Walt Disney World Monorail System
The Monorail Fleet at the Magic Kingdom "shop"
(c) The Walt Disney Company
The Monorail was one of the key elements of Walt Disney's original E.P.C.O.T project. The Disneyland Monorail was introduced in 1959 and althought the E.P.C.O.T project as Walt envisioned it was not constructed, the Monorail was part of what became Walt Disney World in 1971. Walt Disney Productions tried at the time to promote and market the Walt Disney World Monorail System as a transportation system for modern and future cities, following Walt's vision. The monorail was designed and produced by WED Transportation Systems Inc, a division of WED, the company created by Walt for designing Disneyland and The Florida Project. Disney produced some press kits and extensive documentation on the system but the project of selling and producing the Monorail outside a Disney resort was a failure.
The Walt Disney World Monorail operates over a span of 14.7 miles, with around 50 million Disney guests traveling on the monorail each year.
The three routes on the Walt Disney World Monorail are:
- Express: Express service between the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center(TTC).
- Resort: Local service making stops at the Magic Kingdom, the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney's Contemporary Resort. Starting from the TTC, the monorail goes first to the Polynesian, The Grand Floridian, The Magic Kingdom, and the Contemporary before returning to the TTC.
- Epcot: Service between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Epcot
A spur track connects the Express and Resort lines to the maintenance shop. Another spur connects the Epcot and Express lines and is located northeast of the Transportation and Ticket Center.
The monorail beams, which are made of concrete with a special polystyrene core to lighten their weight, came by train from Washington.
The system opened with the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort on October 1, 1971. It initially featured four stations: the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney's Polynesian Resort, the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Contemporary Resort. The Epcot line and station were added during that park's construction, opening officially on October 1, 1982. The most recent addition was the Grand Floridian station, which was opened in 1988 along with the resort hotel.
During the construction of Epcot, Florida residents could request a complimentary ticket for a round-trip on the Epcot line to get a sneak preview of the park.
The modern trains that have been in use since 1989 are each 203 feet long (consisting of six cars) and can carry 360 passengers. The trains are driven by eight 113 HP motors which are powered by a 600-volt electrical system running through a busbar mounted to the side of the concrete beam.
Current Walt Disney World Resort Monorail System
Map by Paul C Martins
Monorail Pink at Epcot themepark
(c) The Walt Disney Company