The State & Future of the Monorails (WDW)

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,180
Pittsburgh area
Now the doors DONT open!

Monorail broke down at the end of the evening for last Tuesday's Mickey's Christmas Party. It was a mess trying to get all those people on the ferry. We just stayed in the park until 1:00 AM, enjoying the ambiance and sounds of Main Street. No sense standing in line forever to get across the lake. Even at 1:00 AM it was a backed up mess.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,957
Pittsburgh, PA
There were also half as many guests coming each day!

So one of the things I had heard from someone associated with Imagineering is one of the reasons for not upgrading the monorail trains is a plan to eventually replace them with new transportation. Instead of trains, the same beams would run a bunch of pods, with switches along the beams so they could stop at or bypass each station depending on where the occupants were going. I happened to see a vehicle on display from Oceaneering today that reminded me of that concept:



These could also be used by Universal to move guests between locations if they could be made to run on lanes down Kirkman Road.
I’ve heard the beams are part of the problem.
 
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Doug A.

Member
Mar 24, 2013
781
Buffalo, NY
We are getting to a point where the neglect wether intended or not is going to cause massive headaches. I only say that because any long term solution will require them to take the monorails (some or all) out of service for a long time to implement the new solution.
 

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
12,302
Glasgow
I’ve heard the beams are part of the problem.
Wouldn’t the beams be a relatively easy fix?

I’d be more worried about sink holes and given the location of the monorail path, I could see that being more likely.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,724
Orlando
We are getting to a point where the neglect wether intended or not is going to cause massive headaches. I only say that because any long term solution will require them to take the monorails (some or all) out of service for a long time to implement the new solution.
In a thread on this last night, one of my Twitter friends who used to work front desk at The Grand said monorail issues are the #1 reason guests would end up screaming at her. So yeah, the idea the idea of taking down the monorail for a something like a month must petrify the sharp pencil boys. It would be a logistical nightmare for MK (as mentioned above, ferries can't handle the closing crowd), but the real damage would be at the resorts.
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,286
Cincinnati, OH
Obviously you would need to modify the road some. That would be the case with pretty much any shift in parking anywhere. It also doesn't hurt they're building that new north entrance which would basically head straight that way.
I thought about this once. My idea was to have a centralized garage (or garages) with a multi-lane highway connecting to I-4 (kind of the main road). Once parked, light rail trains would whisk you to the parks or the resorts. Only reason I thought about this was because people gripe about things ruining the magic and this allow a more interesting intro to the parks without seeing a parking lot. UNI/IOA has this part nailed pretty well, although the resort's layout helps with the parks being in such close proximity. The parks (Epcot, DHS, and AK) could then use the former parking lots for expansions, after making some corrections on layouts. Plus, this would eliminate most of the need for buses driving through the resort.

Only thing I couldn't figure out was how to have passengers disembark the light rail at the parks and how to tie the light rail lines in to the resorts. Thankfully, I was just playing with it in my head and didn't have to make it fit the real world.
 

s8film40

Veteran Member
Apr 18, 2013
3,458
And now, they are operating the monorail at half-operations at Comp.

From Belle,

Actually if they’re doing it right this would be the correct way to load trains at the Contemporary. If they take the time to fully load a train at the Contemporary it backs up the cycle times to 25+ minutes and changes the wait time for a train from 2-4 minutes to 10-15 minutes. I used to work this station a lot and if you could keep the load time to 45 seconds you could get guests where they were going in half the time with shorter waits between trains. You just had to explain this to the guests on the platform so they didn’t get to angry watching empty seats leave the station. The Contemporary is the pinch point in the resort line, the person operating that platform has more control over the efficiency of the whole resort line than anyone else.
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,286
Cincinnati, OH
They should add bus lanes to make the bus system a bit more reliable/efficient.
I would also argue that they should set up an established schedule. Pick up/drop-off times should be basically the same each day. I understand that traffic or traffic lights could play a role in delaying but they would factor that in. If a bus runs early, it would then hold up until it was time to depart on time so as to stay on schedule and not stack.
 
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tielo

Veteran Member
Nov 9, 2013
1,990
The Netherlands
We all know Disney doesn't have money, says no one.
So what is it, don't caring for the guest experience who paid an arm and a leg to have a fun vacation with safe rides that work mostly all the time? If this is how they treat a transportation system I'm afraid how the state of the gondola system will be after 10 years of operation.
 
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AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,964
Arizona
We all know Disney doesn't have money, says no one.
So what is it, don't caring for the guest experience who paid an arm and a leg to have a fun vacation with safe rides that work mostly all the time? If this is how they treat a transportation system I'm afraid how the state of the gondola system will be after 10 years of operation.
Going out to maximize the most out of a product, even if it's dangerous in some cases (like this one).

It's going to close eventually, but it depends on when Legal/OSHA comes in like a lion.
 
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UniversalRBLX

Veteran Member
Nov 3, 2015
2,777
Cabana Bae
We all know Disney doesn't have money, says no one.
So what is it, don't caring for the guest experience who paid an arm and a leg to have a fun vacation with safe rides that work mostly all the time? If this is how they treat a transportation system I'm afraid how the state of the gondola system will be after 10 years of operation.
I don't think it is maintenance's fault. I blame management for not investing the proper amount of $ needed to operate the trains without being greedy.
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,389
Orlando, FL
Your problem is that the Monorails are 30-year-old trains that get put through the mileage ringer daily. They should've invested in the new fleet by now. No amount of maintenance was going to be able to stop this from eventually happening. Instead, we get this crazy Gondola crap that ultimately serves less of a purpose than the monorails.