It’s Time for the Biggest Refurb of All Time: The Monorail

By: Amy Kawa

The monorail is the mecca of all transportation options on Disney property.  Although it was built in 1971, it still looks so cool and futuristic… at least from the outside.  The reality of the once new and glorious monorail is that the fleet is in fact coming up on its 50th birthday in WDW with the last update coming in 1989.  The inside has become dated and has inherited a distinct “monorail smell” that might not be in the same category as Disney popcorn or churros.  There also seems to be an issue with one or more of the monorails breaking down, forcing service to stop to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot on a semi-regular basis.

While all of these facts are maybe more inconveniences, it seems guest safety is now in question while aboard the monorail. The video below from Blog Mickey shows the monorail running with actual guests aboard and a door open in one of the cars.

Disturbing?  Absolutely! Disney attractions themselves have E-stopped (emergency stopped) for much less than this, and even your average car has an alert to let you know if a door is open.  One would think that there would be some kind of alarm or some emergency break that would automatically spring into action in a situation like this, but that does not appear to be the case.

It is clear that the current monorail fleet is just deteriorating and swapping out monorail red for black is not going to suffice as a fix anymore.  The monorail needs some TLC badly… very badly.  I am sure it is scary Disney lovers and Disney itself to refurbish something so iconic and something so fundamental to a Disney vacation, not to the astronomical cost to rebuild or update the fleet of 12 and the extra bus transport and other methods that would need to be employed to make up for the loss of a major mode of transportation, especially to and from the TTC, but the time has come.

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