Disney World reopened select hotels today, so we’re taking a look at transportation!
Disney World transportation is a complex system on its own. Add in capacity limits and health measures, and we want to make sure we know EVERYTHING there is to know about the reopened transportation! We took a few rides today to see how things are running — here’s what we found out.
What transportation options are available?
Typically, Disney offers several transportation options — boats, buses, Skyliner, and monorail. Today, most of those options are limited. When we arrived at the resorts this morning, we learned that the only mode of transportation available currently are the buses!
And even if you would like to take a bus somewhere, you are limited in terms of where you can actually travel! Today, the only bus routes available were between Disney Springs and each of the open resorts. If you want to travel from one resort to another, you would have to drive. You COULD also take a bus from one resort to Disney Springs, and then another bus from Disney Springs to the second resort. BUT it might take a while. 🙂
How is it different?
As we mentioned, there are capacity limits on transportation, but we also noticed some new health measures onboard as well as at the bus stops. While we waited for our bus to arrive, we noticed new hand sanitizer dispensers at our stop.
Physical distancing floor markers were also present to help guests stay separated while they lined up for the buses.
As you can see, the bus station was just about as empty as every other place we’ve explored today!
When our bus arrived, we noticed some pretty BIG differences once onboard! Disney has implemented a new seating system to ensure physical distancing of guests onboard the buses. When groups board, they are each assigned a “zone” to sit in. If you are traveling by yourself, you will get a whole zone to yourself. If your group is bigger than what one zone can accommodate, your group will get two zones.
On our first bus ride of the day, we were the only ones on board so we didn’t get to see the zoned seating in action. However, on our second bus ride, there was an additional party with us.
The bus driver directed the other party to enter through back door and to sit in zone 6, while we were directed to enter through the front door and sit in zone 1. The goal is to have as few people as possible entering through the same set of doors.
Bus drivers are also wiping down surfaces on the bus after guests use them. There are also specific seats throughout the bus that are marked off as unavailable.
Aside from the new seating zones, we also spotted partitions located between sections of the bus. These were spotted all up and down the bus!
New hand sanitizer dispensers were present at the bus stops at Disney Springs, too.
The bus riding experience at Disney World is definitely different than how we remember it! The new seating zones seem really interesting and we’ll have to check back in as the resorts get busier!
What was waiting for the bus like?
Of course, with those changes, we were wondering if it will take longer to get around. It was difficult to determine exactly when our bus would arrive, as the TV monitors were not on when we arrived to wait for our bus!
And the bus took QUITE some time to arrive! We figured the buses would be operating at a reduced amount in this initial reopening phase, especially when you consider how FEW people we saw at the resorts!
We would also like to take this opportunity to point out that the bus stop at the Contemporary does not have any fans, which we were definitely reminded of as we waited for our bus to arrive (HOT!). But at long last, our chariot arrived!
Once we were on board, the ride itself was much like we were used to on Disney’s buses! At Disney Springs, the directory board that tells you which bus stop is for which hotel reflects only the resort hotels that are currently open.
The queue area for the buses at Disney Springs had similar physical distancing floor markers that we saw at our bus stop at the Contemporary.
We also spotted additional markers for an extended queue.
When you reach the front of the queue, there are markers present to keep you at a safe distance from the bus.
At this time, there is one queue being utilized. Guests with ECVs or wheelchairs wait in the same queue as other guests. When those parties with ECVs or wheelchairs near the front of the queue, there is a separate gate to exit through.
Finally, we’ve noted that Disney World hotels are currently not appearing to require guests to submit to temperature checks, but Disney Springs DOES. When you exit the buses, all guests will be filtered through a temperature screening zone before they’re permitted to enter Disney Springs.
We definitely recommend budgeting ADDITIONAL time to get to where you need to go if you’re using Disney’s bus transportation system (even more time than you originally planned for!). Between the reduced capacity on the buses and new loading systems for the zones, this will certainly take some getting used to!
Have any questions about Disney World transportation right now? Ask them in the comments!