The monorail operates over a span of 14.7 miles with around 50 million Disney guests traveling on the monorail each year: Don’t worry I’ll break it down for you:
There are three-line services on two distinct routes on the WDW Monorail – they are:
EXPRESS - express service between the Magic Kingdom & the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC) this service runs on the outer loop of this route & travels counter clockwise
RESORT- Round trip local service on the inner loop, running clockwise making stops in order at the Magic Kingdom, Disney Contemporary, TTC, POLY & Grand Floridian.
EPCOT is located on the single beam route & it provides service between the TTC & Epcot
As a Disney Resort guest you’ll receive complimentary transportation the:
Magic Kingdom Express is available one hour prior to Disney Theme park opening & one hour after not including extra magic hours.
Magic Kingdom Resorts: 6:30am until I hr after park close.
EPCOT: 1 hr before park open & one hr after park close
Outside of these hours alternate watercraft & bus transportation is available.
The only theme parks with Monorail access are MK via the express or resort monorail & Epcot via the TTC Epcot monorail. Disney MGM & Animal Kingdom are not serviced by the monorail services.
Fun Monorail facts are:
Disney employees that operate the monorail trains are called Pilots.
In March of 2010 Disney debuted the Monorail Tron on the Epcot line as part of a marketing plan for Tron Legacy
& debuted recently The Avengers Monorail Nov 21, 2012
Began operation in 1971 upgraded monorail trains in 1991
7,000 guests per direction per hour—CRAZY
Daily ridership 150-250,000
3 lines of service & 6 stops
Average speed 40mph
Top speed 55mph
It is the most heavily used monorail system in the world
Statistics: There have been a number of accidents & injuries on the monorail since WDW opened there has only been one death on July 5 2009, a driver was killed when two monorail’s ( Pink & Purple) collided—it was the first fatal accident in the monorail history! Since then riding in the front of the monorail was discontinued. My family & I enjoyed that experience twice.
Samuel Lau is the vice president of Walt Disney World Transportation & recently spoke on the issue of safety:
To help with guest efficiency, as well as safety, Disney is planning on implementing a new monorail train control system which will monitor and control the monorail. “The system will allow us to monitor and control train movements in real time. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean there will no longer be monorail drivers. “The role might change. “Instead of actively driving the trains, they still have to enable movement and make spiel’s to guests. In no way is the pilot position going away.”
Because the new system will be computer controlled, it will reduce the wait times for guests. “The system will know that a train is late or needs to speed up, versus how it’s done now with humans,” added Sam. “From a safety perspective it will allow us to protect work zones. It will also reduce system down time. Right now when a train switches from one beam to another, we stop all train movement on the beam, but in the future the system would keep running and open up a gap to allow one train to switch from one side to another and do that more efficiently. Right now everything just stops and the guests see that and feel that.
“This is bringing us to state-of-the-art. Most train systems in the world are using these types of control systems,” added Sam. “It will give us a lot more data and information about how we’re operating and how we can operate more efficiently.”
A recent change to the monorail service is the reduction of hours during Extra Magic Hours nights at the Magic Kingdom. This was done to allow more time for maintenance of the monorail trains and beam. To make up for the earlier stopping times, they’ve added more busses late at night. They’ve also reduced the number of monorail trains running mid-day because of less guest use. This allows more time for maintenance, which helps keep downtime to a minimum.
Considering the statistics I would say the monorail is safe!