19 June 2009

World Traveler

In 1990, with the opening of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin resorts, and the work being done for future Epcot area resorts, Walt Disney World created a second gate for guests entering the park, the International Gateway. Today, a variety of guests from the Epcot Resort Area enter Epcot through the International Gateway by walking or by floating along the waterways aboard one of the Friendship Boats. At one time, however, there were actually three manners in which to access the World Showcase entrance of Epcot.

For guests of the Swan and Dolphin, both of which opened in 1990, trams identical to those of the parking lot trams, were available to ferry them to Epcot and back to their respective resort. These trams featured the teal and salmon coloring of the resorts which, presumably, served to distinguish its route from the other trams located at the front of Epcot. The trams were shut down in the middle of the 1990s as the profusion of Epcot resorts, including Disney’s Boardwalk, began to spring up.

While some of the original back road still exists, the addition of these new resorts and plentiful amounts of foot traffic have made it inconceivable that these trams would ever return to service. For the inquisitive guest, however, as you approach or leave via the International Gateway you still have the opportunity to venture around and through the tram’s International Gateway station. Just don’t wait too long for that next shuttle, okay?

1 comment:

Tim W said...

My family stayed at the Dolphin one year while the trams were running; it was a great, quick way to get in to Epcot and "sneak through the back door." it would be great to have those trams back, but you're right in that the route is too crowded: foot traffic, surrey bikes, entertainment, etc would all make the drive very difficult.