By: Amy Kawa
Internal sources are reporting Disney has finally ordered a new monorail fleet to replace the aging Mark VI monorails that have been in use at the resort since 1989.
There have been several incidents, in the last year alone, that have essentially forced Disney to make this decision. You can read more about those in an article we wrote earlier this year. First, there was pieces of Monorail Blue falling from the sky in 2017. Then, the now infamous “open door” Monorail Red incident earlier this year was the final straw.
Here’s the latest on the situation from WDWNT:
The new fleet will reportedly be built by Bombardier of Canada, the same company that built the Mark VI trains for Walt Disney World, and one of only a very few companies in the western hemisphere with the capability to build mass transit class monorails. The Mark VI fleet reportedly cost $3.5 million per train, which would be around $7.5 million in today’s dollars.
The line of automated monorails that Bombardier is currently marketing is called the INNOVIA 300 series. We believe the new fleet built for Disney would utilize this same chassis design, but could certainly be fitted with custom features to make them distinctly “Disney.”
We have also been told that the abrupt cancellation of the broadway-style Main Street Theater was necessary to free up some of the funds needed for the new monorail fleet. This makes a lot of sense, since the theater was confirmed by Bob Chapek last July at the D23 Expo, and work actually started on the project in October, only to be rumored to be cancelled in February (barely a month after the door incident), and finally removed from the Walt Disney World What’s New webpage earlier this month.
Looks like Disney is getting ready to embark on one of their greatest refurbishments of all time!