The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is 47 square miles of vacation paradise containing four theme parks, two water parks and 23 on resort hotels and numerous golf courses. Around 44 million people attended WDW in 2010. Insanity. Needless to say, that is a lot of people to move around but this is Disney for which there are no boundaries that can not be overcome. A variety of methods are used to transport guests around the resort including boats, ferries, monorails, trains and buses. Unofficial estimates place the Disney bus fleet at around 300 units, rivaling that of most American cities. The buses operate for every onsite resort and theme park and are the ultimate way to get around the parks if you don’t have a car. Lets take a look at the three models of buses operated by Disney World.
The RTS, quite possibly one of the most popular designs in American buses in the past 3o years. Originally produced by GM and later MTS the Disney bus fleet was at one time completely comprised of this model bus. Although production of the RTS ceased in 2009 its likely these buses are much older than that. Undeniably Detroit Diesel powered there did not seem to be one model year running in the fleet based on the various break and signal light configurations. With the Disney penchant for maintenance I would expect these remaining RTS buses to be on the road for years to come.
The Nova, the spiritual successor to the RTS? Nova Bus acquired the former GM (later MCI) factories that produced the RTS and began production of the model you see below. The Disney fleet doesn’t appear to have too many of the Novas’ in service compared to the aged and RTS and newer Gillig models.
We now come to the workhorse of the Disney Bus Fleet, the Gillig. When visiting a Disney park and riding a bus your chances are high that it will be this model over all others.
Hope all you bus fans enjoyed this one! My only regret, not riding one of the RTS models during my vacation but that is what next year is for for right? 😉