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Should Disney get rid of the monorails?

Should Disney get rid of the monorails?

  • Yes

    Votes: 14 5.9%
  • No

    Votes: 74 31.0%
  • Only the EPCOT Monorail line

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • Are you out of your mind??

    Votes: 150 62.8%

  • Total voters
    239
  • Poll closed .

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
At Disney you've got a wide variety of wheelchairs and scooters which are in various sizes so you can't as easily design a one size fits all loading system when the items loaded are going to vary. I think that's the reason they always pull out the actual ramps to that a wheeled device can be wheeled on without having to worry about wheels getting suck in the cracks between the train and the loading platform.
First thing to note - the monorail and the platform are not at the same level - there is a step up from the platform to get into the monorail.

As someone with much experience with an ECV and Disney monorails, there are a few issues with the Disney monorails and their ADA ramp system:

1 - the ramps are put into place manually by the operator, some can do it quickly, some are much slower
2 - the width of the ramp only gives 2-3 inches maybe on each side when an ECV is pulling into and backing out of the monorail car
3 - the angle of the ramp is somewhat steep, and if the ECV driver isn't used to the ramp, especially when backing out, it can slow things up

My suggested solutions:

1 - make the ramps wider
2 - make the ramp longer? so the angle isn't quite so steep, ideally the monorail would be the same level as the platform, so if a ramp was used, it would be level and just be a means of covering the gap
3 - wishlist, blue sky item! Have a few cars on each monorail that have a turntable in it so that the ECV or wheelchair doesn't need to back out, the turntable would turn it around!!! HA!
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
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Disney should use some that handsome profit the parks made last year and convert the monorails into a first class operation again.

They are iconic Disney and there is absolutely no justification for letting any part of the park operations deteriorate to the point of the current monorail system.
I'm sorry, but, by what standards do you use to determine that the Monorails have deteriorated much at all. They still look the same, they still are quite dependable and they still haul thousands of people to MK and Epcot every single day. I wish my fairly new vehicle was in as good a shape as those 40 year old Monorail trains. The maintenance on those machines has been close to miraculous. I don't know any other vehicles or any other organization that would have been so completely diligent in maintaining those trains and have made them last as long as they have and look as good as they do.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry, but, by what standards do you use to determine that the Monorails have deteriorated much at all. They still look the same, they still are quite dependable and they still haul thousands of people to MK and Epcot every single day. I wish my fairly new vehicle was in as good a shape as those 40 year old Monorail trains. The maintenance on those machines has been close to miraculous. I don't know any other vehicles or any other organization that would have been so completely diligent in maintaining those trains and have made them last as long as they have and look as good as they do.
I think the tracks the monorails ride on might be 40 years old, but the actual monorails aren't that old its just that the last time they replaced them they didn't change their appearance very much even though the version they have now was made by a different company.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I think the tracks the monorails ride on might be 40 years old, but the actual monorails aren't that old its just that the last time they replaced them they didn't change their appearance very much even though the version they have now was made by a different company.
The tracks have been there since 1971 (47 years) I don't remember the exact dates, Epcot rails were built around 1981 (37 years), but, the Monorail Trains were replaced in 1989 (29 years).
 

Lyman

Member
It would probably be cheaper to replace the 12 existing trains than tear down the whole system (beams, stations, roundhouse, etc) and fill in the hole in the Contemporary than come up with an alternative to move just as many people.
There is the people mover in tomorrow land. The monorail infrastructure is already in place. Retrofit the people mover tracks on top of the monorail beams. Get cars that will handle special needs (wheel chair etc.) and enclose for inclement weather . Getting new monorail cars/parts are difficult to get. Dependability/cost over monorail? Have no idea.

This is sped up time lapse
 

FettFan

Well-Known Member
Woohoo! Another Monorail Thread!
But to answer your question....No. the WDW monorail system needs some desperate TLC (*cough*newtrains*cough*) and perhaps a nice pressure-washer job on the concrete berms, but it’s so iconic to WDW that it will never be removed outright.
 

Driver

Well-Known Member
Like WDW the monorail line at DL has an option to switch a track so they can take a monorail off and replace it with another one, which is the scenario that caused the crash at WDW. Apparently they were taking one of the trains off the main track to move it to maintenance but someone failed to actually press the button to move the tracks so that when the monorail was backing down the track to the maintenance area it wasn't actually going down the maintenance track it was going right down the normal track that still have another monorail on it but because someone finally did hit the button (though to late) the track started to switch but too late so that the poor guy in the other monorail was left without any power or ability to try and move his train backward too to lessen the impact.... As I understand the history of the monorail at DL it has also had an accident in the past when someone pushed the button to switch the tracks and did it after the train had already crossed the switchable track so that when they pushed the button it pretty much move the track and torn the monorail in half.
Your explanation of the incident is close, if I may clarify. Switching "beams" has to be ok'd by a GEM on site. That night the GEM went home sick, at the time of the switch the acting GEM was offsite having lunch but gave a verbal "ok" (not acceptable protocol) to add too the problems, a visual confirmation of "switch " is required to ensure the beam has "switched". The camera looking at the beam was not functioning which required a person to go physically look, that didn't happen. And last it was extremely foggy that night so the driver could not reference that he was in fact not changing beams because he couldn't see! So in fact he was backing down the same beam he thought he just "switched " off of. ( this all happened on the EPCOT beam at MK) A train was sitting in the station with a few passengers on board ( it was after midnight) the driver saw the approaching train and attempted to back away from the threat. OSHA records reported he got the train moving in reverse but at approximately 3mph the collision happened. It was also mentioned in the report had he stayed out of the train and let the collision occur, the minor injuries that the passengers sustained would probably be the same and his life would have been spared. He was only 21 very tragic loss. Too many procedures not followed that night. Today if those steps are skipped it grounds for dismissal and key platform operators carry remote kill switches on their person. Power can be cut from the beam by pushing a button in a split second to stop all motion.
 

Damon7777

Well-Known Member
The monorails are as much symbolic of Disney as the Castle.
Really??
I don't think so. As for Disney symbolism I'd say castle stands alone at number 2.

1) water molecule shape...by far the biggest and most important Disney symbol
2) castle(s)
3) geosphere, monorail and Matterhorn about the same level of symbolism
 

ohioguy

Active Member
Original Poster
This is a silly question. I understand you're asking "should" and not "will", but even still, this is silly and pointless. Sure, there are maintenance costs, but can you imagine the cost alone to remove the monorail? It's installed infrastructure. It's iconic. It's still widely used. Again, silly.
Probably cheaper to remove the monorail than you think; certainly cheaper than tearing down 3/4 of a theme park (DHS)
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
I think there actions - in this case inactions - indicate where the monorail is going...

Which is the way of the dodo.

Any talk of “guest satisfaction”, “walt”, or “iconic” is silly as they have gravitated to bottomline business mentality. And the customers don’t penalize them for it.

So the longer they go without a full scale overhaul, the less likely it ever happens.

They will never put in new beams - rest assured of that. There is no advantage to that anymore. I think a modern replacement is what you should hope for...if not as “cool” in the visuals department.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
This is a silly question. I understand you're asking "should" and not "will", but even still, this is silly and pointless. Sure, there are maintenance costs, but can you imagine the cost alone to remove the monorail? It's installed infrastructure. It's iconic. It's still widely used. Again, silly.
They could just do what they did with the People Mover in Disneyland and leave the abandoned track there as a sad taunt to fans of the attraction.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
This is a silly question. I understand you're asking "should" and not "will", but even still, this is silly and pointless. Sure, there are maintenance costs, but can you imagine the cost alone to remove the monorail? It's installed infrastructure. It's iconic. It's still widely used. Again, silly.
The only thing pointless right now is the timing, however, there will come a time when the rails will need to be replaced. It's just concrete and over time it will deteriorate. I'm sure that they did everything possible to insure that they last a very long time, and I don't think we will ever see them replaced, but, it will happen some day. When that day comes, they will be seriously thinking to end the entire thing and replace it with a new iconic thing for future generations. At the rate things are going globally, they my be used as sidewalks because the rest of the land will be underwater. And all the parks will become water parks. Joking, of course, but there will come a time. At some point a weakness will show up in one of the beams and the Monorails will shut down until all beams are inspected and the defective one replaced. I hope they kept the specs.

The trains are a necessary evil to management now. They have become as identifiable with WDW as any of the other things there. They will have to replace the trains soon (within a three to five years, I'm guessing, but, when it gets to the rails themselves if one goes, there is no telling when any of the others will get stressed out.
 

NormC

Premium Member
The only thing pointless right now is the timing, however, there will come a time when the rails will need to be replaced. It's just concrete and over time it will deteriorate. I'm sure that they did everything possible to insure that they last a very long time, and I don't think we will ever see them replaced, but, it will happen some day. When that day comes, they will be seriously thinking to end the entire thing and replace it with a new iconic thing for future generations. At the rate things are going globally, they my be used as sidewalks because the rest of the land will be underwater. And all the parks will become water parks. Joking, of course, but there will come a time. At some point a weakness will show up in one of the beams and the Monorails will shut down until all beams are inspected and the defective one replaced. I hope they kept the specs.
They not only kept the specs they also have the equipment to manufacture segments on site. They are concrete with a polystyrene core for weight reduction and steel for tension.
 

chriss.moyer

Well-Known Member
I think it's extremely unlikely that this iconic form of transportation would be deleted. It was one of Walts loves and he specifically wanted it to be the core of transportation for the park. Also "monorail's" aren't as modern as some may think. The earliest "monorail" was in Germany around 1903 it was called the " Shwepabaum" (I'm sure I spelled that wrong ) but anyway it hung from the beam instead of riding on it.............. just my 2 cents!
this ^
 
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