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The Walt Disney World Monorail Isn’t Closing. But Changes Could Be Made Soon

Shortly after the open doors incident that went viral last week, a report appeared online that seemed to suggest that Walt Disney World could be considering closing its iconic monorail system due to the costs associated with repairing and replacing its aging fleet. However, in a rare move, Walt Disney World addressed these rumors head on, confirming to local news station Local 10 that the monorail system wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

However, even though Disney is committed keeping the monorail running at the Walt Disney World resort, after the two most recent safety incidents involving this system, changes are surely being made behind the scenes to ensure it remains safe for guests, including the following:

Reducing the strain on the monorail with new transportation options

Image: Disney

Though there’s no official number as to how many people take the monorail on a given day at Walt Disney World, given the attendance numbers at the Magic Kingdom (and to a lesser extent, Epcot), it seems fair to assume that the daily loac is in the tens of thousands of guests, per day. That is quite a lot of strain over a period of more than three decades, and though repairs, replacements and refurbishments have been made over the years, the fleet is aging, and simply can’t continue on with such strain.

Fortunately, Disney planned for this well in advance, which is one of the reasons why the new Gondola project is so exciting. Though this new transportation option won’t provide service to the Magic Kingdom, it should take some of the strain off of the Epcot line, and will also help get guests off of busses, which will then free up this transportation method resort-wide, which along with the Minnie Vans service, gives guests more options beyond the monorail.

More downtime

Image: Disney

Guests have become very familiar with monorail downtime over the years, especially as Disney has been upgrading some of the technical driving elements of this system. However, though we haven’t seen long closures of the monorail in over a year, now that safety concerns are beginning to become an issue, expect more downtime in the coming months as Disney performs additional checks on these monorails and makes changes and repairs as necessary.

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There are 2 comments.

As far as I can tell, the gondola and monorail go completely different directions. If I am staying at the Poly, I will not be taking the gondola to Pop century and then bussing to the Poly.

I'm a little confused by your assessment "the aforementioned gondola project will be taking some of the stress off this aging system." The current gondola project doesn't touch any of the three resorts the monorail services, nor does it provide transportation to MK or Epcot from the TTC. So, I don't see how the current gondola project will take pressure off the monorail system.

Disney has three choices, really:

1. Shut down the loop and hope the Minivans, ferries, and buses can provide an adequate substitute without causing a backlash among DVC guests with home resorts on the loop, or...

2. Tick off investors and spend some capital to upgrade the monorails and (probably) the underlying monorail track and supporting tech.

3. Leave it as is until serious injury or death occurs.

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