Disney World's rumored Uber-like transportation

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World Trip Planning and Trip Reports' started by brian8871, Apr 17, 2017.

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  1. brian8871

    brian8871 Active Member

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    On the heels of the new Express Shuttle service, which transports guests from park to park with in-park drop-off and pickup stations, Disney World is launching another new up-charge transit option, and this one might sound a bit familiar.

    Guests at Walt Disney World will be able to request private point-to-point transportation in small electric cars driven by cast members. The entire system sounds like a blatant rip-off of private taxi transportation network services such as Uber and Lyft.

    Disney World is rumored to be rolling out its own on-property version of Uber
     
  2. Jim in Merced CA

    Jim in Merced CA Moderator

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    I like it. F*** Uber!
     
  3. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    Some thoughts:
    • This sounds more like competition with traditional taxis than rideshare services like Uber and Lyft
    • I wonder how this impacts Disney's existing contract with Mears, who has exclusive taxi pick-ups at Disney locations
    • Perhaps some of this energy would be better spent focusing on improving the existing transportation network (buses, boats, monorails, and upcoming gondolas). WDW's roads are often very busy, so it would be to their advantage to put as many guests in as few vehicles as possible; this service does the opposite
    • The parks don't have adequate pick-up/drop-off infrastructure for existing taxi/rideshares; will this require additional construction?
    • I wonder if the headways will make this service worthwhile. The upcharge "express" park-to-park buses only run every 20 minutes, which is less frequently than the "free" buses. This system could have more elasticity depending on crowd size, which could also mean long waits at certain times
    But mostly, I think this energy would be better spent improving the existing transit network. WDW functions as a small city and actually has a remarkably good transit network (despite frequent complaints). It's getting to that stage in its development where road capacity struggles to meet demand, so the smartest option would be to encourage vehicles to carry as many people as possible (prioritizing buses over private cars) and improving pedestrian connections. This does neither, and will only make the existing problems worse
     
  4. dagobert

    dagobert Well-Known Member

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    Are the gondolas really happening? Until now I thought that's just a rumour.
     
  5. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    Disney hasn't announced anything, but the permits have been filed for construction of the station buildings, and work should begin soon. Additionally, a wide variety of reliable insiders (who tend to have different contacts within Disney) have confirmed it. Disney doesn't typically announce things until they're ready to, regardless of how public the information is; infamously, the Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary was about 5 stories tall and in plain view of anybody heading to/from the Magic Kingdom before it was officially announced

    Coincidentally, LP just updated their story on the gondolas, with confirmation from the Orlando Sentinel
    Aerial Gondola Transportation Coming to Walt Disney World? (Update: Yes) - LaughingPlace.com
     
  6. Kennesaw Tom

    Kennesaw Tom Member

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    The gondolas only connect two resort areas with two parks. WDW still has a need to get guests from point A to point B. Since I drive one, I would like to know more about the electric cars Disney will be using.
     
  7. Flora John

    Flora John Member

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    Disney doesn't typically announce things until they're ready to, regardless of how public the information is; infamously, the Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary was about 5 stories tall and in plain view of anybody heading to/from the Magic Kingdom before it was officially announced
     
  8. ksargen

    ksargen Member

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    Re: the gondolas - when are those slated for completion? does anyone have a guess?
     
  9. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    A couple years from now. I think the goal is to have them operational before the Star Wars project opens in late 2019

    They're already starting work on the foundations, so I wouldn't be surprised if they could get them up and running before then. Most ski gondolas are built during a single off-season. Obviously Disney's stations will be more detailed and will slow down construction, but the rest of the construction should be comparatively easier than building on the side of a mountain
     
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  10. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    The Minnie Vans are up and running though. They are like park Ubers, but I think they cost more than an actual Uber though.
     
  11. ksargen

    ksargen Member

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    Wee. So how does one use them? Are they are part of Disney, or some joint enterprise? Looking at the current transportation options around the parks - man, you'd better plan. 40+ minutes to get from place to place by bus, same by boat, and whatever is linked on a Monorail is a short list...
     
  12. PNWTigger

    PNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    I believe you just check w/ the concierge at your resort to use the Minnie Van. I haven't used it myself because DLR is more my home park, but I read the trip reports on wdwmagic.com which is a nice group of people as well that frequent WDW regularly.
     
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  13. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    I read somewhere that you can do it through an app. It's based on Lyft's software, so I'm not sure if it's the Lyft app or My Disney Experience (ironically neither of which are available for my phone), but you can hail it before you get outside

    Personally, I think it's a bit silly, since they're still allowing Lyft and Uber to operate their normal services at a fraction of the price. Sure, they're not Disney-branded, but unless you need the car seats I don't see the advantage of using the 'official' one that has higher fares and fewer vehicles (so presumably longer waits, especially at peak times). In all honesty, the WDW transportation system is actually pretty good for the number of point-to-point routes that it serves, so unless I need to do one of the odd non-direct routes, I don't think I would consider using other options
     

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