Disney World may discontinue resort's Monorail system? False report

maloned

DVC Member 2006
Joined
Jun 27, 2006

Kainsel

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 11, 2017
If they get it out of Epcot it will be very soon with plans of a new hotel at the entrance of Epcot. I would be extremely disappointed in Disney if they removed the monorail or even part of it. The Poly would lose favor as our resort since the ease of the monorail would be gone.
 

Magpie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Hmm... it's all just rumours and speculation at this point, but it does make me wonder if they're ultimately planning to replace the monorail system with a new Skyliner system.

I don't see them doing away entirely with some kind of cool, futuristic transportation for the monorail resorts. It's too big a selling point. But I could definitely see them swapping one for the other, if the Skyliner performs well.

Of course, it'll be a decade or more before we see any movement on this. ;)
 
  • CogsworthTN

    Mouseketeer: Disney Mom of 2
    Joined
    Nov 2, 2017
    If this rumor is true...I hope Disney finally will look at building a walkway connecting the Grand Floridian and Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom. The walk from the boardwalk resorts to Hollywood Studios is not that bad; plus the option for boat transportation is still there.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    Miami ABC affiliate, WPLG is reporting on a story by Screamscape that Disney is considering plans to discontinue the Monorail transportation system. Can anyone confirm this? The report is about the whole Monorail system, but also emphasizes the Epcot line might be closed first to try and save the Magic Kingdom line.

    https://www.local10.com/theme-parks/report-disney-world-may-discontinue-resort-s-monorail-system

    http://screamscape.com/html/walt_disney_world_resort.htm#EpcotResort
    I cannot imagine that they would discontinue the monorail without having a new form of transportation in mind as a replacement.
    It was very evident on our last trip (our first time staying at a monorail resort) with all of the delays, getting stuck on it and the frequency it was shut down for repair, that this announcement was coming soon. I was so frustrated. It took us so many years to finally be able to afford a monorail resort, and then we barely got to use it. This time, we are staying at the Poly. I’m going knowing ahead of time that we will probably be using the boat more often than not. Perhaps it’s time to return to the Beach Club...
     

    Alesia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2007
    If this rumor is true...I hope Disney finally will look at building a walkway connecting the Grand Floridian and Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom.
    Originally, there was a plan for that. Unfortunately, the barges for the EWP made it impossible.
     

    jimim

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2011
    As soon as I heard the skyline announced I said that was the first nail in the coffin of the monorail.

    I think the monorail is cool. It was how we got around when I was a kid and just two parks bit over the years using it has been more of a hassle. It’s quicker to walk to the mk from contemporary. When the parks close at night I am always so glad I’m hopped my on a bus back to akl. I remember waiting in line one night when my daughter was 13 months. Waited 1 hr to get on at closing and something happened and they had to bus us. Took 2 hrs to get back. She was a train wreck by then. Lol
     
  • CMNJ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2014
    Just saw there is another thread that got moved here from the theme park board-moderator can delete if nec

    http://screamscape.com/html/walt_disney_world_resort.htm#EpcotResort


    ???? - Epcot Entrance Resort / Epcot Monorail Removal - Rumor - (1/12/18) Crazy news from Walt Disney World this week, as an interesting incident apparently took place on Monorail Red as it was running on the Epcot beam. If you haven't seen it, the video speaks for itself... as one of the doors opened by itself and stayed open while the monorail ran down the line. (See below)
    We've talked for years about just how OLD the current fleet of monorails are, living and running daily, long past their expected lifetimes. This adds into another rumor I've quietly been hearing... that the time of the Walt Disney World Monorail may be coming to an end.
    How?! WHY?! According to one source, Disney has run the numbers forwards, backwards, upside-down and sideways and determined that in no uncertain terms that the ongoing operation of the existing monorail system has become nothing short of a nightmare. The system has aged to the point where reliability has become a major concern, the cost to update it is said to be beyond anything they are willing to pay. On top of this, the rising costs and downtime issues to try and maintain the current system as-it-is, has risen to the point of just being almost unfeasible to continue to due for the long term.
    So what is the plan? Lots of options are being discussed... but the one item that I'm told has become 100% necessary is the eventual closure of the Epcot Monorail line. In light of this latest incident... this could happen much sooner than later. This would be the first phase, allowing Disney to take an entire beam-offline and give them time to do some proper refurbishments to those trains to allow the two Magic Kingdom lines to keep running for a time. Ironically, I'm told the plan to close the Epcot line is also one of the reasons the concept of building a new giant resort hotel project over the entrance to EPCOT has come up.
    The buying of time for the MK beams also gives Disney time to decide if perhaps they could fund a refurbishment of a smaller system that could continue to see the Resort and Express beams continue to operate. If not, eventually the Express Beam will also close, and Disney will use what's left of the fleet to keep a single monorail beam running for the resort guest line only.
    So for now the monorails will continue to run, but from what I'm hearing, the clock is ticking and someday the monorail may depart to Neverland. For now, we'll just keep an eye on the future of the Epcot line, as any future incidents like this latest one can only serve to shorten the lifespan of that route. Of course, the performance of the new Skyliner system that will run between Epcot and the Studios may also factor in heavily. If successful, the distance traveled by Gondola between Epcot and the Studios is about the same as the distance between the front of Epcot and the TTC, and they could even re-use the same travel pathway is they so desired.
     
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    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
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    Aug 21, 2011
    Having to ride the monorail to Epcot is one of the reasons we don't stay at the MK resorts, I hate the thing. We ride the boats from MK to the MK resorts if we want to visit them.
     

    umichigan10

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2011
    Screamscape is notoriously spotty with rumors, so I don’t buy this full tilt.

    But I’m sure the idea has definitely been tossed around the Burbank offices on multiple occasions. The issue is finding another transportation mode to compensate for the monorail (as I can’t realistically see them just using the ferry and busses to the TTC during peak times)
     
  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    Yup, I think they’re just putting it out there because there’s obviously speculation given the recent door incident. It’s not difficult to connect the dots
    Plus it's one of those things that even they say Disney is thinking of lots of options ... I am sure there are thousands of things that they are always thinking about different options for - doesn't mean anything will actually happen

    If the skyliner is successful I could see them replacing the EPCOT line with gondola - but I have a hard time seeing them ever getting rid of the MK loop
     

    Kainsel

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2017
    Disney averages 150,000 people per day on the monorails. Does anyone know what the skyliners can do in a day?

    Also, monorails are becoming more popular in the world with more lines going in every year. The line in brazil was done for 1.6 billion and is 24 km long, has 17 stations and 54 seven car trains. Any guess on the cost of the skyliners?
     

    tlmadden73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2014
    I could see them getting rid of the Epcot line. It is a long ride, boring (nothing to see until the end when you loop through Epcot), and requires a transfer at the TTC if you are staying at the mononrail resorts. Plus, considering they are thinking of redoing the whole center of Epcot, it could be an easy casualty.

    And it may be that a lot of guests NEVER use the monorail anyway nowadays with the bus system and how spread out the resorts are from the line. I always wondered why they didn't hook Wilderness Lodge into the line or ever built a hotel on the line trek from the TTC to Epcot.

    My son has been to WDW 3 times and he rode the monorail once. We drove to MK on his first trip. ON his second trip, when we stayed onsite, we took the buses right to the gate, so no need of the monorail. On his third trip, we used the now gone Express Bus to hop from DHS to MK, getting dropped off right inside the park.

    Maybe on our next trip (probably on site) we'll ride them, but mainly just as an attraction, not as a mode of transport.

    I guess it depends on the success of the Skyliner. I could see them using the Epcot line to run the gondola's to the TTC.

    Don't get me wrong, to me, the monorail is magical, but that is because that is how I remember getting to the MK and Epcot (when ONLY those two parks existed). That and the boat were the way to get to this magical place. Frankly, having a bus pull up to its gate ruins a bit of that magic and mystique of "getting" there to me.
     

    jknezek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2016
    If the beams are bad, that's one issue. If the trains are bad, that's hardly a surprise. They are 20 year vehicles and WDW has now stretched the Mark VI's to almost 30 years. Next year it will be 30 years, so they will be a decade overdue for replacement or complete overhaul. Here are the usage lives of the previous Disney monorails

    Mark I ran as an attraction only for 2 years, '59-61 DL
    Mark II was the first resort to hotel connection: '61-'69 DL, still primarily an attraction
    Mark III -- generally the first "mass transit" version with capacity to be more than a toy. 69-87, 18 years DL
    Mark IV -- WDW's original monorail. Built by Martin-Marietta, '71-91, 20 years WDW
    Mark V -- '87-'08, 21 years DL. Built to resemble the Mark IV but on the chassis of the Mark III
    Mark VI -- Built by Bombardier, '89 to present. 29 YEARS, WDW
    Mark VII -- '08- present DL. Built to resemble the Mark V and on the chassis of the Mark V

    The problem is apparent. WDW failed on the replacement schedule. Now there are reasons for this. Primarily because they thought they could refurbish the cars and add automation, possibly to incorporate all the automation into a Mark VIII. However, the automation took longer than expected and the cars have suffered. Life was also extended by salvaging cars from the monorail crash in 2009. But regardless, these trains are almost a decade over their lifespan. A lot of the problems are directly related to this simply problem.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    I could see them getting rid of the Epcot line. It is a long ride, boring (nothing to see until the end when you loop through Epcot), and requires a transfer at the TTC if you are staying at the mononrail resorts. Plus, considering they are thinking of redoing the whole center of Epcot, it could be an easy casualty.

    And it may be that a lot of guests NEVER use the monorail anyway nowadays with the bus system and how spread out the resorts are from the line. I always wondered why they didn't hook Wilderness Lodge into the line or ever built a hotel on the line trek from the TTC to Epcot.

    My son has been to WDW 3 times and he rode the monorail once. We drove to MK on his first trip. ON his second trip, when we stayed onsite, we took the buses right to the gate, so no need of the monorail. On his third trip, we used the now gone Express Bus to hop from DHS to MK, getting dropped off right inside the park.

    Maybe on our next trip (probably on site) we'll ride them, but mainly just as an attraction, not as a mode of transport.

    I guess it depends on the success of the Skyliner. I could see them using the Epcot line to run the gondola's to the TTC.

    Don't get me wrong, to me, the monorail is magical, but that is because that is how I remember getting to the MK and Epcot (when ONLY those two parks existed). That and the boat were the way to get to this magical place. Frankly, having a bus pull up to its gate ruins a bit of that magic and mystique of "getting" there to me.
    My son loooooooves the monorails - we've spent like hours just riding them and his is just so happy on them ... usually the MK loop but usually when we have an EPCOT day we will do a loop back and forth to MK just so he can ride thouse
     

    sharkyandbones

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2012
    I'm a little surprised that news outlets are publishing articles based on Screamscape rumors :sad2:

    Yes they're old but removing them before an alternative method of transportation is available immediately presents a value problem for the former monorail resorts.
     

    Simba's Mom

    <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha
    Joined
    Aug 26, 1999
    I'd hate to see the monorail taken out-it's such an integral part of WDW. DS has been going to WDW since he was 7, now he's a father himself, and on the last trip he exited the MK and took his daughters on a monorail trip around, just because "it's all part of the experience".
     

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