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The State & Future of the Monorails (WDW)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Disney' started by Mr. EPCOT, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    My last few visits to MK have been complicated by Monorail downtime. Early arrival for restaurant breakfast reservations get near impossible when the monorail breaks down and the ferry hasn't started running yet. On one of the trips, masses of us got sent to the bus area off the ticket center parking when the monorail went down, but no one told them to send the buses up, so everyone was stranded until the ferry started. And the ferry is really insufficient to handle the arrival and departure crowds when the monorail is down. As you said, this issue has been going on for too long and it really impacts a visit to MK. Major bad show.
     
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  2. Galaxy Defender

    Galaxy Defender Premium Member

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    There is a lot of talk about replacing the monorails but not about the infrastructure. How much work needs to be done on the operating system and tracks?
     
  3. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    I know it truly is an unpopular opinion, but at this point, build a garage (IIRC plans existed at one time for one on what is now Tom Sawyer Island), convert monorails to resort use only, and use the TTC to put in a couple new resorts. While I admire Walt's original vision, (1) it no longer works as intended--there's nothing magical about being herded like cattle--and (2) as with the alcohol policy, decades of experience with other parks prove it's not actually necessary. I would argue DAK pulls off what MK tries to much more effectively even if you just walk in from the parking lot.
     
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  4. nickwilde

    nickwilde Newcomer

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    The problem is that there's no good or even viable alternative to a fixed mass transit system. You'd need a huge structure to build parking closer to MK (not a whole lot of undeveloped real estate), as in many many many stories of parking garage, or you'd need to keep the parking as-is (1.5 miles away) and find some alternative ADA-compliant way of shuttling 50-100k+ people to and from MK every day. The only viable alternative would be... a different kind of rail network or maybe a surface tram system (probably on rails, b/c you need big, stable cars to hold hundreds of people per train during peak times).

    Seems like they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the potential 'nostalgic' loss of losing the monorail system is huge and would be extremely unpopular (as you've mentioned)
     
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  5. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    Monorails can break down in many different ways. That's kind of like saying my car overheated and broke down, but the tire didn't need to be changed.
    It's funny I actually used that exact analogy a few times when I worked in monorails. Management didn't really appreciate it, but to be fair they obviously have no real control over that.
     
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  6. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    There's plenty of room to build a parking garage. I've always thought they should build it just to the west of the MK. They could then run trams along the path that exist that goes toward the GF. With the need for a park and ride operation eliminated they could combine the express and Epcot monorail to make a direct park to park connection. Keep the resort monorail as is convert the TTC into the resort station for the new resort there.
     
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  7. Mr. EPCOT

    Mr. EPCOT Veteran Member

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    Wouldn't even have to be a new resort, the Polynesian Village could be expanded. Big demand for one-bedroom units there from DVC members.
     
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  8. nickwilde

    nickwilde Newcomer

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    You'd have to build an access road to get over there, which would have to cut right by the Grand Floridian and be 2-3 lanes in each direction. Then you'd need a multistory garage that didn't obstruct any sight lines around the Magic Kingdom, with extensive on/off ramps and an area for tollbooths. The Universal parking garage & access roads cover over 2 million sq ft and are, what, 50-60 feet tall?

    To cover 2m sq ft, the parking garage would have to extend as far north as Big Thunder Mountain on the plot you're talking about, and guests parking there would be close to a mile from the entrance (can't easily do trams in parking garages, you'd need a huge system of... moving walkways? people movers? a monorail?!).

    The siting of MK makes a walking-distance parking lot near-impossible due to its frontage on the Lake and the siting of the Contemporary (which covers almost 2m sq feet and would probably be a better location for a garage). It just doesn't work unless they allowed a back entrance to the park, which would probably kill the souls of Disney fans who want that iconic Main St - Castle view.
     
  9. UniversalRBLX

    UniversalRBLX Veteran Member

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    Trams. Add a tram road that drops off right where the buses drop off as well.
     
  10. GAcoaster

    GAcoaster Veteran Member

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    They used to run trams to supplement the Monorails and Ferry Boats. That's what the area to the side of the Monorail station at TTC was (now it's used for buses on busy days). The original parking trams were LP powered but couldn't make the hill for the water bridge, so they were quickly replaced with diesels so they could run up and down World Drive to MK:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    Floridian Way is already there, it would just need to be widened. I can't imagine how you come up with a garage needing to be a mile away. Here's a overlay of both Universal garages. Obviously something could be designed to make better use of the layout of the space but there's clearly enough room to do it and enough room to even have a larger one. A garage in this location would be closer than the one at Disneyland and they seem to make that work with trams.
    SC061318-03.jpg
     
  12. nickwilde

    nickwilde Newcomer

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    Yeah, my "mile" came from keeping the structure east of Floridian way & stretching north to get to ~2m sq ft, but there's no reason the road can't go between two structures. Still, the distance from one of those corners is ~1km from the entrance, which is about the same from the furthest corner of Micky&Friends parking structure at DL to the DL entrance.

    So it could work. I still stand by my comment that it's less convenient than it would be for other parks, and I think there are obvious thematic arguments against it, but then again it could arguably be made to be more magical than a giant sprawling parking lot, so it could obviously work.

    Maybe you build this and then build dry gate #5 on the TTC parking lot!

    Or revert it to nature. It's kind of sad every time Disney World paves over more forest and wetland, because it really is one of the key headwaters of the Kissimmee River & Everglades
     
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  13. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    Yeah Disney has a lot of conservation area and I agree it's nice to have that. This area though has always been slated for development. Disney's land use plans show and extension to the lagoon going here creating a second smaller lagoon with more hotels surrounding it.
     

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