AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements  (Read 2010 times)

froggie

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10128
  • Location: Greensboro, VT
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 02:59:37 PM
    • Froggie's Place

Just spent a week down at WDW, where I observed quite a bit of road-related stuff during bus travels between the resort we stayed at and the various theme parks at Disney.

For those who aren't aware, the Reedy Creek Improvement District (which incidentally turned 50 this year) is a quasi-governmental agency created by the state legislature that effectively functions as a county government for the WDW area, building and maintaining utility infrastructure, roads, and fire & EMS services.  They are also given the ability to issue bonds for infrastructure improvements, paid back via "property taxes" levied on landowners in the district (mainly Disney).  The RCID covers land on both sides of I-4 in both Orange and Osceola Counties and also some land west of FL 429.

From what I could tell, pavement, striping, and traffic signals were generally to FDOT-standard, though most roads and even some of the freeway segments lacked a shoulder.  Signage is most definitely NOT standard.  Guide signs use a purple background with red bottom and a non-standard font (defined here as something other than Clearview or FHWA Highway Gothic).  Regulatory and route traiblazer signs also use a non-standard font.

Freeway facilities on WDW include World Drive (the main north-south spine) from US 192 to the Magic Kingdom "Toll Booth" (as some Disney blogs call it), the length of Epcot Center Drive from World Drive to I-4/FL 536, and a short leg of Osceola Parkway from the Animal Kingdom parking entrance to the Victory Way intersection.

Two road improvements were recently completed.  One built a new direct ramp from WB I-4 into the Disney Springs area, branching off the pre-existing ramp from WB I-4 to Epcot Center Dr.  The new ramp offers direct connections to the newest parking garage at Disney Springs, nearby parking areas, and EB Buena Vista Dr.  The second recent improvement basically converted the World Dr/Osceola Pkwy interchange into a full cloverleaf.

Three major road improvements are currently underway and in various stages of construction.  The farthest along is a widening project along Buena Vista Dr at Epcot Center Dr and Bonnet Creek...as part of this, the loop ramp from NB Epcot to WB Buena Vista was removed and the NB Epcot exit ramp was relocated.  I'm not certain of the following, but it also appears that the bus lanes in the median of Buena Vista (farther east towards Disney Springs) will be extended through the interchange.

The second major road project is building an overpass and realignment of World Dr at the Magic Kingdom "Toll Booth".  The project builds an overpass for World Dr over the northbound entrance to the Magic Kingdom parking area.  This will allow traffic destined for the resorts (most of whom get complimentary parking as part of staying at the resort) to avoid having to go through the toll booth.  It will also enable resort traffic to continue on World Dr directly to the south, instead of having to detour over to Floridian Way to continue south.  As part of this project, what will effectively be a trumpet interchange is being built at World Dr/Vista Blvd.

The third project was mentioned in a previous thread.  This project is effectively building two interchanges on top of each other.  One part will be a either a standard diamond or SPUI interchange on Osceola Pkwy at Victory Way (with Osceola bridged over Victory).  The second part will effectively be a trumpet interchange built on top that will connect to a new road and entrance to the Hollywood Studios parking lots, which are also being expanded ahead of two new areas being built at Hollywood (Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land).  A byproduct of this project is that the freeway segment on Osceola Pkwy will effectively be extended to I-4.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 09:44:56 PM by froggie »
Logged

briantroutman

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1861
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Last Login: Today at 12:43:34 AM
    • briantroutman.com/land

I know this is somewhat off your original topic, but hopefully you wonít mind me interjecting this: I think itís a terrible shame that these road improvements are necessary in the first place. Walt Disney World is, in my opinion, a monumental disappointment as far as transportation infrastructure is concerned.

The reality of today is quite a letdown when you contrast it against what was envisioned in 1966: An on-site jetport to serve as the primary gateway for vacationers, a monorail line connecting the airport and all major areas of the property, and automated peoplemovers radiating from monorail stations to within steps of most final destinations.

Instead, today looks like this: No on-site airport; most visitors arrive through an airport thatís over 20 miles away and accessible only by automobile or bus over frequently congested roads. A monorail was constructed but connects only two of the propertyís four major parks (plus a few $500+ hotels). Reaching secondary attractions (Disney Springs, Boardwalk, waterparks) and other on-site hotels requires getting in a car or busóor in some cases, boarding a ferry. The only peoplemover constructed doesnít serve any functional purpose (as transportation). Noisy diesel-powered trams are used to transport visitors to and from parking lots.

Perhaps this setup works well enough and keeps the parks as profitable as they can be. But the heavy reliance on private cars, conventional transit busses, and tramcars seems like a major deficiency in a resort that is otherwise so focused on fine details of the customer experience.
Logged

DeaconG

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 686
  • Location: Port St. John, FL
  • Last Login: September 27, 2018, 10:17:45 AM

I know this is somewhat off your original topic, but hopefully you wonít mind me interjecting this: I think itís a terrible shame that these road improvements are necessary in the first place. Walt Disney World is, in my opinion, a monumental disappointment as far as transportation infrastructure is concerned.

The reality of today is quite a letdown when you contrast it against what was envisioned in 1966: An on-site jetport to serve as the primary gateway for vacationers, a monorail line connecting the airport and all major areas of the property, and automated peoplemovers radiating from monorail stations to within steps of most final destinations.

Instead, today looks like this: No on-site airport; most visitors arrive through an airport thatís over 20 miles away and accessible only by automobile or bus over frequently congested roads. A monorail was constructed but connects only two of the propertyís four major parks (plus a few $500+ hotels). Reaching secondary attractions (Disney Springs, Boardwalk, waterparks) and other on-site hotels requires getting in a car or busóor in some cases, boarding a ferry. The only peoplemover constructed doesnít serve any functional purpose (as transportation). Noisy diesel-powered trams are used to transport visitors to and from parking lots.

Perhaps this setup works well enough and keeps the parks as profitable as they can be. But the heavy reliance on private cars, conventional transit busses, and tramcars seems like a major deficiency in a resort that is otherwise so focused on fine details of the customer experience.

There is an onsite airport, but it was only used for two years; basically, there wasn't enough money generated to make the service work. Check out one of Adam The Woo's videos, he actually goes to it (it's a parking lot now).
Logged
Dawnstar: "You're an ape! And you can talk!"
King Solovar: "And you're a human with wings! Reality holds surprises for everyone!"
-Crisis On Infinite Earths #2

briantroutman

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1861
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Last Login: Today at 12:43:34 AM
    • briantroutman.com/land

There is an onsite airport, but it was only used for two years...

Yes, Iím familiar with the STOLport, although the short-lived service there was just an air shuttle to the airports at Orlando and Tampa rather than a gateway for national or even regional flights. Still, that was a more elegant solution than arriving at MCO and boarding a bus or renting a car, even though (Iím guessing) an infinitesimal percentage of Disney World guests ever got to experience the service.
Logged

Voyager75

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 59
  • Location: Alabama
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 06:41:24 PM

They do have they weird choice of Gondola transportation coming soon for Epcot, Hollywood and all the resorts in that area. The purple BGSí are just horrible in reading and design. There is a 3 panel overhead on World Drive with a lonely Epcot on it. Nothing else.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/World+Dr,+Kissimmee,+FL+34747/@28.35586,-81.5640082,3a,48.5y,5.42h,88.14t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sl-7saKAM3JCrjQA-4f-_Aw!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x88dd7efcb93ecb6d:0x9744d2d06774d4a?hl=en

I assume itís supposed to be on the panel to the left but they ran out of room and just stuck it on its own. Noticed it last week when me and the family were there(9th time). We drive our own vehicle down as the bus system is sent form Hell. We get free parking from staying on property anyway.

And the Disney diehards know this Iím sure but there were master plans to eventually build a International Airport on site just to the west of the I-4 and World Drive or FL 429 interchange. Canít remember which one. Walt should have sped that up and not even worried about the STOLport.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 11:11:01 PM by Voyager75 »
Logged

jwolfer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2037
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Last Login: January 08, 2019, 02:36:38 PM

I know this is somewhat off your original topic, but hopefully you wonít mind me interjecting this: I think itís a terrible shame that these road improvements are necessary in the first place. Walt Disney World is, in my opinion, a monumental disappointment as far as transportation infrastructure is concerned.

The reality of today is quite a letdown when you contrast it against what was envisioned in 1966: An on-site jetport to serve as the primary gateway for vacationers, a monorail line connecting the airport and all major areas of the property, and automated peoplemovers radiating from monorail stations to within steps of most final destinations.

Instead, today looks like this: No on-site airport; most visitors arrive through an airport thatís over 20 miles away and accessible only by automobile or bus over frequently congested roads. A monorail was constructed but connects only two of the propertyís four major parks (plus a few $500+ hotels). Reaching secondary attractions (Disney Springs, Boardwalk, waterparks) and other on-site hotels requires getting in a car or busóor in some cases, boarding a ferry. The only peoplemover constructed doesnít serve any functional purpose (as transportation). Noisy diesel-powered trams are used to transport visitors to and from parking lots.

Perhaps this setup works well enough and keeps the parks as profitable as they can be. But the heavy reliance on private cars, conventional transit busses, and tramcars seems like a major deficiency in a resort that is otherwise so focused on fine details of the customer experience.
I would guess that Orlando and Orange County officials wanted the airport closer to the city rather than way out in what was BFE in 1965

Z981

Logged

jeffandnicole

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 9411
  • Age: 44
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Last Login: Today at 12:15:02 AM

They do have they weird choice of Gondola transportation coming soon for Epcot, Hollywood and all the resorts in that area. The purple BGSí are just horrible in reading and design. There is a 3 panel overhead on World Drive with a lonely Epcot on it. Nothing else.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/World+Dr,+Kissimmee,+FL+34747/@28.35586,-81.5640082,3a,48.5y,5.42h,88.14t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sl-7saKAM3JCrjQA-4f-_Aw!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x88dd7efcb93ecb6d:0x9744d2d06774d4a?hl=en

I assume itís supposed to be on the panel to the left but they ran out of room and just stuck it on its own. Noticed it last week when me and the family were there(9th time). We drive our own vehicle down as the bus system is sent form Hell. We get free parking from staying on property anyway.

And the Disney diehards know this Iím sure but there were master plans to eventually build a International Airport on site just to the west of the I-4 and World Drive or FL 429 interchange. Canít remember which one. Walt should have sped that up and not even worried about the STOLport.

You couldn't comprehend the signage? Sigh. Very easy to read.

Epcot...straight ahead. Just like any other pull-thru sign on the nation's highways. And a sign further down would show that your guess was wrong.

Logged

roadman65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8771
  • Location: Orlando, fl
  • Last Login: January 18, 2019, 11:30:37 PM

Most purple Disney signs have too much information overload.

Also I was in WDW and saw the construction on the Epcot Center Drive and Buena Vista Drive interchange. Yes I though it was different as left turns are allowed again onto WB Buena Vista where only right and straight movements were allowed when Disney improved that intersection back in the late 80's.  The straight movement BTW is for Bonnet Creek Parkway. 

Good that WDW is allowing a continuous flow on World Drive SB at the Toll Booths as that was a pain in the ass to go around the long way to make a straight line.

As far as the City of Tomorrow went, yes Disney would be flipping in his grave if he saw what the land looks like today.  Only Celebration is close to a city as the original vision, but with no modern conveniences as its all cars and golf carts and residential homes occupying its borders.  Also Disney Springs (former Downtown Disney and previously Disney Village) was to have five office buildings that only one got built (the SunBank building). 

Disney Springs also has overhead pedestrian bridges now at Hotel Plaza Blvd. and Buena Vista instead of crossing at grade like before.  They fixed that up nice over there since the garages were built.  Its a shame that Pleasure island is not longer there as that was a neat place to go in the day.
Logged
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

formulanone

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6077
  • Age: 45
  • Location: HSV
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 10:12:03 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2018, 08:44:44 PM »

They do have they weird choice of Gondola transportation coming soon for Epcot, Hollywood and all the resorts in that area. The purple BGS’ are just horrible in reading and design. There is a 3 panel overhead on World Drive with a lonely Epcot on it. Nothing else.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/World+Dr,+Kissimmee,+FL+34747/@28.35586,-81.5640082,3a,48.5y,5.42h,88.14t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sl-7saKAM3JCrjQA-4f-_Aw!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x88dd7efcb93ecb6d:0x9744d2d06774d4a?hl=en

I assume it’s supposed to be on the panel to the left but they ran out of room and just stuck it on its own. Noticed it last week when me and the family were there(9th time). We drive our own vehicle down as the bus system is sent form Hell. We get free parking from staying on property anyway.

And the Disney diehards know this I’m sure but there were master plans to eventually build a International Airport on site just to the west of the I-4 and World Drive or FL 429 interchange. Can’t remember which one. Walt should have sped that up and not even worried about the STOLport.

You couldn't comprehend the signage? Sigh. Very easy to read.

Epcot...straight ahead. Just like any other pull-thru sign on the nation's highways. And a sign further down would show that your guess was wrong.

I used to give a lot of latitude towards Walt Disney World - we'd been annual passholders for years, and I've been a shareholder for decades - but I've grown tired of the "hurry up and wait", increased crowds, and that the park is getting more and more rundown due to aging of facilities/rides with an ever-increasing price tag. With each year, more benefits are pared away, so some of the tips and tricks we've learned to squeeze out of the system have been removed or up-charged for a better "experience". The last straw was when they removed the Rose Garden, a wonderful respite from the noise and nice spot to watch the fireworks. I'll go if I'm on someone else's dime. The kids still find a way to have fun, and I'm just there to take photos; there's not much new under the sun I'm missing. The food and service isn't half bad in the restaurants that take reservations (oh, make those 90-120 days in advance). But enough about that.

It's easy enough to find the major attractions and resorts. Finding your hotel is another matter; those are usually only marked on guide signs at the exit. The major roads do not show road names on the guide signs. (Lake Buena Vista Drive is an exception.) Street blades are common, but non-existent off the major routes. Yeah, we can call the Big Purple Signs abominations, but it's no different than any airport, resort, or mall that chooses its own non-standard signage. I just don't see how Futura and extraneous sign fluff is of any use - save the red for serious warnings. The road shields do the job; Florida signage can be so off-kilter from one place to the next, so the spectrum runs from historically glorious to phantasmagoric.

As said before, the monorails are sluggish near their destinations and are inexcusably incomplete. They told us things like "it's a million dollars per mile to construct", but you can't fool someone who's seen their EBIDTA and quarterly reports. My theory has been that the buses are state or county-subsidized to some extent, but I don't know enough about mass transit to make up a good argument. There has to be a reason they'd give up on potential parking fees to run those buses. The buses run on no apparent schedule; they're either empty or crowded. I'd rather drive and then walk, to be honest. The roads aren't that crowded, although showing up at 10:00am to the Magic Kingdom parking lot is not the best idea. But until the last few years, being able to park your car at any resort if you're staying at one of their overpriced hotels made a lot of that hassle worth the added expenses. It not a place for bikes and walking; there's no dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks are incomplete. Due to the huge expanses between theme parks and ginormous parking lots, it's clear the entire resort was designed around the convenience of the automobile.

I can understand why there's no active airport in the park; air travel was fraught dangers in the 1960s; I doubt Walt would have welcomed the jet age and added traffic had he lived another 10 years to see deregulation and the boom in air travel spoil his park. There's been a buffer zone in WDW from aircraft in the post-9/11 times anyhow. We're talking about a place with an artificial 15-minute boat ride just to get to its signature theme park, which the isolation is which is all part of the experience (YMMV). Besides, it would be an overpriced airport with its seemingly singular destination, and MCO is already one of the most price-competitive airports in United States.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 09:07:21 PM by formulanone »
Logged

froggie

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10128
  • Location: Greensboro, VT
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 02:59:37 PM
    • Froggie's Place
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2018, 03:24:07 PM »

^ My experience with the buses was somewhat different.  Few buses I saw or used were empty, and they only were really crowded if there was a big event wrapping up (like fireworks at Magic or something similar).  And sure, they seemed to be at random, but there were electronic signs at our resort showing when the next bus to a given destination was coming, and the headways I saw were typically 20 minutes or better.  That's not bad service in the grand scheme of things.  In my experience it was easier to ride the bus than take a car within the resort.

The monorails were a novelty of the time they were built but I think are outdated at this point.  That said, I do think there's enough demand for some sort of rail transit between the major destinations on-resort.  An LRT-based system would certainly fit the bill and be both faster and smoother than the existing monorail.

Lastly, I've seen some of their transit ridership numbers.  While WDW's transportation typically isn't ranked against U.S. cities, it would have the 10th busiest transit system in the nation if it were.
Logged

Eth

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2138
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Georgia
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 10:26:43 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 04:04:55 PM »

Based on my own experience there about a week and a half ago: not knowing when the next bus was coming was a definite source of frustration for me. Maybe those electronic signs exist at the resorts, but they don't seem to be present at the parks (at least not Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, anyway). I employed the bus system one day in conjunction with a shuttle from my hotel in an attempt to save on parking costs and honestly kinda wish I'd just plunked down the $25 instead.

Three major road improvements are currently underway and in various stages of construction.  The farthest along is a widening project along Buena Vista Dr at Epcot Center Dr and Bonnet Creek...as part of this, the loop ramp from NB Epcot to WB Buena Vista was removed and the NB Epcot exit ramp was relocated.  I'm not certain of the following, but it also appears that the bus lanes in the median of Buena Vista (farther east towards Disney Springs) will be extended through the interchange.

The second major road project is building an overpass and realignment of World Dr at the Magic Kingdom "Toll Booth".  The project builds an overpass for World Dr over the northbound entrance to the Magic Kingdom parking area.  This will allow traffic destined for the resorts (most of whom get complimentary parking as part of staying at the resort) to avoid having to go through the toll booth.  It will also enable resort traffic to continue on World Dr directly to the south, instead of having to detour over to Floridian Way to continue south.  As part of this project, what will effectively be a trumpet interchange is being built at World Dr/Vista Blvd.

These two projects are complete now, by the way. I can't really comment on the situation before, though, as this was my first visit since 1994 and I don't really remember much about the Disney road network back then.
Logged

roadman65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8771
  • Location: Orlando, fl
  • Last Login: January 18, 2019, 11:30:37 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2018, 10:17:31 PM »

You know the Maglev train was proposed to run between MCO and Disney, but hotel owners on I Drive fought Disney on it as they feared no one would be able to patronize their hotels on Orlando's main tourist strip.

The Orlando I Drive Hotels were willing to compromise, and let Disney get its maglev but have a stop near the Orlando- Orange County Convention Center on the way to Disney, but WDW said no to sharing the technological advance.

Also to note that Disney was reluctant also to go along with the proposal that Dick Scott vetoed that would have the high speed rail from Port Canaveral to the Port of Tampa run down the median of both SR 528 and I-4 with a station at WDW as well.  Basically Disney wants to be number one for tourists and heck with the other resorts or cities in Florida.
Logged
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

lepidopteran

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 465
  • Location: Baltimore/DC area
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 11:22:07 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2018, 11:07:42 PM »

... I do think there's enough demand for some sort of rail transit between the major destinations on-resort.  An LRT-based system would certainly fit the bill and be both faster and smoother than the existing monorail.
Does anyone remember back in the early '80s when a French company planned to build a light rail line between Orlando Airport and Disney?

I think the plan was to build a VAL light rail line in Orlando as a USA demonstration project of driver-less VAL technology.  At the time, about the only system in use was in Lille, France (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lille_Metro).  Not sure whatever happened to that project.   I remember looking at a map of the proposed layout -- I think it was in the Journal of Advanced Transportation -- and it showed several stops along the route.  But what may sound a bit puzzling was that there was one stop for Disney World, and one stop for EPCOT.  Wha???

This was because prior to 1982, Disney World and the Magic Kingdom (i.e., the theme park with the castle) were considered to be one and the same by most people, with the possible exception of Cast Members.  So when Epcot first opened, you'd often hear folks say stuff like, "Yeah it was great; we went to both Disney World and Epcot...", even though the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (and now the movie studio park and Animal Kingdom, not to mention the water parks) are all collectively part of the WDW Resort.  Even so, I suspect that the Disney/Epcot dichotomy is still used by older visitors today.

It's sort of like saying you saw both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, even though both movies are really Star Wars, and the first one is titled A New Hope.  However, this is a little different in that ANH was only added to the opening crawl upon re-release.  Whereas I remember seeing signs on Disney property pointing to the Magic Kingdom back in early 1973 when I first visited there.  But I don't think you heard the MK mentioned by name much, if at all, in the likes of promotional/marketing materials until Epcot opened.
Logged

UCFKnights

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 06:34:14 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 10:31:05 PM »

You know the Maglev train was proposed to run between MCO and Disney, but hotel owners on I Drive fought Disney on it as they feared no one would be able to patronize their hotels on Orlando's main tourist strip.

The Orlando I Drive Hotels were willing to compromise, and let Disney get its maglev but have a stop near the Orlando- Orange County Convention Center on the way to Disney, but WDW said no to sharing the technological advance.

Also to note that Disney was reluctant also to go along with the proposal that Dick Scott vetoed that would have the high speed rail from Port Canaveral to the Port of Tampa run down the median of both SR 528 and I-4 with a station at WDW as well.  Basically Disney wants to be number one for tourists and heck with the other resorts or cities in Florida.
The rail proposal is back and appears to be moving forward, just starting on the opposite end of what was proposed last time... Brightline is already built and operational from Miami to West Palm, and construction to extend it to Orlando is supposed to begin in March (a 30 month project), and they're currently negotiation ROW to Tampa with FDOT (stops expected at Disney and Lakeland along the way). It will go the route that Disney wanted, with no I-Drive/convention center access.

The maglev proposal was from the airport to I-Drive/convention center, but was killed by the airport due to fear of transportation/rental vehicle revenues... I know there is a lot of desire to bring that back if an agreement can be made with the airport. Disney doesn't want a direct connection between the 2 resorts.
Logged

kevinb1994

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 348
  • Your local source of road-related information.

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 10:49:38 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2018, 10:37:57 PM »

You know the Maglev train was proposed to run between MCO and Disney, but hotel owners on I Drive fought Disney on it as they feared no one would be able to patronize their hotels on Orlando's main tourist strip.

The Orlando I Drive Hotels were willing to compromise, and let Disney get its maglev but have a stop near the Orlando- Orange County Convention Center on the way to Disney, but WDW said no to sharing the technological advance.

Also to note that Disney was reluctant also to go along with the proposal that Dick Scott vetoed that would have the high speed rail from Port Canaveral to the Port of Tampa run down the median of both SR 528 and I-4 with a station at WDW as well.  Basically Disney wants to be number one for tourists and heck with the other resorts or cities in Florida.
The rail proposal is back and appears to be moving forward, just starting on the opposite end of what was proposed last time... Brightline is already built and operational from Miami to West Palm, and construction to extend it to Orlando is supposed to begin in March (a 30 month project), and they're currently negotiation ROW to Tampa with FDOT (stops expected at Disney and Lakeland along the way). It will go the route that Disney wanted, with no I-Drive/convention center access.

The maglev proposal was from the airport to I-Drive/convention center, but was killed by the airport due to fear of transportation/rental vehicle revenues... I know there is a lot of desire to bring that back if an agreement can be made with the airport. Disney doesn't want a direct connection between the 2 resorts.

And by the time they get the ball rolling on the extension to Jacksonville, we may still be in the area or on the Gulf Coast in, say, Sarasota or Fort Myers.
Logged

roadman65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8771
  • Location: Orlando, fl
  • Last Login: January 18, 2019, 11:30:37 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2018, 10:53:44 PM »

You know the Maglev train was proposed to run between MCO and Disney, but hotel owners on I Drive fought Disney on it as they feared no one would be able to patronize their hotels on Orlando's main tourist strip.

The Orlando I Drive Hotels were willing to compromise, and let Disney get its maglev but have a stop near the Orlando- Orange County Convention Center on the way to Disney, but WDW said no to sharing the technological advance.

Also to note that Disney was reluctant also to go along with the proposal that Dick Scott vetoed that would have the high speed rail from Port Canaveral to the Port of Tampa run down the median of both SR 528 and I-4 with a station at WDW as well.  Basically Disney wants to be number one for tourists and heck with the other resorts or cities in Florida.
The rail proposal is back and appears to be moving forward, just starting on the opposite end of what was proposed last time... Brightline is already built and operational from Miami to West Palm, and construction to extend it to Orlando is supposed to begin in March (a 30 month project), and they're currently negotiation ROW to Tampa with FDOT (stops expected at Disney and Lakeland along the way). It will go the route that Disney wanted, with no I-Drive/convention center access.

The maglev proposal was from the airport to I-Drive/convention center, but was killed by the airport due to fear of transportation/rental vehicle revenues... I know there is a lot of desire to bring that back if an agreement can be made with the airport. Disney doesn't want a direct connection between the 2 resorts.
The Brightline is got its ROW and bridges built at the new Innovation Way interchange on FL 528.  Most of it is using the FEC tracks from Miami to Cocoa, but from Cocoa to the new intermodal terminal at MCO new tracks have to be built longside FL 528 and Jeff Fiquoa Blvd.

The Maglev was fought also by my old subdivision as nearby Hunters Creek ( a more wealthy development) did not want it through their neighborhoods.  We got stuck with it as it was to follow the powerlines that run from Boggy Creek Road to the Disney area and that borders the south side of Deerfield where I use to live.  My dad went to the meetings about it as he did not want it and yes there was proposal to run to I Drive that Disney hated (as Disney wants it all, though Universal now is giving them a good run).

Also to note that between US 17, 92, and 441 and John Young Parkway the SR 417 freeway dips north of those power lines.  That again is cause Hunters Creek did not want the highway in their development so Deerfield got stuck with it.  You will see on both sides of Deerfield the road is south of those power lines, however Deerfield's parent did not have the clout that Hunters Creek's parent has.  That is why Hunters Creek is much larger in area than Deerfield cause they have more money to play with then Centex who developed Deerfield.
Logged
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 328
  • Last Login: January 21, 2019, 02:42:10 AM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2019, 01:42:38 PM »

My 2 cents.

The onsite STOL airport was struck from the FAA record after 9/11.

Brightline will be building a "Disney" station, but its unclear how people will get from it to the Disney properties since it will reside east of I-4.

Disney is very hung up on the experience and therefore wants to own any and all components involved.

I got my first hand experience on Disney "greed" when I attempted to drop off my family for the park.  Disney has a "drop off area". Good luck finding it.  They will allow you to pass the main gate toll free if you use the far right lane and you tell them its a drop off. After that, pffft. The signs for drop off area mysteriously disappear after that.

There is a drop off "zone" ( I finally found it) but it is a significant walking distance from the entrance. The point is they don't want you dropping off. They fear private shuttles will use the drop off zone as a parking fee avoidance.  Well in our effort to find the drop off zone, I punted and circled the bus drop off loop and I was harassed, yelled at, threatened by Disney white shirts. They wouldn't answer my question where the zone was, the demanded me to leave or they would call the police!

So in defiance I pulled just outside the bus loop and dropped off the clan and they walked in, but not before I was yelled at, honked at by several Disney bus drivers saying "you can't do that".  My response was "watch me" and we did.

It was a huge turn off. Why cray tell did I need to drop off? I had a flat and was running on a mini-spare and had to get it fixed.

Now, we know there is a back entrance to the parks and there is no security, no white shirts to threaten you, we just simply drive through the back way and park toll free. At this point after the pure lack of customer service and the exorbitant entrance fees they charge, I don't really care.

The other posters are right, there is a large tax revenue constituency around the theme parks that makes them NOT want to optimize transportation.  They want rental car revenue, they want parking fees, they want you to pay for gas.

The traffic nightmare on I-4 between 5-7PM from Vineland-Apopka north to I-Drive is due to so many european tourists navigating to the far left lane in their rentals. Because in right-hand drive dual carriage ways, the left lane is the slow one.

So as long as Disney exists, they have absolutely no interest in providing "fixed" transportation options anywhere offsite.  They only offer periodic bus routes (owned by them) that circulate through the hotel districts.

There is no financial incentive for it to change.  Its a combine of interests with their hands out.
Logged

roadman65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8771
  • Location: Orlando, fl
  • Last Login: January 18, 2019, 11:30:37 PM
Re: Walt Disney World (WDW) and Reedy Creek Improvement District improvements
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2019, 10:14:30 PM »

Well today I saw either FDOT or Osceola County put up a sign of their own just outside the Disney Gateway on WB Osceola Parkway.  I know that RCID did not install it cause the panels are green and not purple, and I doubt WDW wants their beautiful entry signs uncluttered to create that illusion that you are leaving reality and entering their world.

So far the work for the Hollywood Studios ramps are done on Osceola Parkway, but the flyover for Osceola Parkway over Victory Way needs its girders as the ramps on both ends are nearly 90 percent filled with some blocks needed to finish its retaining wall on the sides.
Logged
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.