Wednesday, 3 August 2011


When you go to WDW, however enchanting the inside of your "Haunted Mansion" room, at some point you'll wish to go outside and do something. If you've not been to WDW you may not realise just how big it is. The common rule of thumb is that it is the size of two Manhattans.

I know I know .... WAY too obvious .... OK .. so here's the competition: you come up with the opening Manhattan joke. I'm bound to have some Disney crap valuable prize here somewhere.
But I've not been to Manhattan so how do I know how big it is?

What I do know is Canberra, and that WDW is almost the same size. With a bit of rough digital mastery I'll show you. I've taken maps of both places at the same scale and overlaid WDW onto Canberra. WDW is the grey area that covers almost everything.

Oooh ... my house is at the Polynesian Resort!
WDW is covering the whole of Civic, inner north and south, Weston Creek, Fyshwick and the airport, and most of Belconnen and Tuggeranong.

Having established that WDW is literally the size of a city, what do you do when you are staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom, located down south near the Tuggernong Hyperdome, and want to get to the Magic Kingdom up in Flynn?

In Canberra, you catch an ACTION bus. The Blue Rapid can cover the territory in 1 hour.

WDW also runs its own bus fleet - 270 modern buses with GPS, air conditioning, disabled access and best of all - few traffic lights or general work-a-day traffic! So a journey of the same distance in WDW would take half the time.

A superfantastic Disney bus - photo courtesy of which is totally a  WDW Bus-spotters paradise. Photos of buses going back from 1981! With serial numbers and route lists. Ummm ... frankly it's a tad creepy. 
So you scoot around all over from resort to park to swimming pool to shopping centre on the Disney private bus fleet - and unlike ACTION buses - it's free! Now you know why the hotel rates are so expensive. Considering how much the ACT government, opposition, media, public (of course there is a facebook hate page) - even the auditors - bleat on and on about how difficult and expensive it is to run the ACTION fleet, those hotel rooms are starting to look cheap.

Here's a short video - yes of buses! Believe it or not, this is not as creepy as the videos made by the bus-spotting crowd. (Although someone did film and edit this video - not of shows, not of rides - but buses. That is a small amount creepy. What does it say about me showing it to you??) If you can cope with the rather energetic soundtrack you can watch buses - in action! at bus stops! from the front - from behind!

Walt liked public transport. Whilst he particularly loved steam trains, he installed the first monorail in the USA, refurbished historic paddlesteamers, and had a lovely little wooden horse drawn trolley.

For that 100 ft walk to the Castle in 2.28 mins
When Epcot park was built the Disney Imagineers thought that the trip around World Showcase was so long that it needed a bus fleet inside the park.

The entire fleet chugging its way through the crowds
pictures sourced from yestercot at
Not the smartest idea really. Whilst they are delightful looking machines with that ye olde timey feeling, if you think about it for say  ...ummm..... 1 second .... you'd realise that they couldn't have quite the same speed as the Disney Bus Fleet or even an ACTION bus. Traversing pedestrian areas meant that they had to go very slowly. And Mum and Dad had to keep an eye on little Johnnie to make sure he didn't become an instantaneous speed bump. One was able to walk faster than these things. They didn't last very long.

But I think Disney missed an obvious opportunity with these buses. They could have had a great tie in once you got around to the UK Pavilion.

"I'll get you Butler......
to your Princess lunch reservation at the Norway Pavilion"
The Epcot buses are long gone and when I was there in 1993 they were being used to transport characters around for meet and greets.

Donald doesn't carry the same gravitas as Blakey
Now they are flogging the poor thing off - for a cool $400,000

Source: It's still available, Disneyfans!
But despite the wonders of the Disney guest transit system, who wants to sit around in the 40 degree heat waiting for the right bus to show up. I'll be driving my hire car and be anywhere in only 15 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment