Guest post written by the Disney Crimlins
New monorails you say?? This is a dream that has been at the forefront of the minds of many Disney World goers for some time!! In 1989, Disney World began the rollout of the Mark VI monorails that are currently in the parks today. This rollout would conclude by 1991 and would be the last time that the monorails in Walt Disney World have had any extensive work done on them.
Fast forward to nearly 30 years later and we are left with the monorails we have today. If you have been in the parks recently and have climbed aboard the “Highway in the Sky,” you might have noticed the rips/stains in carpets, very 90’s decor, and a host of…. scents from throughout the cars. However, cosmetics have been the least of worries for Disney as of late.Courtesy of WDW Info
There have been numerous break downs of the monorails this year. Just this last trip we witnessed the monorail having to be evacuated from just outside the Magic Kingdom stop and had a day where they didn’t run for nearly the entire day. In June of 2017, a large piece of monorail actually flew off of Monorail Blue outside the entrance of Epcot, barely missing guests below. In January of this year, there was video of a door coming open on a car as it continued along it’s route from the TTC to Epcot!
Shortly after these breathtaking events, it was confirmed that Disney was stopping plans to build the Main Street USA theater. This theater had just been announced months before at the last D23 expo in Anaheim. At the time, we rumored that it seemed to line up timing wise with the last couple close calls on the monorails and that potentially the funds allocated for that project were now going to be used for a new monorail fleet. While, we have no confirmation on if that is indeed what happened with the Main Street Theater project, we DO have confirmation that new monorails are headed to Walt Disney World!
At a special panel about the Life of Walt Disney this past weekend, Disney legend and imagineer Bob Gurr gave us the announcement that all Disney fans have been waiting for! During a Q&A segment, Gurr was asked if he believed we would see new monorails in the parks within the next 3 and a half years (50th anniversary of WDW). Gurr had some interesting comments to follow: “you typically design them in the transportation industries for 20 year service… we’re close to the 30th year of service here,” Gurr said. Gurr later referenced the current monorail fleet as the “duct-taped monorail.” He then went on to say that “there are contracts underway, you will see it!”
SO THERE IT IS GUYS!!! New monorails are headed to Walt Disney World! What will the new monorails look like? Well, I am glad you asked!! Gurr was stated as saying that “if everything works right, it’ll be the same company: Bombardier, which built our current version.” You can find many examples of what the new monorails could potentially look like on their website!