Monday, February 11, 2013

Walt Disney World Buses: Past, Present & Future

Disney World buses are changing from a basic white red and silver. The buses are also highly reflective at night adding a new safety feature.
New Walt Disney World bus paint scheme and graphics
New Walt Disney World Bus Paint and Graphics (Disney Parks Photo)
I should point out that I love the Walt Disney World buses. If I were to have any role at Walt Disney World, I'd want to be a bus driver, or maybe an Imagineer. I think it would be fun to drive around all day to the resorts and theme parks and bring excited guests to their destinations.

With the new bus designs, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some other buses that serve the Walt Disney World Resort.

walt disney world bus - retro

The new sliver and red paint gives the bus a classic, retro look. Speaking of retro, the very first paint scheme was a simple white with a dark brown and orange stripe. This design was seen on the original RTS buses, many of which are still in operation today at the Walt Disney World Resort. There are even a few still running with this paint scheme. Notice the stop sign just below the driver's window.

walt disney world bus interiorIn the mid to late 1990s deliveries of new RTS buses to Walt Disney World arrived with an oversized Disney Transport logo. Existing buses were repainted to match. If you were really observant, you could tell if you were on a new bus or a repainted bus by the interior color of the seats: purple seats were the new ones, orange seats were the repaints. If you ride on an RTS with an orange interior, you're riding on of the originals! Disney World history buffs will appreciate that. Many of the buses have literally millions of miles on them.
walt disney world rts bus

Disney began purchasing low-floor buses around 2003 like the Gillig and Nova buses seen in the photos below. Low-floor buses allow drivers to load wheel chairs and electric convenience vehicles with nothing more than a foldout ramp. The RTS required a elevator and was time consuming to operate, although they were considered to be the most reliable. 
walt disney world buses
Walt Disney World Transport Nova Bus. The original Novas were problematic at Disney World because they were made for frequent stoping in a city environment, not long distance driving.  
walt disney world gillig bus
Disney Transport Gillig Buses
walt disney world bus
Disney Transport  Nova LFX
Other buses to serve the Walt Disney World Resort:
magical express bus
Disney's Magical Express airport shuttle

Disney Cruise Line Bus
Disney Cruise Line bus

epcot worldshow case bus
World Showcase Bus at Epcot

walt disney world omnibus
Main Street Omnibus at Magic Kingdom Park
(WDWRadio Photo)

Darren Wittko is a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel and creator of the Best of Walt Disney World website.