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Old 08-14-2012, 11:39 PM   #31
DOOM1001
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There's signs everywhere but pick up that property map at the resort to get an idea of the roads and where all the parks and attractions are located.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ready2vacation View Post
Reading your comments about grids, curves, and direction made me smile! I knew you must be from Illinois or the midwest because you sound exactly like my Dad complaining about Tennessee roads (he's from IL). Thanks for the laugh!
I have lived my entire life within 100 miles of Chicago, where people know how to organize traffic. Dont get me started on the heat, or the pizza.

Now get off my lawn you troublemaker.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:07 AM   #33
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Since I'm also from the Midwest, I find driving in Florida to be a nightmare. There is no logic to how their roads are laid out and there is no easy "oops, missed the turn, turn around and go back" option.

Yes, it's easy to get to the parks/DTD/water parks in the morning from your resort. Coming back at night in the dark is a totally different ball game.

I've driven a couple times around WDW and if at all possible, we won't be doing it again.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:19 AM   #34
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Well I must be the exception becasue I don't think it's all that easy to drive around the World.

Yes, there are very large and colorful signs with lots of information on them, but sometimes that is not enough (for me). It's not as if there are no distractions. And if you miss your "exit" ... there are no signs to help you get back. If you follow the signs strictly you'll be fine. But once you get lost is can be really hard to figure out where you've got to go to fix your mistake. There's no street grid convention and it's hard to figure out which direction you're headed at any given time. An on board compass doesn't really help becasue you're always switching direction. Turns come up quickly becasue every road is curved. The roads can be crowded and prevent you from changing lanes when you need to. And the locals drive pretty fast.

The path from the main gate to Poly and GF is particularly tricky. You need to know in advance that you should be in the far right lane when you go through the parking booths becasue you need to take an immediate exit (single file lane) on the right to reach the access road. If you didn't know that in advance, you may have to cut accross about eight lanes of incoming guests.

Yes. after I made these mistakes a few times it got easier. But the first time can be a challenge. Good luck!
I am with you! I have always had problems driving around disney and would rather take disney transportation. Even after a few trips, I still get lost. I was even 30 min late for my Chef Mickeys ADR on my first trip because I kept ending up at MK instead of the Contemporary. I am actually surprised at how many people say its so easy but if you miss your turn as you say, its not that easy to get back on track...this year, I will be traveling to disney alone for the first time ever with my only my 2 kids and even tho I plan to take the buses for the most part, I will have no choice but to drive a few times as well and it worries me.

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If I can offer 1 tip, when you see a sign that has your destination and says "Next Right" it means exit now. To me it would mean not this coming exit but the next one after that. Its probably just me. HAHA
Its great that you mention this because I have had this issue before and its not easy to find your way back.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:00 AM   #35
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There is a sort of grid. World Drive goes N-S, with the Northern most point ending at the Magic Kingdom.

Lake Buena Vista Drive and Osceola Parkway run E-W and generally parallel to one another except at the western most point which is Animal Kingdom. The eastern most point of Lake Buena Vista is DTD.

Osceola parkway is the southern most border.

Where Lake Buena Vista and World Drive meet is DHS.

North of DHS on World Drive is Epcot Center drive (and Epcot). This starts going East, but curves South to intersect with Lake Buena Vista and Osceola Parkway. Stay on this road South and you can follow the signs to the airport.

Learn which park your resort is (Typhoon Lagoon is near DTD, Blizzard Beach near AK, both on Lake Buena Vista Drive), and you should be able to get there easily.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:05 AM   #36
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An on board compass doesn't really help becasue you're always switching direction.
Isn't that when an on board compass is most helpful?
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:11 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by SaraJayne View Post
Since I'm also from the Midwest, I find driving in Florida to be a nightmare. There is no logic to how their roads are laid out and there is no easy "oops, missed the turn, turn around and go back" option.

Yes, it's easy to get to the parks/DTD/water parks in the morning from your resort. Coming back at night in the dark is a totally different ball game.

I've driven a couple times around WDW and if at all possible, we won't be doing it again.
I realize that a lot of people have problems with direction and get lost easily. I have two daughters that until recently had the same problem. It didn't matter how many times they had been someplace they never knew how to go without a map or a GPS.

We had a discussion because I never was able to understand why. I never had that problem. If I had been someplace once, I never needed a map again. What I found out was that they were driving by following the road only. I always worked with landmarks. My eyes and my brain locked in certain visual things that told me where I was. They never did that. When I explained how that was done, their ability to navigate improved dramatically.

That said, I recently moved to the Raleigh, NC area and for the first time in my life...I had no idea where I was. It took me close to a year before I could go out to different places and easily find my way back. This area is designed in circles. Without the sunshine you have no way of knowing what direction you are driving in. You can get on a highway and drive for miles and without leaving that highway you will find yourself back where you started. WDW isn't like that, but it can be confusing. The signs very seldom repeat themselves. You may be driving along and see a sign that says Epcot Next Exit and the next sign you see will have things like Dolphin Resort, Downtown Disney, etc. exit here. It doesn't repeat Epcot but it is the exit that you were told about a few yards back. Take the first sign literally and don't let a second sign that doesn't reaffirm throw you.

I still find it easy to get around WDW but to be honest I also enjoy exploring. At some point in time I have been on every road in WDW. I have found other entrances that I never knew existed and I would imagine most do not. A lot are used by Disney Cast Members and not by the public generally.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #38
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I grew up in Chicago and learned to drive depending on the grid. That said, I have no issues with driving at WDW or in the surrounding area. We always take our car to the parks.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #39
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We have driven every time we have been to WDW stayed at the same resort and we still always find different roads that bring us out places we've never known before. The signage is very good though
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:27 AM   #40
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We rented a car this past trip for the first time in 30-something years of going to WDW, and I wish I had done it sooner!!

If you're staying on property, just pick up a Transportation Map at the resort. You can study it for a couple of minutes and you're good to go. I found that signage to the Parks were good, but you had to know ahead of time where a particular resort was to get there. For example, many of us know that the Boardwalk is near Epcot, but a sign that just says "Epcot resorts" is not that informative to many others.

Still, I found it a pleasure to drive around the World.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #41
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I grew up, and still live, in northern NJ, where it is illegal to build a straight road, really it is.
That and the tragic traffic, at home and Disney is a breeze! Well signed and if you look at a decent map very easy to get around. I don't normally drive around disney but that's only because I'm cheap and rather rely on free transportation, before ME, I always rented a car.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by goofyernmost View Post
I realize that a lot of people have problems with direction and get lost easily. I have two daughters that until recently had the same problem. It didn't matter how many times they had been someplace they never knew how to go without a map or a GPS.

We had a discussion because I never was able to understand why. I never had that problem. If I had been someplace once, I never needed a map again. What I found out was that they were driving by following the road only. I always worked with landmarks. My eyes and my brain locked in certain visual things that told me where I was. They never did that. When I explained how that was done, their ability to navigate improved dramatically.

That said, I recently moved to the Raleigh, NC area and for the first time in my life...I had no idea where I was. It took me close to a year before I could go out to different places and easily find my way back. This area is designed in circles. Without the sunshine you have no way of knowing what direction you are driving in. You can get on a highway and drive for miles and without leaving that highway you will find yourself back where you started. WDW isn't like that, but it can be confusing. The signs very seldom repeat themselves. You may be driving along and see a sign that says Epcot Next Exit and the next sign you see will have things like Dolphin Resort, Downtown Disney, etc. exit here. It doesn't repeat Epcot but it is the exit that you were told about a few yards back. Take the first sign literally and don't let a second sign that doesn't reaffirm throw you.

I still find it easy to get around WDW but to be honest I also enjoy exploring. At some point in time I have been on every road in WDW. I have found other entrances that I never knew existed and I would imagine most do not. A lot are used by Disney Cast Members and not by the public generally.
Honestly, I'm great with direction/s, any other place than Disney. I can go somewhere once and never need directions to get there again (like you). I don't have a GPS.

I also use landmarks to navigate, but for some reason, driving in and around Disney gets me all turned around. I don't really know why.

So we just use the transportation system and everyone is happy.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:33 PM   #43
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Where your resort is, you're surrounded by streets signs pointing you in the correct direction. Plus cast members at the resort will point you the right (or left) way.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #44
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All this has made me believe that it wouldn't be a good idea for us to drive at Disney, which I had already expected. I have a general idea of where things are located, but I don't think DH does, and he always insists on driving. He expects me to navigate, then doesn't listen to anything I tell him.

I'm sure we'll try it at some point though, and see how it goes.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #45
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I have a general idea of where things are located, but I don't think DH does, and he always insists on driving. He expects me to navigate, then doesn't listen to anything I tell him.
Mom, is that you?
Seriously, as another post said, as many signs as there are, you can still end up somewhere completely different than you were expecting. I can't tell you how many times I've missed the same turn and had to make the loop around EPCOT. It's embarassing, really, and I always have to resist the urge to crash through the gate onto the speedway and drive a few laps until the MousePolice catch me
And it's not like I don't have any sense of direction. Around here, there is no grid; the road layout follows the Miss. River, so parallel roads meet on a regular basis. Heck, even my wife says I have a great internal compass, but I still get turned around in the World, signs or no signs.
Using a GPS isn't any better, this last trip (our 4th), we wound up in some back-lot areas that guests aren't intended to see. I didn't turn wrong, it's just that Google Nav doesn't know the layout, and just charts a course on the roads that are there.
Be that as it may, try driving. It is MUCH faster than the bus, and it gives you the flexibility to go from one park to another, or from park to dining res and then to your own resort. And if you do get turned around, backtrack, try again, and don't worry about it... you're on vacation at Disney
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