Published: July 9, 2013 at 4:55 PMHere here! No one wants to spend their vacation in a car or on a bus. Monorails and boats tend to be more fun and unique where the ride itself can be enjoyed.
Published: July 9, 2013 at 5:47 PMThat is one thing universal has done well...
You can walk from their resorts to the parks and all the shopping. (Well, except the new one they are building. I don't know if that will be in walking distance.)
Published: July 9, 2013 at 6:48 PMLast time I stayed at WDW, I stayed at the Boardwalk, specifically because I was able to walk to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. I walked through EPCOT to catch the monorail to Magic Kingdom too. Didn't go to Animal Kingdom.
I would love to see an improvement to the WDW transportation system. I know a monorail track is really expensive to build, but it always made sense to me to run a monorail to Animal Kingdom because they run on electricity and are very quiet, so as to not pollute with CO2 or noise anywhere near the animals.
Looking at the resort's layout and map, I don't really see any other areas to improve the transportation system. A monorail could be run to Hollywood Studios from the Ticket & Transportation Center, but in relation to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios is tiny, and not worth the trouble or cost. At least not until or unless they really expand the park with Star Wars, CarsLand, a larger Pixar Place, etc. If Hollywood Studios were an actual destination park that took more than half of a day to completely explore, that could be an option to consider. I just don't see it.
Unfortunately I think what we have is what we're always going to have. It was poorly planned from the get go, with the thinking seemingly that they have all this land, so just build whatever, wherever with no forward thinking in mind. And it's such a shame. But there is still hope, and there are options available, should they choose to do it.
Published: July 9, 2013 at 6:57 PMIdeally, what Disney should have done from the beginning was establish a central transport hub, ala a Grand Central Station, with future parks and hotels to be connected to it, and therefore one another, via monorail. You could then have a true downtown area surrounding the hub full of restaurants, shops, etc.
That being said, Robert's suggestion of the Epcot Resort Area as "downtown" makes total sense.
Tracy, if you're talking about the Cabana Bay Beach Resort it'll be connected to Citywalk via a pedestrian bridge being built over Hollywood Way, then the sidewalk along Hollywood Way down into the access area next to Margueritaville.
Published: July 9, 2013 at 8:35 PMCabana Bay is apx. the same walking distance to Citiwalk as Portofino Resort Hotel is to Citiwalk. But there will be no water transportation. Buses & walking only.
Published: July 9, 2013 at 9:39 PMExtending the monorail service with a transfer to less expensive light rail would be a good move. A lot of these routes can be run on the ground with overhead only in the populated areas.
A good option if Disney wants to invest is a new downtown west of the World Drive/Epcot Drive intersection immediately north of Coronado. Would be interesting to turn into a hub with a shopping/entertainment area, large upscale hotel and a large convention center. Re-route the MK-Epcot line to hub here. It's also a short hop for a monorail to the Animal Kingdom. Use light rail to go to DHS with a stop at Epcot Resorts.
You can put Coronado, Blizzard Beach, and AK lodge on the AK run. Epcot Resorts sits on the DHS run. While water transport is fun, it is slow. Put a feeder line to MK from the Wilderness lodge, campground, Port Orleans, Key West, and Epcot. Put a separate feeder from AK, All Star, Wild Word of Sports, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and Caribbean Beach and DHS. The feeder lines also provide redundancy for every route.
Published: July 10, 2013 at 7:49 AMI now always stay at the Epcot Resort area for the central location and ease of getting to and from the parks, except of course for AK. It's so nice to ditch the car and enjoy the boats, monorails, and beautiful walks this area offers. It's the same reason I always stay on site at Universal as well. My family and I love the feeling of being truly immersed in the cosseted confines of the parks.
Published: July 10, 2013 at 7:54 AMDowntown Disney is actually surrounded by three Disney resorts, Old Key West DVC, Saratoga Springs DVC, and Port Orleans Resort.
The name Downtown Disney suggests it is a public oriented shopping center for Disney fans, while the Boardwalk is designed for resort guests near Epcot. I never felt the Boardwalk is comparable in any sense to Downtown Disney. They each have a different retail/shopping/entertainment mix.
Downtown Disney's main problem is oversaturation. There is only so much you can milk from the tourist market. It needs to attract more locals to visit. It probably failed with local residents unlike other locations especially in Anaheim where I visit quite frequently as a local since I only live 15 minutes away. The WDW's Downtown Disney is much closer to the competition like Universal's Citywalk, which I felt was a much better product.
DD's other problems include the closure of its nightime entertainment. I am sure this will be remedied in the future.
Published: July 10, 2013 at 8:33 AMThose smartphones have done great things to the younger generations. They have replaced both cars and cigarets! Now insecure teenagers can hide behind smartphones instead of cigarets and brag with Apple phones instead of BMWs.
While cars have lost their social status enabling function, buses did not lose their stigma. This is why "nobody likes buses". Buses are alright and quite liked in Europe where the stigma does not exis.
Not that this is an excuse to make people drive substancial distances with buses when one could have just built things closer together. In addition, one would think a theme park dreamworld is the last place to rely on buses instead of cool less economical methods.
Published: July 10, 2013 at 6:35 PMThe name "Downtown Disney" suggests that theme park executives like alliterations. True Story: My suggestion for "Men In Black: Alien Attack" lost out in favor of the alliterative idea. I advocated "Men In Black: Galaxy Defenders."
Again: True story.
Published: July 11, 2013 at 11:17 AMThey could create a transportations hub for the entire Epcot resort area, perhaps somewhere between the Swan/Dolphin and Yacht Club where you can get a bus to DD, AK, MK. I think the buses spend an excessive amount of time stopping at each resort in the are, same with the FriendShip boat. It's really not that much of a walk if you stay at the far end of the Boardwalk or the far end of the Beach Club (which is where I stayed) to the are between Swan/Dolphin and Yacht Club to catch a non stop bus to those destinations. Next time we are renting a car because we like to go to DD for Ghiraldelli and other dining options but it's ridiculous to spend 1 hour+ to get there on the bus and then another 1 hour+ back!