Disney World Transportation Issues

I am not the type of blogger who tells you everything is perfect and wonderful at Disney World. I love Disney a lot otherwise we would go back there year after year after year. But being a so called Planning Expert by some people I do want to keep all my fans informed on some of the issues we experienced last week while at Walt Disney World.

Last week was the first time we were able to stay at a Deluxe Resort. Most times you will find us at the Pop Century. In case you didn’t know I do work for a living and just do this blog part time on the side. Yes its hard to believe with News & Views coming out every hour that I do this for fun and on the side. So staying at the Boardwalk was a big upgrade for us.

The resort is beautiful and the staff are great. The issue we had with Melissa from Disney on Wheels and our handicapped room was handled professionally and respectfully. We really enjoyed staying here for the most part. I think one of our biggest issues we had was the TRANSPORTATION!

I have always loved the Friendship Boats and enjoy taking them between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I guess when you are at a resort that depends on these boats to get to and from the parks your bound to run into some issues.

Our first issue was shutting down the boats due to lightening off in the distance.

I am no meteorologist but being a surfer since I was very young I tend to pay more attention to the weather than most people. I can tell when it is storming pretty bad off in the distance and when it is raining buckets overhead. Being shoved off a boat and forced to march across a lake instead of taking the 2 minutes to finish your last stop to me is bad form. Don’t get me wrong I am all for safety but for me if Disney was so worried for our safety they wouldnt just throw the people off the boat and into the strike zone?

That issue while it was irritating and with a screaming baby made for a stressful 10 minute walk from the Beach Club to the Boardwalk, I can live with things happen.

Our second issue was with the Monorails.

We had a ADR at Kona Cafe at 7:30am one morning. It just so happened that the MK was under Extra Magic Hour and opened at 8am. So having jumped the bus from the Boardwalk to the MK and thankful that we didn’t have to stop at every resort on the way (stay tuned for more on that) we made it to the Magic Kingdom in record time. Now if they could have done something with the vomit smell on the bus. Oy

Jumping off the bus we took off for the Monorail to make our way to the Polynesian Resort. It was around 7:15 at this time. As we are walking up in ramp to the Monorail I notice an exodus of people from the boarding side and we just missed some announcement which apparently made people quite mad. Once arriving to the top we notice a empty monorail departing and upset looks on the remaining peoples faces. After about a 5 minute wait another Monorail shows up with people in it. They get off and we get on. Looking at my watch we have 10 minutes to get to the TTC or the Poly. We don’t mind the short walk between the 2 stops.

We jump on board and sit there, and sit there, and sit there. After about 10 minutes we hear an announcement about a safety check??? Ok we know we are going to be late at this point, but we patiently wait, and wait, and wait. More and more people run to get on the monorail and it is getting packed!

5, 10, 15, 20 minutes go by and still nothing. After about 15 minutes people start leaving after saying a few choice words. We give it 5 more minutes and decide we are already :30 minutes late and the park just opened so forget it lets go have breakfast at Main Street Bakery. After a quick detour at Space Mountain. (see below)

This leads me to my 3rd and final issue with the Disney World Transportation – The Buses!

So staying at a Deluxe Resort like the Boardwalk you would think they wouldn’t be like staying at the All Star Resorts. I mean even the Pop Century has direct buses to the parks.. My biggest complaint was how staying at a Boardwalk you had to visit the Beach Club, The Swan, The Dolphin, and sometimes the Water Parks.

That could easily take a 10-15 minute ride and stretch it over 40 minutes!!!

That is insane!

I imagine this is due to Disney cutting corners or saving money. If it is about saving gas then Disney needs to take a page from where I work and get Hybrid Transportation. While a little costly upfront the overall savings to the budget and the environment really shines in the long run.

My suggestion would be if you can’t give each resort their own bus then split them up Beach Club & Boardwalk in one bus then Swan and Dolphin in another.

No matter how you slice it Disney needs to work on its transportation. Bad transportation leads to upset visitors and in turn less visits to the parks. The first 2 issues I lived with but after a few days the buses really irritated me and many other passengers to no end. Your spending good money on a nicer resort they should get better service shouldnt they???

I want to hear your transportation woes in the comment box below.

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10 thoughts on “Disney World Transportation Issues

  1. We just returned from Disney..we stayed at Port Orleans RS….had numerous issues with waiting on a bus….was so frustrated with wait times…that on our final day we just drove our own vehicle…one thing that would speed up some transportation issues…would be you need a doctors note to rent a motorized cart…noticed some people did not need a motorized cart….

  2. WOW! That is why you missed your ADR’s for Kona?! 🙁 I thought you choose to skip it, but that is just upsetting. Way to not complain about it on your trip though!! I have to say, that is why we LOVE POP! They have their own bus and always go straight to the parks with no other stops. We are staying Deluxe (WL) for the first time this Feb. and we will be comparing EVERYTHING to POP. Also wondering if POP will share a bus with Art of Animation once that resort opens.

  3. The only time we really had an issue with Disney Transportation was about 2 years ago. We were staying at the Royal Plaza, whihc is one of the Downtown Disney hotels. It is a great deal, and since it is still technically a Disney hotel, we had full use of the bus system. One morning, we decided to walk to the McDonalds at Downtown Disney (why they closed that location, I’ll never know.) After breakfast, we wanted to ride one of the buses to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and then just catch the short bus from there to the Animal Kingdom. So, we sat at the bsu stop and waited. And waited. And waited some more. NO AK Lodge bus. There were buses from what seemed like every other resort, but no AK Lodge bus. Finally, after like 30-40 minutes, the bus arrived.

    Maybe the AK Lodge was slow, or whatever, but we had a couple cast members ask us where we were headed, and after we told them , they said OK. Apparently, bus difficulties are not a new phenomenon at the WDW Resort. When we visit in December, we may take our own resort’s bus from Bonnet Creek to the park, or just bite the bullet, pay the parking fee, and not have to worry about the bus schedule.

  4. I can understand your frustration. In the brief time I worked in Disney Transportation, I quickly got the sense that it wasn’t the best department to be in. I always stay in value resorts bc that’s all I can afford but I love Wilderness Lodge and AK Lodge (and all the rest) so I’ve learned how to get around in all my trips. Some days you’ll be stuck waiting 40 minutes for a bus and others you’re there for 5, and there really isn’t a pattern to it.

    The good thing is that Disney is constantly making adjustments and trying new things.

  5. We always have a vehicle! If we drive down to Disney obviously we have our own car, but if we fly down we rent one! I don’t want to depend on someone getting me to the park! It costs a little more to rent, but totally worth it from hearing this stuff!

  6. I’ve already been thinking about this time if we should just pay to park one of the days, b/c if we want to leave for the park for a couple of hours, might be easier on us to just drive back to the hotel..then wait for the bus…I understand their bus system, but if you have anywhere you need to be at a certain time, I dare say their transportation isn’t made for that unless you leave WAYYYY early. It’s great when you have no where or no time specific things to do…to just lazily go around….and yes, I found when I stayed at Caribbean Beach, that it was great to go to the parks, not so great to Downtown Disney or the other hotels…now going to other hotels to visit…is tricky! Found it was best to go to Downtown Disney and hop on a hotel bus there…or go to the parks and do the same.

  7. For the most part we have always had good luck with the transportation. Last year though we went and stayed at Sarasota Springs just for the evening to celebrate my husbands birthday. We wanted to go check out Jelly Rolls pianobar. We waited 40 mins for a bus that never showed up. Pretty aggrivating…

  8. We’ve gone to dinner in the boardwalk area, and the number of bus stops in that area is so ridiculous, it’s to the point of comical. Me and my wife both said how we were glad we weren’t staying in those resorts. By the time the bus gets to the later stops, the bus is PACKED. I imagine the people at the Swan and Dolphin get screwed all the time.

    For us, we have an extreme dislike of the bus system. Our first year, we stayed at the Coronado Springs resort. Maybe it was just our luck, but every time we were trying to get to a park, for our dinner reservations, that would be the bus that wouldn’t appear. We’ve had to wait up to half an hour for a bus to arrive for Magic Kingdom. We couldn’t understand why we would see two buses for EPCOT, one right after the other, yet the MK bus was no where to be found, other than just bad management.

    The following 3 years, we stayed at either the Polynesian or the Wilderness Lodge. We love the transportation for both of them. Both have all 3 forms of transportation (monorail for the WL by a quick ride to the Contemporary).

    Then this year, we tried Coronado Springs, to save money, and because we heard the bus system was improved. While it was slightly better than our first year, it was still lacking. To top it off, one time we were waiting for a MK bus, and a family was trying to get on to a bus for EPCOT, but the mom couldn’t figure out how to fold up their stroller (not sure why). To top it off, her son was throwing a fit, because he wanted to continue sleeping in the stroller. So the bus was waiting for this family to board, while the other buses piled up behind it (eventually including the MK bus). The bus driver even came out to try to help fold up the stroller. I think it somehow was broken, when the mother was trying to force it shut before. Anyway, eventually, after probably a good 15 minutes, the family finally gave up, and the bus left without them. Personally, I think the driver should have just made an exception for them, especially when the driver couldn’t fold the stroller (for those that don’t know, you need to fold your stroller to get on the bus). Instead, everything was held up.

  9. I was attending a convention and Coronado Springs, and had to run back to my hotel during some down time, and I was staying at Shades of Green. Their buses only come once an hour, so it’s quicker to take the first bus that comes along to Epcot or MK, then head to TTC for the every 20 minutes bus. My mistake was getting on the DD bus. However, I thought I’d make up some time by getting on the Grand Floridian bus. Not so. The most expensive hotel on property shares their bus with the Contemporary, the Poly, and the Wilderness Lodge, and you have to stop at ALL of them coming from DD before you get to the GF, and then I still had to take the monorail around to the TTC, and then the bus to SOG. That mess used up all of my time, and I had to grab what I came for, and run right back out the door, to be late getting back to the convention. It was a nightmare.

  10. I too love Boarwalk and also find the transportion to be a pain many times. I do however not mind the couple of stops they make for the All star resorts. The time I stayed at ASMo we always had our own bus. The times at ASsp and ASMu they most times shared but not always and it really didn’t take that much time. The only pain route there is the DTD, TL route because it takes absolutely forever coming and going and they go way out of the way around the back of DTD to come back up front which makes no sense.

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