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Old 04-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
TheShea's
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Originally Posted by HippieChickadee View Post
When we go to Disney- we are NEVER in a hurry. We've seen it all, done it all and just stroll through the vacation, never letting anything bother us and take everything in stride.

Our last few visits the bus wait was longer and longer. Would complain to ourselves a few times and then let it blow over, wasn't going to let anything ruin our vacation especially for those needing EVC's.

Then, the last visit, *@%! hit the fan.

We waited in a loooooong line to get to a park one day.

The first EVC pulls up with their family, they are loaded then 1/4 of the line ahead of us gets on.

Next bus, next EVC and their large family, less then a 1/4 of the line gets on.

2 buses, half way there, 25 minutes. No biggie.

2 EVC chairs pull up, with families, before the next bus. Bus pulls up, loads them, a few people in line get on. 35 minute wait.

I'm not making this up----

10-15 minutes for the 4th bus, still not at the front of the line, the line is extending far beyond the ropes, what pulls up? EVC large family/group.

This is enough to try anyones patience I don't care who you are. Over an hour before we got on a bus (I think it was the 5th or 6th bus that we FINALLY squeezed onto.

It's not "rare" anymore.

Disney will end up hiring people to stand at the lines for the buses next! Just like the rides!
We had similar experiences in 2010. It happened almost evey time we were on a bus, by day three of a nine day trip we decided we were going to grab a cab to everywhere we had to go in WDW. What a difference and well worth the cost. We'll be heading back to WDW in August and our plan is the same, avoid the buses at all costs.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:21 PM   #17
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A few things:

Why would this influence your opionion of AKL? This could happen anywhere.

What do you find it necessary to comment on the physical size of the people in the other party? Would you not have been so unhappy if they were smaller people?
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #18
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Those buses hold a lot of guests...more than you would think. I have had ECVs load first, at a park, then those in the regular line got to load. I was probably about 40 people back in that line and we were able to get on. Yes, we stood, but I figured I was going to be standing in the line, so why not stand on the bus and get home sooner.
Anyway....the 'recommendation', according to signage at resorts, is that up to 6 members of the ECV person's party can board with them.


This shot was taken at WL, if I remember correctly. But, the drivers, obviously, aren't adhering to those 'recommendations'. Sad. It's not fair to allow just arriving ECV parties get right on board, while those that have been there, waiting for a long time, are forced to wait for yet another bus. I think that anyone that has this happen to them needs to make a complaint at the resort, and then send a followup email to Disney when they get home. Something needs to be done. While I certainly don't begrudge anyone on an ECV the perk of boarding first, I do resent it when many, many others are forced to wait due to that ECV person bringing a large group onboard with them. That's wrong..not to mention incredibly rude.

On the other hand, I do remember one hot, steamy day in August. My dd and I were waiting for a bus at MK. There was an elderly couple, both on ECVs, waiting patiently. We got to talking since the bus was just pulling out as we got there. I asked why they hadn't boarded the bus. "Oh, the ramp didn't work, so we have to wait for the next one.' Then, they told me that the first bus that came was able to board one ECV and had room for one of them, but they didn't want to be split up, so they decided to wait for that second bus...yeah, the one that couldn't board them since it had a broken ramp mechanism!!! So, they had been sitting there, out in that nasty humidity, for about 45 mins at this point. Well, our bus finally came. And guess what? Mechanism was broken on this one as well...those two elderly (in their late 70's if I had to guess) had to wait again. As I boarded the bus, I mentioned to the driver that those two people had now been waiting about an hour for a bus that was able to accommodate them. He was horrified...I'll give him that. He got right on his walkie talkie thingie and called in a request to send someone to get them..pronto!!!

It does seem, though, that the ECV families seem to get preferential treatment. And that's okay...as long as there aren't all that many boarding with them. More than 10 and they need to split up.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #19
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I'm not going to comment on all of the rest of it, but lesson learned -- this is why people go straight to the back of the bus.

On crowded transit systems (which WDW's certainly is), going to the back buys you less crowding and no chance of being asked to vacate those fold-down priority seats. As the bus fills, people stand in the aisles nearest the doors, but there tends to be a small space bubble at the very back.

On an urban transit system, the drawback is that you can get trapped back there and have to squeeze your way off at your stop, but normally this isn't a problem at WDW, where most of the passengers are headed to the same destination.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotUrsula View Post
I'm not going to comment on all of the rest of it, but lesson learned -- this is why people go straight to the back of the bus.

On crowded transit systems (which WDW's certainly is), going to the back buys you less crowding and no chance of being asked to vacate those fold-down priority seats. As the bus fills, people stand in the aisles nearest the doors, but there tends to be a small space bubble at the very back.

On an urban transit system, the drawback is that you can get trapped back there and have to squeeze your way off at your stop, but normally this isn't a problem at WDW, where most of the passengers are headed to the same destination.
If there are several of us, we tend to go right to the back of the bus as well. If I'm traveling by myself, I usually try for a front of the bus seat. I guess I'm confused. When the OP said they boarded and sat in the most forward seats, I thought they meant those up front, and couldn't understand why the driver would make them get off the bus. I have been asked to get off a bus just once. The driver got it stuck in it's 'kneeling' position and nothing worked to get it back up again!! They had to get us a new bus.
But, to make those in the front seats get off the bus to load ECVs? That confused me. I never sit in those fold up seats...just for that reason. And I have seen people sit in them, and make no move to get up when they see an ECV that wants to load. And few bus drivers seem to want to ask the guests to move out of those seats.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #21
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That's why I prefer to rent a car and drive. Far less stressful than the Disney bus system.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugardimples View Post
A few things:

Why would this influence your opionion of AKL? This could happen anywhere.

What do you find it necessary to comment on the physical size of the people in the other party? Would you not have been so unhappy if they were smaller people?

Defensive much? If you read ONLY what I said instead of trying to turn it into something it wasn't you would have understood the point. Seven people who need at least two seats take up 14 instead of 7. Two people who take up 2.5 seats use 5 instead of 2.

Last edited by Mother Gothel; 04-22-2013 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:15 PM   #23
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That's why I prefer to rent a car and drive. Far less stressful than the Disney bus system.

I believe that is the way we need to lean going forward. We prefer not to when we are on vacation, but this may be the best for us.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:17 PM   #24
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If there are several of us, we tend to go right to the back of the bus as well. If I'm traveling by myself, I usually try for a front of the bus seat. I guess I'm confused. When the OP said they boarded and sat in the most forward seats, I thought they meant those up front, and couldn't understand why the driver would make them get off the bus. I have been asked to get off a bus just once. The driver got it stuck in it's 'kneeling' position and nothing worked to get it back up again!! They had to get us a new bus.
But, to make those in the front seats get off the bus to load ECVs? That confused me. I never sit in those fold up seats...just for that reason. And I have seen people sit in them, and make no move to get up when they see an ECV that wants to load. And few bus drivers seem to want to ask the guests to move out of those seats.

You are correct. I did mean that we sat towards the front of the bus.

We also thought it was strange that he asked to get off the bus. My husband suggested perhaps he knew how large the party was since they had been there at least a week, but that was really unfair if that is the case.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by NotUrsula View Post
I'm not going to comment on all of the rest of it, but lesson learned -- this is why people go straight to the back of the bus.

I understand your point. We never go to the back of the bus because of the smell coming from the exhaust and one of the kids get motion sickness in the back. Between the bounce and the smell, she will get sick each time.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:21 PM   #26
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I agree that the first incident is very odd. The second one while not common it does happen on occasion. It is not exclusive to AKL. Both are very unfortunate and I would be a little miffed as well.

You are correct that it is not exclusive to a particular resort.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:43 PM   #27
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We traveled with a person using an ECV last December we were a group of three families of 3, 3 and 4ppl. Each time the ECV user and her family of 4 waited in the WC area and boarded together while the rest of us used the regular line & front door.

The signs at the stops are pretty clear that there is a max number of passengers with the ECV so we just went with that. We did get separated twice but just met up at the park/resort.

I think the issue is that the driver isn't following posted rules and those drivers could end up at any resort the next day? So if you love AKL I wouldn't let a bus issue stop you from buying!
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy4tink
Those buses hold a lot of guests...more than you would think. I have had ECVs load first, at a park, then those in the regular line got to load. I was probably about 40 people back in that line and we were able to get on. Yes, we stood, but I figured I was going to be standing in the line, so why not stand on the bus and get home sooner.
Anyway....the 'recommendation', according to signage at resorts, is that up to 6 members of the ECV person's party can board with them.


This shot was taken at WL, if I remember correctly. But, the drivers, obviously, aren't adhering to those 'recommendations'. Sad. It's not fair to allow just arriving ECV parties get right on board, while those that have been there, waiting for a long time, are forced to wait for yet another bus. I think that anyone that has this happen to them needs to make a complaint at the resort, and then send a followup email to Disney when they get home. Something needs to be done. While I certainly don't begrudge anyone on an ECV the perk of boarding first, I do resent it when many, many others are forced to wait due to that ECV person bringing a large group onboard with them. That's wrong..not to mention incredibly rude.

On the other hand, I do remember one hot, steamy day in August. My dd and I were waiting for a bus at MK. There was an elderly couple, both on ECVs, waiting patiently. We got to talking since the bus was just pulling out as we got there. I asked why they hadn't boarded the bus. "Oh, the ramp didn't work, so we have to wait for the next one.' Then, they told me that the first bus that came was able to board one ECV and had room for one of them, but they didn't want to be split up, so they decided to wait for that second bus...yeah, the one that couldn't board them since it had a broken ramp mechanism!!! So, they had been sitting there, out in that nasty humidity, for about 45 mins at this point. Well, our bus finally came. And guess what? Mechanism was broken on this one as well...those two elderly (in their late 70's if I had to guess) had to wait again. As I boarded the bus, I mentioned to the driver that those two people had now been waiting about an hour for a bus that was able to accommodate them. He was horrified...I'll give him that. He got right on his walkie talkie thingie and called in a request to send someone to get them..pronto!!!

It does seem, though, that the ECV families seem to get preferential treatment. And that's okay...as long as there aren't all that many boarding with them. More than 10 and they need to split up.
I respectfully disagree with you on ECV users getting preferential treatment. Try using one and see how 'not so easy' it can be! Especially late at night when they double stack the buses and that AUTOMATICALLY precludes you from being able to access that 2nd bus! Is that preferential treatment? Or when it's really busy and they bring in a NON-Disney bus such as a Mears motorcoach that is not H/C accessible? Is that preferential treatment? Or when there are problems with the bus where they can't get it to kneel properly and you have to wait for another.
Where I think the 'true' problem lies is that the bus drivers need to enforce the rule of 6 guests INCLUDING the ECV user. I think that is generous when it comes to adults. If they are kids, well then fine, they need adult supervision. But adults could split up after even 4, IMO (realistically 2, but 4 is reasonable).
But there have been many times where I was 'NEXT' but had to wait for another bus because of the above circumstances. So I don't see the preferential treatment. Sometimes it takes me way longer to get somewhere because the buses can only take 2 (some can take 3) ecvs at a time. Of course, I go to WDW more than the average person! But that it my .02 on preferential treatment.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:15 PM   #29
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I don't know why the driver would ask Guests seated at the front of the bus to get off the bus to load ECV's. I have asked Guests standing near the front to move or, on a rare occasion, step off to make room to maneuver the ECV's into the ADA spaces. I've also asked Guests to move their strollers for the same reason. And if all of the ADA spaces will be filled, I have asked Guests sitting nearby to give up their seats so the ECV occupant doesn't have to sit on the ECV (which is less safe), but I usually get a volunteer, and I believe Guests have the right to refuse if the they are not in a seat with an ADA sign above it.

Resorts with multiple stops present a dilemma for drivers. On the one hand, it's risky to load ECV's onto a bus that's already nearly full; on the other, we feel badly for ECV guests who may already have been left behind by previous buses that were not full, but too full to load them.

Each mobility aid is allowed to have up to 6 Guests load through the back door. I believe that's 6 including the challenged Guest, but I've also heard it interpreted as 6 + 1. The rest of the party is supposed to load through the regular queue. Of course, at resorts where there is no queue, that's pretty much unenforceable.

At resorts that do have queues, and when the queue is full, there's no way for the driver to know whether the challenged Guest arrived before or after the queue filled up, unless the Guest volunteers to wait. So we pretty much have to assume they arrived first. If a Guest arrives in the wheelchair line while the bus is loading and the queue is already full, the driver should ask them to wait for the next bus. I'm not sure whether that's written in the operating procedures, but it's just common sense to me.

As for exhaust gases in the back of the bus, that's not normal. Please notify the driver so he can request service.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:05 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy4tink View Post
Those buses hold a lot of guests...more than you would think. I have had ECVs load first, at a park, then those in the regular line got to load. I was probably about 40 people back in that line and we were able to get on. Yes, we stood, but I figured I was going to be standing in the line, so why not stand on the bus and get home sooner.
Anyway....the 'recommendation', according to signage at resorts, is that up to 6 members of the ECV person's party can board with them.


This shot was taken at WL, if I remember correctly. But, the drivers, obviously, aren't adhering to those 'recommendations'. Sad. It's not fair to allow just arriving ECV parties get right on board, while those that have been there, waiting for a long time, are forced to wait for yet another bus. I think that anyone that has this happen to them needs to make a complaint at the resort, and then send a followup email to Disney when they get home. Something needs to be done. While I certainly don't begrudge anyone on an ECV the perk of boarding first, I do resent it when many, many others are forced to wait due to that ECV person bringing a large group onboard with them. That's wrong..not to mention incredibly rude.

On the other hand, I do remember one hot, steamy day in August. My dd and I were waiting for a bus at MK. There was an elderly couple, both on ECVs, waiting patiently. We got to talking since the bus was just pulling out as we got there. I asked why they hadn't boarded the bus. "Oh, the ramp didn't work, so we have to wait for the next one.' Then, they told me that the first bus that came was able to board one ECV and had room for one of them, but they didn't want to be split up, so they decided to wait for that second bus...yeah, the one that couldn't board them since it had a broken ramp mechanism!!! So, they had been sitting there, out in that nasty humidity, for about 45 mins at this point. Well, our bus finally came. And guess what? Mechanism was broken on this one as well...those two elderly (in their late 70's if I had to guess) had to wait again. As I boarded the bus, I mentioned to the driver that those two people had now been waiting about an hour for a bus that was able to accommodate them. He was horrified...I'll give him that. He got right on his walkie talkie thingie and called in a request to send someone to get them..pronto!!!

It does seem, though, that the ECV families seem to get preferential treatment. And that's okay...as long as there aren't all that many boarding with them. More than 10 and they need to split up.
I would say it is not a 'perk' to board first. It is safest for everyone and does make loading faster, as well. And, there is also the issue of buses not being accessible or some reason - things not working, buses double parked and not able to load wheelchairs/ECVs, or those big tour buses that are not accessible at all.

We just got back from WDW on Saturday and actually were at Kidani village for the first 4 days of our trip before going to OKW for the rest of our stay.
This picture is the bus stop sign from Animal Kingdom Lodge. All the resorts have similar in, just themed differently.


The sign is pretty clear that it is parties of up to 6 people total, not 6 plus the person using the ECV or wheelchair. Total of 6 is also consistent attractions in the park.
Any more than 6 should be getting into the line unless the bus is nearly empty when they get on and no one is waiting.

There are some people who do not abide by the number, but most actually do in our experience. Usually, the rest of the party waits outside of the bus until the wheelchair/ECV has been tied down and the driver invites them to board.
But, I've also seen situations where people get on as the driver is busy doing the tiedown of the wheelchair or ECV.

Even more than the people, sometime the strollers are an issue. Some of them folded take up more space thn my DD's wheelchair with her sitting in it. The strollers may be a big part of the reason a bus fills up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy4tink View Post
If there are several of us, we tend to go right to the back of the bus as well. If I'm traveling by myself, I usually try for a front of the bus seat. I guess I'm confused. When the OP said they boarded and sat in the most forward seats, I thought they meant those up front, and couldn't understand why the driver would make them get off the bus. I have been asked to get off a bus just once. The driver got it stuck in it's 'kneeling' position and nothing worked to get it back up again!! They had to get us a new bus.
But, to make those in the front seats get off the bus to load ECVs? That confused me. I never sit in those fold up seats...just for that reason. And I have seen people sit in them, and make no move to get up when they see an ECV that wants to load. And few bus drivers seem to want to ask the guests to move out of those seats.
We have been waiting for a bus when those were the only occupied seats and the driver said he could not ask the people sitting in them to move. In many cases, the people will move without being asked, but we have also had very rare situations where we had to wait or the next bus because the people refused to move to another nearby seat.

As for moving out of the bus if people are sitting on the front seats, I wonder if there was more going on then the OP knew about. Or, that driver had had some situations where people had almost gotten hit and was not taking any chances.

On our recent trip, DD's wheelchair was tied down in the farthest front spot when an ECV was loaded at the next stop. I stood just in front of DD's wheelchair, thinking I would be way out of the way. I wasn't and nearly got run into, so I moved up to the very front of the bus. It was only me, but if there had been more of us, we would have run out of space inside the bus.
On a trip at a park going back to our resort, an ECV was loaded into the farthest forward spot and DD into the farther back wheelchair spot. The ECV driver drove almost up to the very front seat trying to manouver.
Some inexperienced people do drive their ECV too fast onto the bus (many do not seem to realize they can put the speed to turtle to make it go slower).

ECVs with 3 wheels can also turn more sharply, which means they take less space to manouver than 4 wheeled models. Some ECVs are also smaller than others; the heavy duty ones.
So, some of those types of things may make a difference.
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