Disney World Files Permit for New Entrance: Traffic Delays and Congestion Expected

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A split image showing road construction on the left with an orange and white "Road Closed" sign, and a building with Polynesian architectural design reminiscent of Disney's resort style on the right, featuring an A-frame structure and vibrant decorations.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Walt Disney World Resort has filed a new permit for one of its resort hotels, looking to change the landscape and enhance the guest experience. Here’s what we know.

DVC Tower at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Credit: Disney

Disney Files Permit for Entire New Entrance for Polynesian Resort Hotel: Guests Should Expect Delays and Traffic

Disney World has unveiled plans for a new entrance to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as part of the ongoing expansion of World Drive, stretching from the Magic Kingdom parking area to the north of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The recent permit filing offers further details on the changes. The current entrance will be converted into a bus-only lane, with the main entrance shifting to the end of a newly created dead-end on Seven Seas Drive.

Visitors approaching the Polynesian Resort from either direction on World Drive will use a new roundabout to access this connector road to Seven Seas Drive. Detailed images from the permit illustrate these changes. The new entrance and guard gate will be positioned near the intersection of Seven Seas Drive and World Drive.

A new road will extend Seven Seas Drive south through the existing Magic Kingdom cast member parking lot to a new roundabout south of the current intersection.

Notably, the port cochere structure at the resort will remain unchanged. An overlay of the permit on a Google Maps satellite view shows that the bus pick-up and drop-off area will stay in its current location. However, a new U-turn will keep bus traffic separate from porte cochere traffic, reducing congestion on Seven Seas Drive.

A detailed architectural site plan shows road intersections, sidewalks, parking lot areas, and a new entrance. The drawing includes labeled dimensions, directional arrows, and construction detail notes. Dashed lines indicate boundaries and pathways at various transportation locations outside of the Disney World Polynesian Resort Hotel.
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort Polynesian Hotel permit entrance coming soon

Expect Delays, Traffic, and More if You’re Visiting This Hotel Resort When Construction Begins

The separation of bus and vehicle traffic within the resort is expected to improve flow and enhance the approach to the updated port cochere despite a slight reduction in parking spaces. Nonetheless, the parking lot at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort rarely reaches total capacity. The new permit for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s entrance may lead to several potential traffic issues and delays for Disney World guests.

During the construction phase, temporary road closures, detours, and increased construction vehicle traffic will likely occur. This can cause significant delays for guests navigating around the affected areas. Guests accustomed to the old entrance might experience confusion and delays as they adjust to the new traffic patterns and entrance routes.

This is especially true for visitors who are not frequent guests and may not be aware of the changes. The reconfiguration of the entrance could initially lead to congestion on Seven Seas Drive as buses and private vehicles adapt to the new layout. The latest U-turn for buses and the separation of bus and vehicle traffic may not immediately streamline traffic as intended.

A technical map showing a designated area named “POLY-WEST” with 12.39 acres marked in red shading, situated near transportation locations. Surrounding areas include “MKP-NORTHWEST” (5.40 acres and 1.63 acres) and “ROADWAY 1” (4.11 acres). Blue dashed lines indicate boundaries and roadways, highlighting a new entrance.
Credit: Disney’s Polynesian Resort Hotel permit filing schematics

The new roundabout connecting World Drive to Seven Seas Drive could become a bottleneck, particularly during peak times. If the roundabout is not designed to handle high traffic volumes efficiently, it could cause delays and back-ups. The expected reduction in parking spaces could lead to additional traffic as guests circulate the parking lot, searching for available spots.

This could also increase the use of other nearby parking facilities, potentially causing overflow issues. Changes in traffic patterns might have a ripple effect on nearby resorts and attractions, possibly leading to broader traffic delays within the Disney World complex as drivers adjust to the new routes.

In summary, while the new entrance aims to improve long-term traffic flow and guest experience, the transition period could present several challenges, including construction disruptions, adjustment to new traffic patterns, potential bottlenecks at the roundabout, and temporary increases in congestion.

Although no exact date has been set for the construction on this Disney World site, guests can expect things to start sometime over the next six months. If you stay anywhere near this Disney hotel, this will lead to the delays mentioned above and traffic problems. Just be sure to call the Resort hotel beforehand to ensure your Walt Disney World Resort vacation is not ruined because of poor planning.

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