- Oct 9, 2003
Disney does most things really well, but transport is NOT one of them. The buses are not all that frequent, the queues for them (especially at peak times) can be horrendous, and the organisation is appalling.
A lot of the time, you have at least on wheelchair passenger. When this happens, the driver shuts the front door, opens the rear door, lowers the ramp, gets the wheelchair and companions on board and locked down, raises the ramp, shuts the rear door and then opens the front door so remaining passengers can board. All this faffing around usually takes around 10 minutes. The when you do get on board, if the seats are full, people will NOT move down to take up all the space, & you find the average bus leaves half full. I only remember one driver insisting that passengers move down to fill the bus in the 8 days we were there.
At closing time, it seemed that at least half the drivers were at the end of their shift, as nearly every 2nd bus that arrived went out of service although queues were at there longest. We were at Pop Century which has a peak capacity of over 10,000, and since we were there it's twin Art Of Animation has opened. It's a good thing that a lot of the patrons of these don't travel to the theme parks every day or you would never get there.
We stayed at Art of Animation and your post reminded me of the only stuff-up we encountered during our many, many trips on the shuttles. We were at the big fireworks show at the end of the night at Hollywood Studios. We had bought special tickets for good seats as it was my son's birthday. Just as it was about to start this enormous thunderstorm rolled in (it was July - peak season for it) and we thought discretion was the better part of getting struck by lightning or soaked so we headed for the bus. We managed to join the queue under cover but the line quickly grew as the rain started and then bucketed down. A bus pulled in and the scenario listed above played out except with three enormous strollers, not wheelchairs. People stood in the rain while the endless faffing went on until finally we could get on. Would have taken a good ten minutes. With everyone now soaked they made sure they had the bus AC set to about 5C so everyone got a good chilling.
Apart from that incident though the buses from Art of A were quite frequent - we made sure we got the earliest buses each day so we could get there in time for opening. It's always good to get in early so at least you can get to one or two of the high demand rides before needing to use your fast passes.
For all that Disney World seems big we didn't really miss much and could get around all the parks and do the worthwhile rides. There are a lot of rides but many of them are for littlies only (well you can go on them but they are a bit dull) so just concentrate on the main rides. What we could never fathom is why the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride (whatever it's called) nearly always had a 70 minute wait or more. We only ever did it first thing or with a fast pass. It's not that exciting a ride - Thunder, Splash and Space Mountains are all way better. On those hot days we could do Splash Mountain all day except for the lines.
The WDW app with the wait times is brilliant, by they way. Reasonably accurate and also tells you of the temporary closures.