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Old 10-30-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
MichaelaF
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New Monorail?

So here's a fun - albeit unlikely one - for you.

While at Disney last week, we were the only ones on the bus to Downtown Disney (from Wilderness Lodge - so this was an official Disney bus and a cast member driver) and ended up chatting with the bus driver. In a series of things he was listing about new and upcoming things at Disney (the new Land and Sea cruise package, the new Disney Springs, etc), he casually mentions that Disney already has the property bought and plans made for a direct monorail between the Orlando airport and WDW.

Whaaaaaaat.

We've all heard that the Monorail will likely never be expanded due to cost-effectiveness, and given that Orlando airport is 20+ miles away, that sounds like crazy talk. So I kinda dismissed it at the time.

But I DID note that in the podcast the other week, the news about the airport expansion mentioned a new "peoplemover". Perhaps they are building a monorail within the airport? Also, how GREAT would it be if they really did build a monorail from the airport to the TTC?!

(What I really want is for them to connect the monorail to the Wilderness Lodge. IT'S RIGHT THERE, PEOPLE. IT WOULD COST LIKE FIVE DOLLARS. *rant*)
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:17 AM   #2
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I doubt it....but that would be awesome!
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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Hey now, I just report them like I hear them!

(That's why they are "rumors"...)
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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Oh, those bus drivers!
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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In every rumour there are usually nuggets of truth...

There were plans, now scuttled, by the State of Florida to build a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando.

Much of the line was supposed to take place in the median of I-4, I believe. The terminus for the eastern end of the line was at the Orlando International Airport and there had been plans to have a station labelled "Walt Disney World", on Disney property.

I believe all of this is now moot, but I could see where these plans could be confused with the concept of a monorail going from MCO to WDW, as you would have been able to do so on the high-speed rail line.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_high_speed_rail

Last edited by aleksandr; 10-30-2013 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Added link to wikipedia
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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isn't the cost of building more monorail like one million per mile, or even higher than that?
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joben View Post
isn't the cost of building more monorail like one million per mile, or even higher than that?
Slightly higher, when Las Vegas completed their monorail system it was for about 600 million and it only goes about 5 miles
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #9
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I agree, I think they should expand the monorail to Wilderness Lodge too! Its considered a MK resort and seriously is RIGHT there. As for the airport "people mover", I mean there already is a monorail that brings fliers from their gate to the terminal, vice versa etc so what else would they add within the airport?
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joben View Post
isn't the cost of building more monorail like one million per mile, or even higher than that?
If that were the case, They would absolutely expand it. Unfortunately, that was what is cost when it was first built. Current estimates are more like $100 to $150 million per mile.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
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isn't the cost of building more monorail like one million per mile, or even higher than that?
I don't think cost alone is the issue. Word is they spent $1 billion on the whole MyMagic+ system. That would translate to 1,000 milies worth of monorail track at the price you mentioned. If they had really, really wanted to, they could have built more tracks around WDW as was originally planned, and then some.

The biggest difference between those two is that unlike MyMagic+, the monorails generate no income but still have their expenditures. Another monorail line, particularly one with a long tack, would be highly unattractive financially. If they charged fares for a line from the airport, then maybe they would consider it. But I don't see it happening, at least not without another party sitting at the table.


Edit: I was busy composing this post for quite a while (getting distracted by my cat, rewording my sentences, etc.) while additional posts were made. Evidently the cost is much higher than quoted. So just take that into context when you read my statement.
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Last edited by JoWiJo; 10-30-2013 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Explained in post.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JoWiJo View Post
I don't think cost alone is the issue. Word is they spent $1 billion on the whole MyMagic+ system. That would translate to 1,000 milies worth of monorail track at the price you mentioned. If they had really, really wanted to, they could have built more tracks around WDW as was originally planned, and then some.

The biggest difference between those two is that unlike MyMagic+, the monorails generate no income but still have their expenditures. Another monorail line, particularly one with a long tack, would be highly unattractive financially. If they charged fares for a line from the airport, then maybe they would consider it. But I don't see it happening, at least not without another party sitting at the table.
But you could only get 6 to 10 miles for a billion dollars at the current estimates. You're right, though, that the monorail doesn't generate any real income. Buses are cheaper to run and cheaper and easier to maintain.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:38 PM   #13
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But you could only get 6 to 10 miles for a billion dollars at the current estimates. You're right, though, that the monorail doesn't generate any real income.
Yeah, that's why I added a P.S. style edit statement.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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Well I wasn't going to do this.............but.......

1. Monorail design and costs have come a long way since 1971. Costs now depend where they are built, urban, country, flat or hilly etc.

2. Disney systems and design are already layed out, reducing costs more.

3. A average monorail system can be as little as 5 or 6 mill a mile for installed track, (the cost of a average 3 lane roadway and 20 mill per mil for the whole system.(track, stations, support and trains)

I would estimate the cost to expand WDW at about 30 mill per mile.

4. Yes buses are cheaper to run............for now........... but not as cheap as you may think. The is a high wear and tear on equipment with high maintenance and labor costs. Then add in replacement of buses and equipment costs.

Fuel costs are high.

The monorails are relatively cheap to operate once built and the costs are spread out over a long year frame. The new trains will be automatically run, no pilots.

5. Yes the monorails do not generate income, but thousands of people come to WDW to ride the monorails. They are a big part of why many people come.

Now before the same group starts flaming away. I know a fair bit about the monorails, because I knew one of the main designers of the monorail, Mr. David Gagenback. he has a window over the old Magic shop on Main St.

You can also Bing a search of monorails and see the cost per mile varies greatly.

Now all that said! I don't think they will expand the system, if they do it will be one loop including Epcot, AK, and the resorts on the route.

I believe they are exploring the new light rail/pod systems. Cheaper to build and able to fit in with more of the resorts. I could believe there would be pods, carrying 4 to maybe 16 people, no operator, on light rail or track, going from each of the moderate and deluxe resorts(except the present 3 monorail resorts) to all the parks.


I may as well also note that a monorail could be built form MCO to Disney, but it would also include stops at downtown Orlando, major hotels, Uni and and maybe SW. In this case I believe there would be 1 or 2 or 3 WDW stations where guests would transfer to the light rail or pods.

Anyway............its my opinion and knowledge of what's out there..................Time will tell what will happen.

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Old 10-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tonka's Skipper View Post
Well I wasn't going to do this.............but.......
Lol. Yup, another thread about monorail expansion

Quote:
4. Yes buses are cheaper to run............for now........... but not as cheap as you may think. The is a high wear and tear on equipment with high maintenance and labor costs. Then add in replacement of buses and equipment costs.

Fuel costs are high.

The monorails are relatively cheap to operate once built and the costs are spread out over a long year frame. The new trains will be automatically run, no pilots.
I was wondering about that myself. While the startup costs are big, I would think that the operational costs of a few monorail vehicles would be less than a fleet of busses.

Quote:
5. Yes the monorails do not generate income, but thousands of people come to WDW to ride the monorails. They are a big part of why many people come.
Yup. It's why this kind of thread periodically surfaces. I love the monorails myself. The question is: is the demand high enough to justify the expense? Currently, I would answer negatively.

Quote:
I believe they are exploring the new light rail/pod systems. Cheaper to build and able to fit in with more of the resorts. I could believe there would be pods, carrying 4 to maybe 16 people, no operator, on light rail or track, going from each of the moderate and deluxe resorts(except the present 3 monorail resorts) to all the parks.
I realize that they are looking into unmanned systems. Those make me nervous. Not for my own sake, but for the disabled (in the event of a necessary evacuation). Of course, the current monorails aren't exactly safe in that regard, either -- and those have drivers.

Personally, I'd love to see trains with engineers connecting resorts and parks, especially since the man behind the mouse loved them. I don't think it'll happen, but I think it would be fun.
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