The spreadsheet has spoken: The best WDW resort hotels based on transportation times

Ok I’ve been sitting on this for a while thinking it’s incomplete, but I figured I’ll post it any way for the sake of discussion and banter.

Following @Jeff_AZ’s intriguing series of polls on the topic (last one: Poll Time! Best Disney Resort Hotel Location FINAL ROUND), I wanted to test out a spreadsheet on transportation times from hotels to parks.

I hope you’ll bear with me on the long introduction.

The first thing that needs to acknowledged is that there are a lot of uncertainties here and ultimately the variance is so small that even the smallest things can sway the resulting times one way or the other: having to wait 3 minutes more for a monorail or bus, getting held up at parking lot gates, walking faster or slower, even hotel room location within the hotel etc. So this should all be taken with a grain of salt and these are by no means foolproof stats. But it’s interesting nonetheless, I think.

The main goal was to add up the fastest travel times to all 4 parks from each hotel to rank them. For the spreadsheet, I picked the most obvious hotels (=MK and Epcot area hotels) and tried to include the most realistic travel times to each park using different transport options, leaving out some of the more useless options.

The easy part is listing the actual transit time, but the trickier part is trying to factor in wait times and commuting to and from different transportation. These can’t be left completely out because that would distort the results too much. So some assumptions, guesses and generalizations have to be made here - for example how long the average wait time is for a bus or monorail, how long it takes to get from TTC to MK or a parking lot to the park entrance and so on. Bus and boat travel times will vary most based on your timing and how long you have to wait. Driving (and uber) times will vary based on traffic and arrival time (traffic at the gates). Queues and crowds in general will affect pretty much all options so we have to assume it all evens out. Walking is the most certain one but even that varies on walking speed. The walking times are based on average adult walking speeds, from hotel lobbies to park gates. All the other times are based on actual measured travel times - as mentioned some will vary more than others based on traffic etc.

One clear thing you can see here is that at least “techincally” using Uber/Lyft is very efficient to reach all other parks than MK. Whether or not this is the case in reality is another question. The assumption here is that you order the car before heading out so you don’t have to wait for it at all. This might not always be realistic but I’ve personally had good experiences, our car has always been waiting for us when we got outside. I added 5 minutes as a “walk up” time to account for getting from the parking gates to drop off point to park gates. This might be too little, not sure.

Another major factor that isn’t taken into consideration here is the time of day your travelling. If you are aiming for rope drop, it might change everything. For example: is it realistic to use Uber/Lyft for RD? I don’t know.

So here is what I have so far:

As for the results:

All transportation options including Uber/Lyft:

Based on these numbers, Polynesian and Grand Floridian have the best overall locations out of any WDW hotels. The no. 1 factor here is obviously the fast access to MK. While Contemporary is the quickest to MK, it loses a bit on driving times to other parks, hence why it’s a few minutes behind. Again it’s worth noting that in this case the fastest mode to all other parks than MK is Uber, which could be debatable.

Fastest times combined (incl cars/uber):
Contemporary: 56,3
Grand Floridian: 53
Polynesian: 53
Boardwalk: 56,5
Beach Club: 58,6

WDW transportation (+ walking)

When using WDW transportation or walking, the best location is Boardwalk. The major factors here are the closest walking proximity to HS (8 minutes faster than BC) and fast road access for buses (beats BC by a couple of minutes). So in order for it to be the best, you have to walk. Taking the boats to HS will pretty much put it even with BC. same goes for using a car. Bus wait times have a big effect here, particularly on the MK area resorts - if bus times are reduced they get closer to BW.

Fastest times combined (wdw transport only):
Contemporary: 80,3
Grand Floridian: 77
Polynesian: 77
Boardwalk: 67,7
Beach Club: 77,5

Conclusion:

When considering WDW transportation only, and if walking to HS, I think it’s safe to say BW is technically the best location.

Otherwise, I would call all of these resort locations very even and I wouldn’t make a selection based on transport times, but rather based on personal preference, availability etc. There are so many factors that make a bigger difference and really you are extremely well situated at any of these places.

So in other words: everything I did here is ultimately kind of useless, but fun to know.

I welcome any comments, ideas and personal attacks for being wrong :sweat_smile:

Oh and sorry for the watermark on the image - maybe I’m being ridicilous but I imagine many sites/blogs copy content from various forums and I thought I’d at least make it just a tiny bit more difficult to repost this :roll_eyes:

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It feels so nice to be validated for my choice on @Jeff_AZ poll!

I mean BW even beats BC for car transportation added.

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Amazing analysis! Thanks so much for doing this. That bit about the bus transportation being longer from BC than BW is critical knowledge for those who are trying to shave every last minute off their transportation!

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Yea this was an interesting detail due to BC (and YC) being slightly further from the main road.

I tried to look up actual bus ride times from videos. I noticed that in some videos I saw the bus go from YC to BC to MK, but on some guides/websites it was said to go the other way around. I’ve assumed it’s the former and BC to MK is non stop. this is one of the reasons I left YC out, it’s behind BC in both road transportation as well as walking to Epcot, but obviously not too far behind.

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I intend to look this over more. If I don’t forget. :thinking:

Our best most fun resort to park stay was Beach Club. We were in a wing that overlooked trees between the resort and Epcot. We quickly discovered that walking down this hallway and down those stairs, through that door and you’re practically at Epcot. Just over the bridge.
So much closer than Yacht Club, where we had almost the exact opposite hallway. Pack a lunch hike just to get to our BC wing. Very good for getting to Boardwalk, tho.

One of my fun resort activities is finding the short cuts. The best for short cuts was a Boardwalk dvc 2 bdrm which looked right at the clown face at the pool.
:blush:

This can save you quite a bit of time too! Boardwalk has notoriously long hallways. For example the BW CL is in the Epcot end of the building, but you need to walk back and forth since the elevators and nearest exit (AFAIK) is near the Bellevue Lounge next to the grass field.

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We’re staying in a garden suite in June and I was wondering if there was a back way to Epcot or if we too had to go back to the front. On one map it looked you could walk around the outside of the building where the last garden suite is but when I watched video tours I saw no path.

You just have to go down hallways and open doors, saying, wonder where this goes? :thinking:
Preferably with a family member who’s saying, but what if we get in trouble? :astonished:
Giving you any number of great movie quotes as a witty and apt rejoinder. :sunglasses:

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Last time we stayed at BC we discovered those stairs. Our room was only a few doors away from it. We were at the International Gateway in no time. Since we spend a lot of time in Epcot, it was great.

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