Florida Guide > Disney General
Walt Disney World Monorail
When you visit Walt Disney World in Florida you are sure to see many amazing sights and wonders and Walt Disney World can boast some world leading statistics. One such claim is that the monorail system is the most heavily used monorail system in the world!
Originally opened in 1971, the monorail system had two routes for passengers to take, the system now boasts three lines, covering almost 15 miles in total. Amazingly the monorail carries around fifty million passengers a year. The three lines consist of two serving the Magic Kingdom area and one which travels down to Epcot. The Magic Kingdom area has two parallel tracks, the outer loop being Express line which stops only at the Transportation and Ticket Center and the inner loop is the Resort Line, which calls at the Transportation and Ticket Center, the Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort. The Epcot line travels between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Epcot.
The monorail beams are easy to see as you drive towards the Magic Kingdom and within Epcot you can stand under the monorail beams waiting for a train to pass as it makes its loop heading to the station. The beams are made from concrete, however, they actually have a polystyrene core to make them lighter in weight.
The modern trains running on the system now have been in uses since 1989 and there are twelve Mark VI monorail trains in total. The trains were built in Canada and are over 60 metres long with six cars in each train, each car can carry 60 passengers, so each train can carry a maximum of 360 passengers. The maximum speed that the trains will travel at is 40 mph during normal operations and the trains are carefully spaced out on the track, with designated holding points throughout the system to ensure that the trains do not get too close together.
In keeping with space-aged and futuristic appearance of the trains, the trains are driven by pilots who receive instructions from a central control. In the front cab where the pilot operates are four guest seats and it is possible to ask to ride with the pilot. There is a special queuing area for this privilege and you may need to wait for one or two monorails to get to the front, but it is a great treat and definitely worth the effort. Perhaps best to avoid peak times, though!
The monorails all have a coloured stripe so that you can identify the different trains. Disney also is now using different vehicle wraps to help promote various feature films, of late there has been a Tron: Legacy monorail and a The Avengers monorail.
Any visit to Disney World should definitely include a trip on the monorail, even if you are just travelling on the monorail for the fun of the journey alone.
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Page added on: 7 August 2012
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