Last month we found out that Disney had finally filed permits to begin construction later this year at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort for an expansion. This massive expansion is rumored to include the addition of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) to the resort.
This itself was an interesting idea because it would make Caribbean Beach Resort the first resort classified as “Moderate” to offer DVC rooms. One of the biggest differences between Disney’s Deluxe and Moderate resorts is proximity and transportation to the parks. Deluxe resorts as well all offer some alternative to bus transportation to certain parks. This includes being in walking distance, the monorail, or water taxis depending on the resort. Many had questions over how Disney would handle transportation at the Caribbean for DVC members who have become accustomed to premium transportation offerings over the standard bus service offered at Moderate and Value resorts.
Well it seems that Disney has come up with a very unique way to take care of that issue. According to permits filled last week it seems that Disney is planning on building a new “highway in the sky” which would be a gondola system similar to what you would find at many ski resorts.
Initial permits indicate that the current plans are to connect Epcot and Hollywood Studios with Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts. Two different route options are currently rumored. The first one shown below,
is a little more complex but has a key advantage of having a station at Epcot’s International Gateway. This would also tie in The Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, and Yacht and Beach Club resorts into the system as well. This layout is less direct though.
The second potential layout as shown down below is a more compact design. However it is an interesting concept with a station pretty much inside Epcot itself. This station would be at the rumored new entrance for Epcot.
There of course are many questions about this new development, but after looking over this information and giving it much consideration, it is something that actually makes a lot of sense. Disney’s current transportation system is under huge strain. Attendance and resort occupancy is at all time highs and continues to raise as more and more DVC villas are added on to resorts. This in combination with the expansion at Caribbean Beach and the massive expansion going on at Disney Hollywood Studios indicates there needs to be some development to be able to handle the additional guests.
The current monorail system is aging and in need of some major upgrades. It is also very expensive to run and expand. It does not seem that this is something that Disney wants to do anytime soon. Water taxis are restricted in where they can go because of water ways. They also have limits based on the number that can run at once and also during severe weather in Florida. The current bus system is what Disney really relies on. It is the easiest, quickest, and cheapest methods to expand. However it has many issues. It is not always the most effective. Traffic on Disney property has continued to increase year after year, and adding more busses does not help this issue. It has gotten so bad that Disney has added special bus only lanes in the area around Disney Springs. Many including I believe the current bus system is approaching its peak capacity. That is where this gondola system comes in play, I think it is the perfect development to help alleviate the strain on the current transportation options. This system also can be expanded if Disney wishes to cover the entire Walt Disney World Resort to connect all parks and resorts. This could be the answer of resort to resort transportation that people have been wanting for years.
Many questions are still unanswered such as; will Disney charge a fee for this like they did late last year for the express bus service? I could see this as being a possibility as the gondola ride will be an attraction in itself. I am expecting there to be some very awesome unique views. Or maybe it will limited to resort guests only, I am not sure. These along with many others will be answered as more info is discovered. Remember Disney has not announced or confirmed any of this yet and this is still a rumor until official confirmation from Disney. However, I do believe this is something that we will be finding out more about soon. So stay tuned for future developments that we will be sure to update you on as they develop.
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