonnell
Also, in our last trip, I think we had Tyler as a driver, and he was hysterical! Unfortunately, we only were on his bus once, but he made it a very memorable trip, with little witty sayings, jokes and fun facts. It was great!

I'm glad you enjoyed your ride... Creating "Magic In Motion" is my job, and I do enjoy it. There are many, many other drivers out there who also do things like me... some tell jokes, others sing, others do trivia games.



Originally posted by rwodonnell

Put characters on the buses! Of course, this could lead to over-crowding! :) And I don't know how much it costs to have someone dressed in character...
*sigh* You'd be surprised how expensive it is. Even though we're the same company, they still charge us rack rate. As it stands right now, we do have Chip, Dale, and Pluto ride the MK Ferryboat in the mornings. It's a great thing. I've also had Pluto take a ride with me on the Monorail... that was a blast. Unfortunetly, due to safety reasons, having them on the buses might not be the best idea.




Originally posted by rwodonnell

Theme each bus according to its destination. Animal Kingdom buses look like safari buses, Epcot's maybe like rockets, Magic Kingdoms maybe like, I dunno, various rides (i.e. flumes, haunted manion cars, etc.) Of course this kind of limits the bus's reusability, so....
Instead of theming the buses by destination, theme them after a character, sort of like the Stars in Motorcars parade.


Indeed, a great idea. You may have noticed some LYNX busses and other various charter busses around property have been wrapped with Disney themed advertisements. A similar idea had been tossed around with Disney execs, however, our legal department shot them right down. You'd be surprised at the things they will not let us have. (And usually for the most stupid of reasons)

On our new low floor buses, there are two round tail lights on the very top... they serve as additional brake lights and turn signals. On the prototype bus we recieved, they were turned into Mickey Ears. Cute, right? Well... some religious groups felt they made Mickey look demonic... so that was no longer allowed to go on the rest of the new buses.

Characters are not allowed to be depicted on any of our guest buses, in the case that a bus might get hit right where the character is. We're not even allowed to have Mickey Mouse on the Monorail Co-Pilot licenses.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 12:38 AM
I mentioned something earlier about a fixed guideway system that didn't use a fixed guideway... Well, here's some more information. It's called BRT... Bus Rapid Transit. It uses a vehicle that is similarly looking to a light rail/tram type vehicle, but rides on rubber tires, like a bus. These vehicles can be powered by overhead wires, electric traction motors, Hybrid engines, Alternate fuel engines, or traditional diesel engines.

One that comes to mind for it's uniqueness is the Irisbus CiViS. The Civis is an Optically Guided BRT vehicle. While there is a driver who does have a steering wheel... the Civis typically guides itself, via optical cameras.

The Civis can drive on standard roads, or drive on special BRT lanes which are designed specifically for the vehicle.

http://www.busride.com/2002/08/Letter_from_Europe.asp
http://www.evworld.com/databases/storybuilder.cfm?storyid=163
http://www.siemens-ts.com/pagesUS/produits/Civis.htm

Some pictures:

http://members.aol.com/transitboi/civis1.jpg
http://members.aol.com/transitboi/civis2.jpg

rwodonnell
03-06-2003, 01:37 AM
Tyler, after I posted, I asked the rest of my family what the name of the driver was that we enjoyed so much. Sorry to say, none of them remembered, but I had thought I remembered it was "Tyler". My oldest son, 7, who has a great memory though, did remember a joke: "it wasn't my fault, or the bus's fault... it was the asphalt." Was that you? :)

We stayed at the CBR, and rode the buses everywhere. There may well be many who try to do as you do, but we never ran across any others really. They were courteous, of course, but most never really spoke at all that I can remember.

By the way, as long as I'm babbling here, we never really had any problem at all using the buses, and found them to be very convenient, and my impression is that the CBR is not the most ideal resort, since there are so many stops. Still, our experience was good. The biggest problem for us was getting to the Boardwalk, since it doesn't really seem to be a destination directly from the resorts. We ended up taking the bus to MGM and a water shuttle from there (mostly in order to do a water shuttle with the kids).

d-r
03-06-2003, 06:33 AM
Scoop are you thinking about the Detroit people mover? It looks like a monorail. It's a light rail linear induction thing.

http://www.thepeoplemover.com/

You know, I'm in Japan, and I got yen in my pocket...I think I'll go to Tokyo Disneyland this weekend and get away from all the nay-saying :);)

:> :| :- :+ := (I don't know how to make a sticking out his tongue smiley face).

y'all have fun and I'll check back in with you Monday :)

DR

crusader
03-06-2003, 07:41 AM
Tyler -

Re: the BRT - Love the picture. What a great looking machine! Hopefully this is a viable alternative.

Its not just the cost of the Monorail, but the cost of alternatives, the cost of the current system, the long term expense, the difficult to quantify benefits of each potential plan....

Exactly - efficiency; cost effectiveness; functionability; capacity; mechanics; affordability; investment return; etc.... all need to be continually addressed.

If the design and function of the current system was not working we'd really see it. Guests would be alot more vocal than the traditional " My problem is I had to wait more than 20 minutes - maybe 40 minutes or 60 minutes and I am not happy."

An innovative unique transportation alternative simply to keep the flow of change happening at disney is not going to cut it at the multimillion to a billion dollar price tag. Aren't these the dollars everyone wanted reinvested in the parks? New rail systems look and sound great but I don't see how they a provide real option here in terms of cost/benefit either.


On the prototype bus we recieved, they were turned into Mickey Ears. Cute, right? Well... some religious groups felt they made Mickey look demonic... so that was no longer allowed to go on the rest of the new buses.

A similar idea had been tossed around with Disney execs, however, our legal department shot them right down. You'd be surprised at the things they will not let us have.

Here in lies the magical truth. Let the lobbyists and the litigators decide for all of us.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by rwodonnell
Tyler, after I posted, I asked the rest of my family what the name of the driver was that we enjoyed so much. Sorry to say, none of them remembered, but I had thought I remembered it was "Tyler". My oldest son, 7, who has a great memory though, did remember a joke: "it wasn't my fault, or the bus's fault... it was the asphalt." Was that you? :)

LOL... That's my trademark joke! :)

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by thedscoop
It did not use bombardiers but we still thought it was so cool...

It should be noted that there are many other brands, and forms of Monorail out there. Take a visit to www.monorails.org for a look at the different variations, and the MANY monorails around the world. (They're not so unique and rare when you go global)

Originally posted by thedscoop
So, if he tells me that electric busses aren't an efficient option right now (are they, my friend?) even with Orlando having the perfect topography for e-buses (i.e. it's very flat), then I'll still dig around some but will pretty much rely on somebody with expertise like him over myself or others without that expertise.

The problem with alternative fuel busses, is that in comparison to Diesel engines, they're relatively new technology. As it stands currently, they're very fickle, maintenance intensive, expensive to buy and run, and not that reliable. And the Florida climate doesn't help any. I remember we had a CNG powered demo bus awhile ago, and it was always having problems. Now of course, it's not to say that it's not possible to have them down here... but personally, I'd wait a year or two for the technology to stable out. My personal favorite would be the Diesel-Electric hybrid. Currently, Boston's new Silverline will be getting some Neoplan articulated busses that will be powered by D-E hybrid engines. I'd be interested to see how they fare the New England climate.



Originally posted by thedscoop
So, while it is reasonable to expect a guest to wait 30+ minutes to ride Space Mountain, they'll hate to wait that long for a bus to get to Space Mountain.

An interesting story... when working at the MK monorail station, on the Express Load platform... people would be running up the ramp, just as I sent the train out... I'd tell them that the next train would be arriving in about 2 minutes. The reactions I'd get were unbeleiveable. Folks would be content to wait 30-60 mins for Space Mountain... but yet, 2 minutes for a Monorail was too much for them.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by crusader
Re: the BRT - Love the picture. What a great looking machine! Hopefully this is a viable alternative.

It very well could be, *IF* properly executed. Special BRT lanes, different sized vehicles...



Originally posted by crusader
If the design and function of the current system was not working we'd really see it. Guests would be alot more vocal than the traditional " My problem is I had to wait more than 20 minutes - maybe 40 minutes or 60 minutes and I am not happy."

One particular day comes to mind... The introduction of Magic On Demand 2 years ago. What a day. Thankfully, I was working Monorails then. But at any rate, brand new system that no one was very familliar on... New technology that no one knew what to do with... and it all came crashing down. Within an hour, the Palm Pilots all crashed... Nothing was working right. No one knew what to do. And the poor guests actually did wait for an hour for a bus. And although I understand thier extreme frustration, the physical violence they inflicted on our cast members was unacceptable. So, yeah... if there were real problems like that, we would be seeing it a lot more, just like that one day. Thankfully, things are working right now, and while you may not think they're very magical... We do a great job with what we've got. (On a side note... MOD was retooled, and now is an excellent system with solid technology backing it, run by people who know what they're doing)

crusader
03-06-2003, 10:04 AM
Tyler - they're not really content to wait for space mountain either and you can hear the complaints as soon as a line has formed.

But with transportation, the guest is venting - not merely at you but at whatever didn't go according to plan that day. They simply forgot to take a step back and look at the big picture. It's much easier to redirect all frustration toward the next visible thing that comes along and that inevitably will be transportation. Afterall it is what they start and end each day with.

The story about violence on the cast members is really tragic. I cannot understand why we do not have the respect we should for the people who work there.

mjstaceyuofm
03-06-2003, 10:12 AM
Tyler, as posted by many others here, thank you for the insight.MOD was retooled, and now is an excellent system with solid technology backing it, run by people who know what they're doingSo what you're saying is that there currently is a MOD system in place right now being used? Is this the system that mandates busses every 20 minutes or does it serve to lengthen or shrten duration between busses as demand is necessary? Just curious.

Another question for you: Do you consider the current system's handling of resort to resort travel acceptable (i.e. take a bus to DTD and get on another bus to that resort)? Is there a better way to handle this flow? Unfortunately, my experience with this resort-to-resort system has been that it can be slow. Essentially you have 2 bus rides and if you catch them at the wrong time (i.e. wait 15-20 mins for each bus coupled with 2 10-15 min bus rides) and you're talking an hour of your time. Please don't misunderstand my question - I'm not bashing. I like having someone else do the driving for me while I'm on vacation and have never rented a car on any WDW vacation (even with kids in tow....) It's just that it can be a rather long time if you're staying at OKW and want to eat on the Boardwalk....

Scoop, the monorail/tram thingy between the Dearborn Hyatt and Fairlane Town Center was dismantled in the early 90's. It had nothing to do with how well the system functioned (it was quick, efficient for a small point to point trip), but more because of the riff-raff hanging out in the mall that we're interested in taking a monorail ride who ended up at the Hyatt. The Hyatt didn't like that so it was taken down and replaced with (here's a shocker...) a shuttle service (van)...

Sarangel
03-06-2003, 10:56 AM
So far, I've stayed out of this one, since I think the current bus/monorail/boat system works pretty well (and yes, I know I'm the minority). Frankly, drivers like Tyler (I know there are more, since we had one threaten to have folks who didn't get trivia answers correct go clean out the elephant stalls at AK) can make the whole bus thing not only bearable, but enjoyable after a long day in the parks.

I also believe that the fixed track idea would definately have its limitations. Here in the SF Bay Area we have a system called BART (not a monorail, but awfully similar) that connects outlying suburbs with downtown SF and during commute times it is *jammed* and if it breaks down the entire commute suffers. Anyway because I used to commute in a similar system, I don't really see the monorails as 'magical' and I would rather just get from here to there.

Anyway, I'll back off now and let y'all resume the debate about how to reform the WDW transport system.

Sarangel

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 11:06 AM
Anyway, I'll back off now and let y'all resume the debate about how to reform the WDW transport system.
On the contrary. We need to hear more of your point of view. I get laughed off the internet by the likes of Baron when I say that there are lots of people who are pleased with the current system.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by mjstaceyuofm
Tyler, as posted by many others here, thank you for the insight.So what you're saying is that there currently is a MOD system in place right now being used? Is this the system that mandates busses every 20 minutes or does it serve to lengthen or shrten duration between busses as demand is necessary? Just curious.

Right now, we use MOD v2.5... Busses are staged at a key location (Zone 6 = All-Stars parking lot, for example) From that point, they are dispatched to the resort to pick up for one of the four theme parks. Dispatch intervals and routes are demand based. For example... the dispatcher might see a light load for Epcot at Music and Movies... so they'll send one bus to go Music & Movies for Epcot. That bus then picks up for Epcot. Once at Epcot, instead of deadheadding (running empty) back to All-Stars, it gets dispatched to a Zone 3 resort (Port Orleans) to pick up for its home zone, DAK. They might be directed to go Riverside West, North, East for DAK. (Another bus will do FQ & RS South) MOD dispatch intervals can vary, but can run 5-15mins apart.

After 11am, we convert to FIDS... (Flexible Independant Dispatching System, often referred to as Flex Dispatch) Flex is based out of the theme park... no more sharing of buses. Instead of a bus being on a fixed route, each time they come into the theme park, they get a new dispatch. This maximizes efficiency by taking advantage of buses that return early. Dispatches now become On Time, Always.

All dispatches, both MOD and Flex are done via portable Tablet PC's equipped with RF modems (and with a paper backup in case of computer failure).

I have a much more detailed explanation over on the Transportation Board somewhere... i'll see if I can dig it up and link you.


Originally posted by mjstaceyuofm
Another question for you: Do you consider the current system's handling of resort to resort travel acceptable (i.e. take a bus to DTD and get on another bus to that resort)? Is there a better way to handle this flow?

Well, that's a tough question. To be honest with you... I think that while not the greatest in efficiency, it's not as horrible as some folks can really make it out to be. Resort-to-Resort travel does not have anywhere NEAR the traffic flow that a theme park would have... but yet, to set up a system would require more buses than say, the Studios runs in a typical day. *shrug*

The real key to getting around effectivly is to use smart transfers. Avoid Downtown Disney, if at all possible. Use a theme park that is closest. For example, All-Stars to Contemporary... Head over to DAK, catch the bus there... or MK... and walk/take the monorail. If you had gone to DTD, it would take twice that time...


By the way... not only do I drive the buses, I do ride on them as well. Anytime family or friends visit me, and stay on property, my car stays parked. I drive all day every day, last thing I want to do when having fun. In addition, on my days off, I've also been known to just ride around property. In a little over two hours, I visited 5 resorts (not connecting), two theme parks, and Downtown Disney.

mjstaceyuofm
03-06-2003, 12:06 PM
I have a much more detailed explanation over on the Transportation Board somewhere... i'll see if I can dig it up and link you.I would appreciate that very much. Thank you.The real key to getting around effectivly is to use smart transfers. Avoid Downtown Disney, if at all possible. Use a theme park that is closest.We've often done the same in the past, even though the literature you see in the parks/hotels regarding resort to resort transfers tell you to use DTD as a hub.... It just seems that much more logical to use the first available bus to a nearby destination and catch a bus/monorail/ferry from there.... I guess Disney tells it's patrons to use DTD as a hub for simplicity's sake...

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 01:43 PM
You may always wait for the next bus. You may not like that option, but it exists. Same with the monorail. Happens all the time. You could also walk. Not a very customer-friendly solution, however.

Our typical statistics for "On Time" busses is in the 95-100% range. These are facts, with proven data. Tyler, what you said was that 95% of customer complaints were either completely false or grossly exagerrated. Not that 95% of busses were on time.

Then would you agree that it is foolish to invest one billion dollars in a system that might not solve the problems like we want, and has no chance of ever producing any form of noticable return. Sure I would, except that using the expanded monorail as at least a PIECE of the system has the potential to improve service, and does have added entertainment value to guests. Added entertainment value = added revenue for the entire resort. A grove of trees, a juggler on the Boardwalk, or a bus driver who tells jokes produce no direct return either. Yet they have value...

If Disney is going to invest that much money into something, they're gonna make gosh darned sure that it does what they want it to do. I would expect no less. However, given the way certain major investments are not doing what Disney wanted them to, I cannot logically assume Disney is using the correct methodology when making their investment decisions.

Camp One (with Mr. Raidermatt as Cabin Counselor) appears to focus more on the quality of the experience of the transporation (in and of itself, certainly not a bad thing) and isn't real concerned with the efficiency of the system, both financially or more importantly logistically. Just call me Tripper.*

Oh, Scoopy, Scoopy, Scoopy....so close, but yet so far.

Yes, I am VERY focused on the quality of the transportation experience, but I am actually VERY concerned with the efficiency of the system, both financially AND logistically. If I were only concerned with the quality of the experience, I'd be saying "Build the Monorail NOW!!!!"

But I'm not.

I'm only saying it does have entertainment value, and it is being dismissed AS A POSSIBILITY far too quickly. Despite Tyler's well documented experience as a Disney bus driver, and his imminent engineering degree, we don't have anything CLOSE to the information needed to make this call.

Most notably, we have absolutely ZERO info on real estimates of what the entertainment benefit of the Monorail (or any other system) might be. One simply cannot even begin to calculate the financial impact without this part of the equation.

Yes fixed rail has its limitations, but it certainly has benefit in the MK area when combined with the other transportation options. If it works as a localized line in the MK area, then it can work as a localized line in the Epcot/CBR area, if nothing else.

That's just one example of how it might be of benefit. IF an expanded Monorail were part of the plan, it wouldn't have to be an all or nothing deal.



Here in the SF Bay Area we have a system called BART (not a monorail, but awfully similar) that connects outlying suburbs with downtown SF and during commute times it is *jammed* and if it breaks down the entire commute suffers. Anyway because I used to commute in a similar system, I don't really see the monorails as 'magical' and I would rather just get from here to there. Hey, Sara. Yes, I am VERY familiar with BART. In various periods of my Bay Area life, I've used it to commute from the East Bay to SF, and to Concord, and also from the Tri-Valley into SF.

And yes, during commute hours it is SRO on some lines. And yes, when it breaks down, it does wreak havoc on the commute. And certainly I agree it is not exactly a magical experience (per my "urine" and "Projects" comments earlier)

But its also a necessary part of the Bay Area's transportation system. While I wouldn't want it to be the ONLY way to get around, it is necessary to have anything close to resembling an efficient overall system.

*Somewhat obscure movie reference.

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 02:16 PM
If I were only concerned with the quality of the experience, I'd be saying "Build the Monorail NOW!!!!"
Really? Is it possible to have the quality transportation experience you are referring to without the efficiency? I don't care how Magical a monorail car, or the view from it, might be - if the trip takes significantly longer than a bus and you are standing the whole time is it going to be a quality experience?

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 02:36 PM
DK, in the context of Scoop's descriptions, efficiency was separate from the "quality" of the experience, and it is in that hypothetical context that I made my comment.

I agree that in reality, the efficiency effects the quality of the experience, and cannot be separated. That's one reason why I am not calling for Monorail expansion. We don't KNOW how various potential plans would effect efficiency, nor are we equipped to produce a reasonably well-informed cost/benefit analysis.

It should just be an option on the table...

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Tyler, what you said was that 95% of customer complaints were either completely false or grossly exagerrated. Not that 95% of busses were on time.
I'm sorry, I probably did not make myself clear enough. Indeed both statistics are true. They just happen to be around the same percentage.

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 02:39 PM
I'm sorry, I probably did not make myself clear enough. Indeed both statistics are true. They just happen to be around the same percentage. No problem, but I still dispute the statement that 95% are grossly exagerrated or completely unjustified. As I said, the real number always falls somewhere between customer and employee perception.

No worries, just a difference in opinion based on our experiences.

Sarangel
03-06-2003, 03:16 PM
Hey, Sara. Yes, I am VERY familiar with BART. In various periods of my Bay Area life, I've used it to commute from the East Bay to SF, and to Concord, and also from the Tri-Valley into SF.

And yes, during commute hours it is SRO on some lines. And yes, when it breaks down, it does wreak havoc on the commute. And certainly I agree it is not exactly a magical experienceI expected that you, of all people Matt, would be familiar with it. My point, however, is that BART and the monorail are pretty similar in user experience (as I would guess are the rail systems in DC & NY, though I've not seen them), and that that similarity makes the monorail seem less magical to me & more mundane. Commute times are crowded whether it is a work commute or a park commute. If you catch a seat, it can be pretty nice, but I'm not crazy about standing in a crowded train (of however many rails) any more than I'm crazy about a crowded bus.

That being said, for those commute times at WDW, give me the fastest, most efficient way to get from resort A to park B & I'm a pretty happy camper (shorter standing times are the best I can hope for). I'm not saying the busses are magical, but they are pretty efficient (in my experience, YMMV).

You could also walk. Not a very customer-friendly solution, however. Actually, in many places on property, you can't. At least not easily. Very few of the roadways have sidewalks & I sort of get the feeling Disney would prefer that you didn't walk from point A to point B. They did finally put in a walkway from the Boardwalk to the Studios, but I recall it being a big deal when it opened. I also got the impression that Disney only put the walkway in because guests were walking in out of bounds areas because they were frustrated in *not* being able to walk the relative short distance between the two points.

Sarangel

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 03:22 PM
This is from a post I made back in November... I've slightly modified it to reflect current changes.


I keep throwing out terms like "MOD" and "Flex Dispatch"... and I know a lot of y'all might not be too familiar with them and how Disney Transport works, so I thought I'd explain them in greater detail.

Unlike many transit authorities that some of you might be familiar with, with little exception, Disney Transport does not use Fixed Routes. Because of our unique guest traffic flow, much of Disney Transport is done dynamically. As such... things can vary throughout the day.

Disney Transport is divided into 6 Hubs, or what we call Zones:

Zone 1: Transportation/Ticket Center
Zone 2: Magic Kingdom
Zone 3: Epcot
Zone 4: Disney-MGM Studios
Zone 5: Downtown Disney
Zone 6: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Opening drivers will be assigned a resort area, and a zone to pick up for. Busses will be staggered so that the opening drivers will pick up approx every 15 minutes. For example, I might be assigned to go through the All-Stars, and pick up for Zone 2... this would mean that I'd pick up anyone going for breakfast (or Early Entry) at the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, or Fort Wilderness.

Starting at 8:00am, we start our Magic On Demand. This is where things sometimes get a bit confusing, so I'll try and explain it the best I can. (It's important to note that Zone 1 and Zone 5 do not participate in MOD... more on Zone 5 later.)

Each Zone has a staging area where the busses all report to. At the Staging Area is a Dispatcher (Field X). Staging areas are as follows:

Zone 2: Stages out of the Magic Kingdom bus load zone, South Loop. Zone 2 covers Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness

Zone 3: Stages out of a parking lot between Riverside and French Quarter. Covers all of Port Orleans. Also has a dispatcher at Epcot itself.

Zone 4: Stages out of the Studios Charter Bus parking lot. Covers Swan, Dolphin, Yacht, Beach, Boardwalk, and Caribbean Beach.

Zone 6: Stages out of a parking lot between Sports and Music. Covers All-Star Sports, Music and Movies. Also has a dispatcher at DAK itself.

It's important to note that Coronado Springs, Old Key West, and Animal Kingdom Lodge do not participate in MOD. The reason for this is that they typically do not have the demand that MOD was created for. These resorts are Flexed all day long. More on Flex later on. Coronado Springs was added to MOD when Caribbean Beach shut down due to the added guest traffic, however, when CBR reopened, it was moved back to Flex.

This is basically how it works. Busses are staged at their appropriate staging areas, and are dispatched to their home resorts to pick up for all four theme parks. If they get dispatched to another zone, they drop off at that zone, and then get reassigned from that end back to their home zone.

For example:

Bus 4805 belongs to Zone 3. He gets dispatched to pick up at French Quarter for the Magic Kingdom. When he gets to the Magic Kingdom, instead of deadheading (running empty) back to Zone 3 staging, he gets dispatched to pick up Wilderness Lodge/Fort Wilderness for Epcot. Once at Epcot, he then returns to Zone 3 Staging, and starts the process all over again.

Magic On Demand offers greater utilization of our busses by eliminating deadhead runs. Busses are full on both journeys. This system is highly flexible, and allows our drivers to better serve our guests.

It is important to note that although this system is influenced by guest demand, it is not driven solely by demand. Busses are dispatched at regular intervals by the Field X Dispatcher, and depending on demand, are instructed to go different routes. If there is an increased demand in a particular area, the dispatcher will increase frequency, or possibly send two busses at once.

Another note... Morning routes for the MK are typically as follows:
Contemporary & Polynesian
Wilderness Lodge & Grand Floridian
Fort Wilderness

Morning routes for Epcot Resorts
Swan, Dolphin, & (Boardwalk)
Yacht, Beach, & (Boardwalk)
(Boardwalk)

Between 10:30-11:30, the Zones transition into FIDS, or Flexible Independent Dispatching System. (We call it Flex Dispatch for short.) No longer are busses shared between the Zones.

In the past, we used to use fixed routes for our busses. Each resort area would have 2-4 busses on that specific route, and they would just go around in circles, with pre-assigned dispatching times based on a set cycle time.

For example, if I was at the MK doing the Riverside #2 bus, my times out of the MK might be 1:00, 1:36, 2:12, 2:48, and so on. I would be given 36 minutes to do my route. Now, some days, I'd come back to the MK with 10 minutes to spare, and I'd just sit there for that time, waiting for my time out. Other days, I might encounter a delay, or something random happens, and I end up running 5 minutes late.

Another example... I might get assigned the 4:12 Riverside run out of the MK. That is now my dedicated route. I do that run, and arrive back at the MK at 4:28... The next Riverside dispatch is at 4:38... and if I were on the old style routes, I'd hang out for ten minutes. However, we have a 4:30 French Quarter run. So, now I become the 4:30 French Quarter bus... and another bus that arrives at 4:35 becomes the 4:38 Riverside bus. The same dispatch times exist.. the only difference is that different busses handle them.


With Flex Dispatch, the dispatch times are still there, in a manner of speaking... However, no bus is assigned to any fixed route. As the bus approaches the hub, the driver calls in for a dispatch. The Dispatcher uses a portable tablet PC that selects the next dispatch. By doing this, we eliminate the wasted hold time, and put it to use. It also compensates for any delays that a driver might encounter. One special benefit... if a bus needs to be taken out of service, it no longer creates a gap in service. The Tablet PC's allow for special dispatches as well, so if there is a 200 person group that all wants to go back to the All-Stars, we can handle it. It should also be noted that the Tablet PC's have the capability to generate a new set of dispatch times based on how many busses are running, and how the demand is.

Typically Flex will run from 11:00am, until park closing. At that time, the various hubs will switch to Float Mode for the exit. Floating is just when the dispatcher sends busses to wherever they are needed most. If a load zone is light, they will tell the driver to hold at that load zone for 5-10 mins, or until full. For heavy load zones like the All-Stars, they might send two busses to double load.


A few notes:
Downtown Disney operates with Flex Dispatch all day long.

Fort Wilderness Internal busses, and TTC busses operate via fixed routes. These are the only busses that are on fixed routes.

Okay, I think I got everything there... if you have any questions, or desire clarification, please feel free to let me know.

manning
03-06-2003, 03:28 PM
Maybe this might help. It seems one of the problems with buses are that they are using the same roads as general traffic. Perhaps dedicated bus lanes/roads could be built to get the buses separated from congestion. This would make sense on long runs. Construction would be the major cost (and a lot cheaper than monorail structure). Maintenance should be low considering there wouldn't be weather and high traffic damage.

And you have flexibility. Also ideal for the BRT.

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 03:30 PM
Tyler - thanks for the detail. It is interesting to see the behind the scenes workings. Keep posting over here - as you can tell, we have a lot of "fun" ;).

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 03:31 PM
Perhaps dedicated bus lanes/roads could be built to get the buses separated from congestion.
I have to say, in all my years of driving around WDW I have never seen a major problem with respect to congestion.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by DisneyKidds
I have to say, in all my years of driving around WDW I have never seen a major problem with respect to congestion.

During busy times, there are slight slowdowns... but us drivers know where to avoid and when. We always have alternate routes to take. However, dedicated BRT lanes would really be a nice thing... :)

crusader
03-06-2003, 04:03 PM
It is important to note that although this system is influenced by guest demand, it is not driven solely by demand. Busses are dispatched at regular intervals by the Field X Dispatcher, and depending on demand, are instructed to go different routes. If there is an increased demand in a particular area, the dispatcher will increase frequency, or possibly send two busses at once.

I am assuming you do not simply rely on historical data to determine guest preferences. Since resort capacity is one variable how is that factored into the scheduling? Also, where is the dispatch coming from?

Thanks again for this.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by crusader
I am assuming you do not simply rely on historical data to determine guest preferences. Since resort capacity is one variable how is that factored into the scheduling? Also, where is the dispatch coming from?

Thanks again for this.

Dispatches are generated by the tablet pc, based on a template set up for the day. The template is based on expected guest traffic flow. Of course since it's just an estimate, and guests have a tendancy to go against the wind at times, the dispatcher does have the ability to either change the template, or dispatch additional busses to meet the need.

crusader
03-06-2003, 04:13 PM
Despite Tyler's well documented experience as a Disney bus driver, and his imminent engineering degree, we don't have anything CLOSE to the information needed to make this call.

Absolutely, but we debate this issue anyway. I agree there is always room for something more. The suggestions here sound promising but are too far down on the priority list to warrant any real attention from the Co.

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 04:19 PM
Great info, Tyler, very interesting. Thanks!

Its sounds like the dispatch decision is completely automated when in Flex Dispatch mode. Is that true?

MoD sounds like it might be more of a judgement decision on the part of a dispatcher...is that true?

In other words, how much, if any, human judgement is required in each system. Does it mostly consist of just inputting the bus arrivals, or is this automated as well? (Sorry if I missed any of this)

Just curious...Thanks.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Its sounds like the dispatch decision is completely automated when in Flex Dispatch mode. Is that true?
For the most part... Dispatches go on schedule as the computer says... However, there are often times when the order might be flipped around, or a special run is given. But if all goes well, the Dispatcher doesn't usually need to have much say in what goes on. They're just there to make sure everything is going on schedule. If a bus encounters a Signal 72 (full bus) or if one goes out of service, they are there to be able to work around the situation.

Originally posted by raidermatt
MoD sounds like it might be more of a judgement decision on the part of a dispatcher...is that true?
Indeed... the dispatcher does have more judgement calls to make, and has more of a hand in what goes on than with flex.

airlarry!
03-06-2003, 11:05 PM
M. Tyler:

I have really enjoyed getting the depth of info from your posts. Sorry I'm so late in responding, but I'm diving into the latest Robert Crais novel and trying to keep up with these fantastic multiple new threads.

I admit, it may not have been the all-star run that was 35 minutes to the MK. Perhaps it was my last trip at CBR in 2000. Problem with CBR (and same for others, but obiously not for all-stars) is that there are multiple stops, depending upon where you catch the bus. From getting on, to getting off at the MK, was about 35 minutes (if memory serves, but of course it has been three years...)

It is a quibble, I know.

What is more important is the underlying issue:

Is the bus system as presently situated the best that Disney can offer? I would remind those of you who argue that other modes of transportation are too expensive...I'll be you a dollar to a donut that your predecessors on the Disney board made the same argument to Walt when he proposed a separate TTC with monorail access. IT MADE NO ECONOMIC SENSE TO DO THIS. It was just good show, and heightened the excitement of the visitor. (BTW: It still does this today for me, even after all these years).

M. Tyler, as much as your expertise has helped us understand the bus routing system, it does not answer this question. There seems to be two sides.

My feet are firmly entrenched in the side that says two things:

1. Buses, in the present configuration, are inherently un-Walt-like, and should be limited to as-needed-only.

2. Don't derail changes based on the present configuration of the parks and property development. An argument that the present configuration of parks on the property lends itself away from adding monorail/skytran/lightrail/waterway/safari vehicle/etc. transportation is barking at the wrong person. Blame the guy who masterminded the development of the resort ('cause he's the true culprit), but fix the problem as best as you can with what you got.

Ask yourself. What would Walt do? Walt is probably spinning in his cryochamber right now watching the buses whiz by.

And finally, a billion dollar investment in magical transportation WILL pay for itself by increasing resort occupancy, increasing shoping and eating dollars, and increasing attendance. I know there are some spreadsheets in Burbank that already allude to this. It really doesn't take Dave the Rocket Scientist to figure out that improvements to infrastructure increase days, density, and dollars.

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-06-2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by airlarry!
I admit, it may not have been the all-star run that was 35 minutes to the MK. Perhaps it was my last trip at CBR in 2000. Problem with CBR (and same for others, but obiously not for all-stars) is that there are multiple stops, depending upon where you catch the bus. From getting on, to getting off at the MK, was about 35 minutes (if memory serves, but of course it has been three years...)

The round trip cycle from MK to CBR, all the way through, and back to MK is rated at 34 minutes. Most drivers can do it in 30 flat. Even with 7 stops... it's not a long internal run. However, I can understand how it may feel like 35 mins.

Originally posted by airlarry!
Is the bus system as presently situated the best that Disney can offer?
At this current moment, yes. For the future? Who knows what lies ahead. Personally, I would like to see a BRT/Tramway system be put into place... dedicated traffic-free lanes, like a fixed guideway system, but with the flexibility of a bus. And best of all, it can be done without transfers. Will it happen? Well... I can dream. :)

crusader
03-07-2003, 06:37 AM
And finally, a billion dollar investment in magical transportation WILL pay for itself by increasing resort occupancy, increasing shoping and eating dollars, and increasing attendance. I know there are some spreadsheets in Burbank that already allude to this. It really doesn't take Dave the Rocket Scientist to figure out that improvements to infrastructure increase days, density, and dollars.

Improvements to infrastructure may increase attendance. Billion dollar Magical Improvements to transportation paying for itself this way? I don't think so. I don't believe the reason someone today would say they won't go to WDW has anything to do with the transportation system or that the monorial/or some other new innovative transportation system would be instrumental in getting them to book a trip.

Spreadsheets are great - I am sure they showed record figures for alot of ventures that tanked.

seashoreCM
03-07-2003, 10:36 AM
A busway for Downtown Disney.

From Marketplace bus station going south the busway begins and rises to third story level to allow truck and pedestrian access to various points in between, then descends to second story level at Pleasure Island. The major pedestrian entrance here dips about 10 feet below grade to go under the busway. (Such a walkway is sometimes called a vomitory and hopefully vagrants won't get nauseous or incontinent in it late at night). Ramps from ground to the Pleasure Island bus station here then don't have to be so long. From Pleasure Island the busway rises again to third story level for truck and mid block pedestrian access underneath, then descends to ground level at West Side.

Variation: Busway descends only to second story level at West Side, then rises and extends out over Buena Vista drive westbound, descending to ground level and ending somewhat beyond, where traffic is lighter.

Such a project can also include parking garages, although no extra bus stops for parking lot patrons.

This probably won't be considered until attractions at West Side are added and fill up all the space to the existing West Side bus station.

Disney hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

DisneyKidds
03-07-2003, 10:45 AM
vomitory
I can't believe that Disney has shunned the need for one of these for so long ;). At least it would give all the people who are so unhappy with the system a place to make a deposit. http://www.btinternet.com/~tonyrichardson/worry.gif

mjstaceyuofm
03-07-2003, 10:47 AM
Do we really need this now that we have one less chicken finger to um, err, regurgitate?

raidermatt
03-07-2003, 12:32 PM
Billion dollar Magical Improvements to transportation paying for itself this way? I don't think so. So even the current Monorail should not have been built, given its percentage of the original cost of the resort, and the much more limited funding constraints faced by Disney at the time?

Spreadsheets are great - I am sure they showed record figures for alot of ventures that tanked. You've identified the exact reason new forms of mass transit are not being seriously considered. It's impossible to prove the corellation between upgraded transportation and resort revenue on a spreadsheet.

Therefore, the easy answer is to pretend it doesn't exist. Then, one can simply say "It costs too much, and doesn't generate any revenue".

As Larry pointed out, same thing Walt and his successors were told about the original WDW Monorail and its layout.

Its the same thinking that cancelled EE. EE does not directly generate any revenue, so let's get rid of it.

Oops.

Guess the "revenue generation" cell on that EE spreadsheet should have read something other than zero after all.

Even then, it took the "guest satisfaction" equivalent of hitting Disney in the face with a sledgehammer to get them to realize it.

airlarry!
03-07-2003, 01:39 PM
It won't show up on any spreadsheet, but from personal experience and from talking to people from this area who visit, it is just too inconvenient to use the bus system to get from the resorts outside the area over to DTD.

Try going from PO to DTD one Saturday night, and see how long it takes...

rwodonnell
03-07-2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by airlarry!
Try going from PO to DTD one Saturday night, and see how long it takes...

Try parking there Saturday night! The extra couple minutes you might wait for the bus, rather than just hopping in your car, usually is more than made up for in looking for a spot to park, at least when I've been there.

mitros
03-08-2003, 01:47 PM
:( After all of these convoluted posts, {and i admit, I did not read them all,} The only thing I wonder is if the monorail cars could be somehow re-configured to get more folks on a car? It seems like maybe turning the seats to some different angle might allow more room in each car.:cool:

Chip 'n Dale Express
03-08-2003, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by mitros
:( After all of these convoluted posts, {and i admit, I did not read them all,} The only thing I wonder is if the monorail cars could be somehow re-configured to get more folks on a car? It seems like maybe turning the seats to some different angle might allow more room in each car.:cool:

They already did that... it's called "More Standing Room." Basically, the Mark IV design had twice as many bench seats as the Mark VI design, but no room for folks to stand. When designing the new Mark VI trains to stricter transit standards, they introduced standing room, at the expense of seats. As they are now probably provides the best ratio of seats to capacity that you're going to find.

Barb
03-08-2003, 09:15 PM
It isn't the waiting for the bus to DTD that's unreal, it's the actual time it takes for that bus to get there. We can drive, and take a while to find a spot and still beat the bus! We never take the bus to DTD or to the water parks.

mitros
03-08-2003, 10:18 PM
:D Thanks! We can always rely on you for good disney info!;)