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Upgrades and Improvements to Disney Transport

hpyhnt 1000

Well-Known Member
Some of these "improvements" are a bit dubious from a guest perspective. For example, new monorail and watercraft costumes aren't going to make the boats and trains run more efficiently, and personally I'm not a huge fan of trivia games. I'd rather have soft background music and a simple but informative spiel detailing some of the history behind the design of WDW. Not everything needs interactivity (or strobing bus lights). Also, wouldn't a tram livery based on the buses rather than the monorails make more sense?

But...

In other words, doing everything other than something that would make a real difference - new monorail trains and proper investment in a failing transport infrastructure.

...this gets to the crux of the issue. At best, most of these improvements are lipstick on a pig, and none of them address the growing flaws of WDW's strained transportation system. And quite honestly, these flaws could become crippling in the next 5 years as new park expansions come on line. Given current plans and rumors, by 2021 every park will have new rides or expansions - plus the big campaign that will surely accompany MK's 50th - and will likely be open longer into the evening (the days of AK closing at 6pm are over). No doubt attendance will be increasing as well, as will the number of on-site hotel guests given rumored expansion plans.

In sum, that means more people needing to be moved around to more destinations for more hours each day. The improvements outlined in this newsletter piece do little to convince me that Disney Transport will be ready to reliably and efficiently handle that future.
 

COProgressFan

Well-Known Member
Some of these "improvements" are a bit dubious from a guest perspective. For example, new monorail and watercraft costumes aren't going to make the boats and trains run more efficiently, and personally I'm not a huge fan of trivia games. I'd rather have soft background music and a simple but informative spiel detailing some of the history behind the design of WDW. Not everything needs interactivity (or strobing bus lights). Also, wouldn't a tram livery based on the buses rather than the monorails make more sense?

But...



...this gets to the crux of the issue. At best, most of these improvements are lipstick on a pig, and none of them address the growing flaws of WDW's strained transportation system. And quite honestly, these flaws could become crippling in the next 5 years as new park expansions come on line. Given current plans and rumors, by 2021 every park will have new rides or expansions - plus the big campaign that will surely accompany MK's 50th - and will likely be open longer into the evening (the days of AK closing at 6pm are over). No doubt attendance will be increasing as well, as will the number of on-site hotel guests given rumored expansion plans.

In sum, that means more people needing to be moved around to more destinations for more hours each day. The improvements outlined in this newsletter piece do little to convince me that Disney Transport will be ready to reliably and efficiently handle that future.

So...I fully want to give them credit for the improvements to the parking trams. Those trams are decades old and are obnoxiously loud and smelly. A quieter, more efficient ride is more than welcome. Kudos for finally updating the trams. I look forward to a much better tram experience on our next trip!

As for everything else -- you're exactly right, it's lipstick on a pig. They have major issues with their transportation network, both in terms of their operations and physical maintenance of vehicles, monorails, boats, etc. New costumes and light schemes are nice, but those are things they should be doing periodically anyway. We had a few terrible transport experiences our last trip, which reminded us why we rented a car for the previous 8 years of trips. And if they're going to start charging for parking at resorts if we do rent a car -- then there's really little value left in staying on property anymore.
 

docdebbi

Well-Known Member
I applaud the lighting. but notice how few actual seats are on that bus, so that more people can stand. They just made the same change to our Elevated trains in Philly, herd us on like cattle, no sitting, just standing.
I would have preferred that they spent this money on basic buses and got more of them so you don't wait 2 hours for a bus at MK close, or stand the whole time you're on one.
Just my humble opinion.
 

ptaylor

Premium Member
I applaud the lighting. but notice how few actual seats are on that bus, so that more people can stand. They just made the same change to our Elevated trains in Philly, herd us on like cattle, no sitting, just standing.
I would have preferred that they spent this money on basic buses and got more of them so you don't wait 2 hours for a bus at MK close, or stand the whole time you're on one.
Just my humble opinion.
The bus is just a concept that will likely never see the light of day.
 

montyz81

Well-Known Member
...this gets to the crux of the issue. At best, most of these improvements are lipstick on a pig, and none of them address the growing flaws of WDW's strained transportation system. And quite honestly, these flaws could become crippling in the next 5 years as new park expansions come on line. Given current plans and rumors, by 2021 every park will have new rides or expansions - plus the big campaign that will surely accompany MK's 50th - and will likely be open longer into the evening (the days of AK closing at 6pm are over). No doubt attendance will be increasing as well, as will the number of on-site hotel guests given rumored expansion plans.

In sum, that means more people needing to be moved around to more destinations for more hours each day. The improvements outlined in this newsletter piece do little to convince me that Disney Transport will be ready to reliably and efficiently handle that future.

Adding more buses to help alleviate this will end up creating more traffic and less bang for the buck for guests.
What you are saying honestly feels like great justification for an expansion in the Monorail system. I would expect that they could recoup all of their expansion investment between 2020 and 2030 easily.

By expansion, I mean connecting all 4 parks, Springs and Water parks plus maybe 14 new trains at a minimum. If that costs $1b, it feels like they could make that back and then some in that 10 year period, assuming guest attendance jumps because of the additions.
 

Daveeeeed

Well-Known Member
Adding more buses to help alleviate this will end up creating more traffic and less bang for the buck for guests.
What you are saying honestly feels like great justification for an expansion in the Monorail system. I would expect that they could recoup all of their expansion investment between 2020 and 2030 easily.

By expansion, I mean connecting all 4 parks, Springs and Water parks plus maybe 14 new trains at a minimum. If that costs $1b, it feels like they could make that back and then some in that 10 year period, assuming guest attendance jumps because of the additions.
As much as I want that... The current monorails should be upgraded, and the other resorts should get improvements to the boats and new better custom buses. They're the most flexible and cheapest way. I would have preferred the 1B put into Magic Bands to be used for Monorail expansion, but since it isn't I think it's best that they just get new higher capacity custom buses for all of the resorts, and get better access to Disney Springs.
 

rushtest4echo

Well-Known Member
I think anyone who discusses monorail expansion should be banned on the first offense. :) Not happening, ever. New trains are clearly not in the long term forecast either. I still wonder how long it'll be until the express line is just shuttered and the other's are running 1 or 2 trains a piece for hotel guests only. It's just so much cheaper and easier to run ferries and shuttle buses.
 

Monorail_Red_77

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the recent improvements to the tram turning area on the TTC side of the parking tunnel was done to accommodate the new tram tractors turning radius. I'm sure it was designed to be similar. Perhaps with the driver cab out over the front wheel it needs more room in the tram drop-off area at TTC.

CURRENT DESIGN
OLD TRAM.jpeg


NEW DESIGN
NEW TRAM.jpeg
 

deeevo

Well-Known Member
Now, can we PLEASE get an app that displays the same info shown at the bus stops? Pretty please? Heck, even a channel on the hotel TV that displays this info. It would just be nice to know when the next bus to Magic Kingdom is coming before I leave the hotel room... (at least partially because trying to keep three kids who are ridiculously excited to get to the parks somewhat under control is much easier in the room than it is if you're waiting 15-20 minutes at the bus stop...)
This.... Something so simple could really impact the customers experience.
 

montyz81

Well-Known Member
I think anyone who discusses monorail expansion should be banned on the first offense. :) Not happening, ever. New trains are clearly not in the long term forecast either. I still wonder how long it'll be until the express line is just shuttered and the other's are running 1 or 2 trains a piece for hotel guests only. It's just so much cheaper and easier to run ferries and shuttle buses.
I would love to see: Total cost of new bus investment since inception + Bus maintenance costs since inception vs total cost of monorail investment + monorail maintenance. The bus investment can be all buses that mirror routes that the monorail takes. This is just out of curiosity. I know everyone is going to say hands down the buses are cheaper because of the lower start up costs, but they do replace them pretty frequently. I just have to believe the cost isn't as low as people think. Remember gas wasn't cheap for a few years there.

I will always advocate for new monorails. It is a direct connection to Walt Disney's imagination of the future. The buses... not so much.
 

Next Big Thing

Well-Known Member
Some of these "improvements" are a bit dubious from a guest perspective. For example, new monorail and watercraft costumes aren't going to make the boats and trains run more efficiently, and personally I'm not a huge fan of trivia games. I'd rather have soft background music and a simple but informative spiel detailing some of the history behind the design of WDW. Not everything needs interactivity (or strobing bus lights). Also, wouldn't a tram livery based on the buses rather than the monorails make more sense?

so what are the improvements for guests?

You have to remember this info came straight from a CM magazine... the text was meant to speak to CMs, not the general public.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
They briefly mention the monitors with bus arrival times- we stayed at Sports this past Sept and we learned the times were rarely right. We stopped relying on them after the first day or two. The arrival time would change 4 or 5 times while we were waiting in line. It wasn't a big deal, we were waiting no matter how long the wait was, but clearly they were still working things out. The only time we almost had an issue was waiting for an AK bus, we had an 8 am ADR and according to the board, the bus wasn't coming for 20 minutes or so. I was worried we were going to be late. It was super hot and my husband wanted to go wait inside. I insisted we stay outside just in case and sure enough, a bus came 5 minutes later. I hope they can figure out a better system because it could be super helpful if it worked properly.

That's just pathetic, If the MBTA (or T as it's known) can get this right (bus / train arrival displays) and they are the poster child for whats WRONG with mass transit what is WRONG at Disney.
 

rushtest4echo

Well-Known Member
so what are the improvements for guests?

The improvement is my eardrums won't be blown out by the turbochargers when those damn things drive by me when I'm avoiding using them and walking to/from the park instead. ;) That is until they deem walking to/from your car a "security threat" and put up fencing surrounding all of the parking lots, cut off pedestrian walkways and force everyone to take the tram because some moron in DHS put out a memo than pedestrian access to any venue anywhere is a potential terror threat.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
So...I fully want to give them credit for the improvements to the parking trams. Those trams are decades old and are obnoxiously loud and smelly. A quieter, more efficient ride is more than welcome. Kudos for finally updating the trams. I look forward to a much better tram experience on our next trip!

As for everything else -- you're exactly right, it's lipstick on a pig. They have major issues with their transportation network, both in terms of their operations and physical maintenance of vehicles, monorails, boats, etc. New costumes and light schemes are nice, but those are things they should be doing periodically anyway. We had a few terrible transport experiences our last trip, which reminded us why we rented a car for the previous 8 years of trips. And if they're going to start charging for parking at resorts if we do rent a car -- then there's really little value left in staying on property anymore.

Agreed, The Tram update was long overdue there is no worse smell than the exhaust from a worn out diesel engine (This is spoken as one who enjoys BUILDING performance diesel trucks, but does not like 'Rolling Coal')
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
The improvement is my eardrums won't be blown out by the turbochargers when those damn things drive by me when I'm avoiding using them and walking to/from the park instead. ;)

It's not the turbocharger it's the straight pipe with no muffler, The Disney tram motors are modified airport tugs. The turbo is the high pitched whine on acceleration.
 

rushtest4echo

Well-Known Member
I'm very sensitive to high pitched sounds. It's not the loudness, it's the tone and sure enough it's when they're accelerating or decelerating. Still though, I get your point- it's loud/annoying regardless.
 

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