Friday, June 17, 2016

A Look Back at Walt Disney World's Old Bus Transportation Guides

By Chris Snead

When staying on property at Walt Disney World between 1983 and 1995, you may remember seeing a copy of the “Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Routes” guide. These guides were included as part of the welcome pack for resort guests. The guide was a fold-out card that measured 3.5” x 6” and was printed on thick stock paper. This guide helped guests navigate from one Walt Disney World location to another by bus. In some cases, guests were required to switch buses two or more times to get to their final destination. Join us today as we take a look back at the old Walt Disney World bus transportation guides...

As a child, I remember using the old Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Route guides to navigate around the Walt Disney World Resort. My personal favorite was any bus that went from Fort Wilderness Campground’s Settlement Outpost to the Transportation and Ticket Center. It was here that I could take a Ferryboat or Monorail to the Magic Kingdom, or a Monorail to EPCOT Center. Back then, the Transportation and Ticket Center was the main hub for travel and to buy tickets to the Parks. Many of you probably recall using these old guides.

The front page of this vintage, fold-out guide displayed a sketch of a Walt Disney World Bus, some foliage, and a representation of Cinderella’s Castle. Later revisions of this cover included a telephone number for Disney Transportation Operations.

The back of the guide displayed no pictures or sketches but instead provided a telephone number for assistance and more information on bus times. Later versions of the guide no longer displayed this information on the back cover.

The main content pages of the guide displayed stop locations for each Walt Disney World bus and each bus was distinguished with a color coordinated flag. These flags were unique in color, and sometimes included a circle with various letters. Over the years Disney added new theme parks, resorts, and other attractions which meant the bus guides got larger and more flags were added. This article will focus on the 1983, 1989, and 1992 versions of the guides...

1983 Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Route Guide:

Walt Disney World Bus in 1978 picking up from Fort Wilderness and headed to the TTC. Notice the blue flag on the sign all the way to the left, right behind the child.

The 1983 version of the Bus Transportation Route guide only included the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center theme parks, which were the two parks open at the time. Other stops included Disney Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Shopping Village, and the Transportation and Ticket Center. There were also three routes that were internal to Fort Wilderness. Because my family stayed at Fort Wilderness, we never had to take a bus to go to River Country or Pioneer Hall, but I do remember seeing buses from other resorts arriving at the Settlement Outpost. People would come to go swimming at River Country or to see the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Pioneer Hall.

1989 Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Route Guide:

1980's Walt Disney World bus

The 1989 Bus Transportation Route guide was updated to include the Disney-MGM-Studios theme park, Typhoon Lagoon, Pleasure Island, Walt Disney World Village Marketplace (Disney Springs today) and other new Disney Resorts around property. Disney added more buses, more routes, and more flags as you can see...

 1992 Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Route Guide:

1990's Walt Disney World bus

The 1992 Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Route guide featured a slightly new cover and actually had 2 different versions that came out that year...

Each version you are about to see added more routes and even more Disney Resorts, such as Disney Vacation Club, Port Orleans, Dixie Landings, and EPCOT area resorts. The guide also changed from a two-page foldout to a three-page foldout due to the number of bus flags that were added...

Version 1:

Version 2:

A few years later the guides were retired due to the Parks and Resorts expanding. The flags were replaced with electronic banners showing bus stop locations. This also made things easier for guests who sometimes struggled when using them to travel around the resort complex. Nonetheless, the old Walt Disney World Bus Transportation Route guides hold a special place in my heart and I am sure it does for many of you as well. Do you remember using the old guides years ago? Be sure to let us know in the comments below or on the Disney Avenue Facebook page.


Chris Snead is a Disney geek and has been since his first visit in 1982. He states that “Disney isn’t a hobby but more of a lifestyle." His entire family are huge Disney fans and they go as often as possible. Chris's favorite park is Epcot because of both World Showcase and Future World, especially during the Food and Wine Festival. He was married to his beautiful wife at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. Some of Chris's favorite attractions include Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, WEDway Peoplemover, Spaceship Earth, Horizons, and Haunted Mansion.

In everyday life Chris works in Information Technology and lives in North Carolina. Chris’s other hobbies include traveling, wine tasting, mixing music, drawing, designing Retro Disney t-shirts, and spending time with friends and family.

Visit his personal store on Redbubble at

You can find all of Chris's articles here.

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