I was visiting with someone about to take their first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort just yesterday and our conversation swayed to the bus stops. We have had many family adventures and stories at Disney bus stops.
The mornings would be punctuated with our arrival at the bus stop ready to catch the Disney bus headed to our first stop of the day. Often other guests would be waiting at the stops and the boy would take every opportunity to interact after we had said "good morning." This was typically the first public glimpse of our matching shirts for the day and the husband would be triumphantly drinking his Mountain Dew. (I wanted to use the word boastfully here, but he like the word triumphantly better.) You see, guests will not be able to find one drop of Mountain Dew on property. Disney is Coco-Cola only. So, we pack bottles of Mountain Dew. . . 12-20 ounce bottles in their own Ziploc bag, one bottle for each day of our stay. We store them in the refrigerator in our room and the husband delights in savoring his one bottle each morning and will carry it with him to the bus stop and often on to the parks.
We have watched families just take the first bus that comes by. We have tallied multiple buses heading to the same park without seeing the bus we need for several minutes. We have waved at Cast Members riding the trams as they head to/from their place of work. We have watched the boy learn to read the park names by the displays on the buses. And, we have learned how to discern that familiar roar of the bus engine as it nears and distinguish it from other motorized vehicles.
The morning buses tend to be less crowded than later in the day, so often the boy will go sit by himself or with another family rather than with us. The drivers are friendly and will often remind of safety tips or other information. We even had one bus driver tell park hours, etc. And, the majesty of the fanfare of music on the bus as your turn into Magic Kingdom still gives me goosebumps every time!
Returning to our resort via Disney bus can also be an adventure. At our resort of choice, Port Orleans--Riverside, there are 4 bus stops throughout the resort. We typically stay at Magnolia Bend, which means we use the East bus stop. If we return during daylight, it is no problem, we just look out and see where we are and voila, we are at our stop. Returning at night is a different story. As the bus announces each stop upon approach, the stops are only named by East, West, North, and South. So, if you were not aware of the name of the bus stop you used earlier in the day, you will not be sure where to get off. Our recommendation: use your resort map given to you at check-in to see the nearest bus stop to your building and remember it if your resort has more than one stop.
On one trip, we were returning to our resort well into the evening, and I got off the bus at the "South" stop where the main building, restaurant, food court, and store are located. I needed to pick up a package and then walk to our building and room. The husband and boy stayed on the bus and planned to get off at our stop. Well, after picking up the package, browsing a bit, and then walking back to our room, I arrived only to discover that the husband and boy were not back yet. I could have gotten worried, instead, I just waited.
Within a few minutes, they both entered our room when the boy announced that they had gotten off at the wrong stop. Due to being a bit lost, the husband just followed the signs pointing to Ol' Man Island, the home of the themed pool at the resort. He then got his bearings and they made their way back "home" so to speak. We had a good laugh at that one, but it solidified how important it is to know the name of the bus stop you need to exit upon returning to your resort.
We very much appreciate the convenience of the FREE Disney transportation system which includes buses, boats, ferries, and monorails. By using the system, we don't feel the need to rent a car or add the what could be, more traffic congestion. We just sit back, relax, and let Disney do the driving.