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  • [Question] WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

    Hello all WDW experts!

    Our family is staying at the Pop Century and looking forward to a long fun-filled vacation from March 20th-April 3rd. I expect it to be fairly busy at all the parks, but can't really go any other time since my 7yo son can't miss too much school (out for 4 days). Anyhow, I'm not going to rent a car and am choosing to to use Disney transportation for everything.

    After reading up, I found that you can use buses, monorails, and boats to get around. Each park (as well as Downtown Disney and the TTC) acts as a hub. You can't get from resort to resort without going through a hub. If I need to go to another resort (other than my own), I assume that the best method is to choose the closest hub to my destination and transfer from there.




    The confusing part for me is...
    • How do you choose the best form of transporation when going from one resort to another? E.g. Pop Century to the Polynesian. Take a bus to MK, then take the Monorail? Take a bus to MK, then walk? How about going back?
    • Any reason to avoid the parks as hubs instead choosing to go to the TTC?
    • Should you avoid the TTC?
    • When would you want to use a boat to get from one place to another?
    • Is there a chart or some type of guide to show the ideal way(s) to get from one place to another? If not, this could be an invaluable document if someone were to create.
    I know there are a few different ways to get everywhere, but which is ideal? Are there any special tips or tricks to getting around that may shave off travel time?

    I expect it to be kinda crazy going from place to place, but would like to minimize the pain (especially for my family who may not have as much patience as I do). Thank you for all your advice in advance!!!

    Wayne
    Last edited by Oingofan; 01-25-2010, 12:32 PM. Reason: Renamed TTR to TTC

  • #2
    Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

    Love Pop Century. It's a great budget resort and does the job. If you get a chance, put in a request for the 50's building (bowling themed) it's our favorite

    I often use this web page for finding the best routes from location to location: OLP: Transportation Wizard -- Our Laughing Place home of OLPTravel It's useful for finding out the most efficient route when you're not going straight to a park, for example. It also tells you approx how long it should take.

    Originally posted by Oingofan View Post
    Any reason to avoid the parks as hubs instead choosing to go to the TTR?
    If you mean the TTC (which could have been renamed the TTR and I just happened to miss it), None in particular. If you want to use a park as a hub. Just be aware of times when the bus stops will be loaded, but that's usually only later at night after nighttime shows get out. The thing with the bus system is that the parks are resorts are REALLY far apart. You'd be surprised. It can take a good 15 minutes to get from a resort to a park. So if you're going to go from one resort to another, taking the bus to a theme park and then another bus to the other resort can take up to an hour by the time you wait for the buses to arrive in addition to transit time. Essentially, you'll want to use whatever transportation hub is closest to where you are or where you want to go - or is somewhat in between. All four parks, the TTC, and downtown Disney can all act as a switchover point. Downtown Disney is sometimes the one people forget, and can be a decent place to use as a hub/switch, especially if you're planning on going there for something anyway.




    Should you avoid the TTR?
    I rarely if ever use it as a transportation location, so I really can't say as to how efficient it is.
    When would you want to use a boat to get from one place to another?
    Pretty much only when a boat goes from where you are directly to where you want to go. Using the boats as an intermediate step is usually more time consuming than just buses. If you want to go directly from Epcot to DHS for example, the boat might be a decent choice.

    Is there a chart or some type of guide to show the ideal way(s) to get from one place to another? If not, this could be an invaluable document if someone were to create.
    See the link above. It's not a document but you can easily calculate some routes ahead of time if you have particular "trips" you know you'll need to take.

    I know there are a few different ways to get everywhere, but which is ideal? Are there any special tips or tricks to getting around that may shave off travel time?
    Use the monorail whenever possible. It's the most efficient when it can be used. Going from MK to Epcot requires a transfer at the TTC, but it's still preferable to buses.

    I expect it to be kinda crazy going from place to place, but would like to minimize the pain (especially for my family who may not have as much patience as I do). Thank you for all your advice in advance!!!
    It's definitely crazy to go between two locations that are not directly linked by a bus/monorail/boat route. The dreaded "bus transfer" is really a pain in the neck, and should be avoided unless you really have to. Basically try to minimize your number of trips that involve resort-to-resort travel because it's just really, really slow. By the time you wait up to 15 minutes or so for a bus, then travel for 10 minutes on the bus, then wait for another bus for a while for your final destination, then travel another 10 minutes, like I said, it can take you an hour to get from one hotel to the next.

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    • #3
      Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

      Simba, that is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you! By the way, you had it right...TTC and not called the TTR. Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

        My last trip to Disney World included a stay at Pop Century. I must say, that my experience was that the buses that came and went through that resort were pretty efficient. The most waiting for a bus is always late at night when going back to the hotel from a theme park that is closing for the day. The wait is always longer, and the buses are almost always standing room only. I just chalk that up to something that is part of the theme park experience.

        I always get up early on my vacations, and most of the time, I plan for the first stop of my day to be to a theme park. If I make priority seatings, I definitely coincide the eatery with the park that I will be visiting that day. It definitely cuts down the travel time.

        With a little bit of planning, and the knowledge of how the transportation system works, you can definitely increase your fun, and cut down on your stress. I have always lived by the rule, not to plan anything where I am traveling resort to resort. If I do, I allow myself plenty of time, and have my camera ready and busy taking lots of interesting pictures along the way. It helps time fly.

        I always have an itinerary planned and written down before I go to Disney World. I usually divide each day into thirds. Knowing where you will be and what you want to do for your entire vacation is a good place to start when working up an itinerary. I find that it is easier to choose the eaterys first, and visit the nearest theme park, than the other way around. Also parkhopping needs to be taken into consideration. I always plan rest periods into each day, even if the rest period involves getting on a boat to take me over to the Polynesian for lunch at their foodcourt. Or checking out the Grand Floridian Lobby in the afternoon, and listening to the piano player play.

        I usually start each vacation with a list of things that I want to do. Those things usually include restaurants that I want to eat at, park activities such as fireworks, parades, Fantasmic, etc: special things like mini golf, or a waterpark. I then check out the park schedules for the times of the nightime events like fireworks.

        I then get out the spiral notebook, and start moving things around. For instance, say I want to eat breakfast at Crystal Place, dinner at Ohana, see the afternoon parade at the MK. That nicely fits into a day at MK. Say another day, I'd like to definitely ride Mission Space, eat a Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches and Cream, and see Fantasmic. I can do that on an early day at Epcot, and because you can walk to Beach Club from Epcot, you can then take the boat to DHS to spent the evening there, and see Fantasmic. That is of course, if your tickets include parkhopping.

        The best way to prepare for your vacation is to have knowledge of park hours. show schedules, and a good map of the entire WDW resort. I have always used a book called the Passporter for planning, and the Birnbaum guidebook has good information as well. They give you a good lay of the land.

        From your original post, it sounds like you have a good beginning knowlege of the system. I remember that it took me a while to figure it all out. I try to look at traveling around the world of Disney World, as part of the experience, rather than as a drawback. So enjoy all your monorail trips, boat rides, bus rides, and even all your walking, because you will do plenty of that.
        BarbaraAnn

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        • #5
          Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

          Stay far away from the TTC. Far far away.
          Good morning, son
          In twenty years from now
          Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
          And I can tell you 'bout today
          And how I picked you up and everything changed
          It was pain
          Sunny days and rain
          I knew you'd feel the same things...


          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

            The Transportation and Ticket Center is the place where you change monorails to get from Epcot to Magic Kingdom. It is also where you can catch the Ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon to get to the Magic Kingdom. On my last two vacations, I deliberately took that route, so that I could approach Magic Kingdom on my first day, by what I call the, "scenic route". For the trips where we had a car, we would usually take the hotel bus to the Magic Kingdom. It seemed a much longer trip when we went by car, because you must go to the Transportation and Ticket Center, and then choose to take a monorail, or a ferry to the MK. If you take your hotel bus, you don't have to make the additional trip across Seven Seas Lagoon.

            When we stayed at the Polynesian, I didn't realize how close it was to the Transportation and Ticket Center.

            It's funny, of all the times that I have been there, it was during my last trip that I discovered there were restrooms there. My mom always told me I wasn't very observant.
            BarbaraAnn

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            • #7
              Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

              Originally posted by Oingofan View Post
              • When would you want to use a boat to get from one place to another?
              The Friendship Boats run between Epcot and DHS. The dock for Epcot is between the France and England pavilions, and the dock for DHS is just outside the main gate. They also stop at the Beach/Yacht Club, Boardwalk, and Swan/Dolphin Hotels.

              If you want to go to Wilderness Lodge, take a bus to MK then take the boat to Wilderness Lodge. I stayed there last Spring and used it frequently.

              Originally posted by Oingofan View Post
              • Should you avoid the TTC?
              When I was there, I only used it to change Monorails.

              If you are going to any of the MK area hotels on the Monorail route, take the bus for either Epcot or MK, whichever comes first. Then take the Monorail to your destination.

              If you have the park hopper option, you can visit DHS, Epcot, and MK without taking a bus. Just take the Monorail from MK to Epcot, and the Friendship Boat from Epcot to DHS.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                The Transportation and Ticket Center is the place where you change monorails to get from Epcot to Magic Kingdom. It is also where you can catch the Ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon to get to the Magic Kingdom. On my last two vacations, I deliberately took that route, so that I could approach Magic Kingdom on my first day, by what I call the, "scenic route". For the trips where we had a car, we would usually take the hotel bus to the Magic Kingdom. It seemed a much longer trip when we went by car, because you must go to the Transportation and Ticket Center, and then choose to take a monorail, or a ferry to the MK. If you take your hotel bus, you don't have to make the additional trip across Seven Seas Lagoon.
                On my first trip to WDW (I was 15 but I felt about 5), we got there in the late afternoon on our first day, and after checking in to the hotel we had nothing to do since we didn't want to waste a full day ticket for only an evening. We had the idea to take the bus to Epcot, then ride the Monorail to MK, and finally a bus back to the hotel. That could not have been cooler as a first timer. Seeing Spaceship Earth for the first time was incredible, and riding the monorail was like getting a "free" Disney attraction before actually going into any of the parks. Hearing the monorail spiel and riding up towards the MK was fantastic. We then transferred monorails and rode to the MK entrance, where I basically just stood in awe of the fact that I was finally there in person after reading guide books and watching TV specials for years. They didn't have the MK bus stop back then, so we had to hop back on the Monorail, and decided just to take the monorail back to Epcot again and take a bus back to the hotel.

                It was so much fun and increased the anticipation of our first day at the parks. If you just take the bus to MK, it's harder to really get that sense of anticipation as you slowly approach the entrance. It's more efficient but there's something magical about approaching the MK by monorail.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                  For your specific question for Pop Century to Polynesian, you would take your resort's TTC bus which will drop you off at the TTC, then you will walk a quarter mile or so to the Polynesian. The same in reverse. I don't think their Magic Kingdom bus goes straight to the park's gate, I think it drops off at TTC so that's why I called it the TTC bus. Can anyone confirm that?

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                  • #10
                    Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                    No, when I was at Pop Century this past August, the Magic Kingdom bus, took me to the Magic Kingdom. Once you are at the Magic Kingdom, you can then take either the monorail, or the resort launch to the Polynesian. That's how it worked on my most recent trip.
                    BarbaraAnn

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                    • #11
                      Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                      Barbaraann, so are you saying when they drop you off at the Magic Kingdom gates (which I'm assuming are just to the right of the main entrance to the park), that I should catch the Monorail (on the left of the MK gates) and take that to the Polynesian? What is the resort launch (bus or boat)? Would it be ideal to take the bus to the TTC and walk to the Polynesian?

                      You guys/gals are awesome! You have provided great information on all the complexity of moving around Disney World. Thanks!

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                      • #12
                        Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                        There are NO hotel buses at the TTC!!! It's such a misleading name, one reason why I cannot stand it.

                        At the MK you can either walk or take the monorail to the Poly. Or the boat, I think.
                        Good morning, son
                        In twenty years from now
                        Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                        And I can tell you 'bout today
                        And how I picked you up and everything changed
                        It was pain
                        Sunny days and rain
                        I knew you'd feel the same things...


                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                          Got it! Thanks everyone!! I can't wait to go. I haven't been to WDW since before Epcot had Space or Test Track. Heck...Animal Kingdom didn't even exist. So, definitely looking forward to soaking it all in...and so is the wife with the flower & garden festival.

                          Wayne

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                          • #14
                            Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                            When you are in front of the Magic Kingdom, and you face the Seven Seas Lagoon, you will see various signs that point you to the different transportation venues. Facing the water, you go right to the monorails. You go straight toward the water and the signs will take you to the boats, (they call them launches), and when you go left that is the buses.
                            BarbaraAnn

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                            • #15
                              Re: WDW bus/monorail/boat transportation tips

                              Thats good info.

                              I am going to be staying at the Port Orleans Riverside. I was thinking it would be fun to go the Magic Kingdom via a boat ride. Do you guys recommend taking the bus from Port Orleans to the TTC and then a boat from there? I have no idea if this is a hassle or not... =/

                              Comment

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