News PHOTOS - Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin switch to Mears shuttles for theme park transportation

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
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When I stay at the Swolphin, I usually hop on the first bus leaving DAK or MK for Beach, BW, or Swolphin.
We've done this a number of times as well. We don't usually mind the extra walking, but it usually seems to be kind of a toss up as to whether it saves time.

(Especially since we have sometimes ended up getting distracted in some way on the walk back. Like stopping for a few photos.)
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
The Disney Resort buses (what Swan/Dolphin used to use) drop off right at MK. However, the new Mears transportation buses drop you off at the TTC, which you then need to ride either the monorail or the boat to MK.
I don't mind the boat. but I assume both the monorail and the boats will be completely full with long waits in the early morning?
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Right, that's the only difference?

Not to say that doesn't suck (it does), but if you're going for an epcot/DHS stay I would still go here. I am biased towards this hotel however.

They can't stop at the normal bus stops at EPCOT, DHS, or Animal Kingdom either.

It's just not as big of a deal at those parks because you can still walk to the park entrance from the bus stop. It's just a longer walk than from the Disney bus stops.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Disney has never checked magicbands to get on the bus. Not to stop DS workarounds, not to prevent non-guests from riding.

I doubt they ever will, either. That would make the whole process of loading much slower than it currently is. Even if they had an automated system that could read everyone's band as they were boarding, it would cause slowdowns if they have go pull someone off the bus that isn't supposed to be there. Plus some people don't even use the bands. It's a bigger hassle than it's worth, considering the vast majority of people using the Disney buses are staying at a Disney resort (other than for park to park transportation, and that's not an issue for this topic anyways).
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
I doubt they ever will, either. That would make the whole process of loading much slower than it currently is. Even if they had an automated system that could read everyone's band as they were boarding, it would cause slowdowns if they have go pull someone off the bus that isn't supposed to be there. Plus some people don't even use the bands. It's a bigger hassle than it's worth, considering the vast majority of people using the Disney buses are staying at a Disney resort (other than for park to park transportation, and that's not an issue for this topic anyways).
While I agree I also don’t think we would have expected Disney to put computer chips into paper drink cups would we?
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
While I agree I also don’t think we would have expected Disney to put computer chips into paper drink cups would we?

That was a way to make more money, though. Checking MagicBands for the buses wouldn't do anything but slow the system down, which might actually hurt them.

Unless they started charging a separate price to ride the buses, of course.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
That was a way to make more money, though. Checking MagicBands for the buses wouldn't do anything but slow the system down, which might actually hurt them.

Unless they started charging a separate price to ride the buses, of course.
I just meant when Disney decides to “crack down” on something they go further than a rationale person would expect.

I think it’s silly to worry about who gets on a bus to a park, but I also think it’s silly to ask what resort people are arriving from in an Uber, and yet here we are.
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
That was a way to make more money, though. Checking MagicBands for the buses wouldn't do anything but slow the system down, which might actually hurt them.

Unless they started charging a separate price to ride the buses, of course.
It would save them BUS capacity , which means fewer buses to use and which means less money to use.
But yeah going to the extremes right now.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
It would save them BUS capacity , which means fewer buses to use and which means less money to use.
But yeah going to the extremes right now.

I don't know that it would, because I don't think there are very many non-Disney resort guests using the buses other than park-to-park and park-Disney Springs (and those were never supposed to be limited to resort guests that I'm aware of). I'm sure a few do but it has to be a very small percentage of the total rider figures.

I still get what you mean, though.
 

mgf

Well-Known Member
Losing the friendship boat stop would also cut a fair amount of atmospherics for all those higher priced lagoon and balcony rooms. Sure the boats would still go past (and sure fireworks, distant gondolas, and boardwalk lights would still be visible) but the multi-point turns and horn blasts at docking, etc really add energy to that area. We always spend a lot of time just watching the boats from the window of our room.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Losing the friendship boat stop would also cut a fair amount of atmospherics for all those higher priced lagoon and balcony rooms. Sure the boats would still go past (and sure fireworks, distant gondolas, and boardwalk lights would still be visible) but the multi-point turns and horn blasts at docking, etc really add energy to that area. We always spend a lot of time just watching the boats from the window of our room.
Think how much faster the boat would be if it didn't stop at S&D. It might be faster than walking.......
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Think how much faster the boat would be if it didn't stop at S&D. It might be faster than walking.......
Remember when they used to run Express boats from studios to Epcot? Just during super busy weeks like New Years but that was the best.

I wish there was a way to park hop From within world showcase lagoon to studios with no turnstiles, just scanning the park hopper and riding the boat. Kind of like hogwarts Express.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
They can't stop at the normal bus stops at EPCOT, DHS, or Animal Kingdom either.

It's just not as big of a deal at those parks because you can still walk to the park entrance from the bus stop. It's just a longer walk than from the Disney bus stops.
It's also not that far just to walk from Swan/Dolphin to Epcot/HS, both are reasonably pretty walkways. I tend to think in most cases walking to either is faster than waiting for a bus unless a person in your part has mobility challenges or weather's a problem.

When last we stayed at Swan Dolphin, and took a bus, we did appreciate the electronic signs saying when the next bus would arrive. I'm guessing those have been disabled. If buses arrive at a fixed time it might not matter.
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
Original Poster
When last we stayed at Swan Dolphin, and took a bus, we did appreciate the electronic signs saying when the next bus would arrive. I'm guessing those have been disabled. If buses arrive at a fixed time it might not matter.
Correct, no times info is displayed other than generic operating hours.
 

homerdance

Premium Member
Yes.

That's why you use Boardwalk or Beach. Disney has never checked magicbands to get on the bus. Not to stop DS workarounds, not to prevent non-guests from riding.

When I stay at the Swolphin, I usually hop on the first bus leaving DAK or MK for Beach, BW, or Swolphin.
So doesn't that really just split hairs on what a "guest" is? If I am going to the park, am I a guest? If I can ride the monorail/Boat why not the bus?

I have stayed at SSRS and have witnessed the number of people who ride the bus from MK to SSRS to get to DS, which confuses me, it is much better to walk over to the contemporary and ride that bus to DS.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
So doesn't that really just split hairs on what a "guest" is? If I am going to the park, am I a guest? If I can ride the monorail/Boat why not the bus?

I have stayed at SSRS and have witnessed the number of people who ride the bus from MK to SSRS to get to DS, which confuses me, it is much better to walk over to the contemporary and ride that bus to DS.
It has always been that if you are on property you are a guest. If they wanted to reserve a mode of transport they could, they had tickets at first but for now all are guests and all are welcome to ride.
 

homerdance

Premium Member
It has always been that if you are on property you are a guest. If they wanted to reserve a mode of transport they could, they had tickets at first but for now all are guests and all are welcome to ride.
That was my question. Why would they start id’ing people now? I have always understood it exactly as you present it.

I am not a fan of the swolphins stupid $30+. Resort fee. That is a bigger deal than the non Disney buses. We have stayed at a few off site hotels and the TTC is very time consuming process, especially if you are in a rush to get there, not bad for a relaxing day. And all the other stops are just a minor inconvenience, they aren’t much worse then the wait time for any of the Disney resorts, except POP.
 

GymLeaderPhil

Well-Known Member
Disney won’t be having bus drivers verifying that you are staying at a participating resort for transportation anytime soon. Easy if this was 1971 and you could show your paper based Transportation Admission Ticket. Not so easy in 2020, when someone is flashing their nondescript MagicBand/Card/Phone. Costly and time consuming.

Number one problem is that they’d need to provide a secure and consistent wireless network connection that they have at the main entrances/resort security booths to check resort credentials.

Then there’s the cost of outfitting the drivers with handheld devices as it would be way too much to outfit the fleet with a touch point. That’s devices plural since you’d need back up devices if one has a low charge or stops working. Likely some sort of charging system would have to be considered since there’s no way they would be able to provide device support if the driver is at a remote resort bus stop versus the major park hubs.

On top of that, you would need to provide training for those Cast Members to operate said devices. Support teams to maintain and repair them.

Lots of money would be lost for the fraction of people who walk over from the Swalphin to use WDW Transportation. Plus it would significantly slow down the loading time for the busses. Disney would be stupid to do this.
 

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