December 2011: For guests who drive to Walt Disney World, the main parking lot for the Magic Kingdom is a massive sea of asphalt separated by an occasional line of trees. In the past, guests memorized A) their row number and B) the general name of the section (Mickey, Minnie, etc.) if they wanted to find their car at the end of the day. That task has now become quicker yet more complicated. Rather than have one large tram route that stops at all parking sections, the Magic Kingdom operates two tramlines and breaks the parking lot into two categories – Heroes and Villains.
• The good: The tram ride from your car to Disney’s Transportation and Ticket Center (where you pick up the monorail or ferry to the park) takes roughly half the time it did before. In the past, the trip took up to 15 minutes if your car was parked near the tram’s last stop.
• The bad: You now must memorize three things to find your car at the end of the day: A) the row number, B) the name of a new Disney character (they’ve changed), and C) whether or not that character is a hero or villain. Unfortunately, that means every guest must have a working knowledge of Disney’s major heroes and villains.
When you first arrive, you simply board the closest tram. Both loops unload guests at the Transportation and Ticket Center. But at the end of the day, you must board either the heroes tram or the villains tram, which means remembering that you parked in Simba and then hoping that he’s a hero. (He is.) If you never saw The Little Mermaid, would you know that Ursula is a villain? How about Zurg from Toy Story? The process gets more difficult, of course, if English is not your first language. While Disney is trying to make the parking lot process simpler and easier, it may do the opposite for some people.
Here’s the skinny to avoid end-of-the-day, double-tram trips:
Hero parking lot sections
Aladdin, Mulan, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, Simba, and Woody
Villain parking lot sections
Cruella, Hook, Jafar, Scar, Ursula, and Zurg