Monorails to the Future

Walt Disney World Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
Monorail at Magic Kingdom

In addition to celebrating flights of fantasy and idealized views of the past, Disney theme parks celebrate the future. Disneyland had a Tomorrowland from the beginning that featured a Rocket to the Moon ride and the all-plastic Monsanto House of the Future. At DisneyWorld, the Disney organization set about to create a theme park focused on the future. That endeavor would become the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow--Epcot. Public transportation to Epcot would be that futuristic transport, the Monorail

Monorails seem to always be viewed as the futuristic form of public transporation. (Yet the first monorail transit system opened in Wuppertal, Germany in 1901. It's still in operation.

Monorail at Epcot
) Disney's first monorail opened at Disneyland in 1959. Monorails have been in service at DisneyWorld since Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 linking the theme park with hotels and the parking area. With the addition of Epcot in 1982, the monorail service was expanded to connect the two theme parks.

Today, there are two monorail loops at DisneyWorld. One takes passengers from Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polyneisan resort hotels and the Transportation and Ticket Center and back. (In fact the monorail line travels through the inside of the Contemporary Resort.) At the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) one can make an across the platform transfer to the second monorail line to travel to Epcot.

Monorail and Spaceship Earth
 

We've ridden the monorail many times as a ride and as transporation. After dining at Chef Mickey's in the Comtemporary Resort, one can take the monorail over to Magic Kingdom, for example, without returning to one's hotel first. It's easy to use the monorail to travel between Magic Kingdom and Epcot to visit both in a day. A sought-after expence in riding the monorail is the "cab ride". That is, you ride in the nose of the monorail vehicle along with the operator. There are seats for several passengers in the nose. But, you must make your reqeust known to the cast member at the station and arrange to be in a special queue to board the nose. (I was once waiting in such a queue when the cast members changed shifts. The new cast member established her own new cab ride queue and ignored me in the old queue.

A Monorail traverses Epcot
So, one must be prepared to be persistent!)

 

Perhaps the most futuristsic Disney public transit innovation is the most overlooked. Disney introduced the People Mover (automated transit vehicles on a fixed guideway) concept at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair and later brought it to Disneyland. The concept is now common at airports and elsewhere (there'e even one at the US Capitol), but was new then. It became so common in later years that the ride was removed from Disneyland. But the futuristic concept remains in operation at DisneyWorld as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA). TTA is a true ride. It doesn't actually go anywhere except in a loop from Rockettower Plaza Station and back, though interdmediate stations are announced. However, during the ride, passengers travel through the Space Mountain roller coaster and pass by the orignal concept model of Epcot as a working city rather than as a theme park.

WalterC says:
I love riding the monorail, as I think it is a great way to start off a Disney trip.
Posted on: May 15, 2011
hummingbird50 says:
Thanks for the ride! Was great:)
Posted on: Sep 28, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Monorail at Magic Kingdom
Monorail at Magic Kingdom
Monorail at Epcot
Monorail at Epcot
Monorail and Spaceship Earth
Monorail and Spaceship Earth
A Monorail traverses Epcot
A Monorail traverses Epcot
Monorail station
Monorail station
Monorail station
Monorail station
Monorail cab ride
Monorail cab ride
Tomorrowland Transit Authority
Tomorrowland Transit Authority
PeopleMover at Tomorrowland
PeopleMover at Tomorrowland
Aboard the PeopleMover
Aboard the PeopleMover
PeopleMover guideway
PeopleMover guideway
Rockettower Plaza at Tomorrowland
Rockettower Plaza at Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland at dusk
Tomorrowland at dusk