On today's show, Mike and Mark discuss the various modes of transportation around Walt Disney World and when you might prefer a car.
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This week's tips come via email from Wesley in Vermont, who wrote about taking the train from Albany, NY to Kissimmee, having a reserved cab waiting for them at the Kissimmee station, using Starwood points to stay at the Swan and Dolphin and eat meals there, watching the poolside movie at the Swan/Dolphin pool on Saturday nights, using Disney Rewards points to pay for other meals, and not complaining about the heat and humidity in August.
Mark also suggested the Auto Train as an alternative to taking a passenger train and taking a cab to your resort.
Mike and Mark discuss the various modes of transportation around Walt Disney World and when you might prefer a car.
Mark described and gave a bit of the history of the Walt Disney World monorails (designed by George McGinnis), including the story of the first monorail pillar driven, the sightseeing trips through the under-construction EPCOT Center, the unbuilt spur from EPCOT Center to the Walt Disney World Shopping Village, and more. Monorails are very useful on the routes that they run.
There are a variety of watercraft that run to and from the Magic Kingdom, including the three main ferries that go to the Transportation and Ticket Center: The Richard F. Irvine (formerly the Magic Kingdom I), the Admiral Joe Fowler (formerly the Magic Kingdom II), and the General Joe Potter (formerly the Kingdom Queen). There are also smaller craft that go to the Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels. On a crowded day or night, it may be faster to take a ferry than to wait in line for a monorail due to the capacity.
Other transportation watercraft include the Friendships that ply the waters of Crescent Lake with stops at Epcot, the Boardwalk Resort, the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, the Swan & Dolphin Resorts, and Disney's Hollywood Studios (and reverses the stops in the other direction). Friendships also travel the World Showcase Lagoon. There are also ferries that run to Downtown Disney from the Port Orleans Resorts and from the Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resorts.
Finally, the Walt Disney World bus system handles most of the resort's passenger traffic. Buses travel between parks, between resorts and parks, and between resorts and Downtown Disney. To get from one resort to another resort (other than those that share a bus line to a park), you'll need to transfer at a park or at Downtown Disney. You may want to choose which park you transfer at strategically to avoid too much time out of your way. The buses provide variable capacity so that, if a particular route has more people waiting than one or two buses can take, the Magic On Demand system can dispatch extra buses to keep wait times down.
Disney's Magical Express provides free transportation between Orlando International Airport and all Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. This helps both guests and Walt Disney World by providing free transportation for guests and avoiding the need to rent a car, while also keeping guests from renting cars and having an easy way to leave Disney property to spend their money elsewhere.
So with all of these transportation options, why would you need to rent a car? Mark and Mike gave their opinions on why you might (or might not) want to have your own car.
Mark also mentioned the ability to play "bus roulette" when deciding on a park for the day.
Let us know what you think!
gsrjedi noted in a show notes comments thread on the MousePad discussion forums that the couple that Greg asked about in Episode 429's Listener Feedback sounds like Tom & Sarah Bricker. Greg, please let us know if this is who you're looking for.
Nathan West posted on The MouseStation Podcast's Facebook Wall and Joey in Tucson tweeted directly to Mike that somehow Mike missed completely on talking about Disneyland Adventures for Kinect when talking about all of the Disney announcements at the E3 Expo on the last show.
Mike Hamilton of the Disney Podcast Directory noted via Twitter that the Zune software is used for Windows Phone syncing, so it's still out there. Mike does maintain Zune links on the directory.
Joey in Tucson called in and left a lengthy email to berate Mike for not "getting" the queue for the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park. He talked at length about all of the stuff in the queue.
Sharla Manglass wrote in to do a queue report on the new queues at Star Tours and the Haunted Mansion. While she couldn't ride Star Tours because she's expecting a baby soon, but enjoyed the queue there as well as the new one at the Haunted Mansion. Sharla gave a great description of both queues. She also loved the new hitchhiking ghost effects at the Mansion.
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).