Though attendance at Walt Disney World has been soft thus far in 2016, the resort has quietly been making some preparations for a big attendance boost in the near future - including filing some permits that indicate that interesting infrastructure changes are on the way for the resort.
Though nothing has been formally announced by Disney, based on publicly available permits, it looks like Disney is bracing itself for record numbers of guests in the near future with a number of projects that will bring all new ways for guests to get around the resort, including one that will make getting to Walt Disney World a lot easier for locals...
1. A new entrance is coming to the western edge of Walt Disney World
While the Flamingo Crossings project still hasn't quite materialized into the retail and hotel destination Disney originally pitched, it looks like there's still something planned for the western edge of Walt Disney World property. According to recently-filed permits, Disney is planning to extend Western Way to Route 545 Avalon Road with a new four lane road will join the existing Western Way at the current Flamingo Crossings site.
Once this project is completed, Walt Disney World will finally be able to construct a new western gateway to the resort. Though this has been in the works for some time, this project stalled several years ago for unknown reasons. However, it looks like Disney is finally ready to make this new gateway to Walt Disney World a reality, which is great news not only for locals who want to avoid entering the resort via some of the more "touristy" parts of town, but also for traffic in general, which can get quite backed up at the main resort gateways.
2. A new entrance is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios as well
In addition to the new resort entrance mentioned above, it looks like a new entrance will also be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Permits were filed recently with the South Florida Water Management District for the reconfiguration of Osceola Parkway, which will bring a new interchange to this road that will help funnel guests towards what we're assuming will be the long-rumored new entrance for Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Now while we don't exactly know where this new entrance will be, land has been cleared across from the construction site that will soon be Star Wars Land, and many believe that this is in preperation for construction on a guest parking structure (the first for a Walt Disney World theme park). If this does indeed turn out to be the case, Disney could essentially flip Disney's Hollywood Studios, with Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land forming the front of the park, with the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror looming in the back. This would not only help the park redefine its identity, but the current parking lot area (which would now be in the back of the park) could provide considerable space for another, future expansion as well.
While questions remain about where this new entrance will go and how it will continue the transformation of this park, one thing that is definite is this new project will certainly relieve the current pressure on World Drive, which often builds up and causes traffic jams when both the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios close at the same time.