Walt Disney World Monorail System Quick Facts
There are many modes of transportation at the Walt Disney World Resort; tram, bus, ferry, boat, train, horse and skyliner…but none is more complex than the Walt Disney World Monorail Line. Here are some quick facts about Walt Disney World’s Monorail System:
- There are 3 distinct monorail lines – Express, Resort, and Epcot. Did you know that the “Resort” line stops at the Transportation and Ticket Center? When the wait to get on the “Express” monorail from the Magic Kingdom is long late at night, you can hop on the “Resort” line with a much shorter wait time and only make one additional stop at the Contemporary.
- The system carries hundreds of thousands of guests each day. Nearly 7,000 guests per direction, per hour. On a typical day, more than 150,000 guests utilize monorail transportation.
- Each Mark VI monorail train is approximately 203 feet long, consists of six cars, has and an overall height of 10 feet, 5 ½ inches and can carry 364 passengers.
- The train motors put out 904 horsepower and are powered by a 600 volt electrical system.
- Maximum speed during normal operating hours is 40 mph.
- The monorail system operates over a span of 14.7 miles.
- The track beam is a mere 26 inches wide.
- The beam is supported by tapered concrete columns approximately 110 feet apart. The beams and columns are constructed in sets of six and post-tensioned together to form a single 600-foot structure.
- As trains move along the beamway, they pick up electrical power from a metallic buss bar.
- There are 12 different monorails at WDW, each distinguished by the colored stripe down the side of the cars: red, coral, orange, peach, gold, yellow, lime, green, blue, teal, silver, and black.
- Pink and Purple were retired from service after the 2009 crash.
- Approximately 50 million guests travel on the monorail annually.
- The original monorail beams came from Washington State and are composed of concrete with a polystyrene core.
- There is seating for up to four in the front cab of the train with the pilot. Guests are no longer allowed to ride in the front cab for safety reasons.
- The spiel “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.” is voiced by actor Jack Wagner of General Hospital and Melrose Place fame.
- WDW has three diesel powered “tow tractors” to move monorail trains in case of an emergency or power failure.
- The monorails use commercial grade truck tires for their drive wheels.
Walt Disney World Resort Monorail History
The forerunner of the modern monorail system was tested in Germany in the 1950s where it caught the attention of Walt Disney, then in the midst of planning Disneyland in California. In 1959, when the Disneyland monorail system premiered at the theme park, it became the first new-style monorail to operate daily in the United States.
Today, the Mark VI Monorail Trains at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida incorporate nearly 40 years of research and development in monorail technology. The system, in operation since 1971, was expanded in 1982 with a four-mile extension to Epcot and updated in the early 90s with new trains to complete the 12-train fleet.