So I booked the Contemporary Resort because I absolutely despise the catastrophe that is getting to MK. If you only use the buses you probably have no idea what I’m talking about but trust me that it is quite bad.
Well, after paying a pretty penny to stay at the Contemporary I discovered that the monorail only goes in one direction and it takes 15-20 minutes to make all the stops and get to the MK entrance. There is no direct route option! Either endure all the monorail stops or walk there.
I guess there is no real advantage staying at a monorail resort.
The walking path is quick and easy.
Personally, Contemporary would not be my 1st choice for monorail resort…but unless you are really against walking, it’s the most convenient (and only way that is totally under your control and pace) way to get to MK.
At the end of your day, it’s the first stop on the monorail from MK. So, there’s that.
I’d much rather walk from the Contemporary (and back, if I’m leaving the park in the mass of humanity at park closing) than deal with other forms of transportation. Under normal conditions, I’d walk to the park and take the monorail back to the hotel if there doesn’t look like a long line. Usually, you can get to/from your room in less time than it would take you to walk to the bus stop and wait even get on the bus at most resorts.
The walk is quick and easy. Last time I stayed we did the Magic of our Steam engines tour which starts at 7am. Really you cant get a bus that early and you cant uber there without going to TTC.
You are right. The walk is quick and easy and the only form of transportation that is under your control. My mother can’t walk well but her condition is not bad enough that she requires a scooter so starting the day with a 15 minute hike was not what we had in mind.
The hotel is really nice but for close to twenty years I dreamed of leaving my room and hoping directly on the monorail. I was disillusioned when that was not the case.
One more disappointed Contemporary guest here… mostly because of the monorail. For me the problem was not MK, because I prefer walking there, but Epcot is a real pain! Especially with the awful Epcot monorail service. The reception CMs were not very Disney either. It seemed just another business hotel. Total lack of Disney Magic. The amazing part was the view of the castle we had from our bed… breathtaking.
For a very short trip (2 or 3 days) with a party at MK I’d consider staying there again, but for all my other vacation trips, if possible, it’s Beach Club, our dream resort.
I like to do a split stay, a few of nights at Contemporary, then the rest at Boardwalk. We M/K and A/K while at Contemp then H/S and Epcot from B/W. Love staying at any of the Epcot resorts, hoping the new gondola does not bring too many people to International Gateway.
I expect that Disney’s hoping the exact opposite.
Unfortunately yes it will. I plan to enjoy it while it lasts.
It is direct FROM MK to the Contemporary. But not from the Contemporary to MK.
If you were staying at the Polynesian, walking to MK isn’t an option, so the monorail has a definite advantage there. Compare the time it takes to use the monorail in that case to taking a bus or other transportation to MK…I expect the monorail is still faster.
For the Contemporary, as others have stated, the main advantage is the ability to walk to MK. The monorail is an option, and is also the main method of getting to Epcot. Again, aside from staying at an Epcot resort, is the time to take the monorail from the Contemporary to Epcot, including the transfer, much different than if you used a bus from a different resort?
The MAIN advantage for the Contemporary, of course, is the view.
One slight glimmer of hope is the nature of the gondola system itself. The arrival traffic will be metered in one gondola at a time, so not as random and unpredictable as traffic arriving via the main gate. At the very least there’ll be a cap imposed by the limits of the system itself. If Disney will fully staff the security checkpoints and entry kiosks then International Gateway shouldn’t be much more prone to bottlenecks than it is right now every time a boat arrives. Unfortunately, fully staffing anything doesn’t seem to be high on WDW’s “to do” list lately.
Of course its days an easy escape route after Illuminations are numbered.
There will be a steady stream of people arriving by Gondola. One will arrive roughly every 10 seconds, an expected capacity of around 4K every hour over all lines (depending how many people are actually in each gondola car (they hold 8 but I wouldn’t expect every car to have more than one family most of the time).
So a continuous stream of arrivals. If they follow plan A, then they will have already been security cleared, so will join after the bag checks but before the tap stiles. If they revert to plan B then everyone will be going through bag checks with the Boardwalk resort guests.
Edited to amend capacity predictions. My bad!
There will certainly be periods of peak utilization, but there will be lulls as well. I don’t see a steady stream of gondola patrons flooding the IG nonstop throughout the day at anywhere near 100% capacity (once the new wears off, especially).
It’s conceivable that park-to-park guests could skip security if it’s done right. But there are resort-to-park guests arriving as well. Unless the plan is to run multiple discrete lines with separate stations at the parks for park and resort arrivals, or put security checkpoints at the resort stations, I would expect every guest arriving via gondola to be subject to security checks at IG (which is also the cheaper option personnel-wise).
The original plan was to make the gondolas a secure zone like the monorail. Screening at the resorts prior to boarding and then exiting to the ticket stiles but after security. So at IG, the bag check would move right back to catch the path and boat guests and the gondola station would exit almost at the ticket stiles.
It makes sense, but whether that happens is to be seen. There are issues to be overcome at DHS due to the placing of the station. IG is easy to do. It may be at DHS they have the double check like at Epcot and the monorail. _Although that will be fixed, just a matter of priorities now. all park entrances are getting enhanced but the ramp at Epcot from the monorail is fairly major work. _
But yes, at park opening there would be a continuous stream of arrivals but at other times there will be lulls.
Point-to-point security is a worthy goal, and I’m glad they appear to be trying to address it. But you’re right, and not just about EP. There are a lot of infrastructure issues resort-wide that have to be addressed to ensure the integrity of a secure transportation system. It’s definitely not something that’s going to happen overnight or all at once. Gondola system 1.0 is not likely to be the final concept.
Although — sorry, @OBNurseNH — I wasn’t especially sold on the Poly as a place to stay, it seemed pretty convenient in terms of park access. You can walk to the TTC and set off for Epcot from there. And it’s “only” two stops to MK, including MK itself. Though a longer journey back, via the Contemporary.
If I do do another WDW trip, I think I’d stay at the Contemporary because of (a) the theme park view, and (b) the massive convenience of being able to walk to and from MK with no waiting. But I’d only stay for my MK days: probably two nights at most.
For Epcot / DHS I’d stay at YC ideally.
Not the monorail, anyway. Its appeal has always been more gee-whiz than practical. If it wasn’t such an iconic piece of the Disney landscape I expect they would have abandoned it years ago. Its practical contribution doesn’t seem to justify the trouble and expense.
I still get a kick out of riding the monorail, but I don’t rely on it for transport any more than Disney does.
Please stand clear of the doors!
¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!
I prefer the snack version…
Per favor manténgase alejado de mi Dole Whip