Friday, April 11, 2008

Transportation - Monorail

The Walt Disney World monorail system has been in continuous operation since 1971 with double beam track that circles the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom. Originally, the monorail system connected the Contemporary and Polynesian hotels with the Magic Kingdom and Transportation and Ticket Center. In later years, the Grand Floridian was added to the loop. Disney expanded the monorail system in 1982 by adding a four mile extension that travels from the Magic Kingdom resort area to Epcot's entrance.

The current model of monorail began operation in 1990, with the full fleet of 12 in service by early 1991. The Mark VI has a higher passenger capacity as well as improved air conditioning, door systems and improved safety features. Each Mark VI train consists of six cars. The overall length is 203 feet with a capacity of 365 passengers.

The track consists of 26 inch wide, pre-cast concrete beams supported by concrete columns which are approximately 50 feet apart. Each monorail travels on rubber tires and is powered by a 600 volt DC propulsion system which includes eight DC motors rated at 112 HP each, with the power emanating from each side of the beam.

The 13.6 mile monorail system will carry over 150,000 guests to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks on an average day.

Tip: Before you get on the monorail, ask the cast member if you can ride in the front with the driver.

Additional note:

Ride up front with the driver on the Monorails (4 person max). As long as no one else is waiting, and they aren't too busy, if you ask the Cast Members, they MIGHT let you do it. (You'll stand in a separate queue to ride up front.) It's a great view, especially at sunset. If you decide to do this, it is best to try for an off-peak time. The Cast Members will usually be more accommodating when things are quieter (try to avoid morning and evening rush periods). If you are a WDW resort guest, schedule this for a day when you are not going to the parks. Price: free. Ask for a monorail certificate - sometimes they are available for guests.

A note on the WDW transportation system : if you are registered as a guest at a WDW resort, you are entitled to unlimited free use of the WDW resort transportation system for the duration of your stay. Cast members may or may not check your resort ID.

Ride the Monorail

· Did you know you can ride up front with the monorail driver? Just let the Cast Member at the gate know that you want to do this. Usually the drivers are very friendly and will give the kids a special certificate. The best time to do this is in the middle of the day, when things are quiet because most people are in the parks -- you're less likely to have to wait.

· Take the "inner" monorail that circles the three monorail resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian). This is a great way to orient yourself and get a look at the resorts and an overview of some of the parks. You can get off and explore each one, or just enjoy the ride and the view.

· Cost to ride the monorails: FREE to all Disney resort guests and anyone with a multi-day pass.

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