The transformation of EPCOT’s main entrance continues as part of the park’s larger transformation. In addition to new security checks on both sides of the monorail beam, there will be two separate tram loading zones. The first new tram loading zone is now open and taking guests to and from their cars. But is it really needed?
It’s been a long time since I last used the parking lot tram at EPCOT. On most of my trips I’m parked in either Amaze or Journey and both are just a few steps further from the main entrance than where the tram drops you off.
For Create and Discover it can be a bit of walk and I understand how some would prefer or need a ride. However, unless the tram ready to go and you’re parked close to the end of the row near the tram, it still takes less time to walk to your car or the main entrance if the tram isn’t ready to go when you are.
At the moment, the whole other side of the parking lot has no tram service at all. As part of the main entrance makeover, Disney is working on dedicated tram service loop for those lots. It will be nice to no longer have to share one tram to get to both sides of the parking lot. They made this move at the Magic Kingdom a few years ago and it has worked well.
Of course, there’s a question here about how often the far parking lots will see any use. With the international gateway now being serviced by the Disney Skyliner, there’s less of an incentive for anyone at the resorts serviced by the Skyliner to drive to EPCOT instead of ride the bus or take a gondola. I don’t think this will be a huge reduction in traffic to EPCOT’s main parking lot, but it will shift the patterns slightly.
I have been thinking about what Disney should do here in terms of offering the best, most efficient guest service solution. On slow days, there may be a more efficient solution by offering a small electric cart to and from a guest vehicle for those who need assistance. Add the ability to book a ride when you are leaving the park via the My Disney Experience app. Sort of a mini-Minnie-Van service. Everyone else could probably walk in less time than it takes to ride the tram.
EPCOT’s Parking Lot is around 140 acres in size (including the bus terminal) and currently has around 11,000 parking spots available to guest vehicles (although that number drops when parts of the lot are used for storage or special events). Are there any changes you would make to reconfigure it for more efficient guest service?