Transportation at Walt Disney World


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"Transportation at Walt Disney World" is a PowerPoint for primary and secondary students. It overviews the organizational set-up of the transportation systems within and getting to the Disney attractions and lodging. It also highlights the educational programs high school students, college students and recent graduates may participate in within the Disney organization. Additionally, this lesson can be paired with a "Ride Vehicle Design" activity.

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  • Most transportation projects are funded with public money. Disney World provides an example of a private transportation system.Transportation is considered an integral part of the business model.47.5 million people visited in 2011. There are big seasonal fluxes. New Year’s Eve is often the busiest day of the year. Magic Kingdom hits its capacity by 11:00 in the morning and Epcot’s most popular attraction, Soarin’, has a line of more than four hours. This is a huge number of people who need to be able to move easily in and out of a relatively small area.
  • If you were to travel from Lincoln to Orlando, how would you get there?(After some discussion) Let’s look at some of those options.
  • This is what you see when you hit Disney property. They want to make sure it is very easy to get to their parks, hotels, etc. Make sure to notice how many signs there are.And, these signs are themed. Most of them have ears.
  • Now you need to get to a theme park. This is a picture of a Disney World parking lot. To ensure that all the spaces are used, cast members (Disney employees) stand outside and guide people to the next available space.Rows in the parking lot are named (usually after Disney characters) to make sure people can remember where they parked.Then, these trams pick up guests and bring them to the front entrance. A cast member stands on the back and announces which rows they are stopping for when they bring people back to their cars. This means you don’t need to start your day with a long, hot trek across a parking lot. And, it stops people from walking between cars which is potentially dangerous for pedestrians.
  • Now, let’s look at another way to get there.What happens if you fly? Some people rent a car, but others don’t want to do that. This bus is Disney’s Magical Express. It’s a bus line dedicated to picking people up from the airport and bringing them to their hotel on Disney property. Disney wants to make it simple to stay in their hotels because it’s more profit for them.
  • Once at a hotel, you run into the issue of how to make it to the park, water park, etc. you’d like to visit. Bus stops like these are located at every hotel. The destination is shown on the side and front of the bus. To make sure you’re in the right line, each stop has a sign showing which bus will arrive. These buses are wheelchair accessible and air conditioned.
  • Transportation plays a big role in operations at the park. Transportation can work as crowd control. The monorail runs between the Transportation and Ticket Center (what’s shown in the photo) and Magic Kingdom. Guests don’t have to see the parking lot from in front of the castle and it limits the number of people who arrive at a time. There is also a ferry boat for the same purpose.Additionally, the ferry boat and monorail run to just a few of the higher end resorts as a guest perk.
  • Transportation also acts as a type of entertainment. This is obvious because any type of “ride” can be considered a form of transportation. But, a few are more literal. This is the steam train that runs from the entrance of Magic Kingdom to the other side of the park. Riding it takes longer than walking from one side to the other so it is meant to be entertaining.This picture depicts a segway tour. This is the Italy pavilion in World Showcase in Epcot. For a fee, guests can take a special tour in a closed part of the park and be taught how to ride a segway. They also do an off-roading tour at their camp grounds.
  • An effective and efficient transportation system is an important part of Disney World. Transportation can improve guest perceptions because it is the first thing done in the morning and the last thing done at night. If it takes hours to get back to their hotel, a guest is unlikely to remember all the goods things of the day. Disney is part of an industry which greatly relies on guest perception. Also, efficient transportation allows guests to spend more time on Disney property which is more money for them.
  • The Disney College Program is open to any college student and last for a semester or a full school year.
  • This is an example of someone who participated in the Disney College Program. She worked full-time in attractions. The College Program includes jobs in attractions as well as merchandise, food service, character attending (the people who make sure Mickey is not mobbed by small children), characters (if they make it through auditions), transportation (the people who drive the trams) and janitorial.She worked in Epcot at the Imagination Institute. This included a slow-moving attraction and a 3-D show. This picture shows her in costume at the entry way to the 3-D show. You can see the 3-D glasses on the table known as “safety goggles”.
  • Seminars are offered for majors related to work done at Disney World. There is a Professional Development Study related to engineering. The seminar includes information about unique technologies at Disney. This picture shows a team activity of designing a new attraction. Also, there were tours of certain behind-the-scenes departments like the laundry. Making sure there are enough costumes for all the workers is more difficult than many people think.A special day, the “Ultimate EnginEARing Exploration” was part of this seminar. This was a one-day competition for the students. The students visited four attractions and were given problems to solve related to them.
  • In addition to the College Program, Disney has other similar programs. Career Start is for high school graduates who have not yet begun college. Professional internships and co-ops are for people in fields related to work at Disney, such as engineering, management and culinary programs.
  • The activity today is related to ride design, especially the vehicle. You are in charge of designing a ride vehicle for a new, slow-moving attraction. This means there are no required restraints, but make sure to consider how many people a vehicle should hold. What number of people do you think commonly comes as a group?Think about groups with special needs. It is important to make slow-moving attractions to be accessible to as many people as possible. For example, some people in wheel chairs can get out of them and walk a few feet, others cannot.
  • These are examples of some ride vehicles. Top left – Peter Pan – notice it is shaped like a boat but rides on a track, fits 2 or 3 people, lap bar lowersTop right – Norway boat ride (Maelstrom) – boat on water, steel tracks on side controls direction, no restraint, fits as many people as comfortable in a rowLarge picture – Thunder Mountain – roller coaster, train rides on a track, pull down bar, fits 2 or 3 people a rowBottom left – Soarin’ – suspended, specified number of riders in a rowUse the clay to build a model of your ride vehicle. Use the paper to draw an explanation of your attraction. Make sure to show the path on which the vehicles ride (track, water, etc.). Remember to keep everything themed.
  • Picture from College Program graduation day
  • Transportation at Walt Disney World

    1. 1.  Private transportation projects are rare  Viewed as part of business plan  Around 47.5 million people visited 4 Walt Disney World theme parks in 2011
    2. 2.  But then what?
    3. 3.  Efficient system improves guest perceptions  First thing you do in the morning and the last thing at night  Poor transportation can ruin someone’s experience  More time a person is on Disney property, the more profit the company can make
    4. 4.  Typically contracted for 1 semester  Work is full-time in attractions, merchandise, food service, character attending, characters, transportation and janitorial
    5. 5.  Career Start Programs  High school graduates  International College Programs  Professional Internships  College students in related fields  Engineering  Management  Culinary  Co-ops  Recent graduates
    6. 6.  Design a ride vehicle  Slow-moving, no required restraints  Number of potential riders?  Remember groups with special needs  Wheelchairs  Some people can transfer, others can’t  Service animals  Newborns  Elderly  Pregnant women