The Major CHANGE That Could Seriously Frustrate Disney World Guests

One of the most important parts about planning your Disney World trip is deciding how you’ll get there in the first place. Are you going to fly to the Orlando Airport and then use a shuttle service or rideshare to get to your hotel? Or will you opt for the freedom of driving yourself so that you can use your own car once you’re there?

Disney World entrance

If you’re planning to drive yourself around The Most Magical Place on Earth, there’s an important traffic UPDATE that you should know about before you arrive.

When driving yourself around Disney World, you’ll more than likely run into some traffic as thousands of other guests head into the parks at the same time as you do. One of the places where you might see the worst back-ups is on the way to Disney Springs and the hotels in that area. We often run into traffic delays here, especially on the weekends and in the evening hours.

Driving in Florida

There’s one intersection in particular that’s infamous for causing drivers trouble: where State Road 535 meets Hotel Plaza Boulevard. This intersection is located close to Interstate 4. Drivers heading toward the interstate, exiting from I-4, continuing down SR-535, or going to Disney Springs or any of the several hotels located nearby all meet here, and it has caused many significant delays. This is also an important intersection for drivers exiting I-4 to get to the rest of Disney World, including the theme parks.

©Google Maps

According to Spectrum News, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had previously planned to build “a new flyover-type ramp” that would allow drivers going northbound on SR-525 to turn right off of the road and loop around to get onto Hotel Plaza Boulevard without having to turn left across the busy lanes of SR-535. This would allow drivers easier access to Disney Springs, all the hotels in that area, and the Disney World parks, cleaning up the traffic that is often backed up in the area.

©Google Maps

Jay Leonard, a manager at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs, said, “We need something to be able to get traffic down Hotel Plaza Boulevard. There’s just so much traffic here.”


However, the FDOT has apparently changed course and will not be building this flyover ramp. Instead, the “FDOT will use the Crossroads land to make a loop ramp from SR-535 to westbound I-4. The ramp will eliminate the need for drivers to turn left across traffic to get onto I-4 west.” As part of the project, the I-4 west exit ramp will be lengthened, the I-4 west entrance ramp will be realigned, and there will be a new express lane added to I-4 west (called the Tube).

Traffic on I-4

Someone from the FDOT said that “the change will still help the area, alleviating backups from SR-535 to I-4 west.” This plan was apparently chosen over the original flyover ramp idea because it provides “the best return on investment” for the department.

About this change, Leonard said, “It’s going to be very disappointing because we really had this expectation on the block that we’re going to have traffic coming right into our destination, and just make it a smoother arrival down our boulevard.” Although this could help ease traffic in the other direction (going toward I-4), it may not reduce the delays for those people trying to turn left toward Disney Springs.

Traffic Near Magic Kingdom

The FDOT expects construction to begin on the I-4 west and SR-535 changes by the end of 2023.

We’ll continue to watch for more updates on the latest Disney World news, so stay tuned to DFB.

Check out our ULTIMATE guide to planning a Walt Disney World trip here.

Travel Updates, Tips, and Tricks

Do you prefer to drive or fly to Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

The post The Major CHANGE That Could Seriously Frustrate Disney World Guests first appeared on the disney food blog.


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