Yes, but the joke was about "diesel-electric locomotives" which have been the mainstay of motive power on non-electrified railroads worldwide since the 50s. The diesel engines turn a generator which power the electric motors in the locomotive's trucks, which was what @rsm was kidding about in the first place.
I understand that they way the company is going these days, we can't put anything past them. However, these dire predictions about the monorail are moving into the realm of hyperbole.
First off, the Mark VI trains are transit-grade, they are designed to be refurbished, refitted, and refreshed many times before replacement, as seems to be currently happening. The 20/30 year "replacement" cycle may be valid, or much like the 120+ year-old steam locomotives (usually) circling the MK daily, they may require a large overhaul in that time frame. Let's not forget that the Mark VII monorails in DL are still built upon the Mark III frames dating from 1969. This shows that the trains, with occasional major overhauls, can last a very long time.
Secondly, the beams. Again, let's look to DL...original beams still in place since 1959. By the way, the EPCOT beam is in much better condition than DL's. (Admittedly this is anecdotal based upon the "feel" as one is riding... you can actually feel the "sag" between supports on DL's beam...never noticed that on any of WDW's.) Again, WDW's beams are significantly larger and "heavy duty." Also, even if the beam were to require replacement in the future, it is not the same expense as a new route, so long as the support columns, or perhaps even more specifically, their foundations, remain solid.
I don't believe any leader in TWDC is so stupid as to think the monorail is expendable. It is iconic and integral to the resort's image. The day that TWDC announces that they are permanently closing the monorail - or any portion of it, it would scare the hell out of shareholders and other investors. They would largely assume TWDC is about to either go out of business or shut down the resort operation, either of which is signalling desperate straights.
I guess let me bottom line it this way: the day the monorail systems dies is, at best, the beginning of the end for TWDC.
I don't disagree with you that there will be defenders of any move Disney makes. I do disagree with you that it won't affect the stock price.I can be on board with the rebuilding portion of your argument. Rebuilding is tearing it all down and literally rebuilding it, though. That would result in a "like new" train. What they have been doing, from what I can tell, is refurbishments which is new pain and carpet. If they were interested in keeping the Monorails up then we wouldn't even be having the conversation. We're no longer at 99.8% uptime but, instead, at: "Another thing happened on the monorail today.."
I think that the overall differences are:
1) the age: DL's monorail beam has about 2 decades on EPCOTs
2) the size, intention (as you pointed out): DLs beam was just an attraction which got re-routed to actually be transportation.
3) the construction: The problem with EPCOTs beam and structure is that it was made on site which ended up using limestone which will degrade faster in a wet climate. The lagoon beams were made up in Washington state (no limestone) and, as a result, are much more durable.
I think that they could easily close the monorails, even today, and while there'd be some protest from the Disney community, all of the same excuses would come out of that same community with, "Disney is a business!," and, "...The monorail simply wasn't cost effective!"
You can see this in the posts here. There was one post, I forget the thread, where the person responding to me said, "I don't care if the monorails only do run 30% of the time, I'll still go and pay more!" (paraphrased) That's a good part of your Disney audience right now. Things can be broken and they'll still pay more and go.
I'd be surprised if closing the monorail affected the stock at all. I could make arguments that it makes the bottom line better and, thus, pushes the profits, and stock, up.
I think that there are two intertwined problems with WDW:
1) People will defend and line up to pay for tickets, upcharges, special cupcake events, etc. no matter what the condition. Looking through the nostalgia glasses makes everything brighter.
2) Disney management knows this and knows that they can half-*** it, people will not only pay but defend their practices so they don't have to be the evil ogre telling people to cough up more.
Those two things seem to eat into themselves and you end up with broken monorails, broken effects, non-expansion (I think the whole World Showcase not being expanded in 30 years is just silly), IPs shoe-horned in where they really don't belong, etc.
I've read the posts like, "...well, because you don't like it means it's no longer targeted at you." I think that it is a valid statement but it's misused in this context. Putting Buzz into Tomorrowland breaks the theming of that land. Putting Monsters Inc in Tomorrowland breaks the theming there, too. Painting Tomorrowland and adding Tron isn't remaking Tomorrowland.
Lilo & Stitch was not aimed at me. I get it. Stitch doesn't belong in Tomorrowland (well, now gone, but still).
You must never go to their website. It's been shown to cause severe depression in all WDW devotees. It's full of actual photos of a clean park with functioning attractions. Someone told Chapek about it, and he is trying to block it from all WDW offices and resorts. Problem solved.Thanks a lot for making me go to the Tokyo Disney website
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