Skip to main content

World Drive and Epcot Center Drive; the weird freeways of Disney World


The grounds of Disney World near Orlando, Florida consist of numerous limited access freeways which connect the annexes of the park.  While Osceola Parkway is the most well known limited access freeway in Disney World others in the form of World Drive and Epcot Center Drive can be found.  Note; if you are looking for a serious overview of Disney World this is not the place to find it.  This blog is decidedly oriented towards the limited access road network of Disney World and may contain several bad jokes.  




A drive on World Drive and Epcot Center Drive

World Drive is the original access road into the Disney World resort which opened alongside the Magic Kingdom during October 1971.  As originally configured World Drive began at US Route 192 in Bay Lake but an extension south to Interstate 4 was later built by Osceola County.  

Eastbound US Route 192 skirts the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex and intersects World Drive in northern Osceola County.  Traffic headed towards Disney World is directed to take northbound World Drive.   



Northbound World Drive initially has MUTCD compliant signage approaching Orange County and Osceola Parkway.  The Orange County Line serves as the boundary of Disney World resort and City of Bay Lake.  Magic Kingdom and Epcot traffic are directed to stay on World Drive northbound.  Traffic headed towards Wide World of Sports, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios is directed to utilize Osceola Parkway.   World Drive does not utilize any Exit numbers despite being mostly a freeway. 


World Drive northbound enters Disney World underneath the archway used as the cover for this blog. 



Guide signage on all three limited access roads in Disney World is purple instead of the standard MUTCD green.  The signage fonts are also far different than what one could normally expect to see on a typical freeway.  Upon crossing under the Disney World archway traffic on World Drive is advised the Magic Kingdom and Epcot are ahead to the north.  World Drive northbound passes under Osceola Parkway.   



The first Exit on World Drive north of Osceola Parkway accesses Buena Vista Drive.  Disney Springs, Epcot Resort Area and Hollywood Studios can be accessed from the Buena Vista Drive Exit.  A large marque for the Tower of Terror can be seen approaching the Buena Vista Drive Exit.  









World Drive passes under Buena Vista Drive and approaches the interchange with Epcot Center Drive.  Traffic headed towards the Magic Kingdom is directed to stay on World Drive northward whereas traffic headed towards Epcot is directed to use the Epcot Center Drive ramp eastward.  





Traffic on World Drive northbound cannot access Epcot Center Drive eastbound directly and must pass through the Epcot Visitor Entrance. 


The giant golf ball I'm told people come from all over to see at Epcot. 


I would say Interstate 4 deserves better, but this seems about right. 


The National Transportation Safety Board hasn't released their results from the latest Arosu derailment incident. 


The recently installed Stargate at Epcot.  This almost makes up for the fact that I didn't visit an Orwellian future city.  



I don't like the fact that the Wilkin's Coffee guy has access to a Stargate after all the horrific things he has done to Wontkins. 


Sweet, an overview of all the things I'm missing in Canada.   


Well, sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide electrified, six-car monorail (it wasn't running). 


Departing the Epcot parking lot traffic can turn west or east on Epcot Center Drive.  Westbound Epcot Center Drive traffic is advised it accesses Florida's Turnpike and Florida State Road 429.  Eastbound Epcot Center Drive is advised it serves as access to Interstate 4 and US Route 192. 


Epcot Center Drive was constructed as an access road for Epcot Annex of Disney World during the early 1980s.  Epcot Center Drive east of the Epcot parking lot intersects Backstage Lane which connects to Buena Vista Drive.  Buena Vista Drive is signed as access for all guest areas whereas as Epcot Center Drive is signed as access for; Interstate 4, Florida State Road 536, US Route 192 and Florida State Road 417.  


As Epcot Center Drive eastbound approaches Interstate 4 it gains MUTCD overhead guide signage.  A makeshift US Route 192 and Interstate 4 shield can be spied approaching the east terminus of Epcot Center Drive.  Epcot Center Drive continues as Florida State Route 536 on World Center Drive which directs traffic to Florida State Route 417.  The eastbound exit from Epcot Center Drive empties onto Interstate 4.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paper Highways: The Unbuilt New Orleans Bypass (Proposed I-410)

  There are many examples around the United States of proposed freeway corridors in urban areas that never saw the light of day for one reason or another. They all fall somewhere in between the little-known and the infamous and from the mundane to the spectacular. One of the more obscure and interesting examples of such a project is the short-lived idea to construct a southern beltway for the New Orleans metropolitan area in the 1960s and 70s. Greater New Orleans and its surrounding area grew rapidly in the years after World War II, as suburban sprawl encroached on the historically rural downriver parishes around the city. In response to the development of the region’s Westbank and the emergence of communities in St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes as viable suburban communities during this period, regional planners began to consider concepts for new infrastructure projects to serve this growing population.  The idea for a circular freeway around the southern perimeter of t

Hernando de Soto Bridge (Memphis, TN)

The newest of the bridges that span the lower Mississippi River at Memphis, the Hernando de Soto Bridge was completed in 1973 and carries Interstate 40 between downtown Memphis and West Memphis, AR. The bridge’s signature M-shaped superstructure makes it an instantly recognizable landmark in the city and one of the most visually unique bridges on the Mississippi River. As early as 1953, Memphis city planners recommended the construction of a second highway bridge across the Mississippi River to connect the city with West Memphis, AR. The Memphis & Arkansas Bridge had been completed only four years earlier a couple miles downriver from downtown, however it was expected that long-term growth in the metro area would warrant the construction of an additional bridge, the fourth crossing of the Mississippi River to be built at Memphis, in the not-too-distant future. Unlike the previous three Mississippi River bridges to be built the city, the location chosen for this bridge was about two

Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (Memphis, TN)

  Like the expansion of the railroads the previous century, the modernization of the country’s highway infrastructure in the early and mid 20th Century required the construction of new landmark bridges along the lower Mississippi River (and nation-wide for that matter) that would facilitate the expected growth in overall traffic demand in ensuing decades. While this new movement had been anticipated to some extent in the Memphis area with the design of the Harahan Bridge, neither it nor its neighbor the older Frisco Bridge were capable of accommodating the sharp rise in the popularity and demand of the automobile as a mode of cross-river transportation during the Great Depression. As was the case 30 years prior, the solution in the 1940s was to construct a new bridge in the same general location as its predecessors, only this time the bridge would be the first built exclusively for vehicle traffic. This bridge, the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, was completed in 1949 and was the third