Plans suggest gondola transportation system between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios

Posted Thursday, February 16, 2017 8:32 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Reedy Creek Improvement District submitted plans to the South Florida Water Management District this week for work associated with various improvements. The plans are vague, but they do show buildings – including one with a V shape – that are elevated 100 feet. The details are leading some to conclude the project could be paving the way for a gondola lift linking some of the theme parks and other areas.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:21 AM

Buena Vista Drive is one of the most congested areas of WDW property. The guests coming out of the resorts on Chelonia Parkway, not too mention the guests coming and going from Pop, Art of Animation and the Caribbean Beach all added to the daily park traffic for Hollywood Studios is a bit if a nightmare at times. Any strategies for getting guests off the roads (including out of busses) would be welcome.

The question that will be asked, of course, if if this new system would have the capacity to meet demand. If they can figure that out they will have a winner...and you can expect the room rates at the resorts this will service to be increased.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:44 AM

I saw this on The Facebook and somebody took the time to draw the layout over a map image. They have it going between EPCOT (the end station being 'outside' the park in that pretty area near France where guests can board resort boats), and weaving its way to a couple of resorts with another end station being near the entrance plaza to Studios. Along the way are small buildings. Some are v-shaped indicating a turn in the path and some are square, indicating transfer points to another line. The system seems a little convoluted, but at the same time, it's a great and necessary idea.
During last week's visit we found the ground/monorail transportation to occasionally be less than desirable, especially late at night. For instance, we found it impossible to get from Contemporary to Grand after our dinner at California Grill. Our only options were taxi, uber, or a bus ride to Springs then back to Grand from there. We took the uber to Poly hoping for a drink at the bar but it was last call, so we walked to Grand from there. Also that week they implemented a new computer system on the monorail and it was a giant fail. There was a day when the resort rail didn't run at all, (you can imagine what the boats were like when MK closed for the evening) and there were times when we were stranded in a train either stacked behind or actually on the one that wouldn't park in the right spot to get the doors open.
Anyway, with Studios set to be the next Big Deal, another fun way to get around should be welcome. I guess AK is forgotten for now, and we'll all be putting our happy selves on the bus to get there.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:51 AM
Jeff's avatar

They finally flipped the switch on running the monorail with computers? That's been in the works for years, and apparently that effort triggered some regulatory requirement for all of the new stairs at the stations. The monorails get crowded in part because people won't take the damn ferry. When there is more than one running, it's about as fast.

The boats between the Epcot resorts seem to have gotten more crowded in the last year or so, and they're not usable during F&W. Mind you, if you're staying at any of those resorts, I don't see why you wouldn't just walk to Epcot. DHS is a bit of a haul, but not awful.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+1Loading
Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:12 AM

They might've un-flipped that switch in the meantime, as later in the week it was back to normal. The poor, frustrated monorail attendants, through their best Disney smiles, described the whole thing as a cluster. They had plenty of off-hours practice too, I could hear the monorail running all night outside our window Monday and Tuesday. They also had to close more than once to bring out the short maintenance train and tow entire trains off the loop once they were finally emptied. It was interesting to see, but it also sucked for us. One day we had to bus from EPCOT to the TC then boat to MK then again to Grand. Ugh.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:17 AM

I don't think this is about shuttling guests to and from hotels. This seems like a page from Universal's playbook with the Hogwarts Express. Think about it -- when the streaming masses head to Star Wars Land at the studios Disney can easily shuttle them over to Epcot where there is significantly greater capacity and higher-end dining concepts at the ready. Might be misreading this but that's my initial take.

+1Loading
Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:19 AM

If on site guests are calling Uber to get from point A to point B then Disney has got to recognize the problem and do something about it. I'm not saying it needs to be monorail extensions but they've got to get it together. Frankly, I'm not sure why they didn't include a more comprehensive transportation plan in the redesign of Disney Springs. You don't want your guests skipping Disney Springs because they think it is too much of a hassle to get to. Obviously they are spending a lot of money on roadway improvements but that is only further exacerbating the traffic problems on property.

All of this is yet another reason I don't feel compelled to stay on property. I stayed at a property near I4 and 192 several times last year and I'll bet it was as convenient to get to and from the various Disney destinations as anyone staying on property. Add to that the free parking that came with my Annual Pass, the much larger suite (with kitchen) that I got for less than most of the Disney resorts, and the value just isn't there for me to stay on property.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:50 AM

We kind of blamed ourselves for that uber thing, we were there with a late reservation, but then again not really. We missed the last train by 5 minutes. Who knew, first of all, that they stopped at 10:30? Did we just not pay attention? And if we had we sure wouldn't have lollygagged around doing things like stopping for a safety pee or looking around the store for a sec.

I get that business that time of night (this time of year) will be slow, and they don't want to run empty trains all night in the event our four drunk asses finally show up. And MK closed at 8 then shut its doors at 9 that night so by 10:30 everyone should be home and put to bed, right? Never mind that there were guests that dropped 500 bucks at one of their restaurants after a full day at the parks.
In the end it wasn't the worst thing that could've happened, and we made it home.

Maybe less frequent night service should be in place, like big cities do with their subways, light rail, etc. At least until the bars and restaurants on the resort loop are closed.

+2Loading
Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:52 AM
rollergator's avatar

My first thought when seeing "gondola" was a boat ride...at 100' in the air, that no longer made sense.

Unless...."hyper inverted log flume" finally becomes a reality. ;~)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:13 AM
99er's avatar

RCMAC said:

Maybe less frequent night service should be in place, like big cities do with their subways, light rail, etc. At least until the bars and restaurants on the resort loop are closed.

This really should be how it works on Disney property til at least after midnight durning the slow season. Aside from Disney Springs, Disney operates as if once the parks close, the whole property shuts down and people have to stop having fun. The truth is there are plenty of restaurants and bars open late and on a night when the last park closes at 8, there is still plenty to do. There just isn't any way to get to any of that without looking for non-Disney transportation. You are left to enjoy whatever your resort has and not what the others offer.


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
YouTube | Twitter | Website

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:38 AM

You'd think it was Cedar Point or something.

+4Loading
Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:49 AM

Cold but true RCMAC. If it is any consolation I was arguing for more after hours amenities for Cedar Point resort guests in the 90s. Granted, MOST of the guests were families who likely would not leave children alone in their rooms later in the evening...but not all were. And, if IKEA can have a child care watch program while I'm shopping for a Swedish couch then Cedar Point could offer that to parents who need a break after a 12 hour day running around Camp Snoopy.

For a company that had the vision to create the monorail and the people mover in the 50s and 60s you would think that this would have been solved long ago.

+2Loading
Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:20 PM
jkpark's avatar

Interesting idea, but my wishful thinking still draws to a monorail extension project. A new terminal built near the Epcot station to transfer to other areas of the resort. Unfortunately, that would've happened already if it wasn't so expensive.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:56 PM
matt.'s avatar

Looks cool. We took the ferry from DHS to EPCOT last year and it was wholly pleasant but felt like it took forever.

However I'm looking at the mockups online and I'm wondering how long that tip would take in the gondolas....still seems like it would take a while with the stops in between.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 1:10 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I did the ferry from DHS to Epcot once and loved it. I hope this gets built.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 2:12 PM

Wouldn't the lack of after hours Disney transportation suggest that the cost far exceeds any financial benefit they feel they can gain from it? Not exactly great from a customer service perspective, but I get it and I don't think it's an arbitrary decision.


+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 3:07 PM

If this is an aerial gondola transport, it will also serve the purpose of being an attraction. It sounds like a great ride, riding in the air across the resort. The monorails (when they aren't so busy) are a great scenic ride.

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 5:09 PM
99er's avatar

bigboy said:

Wouldn't the lack of after hours Disney transportation suggest that the cost far exceeds any financial benefit they feel they can gain from it? Not exactly great from a customer service perspective, but I get it and I don't think it's an arbitrary decision.

You are likely correct on this. However I am not suggesting the entire Disney transportation system be up and running but at least a few buses or possibly a Disney version of a taxi system with cheeper than local fares. The transportation system as it stands is set up entirely for the parks. Once they close the buses shut down shortly after while bars at the resorts and most activity at Disney Springs stays open til midnight or 2am. Seems like there is a lost opportunity for those guests that don't want to go to bed at 9pm.


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
YouTube | Twitter | Website

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 7:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

wahoo skipper said:
All of this is yet another reason I don't feel compelled to stay on property.

It's not a staying-on-property problem, it's a Magic Kingdom problem. This is why I absolutely despise going to MK anymore, because there are always issues getting from the TTC to the park. Always. From parking to entering the gate you can expect to lose 20 minutes at the very least, and it's worse when you're leaving. Compared to Epcot, I can go there for lunch and round-trip it, with a walk around World Showcase, in 90 minutes or less.

99er said:
Aside from Disney Springs, Disney operates as if once the parks close, the whole property shuts down and people have to stop having fun.

So much annoying truth. I went to a wedding two years ago at WDW. The wedding was at Typhoon Lagoon before opening, and the reception was in a room attached to the attraction formerly known as The Living Seas. It was fantastic. But as these things go, of course there comes a point at which the party is over, and you move it to a bar. And at that point, you're probably hungry. We were staying at Beach Club because of the proximity, and at midnight, there was literally nowhere to go to get food. Everything was closed, and what was open didn't have food. Literally nothing around Boardwalk had food. We eventually discovered that a restaurant inside of Swan, ****hole that it is, was 24/7, but it was terrible.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:10 PM

Am I missing something here? North American parks have all but eliminated sky rides in their parks due to evacuation issues. How in the hell is this going to work in Orlando, where a thunderstorm is a near certainly for xxx many days a year?

+1Loading

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2017, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...