AllEars.Net Banner

« A Lazy Afternoon on Sassagoula River | Main | LEGO Store at Downtown Disney »

Transportation and Ticket Center – TTC

When Walt was planning Walt Disney World, he envisioned a city of the future, EPCOT. But he knew that the vacation complex needed to be built first. This would help attract corporate sponsors that could be called upon later when it came time to build EPCOT. Walt also wanted the Magic Kingdom to be a “weenie” – the attraction that would encourage guests to drive the length of his acreage. To do this, the Magic Kingdom needed to be placed at the far north end of property. Legend has it that Walt personally picked the site while flying over his land. Here is an early concept drawing for the Walt Disney World property. Although hard to discern, you can see the Magic Kingdom and hotels near the top of the drawing.


WDW Concept Drawing


When Walt died, the “city” of EPCOT was put on hold. Although this fact was not shared with the public, it was common knowledge in the offices of Burbank. With this information, the “experts” tried to convince Roy that it would be far more economical to build the Magic Kingdom near the interchange of Interstate 4 and Highway 192. By placing the park at this more central location, the company could avoid building a lengthy roadway through the property and they could put off the massive project of digging canals to ensure proper water drainage on the northern acreage.

Roy said no. First, he wanted to honor his brother’s site selection. But he also realized that it would be prudent to do all of the land development now rather than later. Since he was now the President and CEO of the company, he got his way. The Magic Kingdom was placed about a mile south of the north end of property. This would leave just enough room for support facilities to be built behind the park.

However, a new problem was discovered. The area directly in front of the Magic Kingdom was a swamp and would not be suitable for a parking lot. The only solution was to build the parking lot a mile and a half away. The swamp was drained, the muck cleared away, and the Seven Seas Lagoon was born. The Magic Kingdom’s utilidors, the underground tunnel system beneath the park, were built at ground level. The excavated dirt from the swamp was then placed on top of the tunnels and the Magic Kingdom was built on top of this new land. If you notice, you walk uphill from Seven Seas Lagoon to reach the park’s entrance.

At Disneyland, guests parked their cars within walking distance (or a tram ride) of the Main Gate. However, a new solution would be needed for the Magic Kingdom. Thus, the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) was born. This would be the spot were guests would buy their admission and secure transportation to the park. At Disneyland, the monorail was considered a ride and required an “E” coupon. Even though it provided transportation to and from the Disneyland Hotel, it still required a ticket or hand-stamp to board (and admission to the park).

Part of Walt’s grand plan for his community of EPCOT was to have monorails and people movers transport guests everywhere within Walt Disney World. Cars were to be used only when arriving and leaving property. So it was decided that people would travel to and from the Magic Kingdom via a “highway-in-the-sky.” In addition, ferry boats would transport guests across Seven Seas Lagoon. In this later concept drawing, you can see monorail spurs leaving the TTC and heading southward through an early model of World Showcase.


World Showcase Concept Drawing


Today when we look at the TTC, it’s rather boring. From ground level, all we see are metal posts holding up an uninspired roof. But when viewed from the air, it’s an inspiring design (for 1971) – especially when you compare it to the standalone ticket booths that were used at Disneyland during this same time period.


TTC Picture

Overhead View of TTC


Even before the Magic Kingdom opened, the idea to build a city at Walt Disney World was abandoned. However, the Imagineers wanted to keep many of the concepts envisioned for EPCOT alive. So when EPCOT Center (the theme park) was being planned, a monorail was incorporated into the design. This next picture shows how the TTC was remodeled to accommodate this third transportation route.


Overhead View of TTC


Disney does have blueprints showing additional monorail lines traversing the property. But don’t hold your breath in the hopes that these will ever be added. At $100M a mile, this is not a prudent way to spend money on something that generates no tangible revenue.

When Disney started building non-monorail hotels, buses transported guests between the new resorts and the TTC. As more rooms were added the TTC became overloaded. The monorails and ferry boats couldn’t keep up with demand. To remedy this, an elaborate bus stop was built at the Magic Kingdom. Now, most guests staying at a Disney resort never see the TTC. It is used almost exclusively by those guests staying off property.

Most guests arrive at the TTC via the parking lot tram. Individuals arriving with chartered tour groups are dropped off in an area designated for buses.


Arriving via Tram

Arriving via Bus


In an effort to spruce up a rather drab structure, the Imagineers have used bright colors and festive decorations.


Spruced Up TTC


Some years back, guests could purchase an engraved hexagonal brick paver to be placed around the Seven Seas Lagoon. During this time, a grand marker, commemorating the opening of Walt Disney World, was incorporated into the walkway. It can be found out front of the ticket booths.


Commemorative Bricks


There are many ways to purchase theme park tickets. If you can, I strongly suggest doing so before arriving at the TTC. This will save you valuable time. However, if you arrive empty handed, there are numerous ticket booths waiting to take your money. There are also self-service vending machines to help with the crowds. For more information about Disney World tickets, click here.


Ticket Booths

Ticket Vending Machines


There is a small gift shop located to the far right side of the TTC. You can pick up sunscreen, water, and small souvenirs here. Mickey’s Gift Station is not meant to be an all-inclusive emporium, but rather a “Oh, I forgot to buy a…” stop.


Mickey’s Gift Station


Restrooms are located on both sides of the TTC. Companion restrooms were added on the right side (near Mickey’s Gift Station) some years back to accommodate those guests needing additional assistance from a friend or family member.


Restrooms

Restrooms


A refreshment stand, located between the monorail and ferry boat stations, offers coffee beverages, soft drinks, and pastries to those needing their caffeine or sugar rush to get the day started.


Freshment Stand


The question that always comes up is, “Should you take the monorail or the ferry boat to get to the Magic Kingdom.” Disney suggests taking one mode of transportation going and the other to return. I agree. Both are enjoyable ways of traversing the mile and a half distance between the TTC and the park. On busy days, cast members stationed near the monorail queue inform guests that the ferry boat is the faster mode of travel. This is rarely true. The monorail is almost always more expedient. But that doesn’t necessarily make it the better choice. As you know, I’m always telling people to slow down and smell the roses. The ferry boat is very relaxing and puts you in a “slower pace” state of mind.


Ferryboat Landing

Monorail Station


Guests can also travel from the TTC to Epcot via a monorail and to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney via buses.


Epcot Line

Bus Stop


There are a few photo opportunities at the TTC. Topiaries of Mickey and Minnie make good backdrops for family portraits. So do the silhouetted cutouts of the various characters that line the fence.


Minnie Topiary

Mickey Topiary

Characters on the Fence


The TTC is a remnant of a dream that never fully materialized and is beginning to show its age. Cinderblock construction is not pretty. Areas of this transportation hub could definitely use an extensive remodel. But beauty can be found everywhere if you take the time to look. Here are a few “artistic” pictures I took at the TTC. If you’re wondering where all the people are, I visited the TTC around 2pm. At this time of day, most people have already arrived at the Magic Kingdom but haven’t started leaving yet.


Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture

Artistic TTC Picture


The previous post in this blog was A Lazy Afternoon on Sassagoula River.

The next post in this blog is LEGO Store at Downtown Disney.

Comments (29)

Kevin:

Very informative! Though even when I stay on property, I make it a point to see the TTC at least once. Either traveling from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot, or if I'm with a friend who has a car, it's hard to miss!

Brian:

The buildings in the Polynesian closest to the TTC are my favourite place to stay in WDW and I find the 5 minute walk to the TTC and the express monorails so much faster (and usually less crowded) than the resort monorails.

I have also grown to dislike Disney's bus system over the years, preferring to rent my own car and drive to the parks. This means when visiting the Magic Kingdom and not staying in a MK hotel I drive to the TTC.

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! I liked your history of the TTC article. I like how it has evolved over the years. I have to say, whether I'm spending a week at WDW or just coming for dinner, the monorail is a MUST for me. My husband and I are having tea at the Grand Floridian in July (another one of those take time to smell the roses attractions in my eyes), and I already told him that we are taking a monorail ride while we are there. Sometimes, it's the little things that make us Disney fans the happiest. :)

cathy m.:

Hi Jack,
On our first trip to DW there were only two MK resorts and no buses yet so we stayed at a hotel in the then called Disney Village. We rode the ferry over to the TTC and along the way we saw Goofy and other Disney characters greeting us while skiing alongside the ferry.

Andree Godin:

Great article. I actually love the TTC! We have stayed at the Polynesian twice already and we used the TTC basically every day! Love the topiaries and the characters on the fence and we actually have a few photos shot at the TTC.
During our last stay at the Polynesian, last december, the monorail system was not working at the Poly so they sent us over to the TTC so it worked out great!
Happy Easter monday!

Clare C.:

Jack,
Thanks for the informative article. Now that we usually stay on property, we often bypass the TTC and take the bus straight to the Magic Kingdom. Still, I remember as a kid the excitement of driving through the gates, being efficiently parked, the fun tram ride to the TTC, and then either the thrilling monorail, or the leisurely ferry ride to the MK. It was an experience just getting there and definitely built the excitement level for your day.

Eric Bouchet:

Jack,

Another great article. No trip is complete for us without a trip to the TTC for a monorail or "Tronorail" ride. My children think of it as another "ride" in WDW and an absolutely must do on every trip. Sometimes multiple times.

Matt S:

I remember on my first visit to WDW, my grandparents were staying at the Poly and the first night there, us "kids" walked over to the TTC, jumped on the monorail and rode around the lagoon about 7-8 times. This was back in the days before Epcot and the Grand Floridian. ;)

Thanks for the great blog!

James Raymond:

Jack,

Thank you for another fine article.

My 6 year old autistic grandson loves the ferry boat. It is his favorite attraction while at Disney World. We always go the top deck to let him enjoy the wind on his face.
Hopefully, we will be able to take him back next year.

Keep up the good work!

Josh:

hey jack
though i have never visited the TTC i do enjoy the history that it brings as i am always ready to learn something new when it comes to Disney World. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Mike:

As always loved the blog Jack. I look forward to your articles every week. You provide your readers with a fantastic amount of info that most of us otherwise would not have access to. Thanks so much and keep up the good work!

Great article! Bypassing the TTC on a trip to the Magic Kingdom, IMO, takes out so much of the magic and anticipation of going there. The transition from the modern age (or at least it was in 1971) to a place of fantasy is really the introduction to the "show."

Whether it's by monorail or ferry, the way the Magic Kingdom begins to come into view as you approach is such an exciting moment, especially for a child who doesn't quite know what's going on at that point. I'll never forget those memories from when I was younger.

Out at Disneyland we don't have anything quite like it -- though on occasion I'll wander over to the front entrance of the Disneyland Hotel which has some similar architectural characteristics to Florida's TTC. :)

Hi Jack, who, but you, would write about a transportation center and make it interesting. To me, it's always been the "Ticket and Transportation Center" (which is incorrect) and I've never seen a need to correct myself since "TTC" could stand for either. We saw the monorail spurs (minus the rail) going toward what would become Epcot on our first trip in '73. After I heard what they were for, I knew we'd return. And we did. Over and over. BTW, my brick paver is located in front of the TTC, in the shade of a beautiful tree where I can visit it when passing through. How lucky is that?
Thanks Jack, and keep keeping us informed (Disney 101).

Debbie :

Hi Jack,

I have a question. Is there transportation to other Orlando area attractions from the TTC? Since we always stay on property and use the Magical Express we never leave property but wondered if there were options if we ever wanted to.

Thanks,
Debbie

Jack's Answer:

There is no scheduled transportation from the TTC to other locations. Taxis are your only option.

Jeff:

Liked your blog on the TTC, Jack. It always amazes me at the amount of Trivia you know on WDW. Do you study books, online, etc? In any event, I look forward to reading your articles each week. Thank you - for the time you clearly put into writing them!

Jack's Answer:

I have dozens of books about Disney along with annual stockholder reports from 1964. Not to mention my collection of memorabilia I've collected over the years.

Thanks for another great article Jack!

One thing I'd like to add to the article is mention of the area near the Ferry Boat archway where guests can sometimes write/draw message on the ground using colored chalk. Some of the things people write make are funny, and I always leave that area with a smile.

:)

Ric:

Jack,

Thanks for all the great blogs. I was just at MK yesterday and wondered which to take back from the park to the TTC. I'm glad my friend picked the ferry. We boarded and walked up to the second level just in time to see the Wishes fireworks. The fireworks continued throughout the entire trip and just as we walked onto land, the grand finale began -- plus they were piping the Wishes soundtrack to the TTC ferry landing. What a cap on a great visit!

Julia:

Jack - The TTC to me has always been an intergral part of a WDW visit. It was part of those magical series of landmarks that let you know you were "almost there".

First,the signs telling you to turn your radio to AM something to listen to WDW radio. Next, the Magic Kingdom toll booths and the parking lot tram ride. Then the TTC (walking up the ramp)and the ride around the lagoon.
Then my favorite part of the whole experience -stepping out of the monorail into the Magic Kingdom station... hearing the music and recognizing that iconic green paint on the railings :-)

I have faith that WDW will be bus free
and Walt's dream will be realized with monorails and people movers used throughout the park... someday ;-)

Gabriel :

The TTC is one of a bazillion examples of how Disney can turn a functional structure into cherished memories. The mounting anticipation upon arrival, the trams to and fro, the ferry and monorails - everyone knows these "buildings" are gateways to magic!

I would like to answer the question from the above poster, Debbie:
The city of Orlando Route 111 LYNX bus does make stops at the TTC and provide passage to limited destinations around town. A transfer may be possible but I'd do plenty of research beforehand. Here is the schedule for Route 111: http://www.golynx.com/assets/userfiles/routemaps/111.pdf

Hi Jack,

You are a very gifted Story Teller.

You can even make a boring subject interesting.

Thanks for all your hard work.

ToddsOrlando.com

christine:

Jack,
Riding the monorail really gives us that "we're back" feeling when we get to Disney! My mom is in a wheelchair, so when they travel with us, we find it much more convenient to ride the ferry. It's not as crowded and it's much easier to get the wheelchair onto instead of pushing up the steep ramp to the monorail and then needing the metal ramp to get into a car . Not to mention having the occasional tight fits when it's very crowded.
Either way, using either travel method gets you to the best destination!!

Michelle:

Great article as always! I'm curious as to where you got the $100 million/mile figure. We were told by a knowledgable cast member that it was $1 Million/mile. Granted that was in 1998, but I can't imagine it went up THAT much!

Jack's Comment:

I got this figure from the Orlando Sentinel. They published a piece about the monorails a couple of years back and quoted this amount. Part of the problem is the high water table in Florida. Every pylon is custom made. Almost none are the same length.

Rob Dickinson:

Jack,

Awesome Awesome blog. LOVE the aerial photos of the TTC. It truly is an inspiring design. Wish it translated as well from the ground!! Truth is I love the TTC. As many have noted its part of the "story" and serves to add to the anticipation of arriving to the MK. I'm sure that was part of the plan. It lets you know right off the bat that this is going to be a special place. Unfortunately as you have pointed most of the resort buses go straight to the MK now-a-days and many do not get the full experience any longer. Sort of like fast forwarding through the opening credits. Unfortunately I'm sure it was cheaper just to add a bus stop at the MK than to redesign the TTC to accommodate the larger crowds. Perhaps a decision that was a little short sighted on managements part but it is what it is I suppose.
The TTC is one of those things that not only calls to the future but also caries a ton of nostalgia. For that reason alone I enjoy visiting the TTC from time to time. I hope it remains a part of WDW for a long time to come!! Thanks again Jack!!!

Rob

John S.:

Another fine and entertaining article Jack! I enjoyed seeing the pre-Epcot shot of the TTC. I see that the Monorails had only 5 cars back then, compared to 6 currently. Also, I love those decorative flower patterns in the mounds leading up to the station. Wish they were still there - what a great detail.
John

PENNY FROM VT:

Dear Jack:

Thank you for another great article. My brother and I always loved the Monorail Station and riding the Monorail (he has the mini home version). It is too bad we can no longer ride in the front with my 10 yr old nephew. I make it a point to ride it at some point on every trip. I also love riding the ferry boats to and fro, though not as often anymore (as you pointed out the buses go straight to the MK).
I am leaving May 2 (just 3 more days) for a 4 day "Just Me" trip and cannot wait! WOO HOO!

Jamie:

Great article! In July 2003 we saw Nemo (it was mechanical and drove around) and someone dressed up as a giant seaweed when we got off the monorail at the TTC. I have been to Disney several times and this was the only time I have seen characters there. Do they do this often and I don't see it? It was such a surprise and a great way to end the day!

Jack's Answer:

I don't remember ever seeing characters at the TTC, but it doesn't surprise me that you did. Disney places characters wherever they think they need them at the moment.

Gretchen:

Another reason to "stop and smell the roses": on a busy summer day we were headed to the to get to the Magic Kingdom. We stay at Shades of Green, and their buses for MK and EPCOT only go to the TTC. With 2 young kids in a stroller, we opted for the ferry instead. It's so much easier to push a double stroller onto the ferry. Much to our delight, Chip and Dale in sailor costumes were greeting and taking pictures at the entrance to the ferry. Everyone rushing to the monorail didn't even notice! Definately slow it down a little at the World, you never know what you will find! Thanks for another great blog!

Laura B.:

As avid park hoppers we always find ourselves with a stop at the TTC. While it could use some updating, it is always exciting to arrive because it means that soon you will on a monorail to the MK!

Cleo:

That's too bad about the expense because any hotel connected to the monorail is going to see more business because of that point of interest.

I would love to see at least one zombie movie set in the world. Imagine the underground bunkers and the shelf life of all those treats.

Post a comment

(All comments must be approved before they appear on the entry.)


Return to Blog Central

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 25, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was A Lazy Afternoon on Sassagoula River.

The next post in this blog is LEGO Store at Downtown Disney.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


Copyright © R.Y.I. Enterprises, LLC, All Rights Reserved, 1999-2014
Copyright © DWills, All Rights Reserved, 1996-1999
As to Disney artwork/properties: © Disney. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to Disney Enterprises, Inc., its subsidiary, affiliated and related companies, as the case may be.
AllEars®.Net, All Ears® Newsletter and any other properties owned by RYI Enterprises, LLC
are not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with,
The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.
Read more ABOUT US or ADVERTISE with us.
For official Disney information, visit http://www.disneyworld.com