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Monorail Blue loses parts becomes stuck at Walt Disney World

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Earlier this afternoon Monorail Blue was traveling on the EPCOT monorail loop when a person reported that a piece of metal and some other parts broke off the monorail landing about 10 feet away from him in the Amaze parking lot.

Monorail blue then came to a stop all the way down by the TTC.

Guests reported seeing sparks and smoke coming out from underneath the train.

Guests later removed the emergency escape windows to help bring some cool air into the cars guests. Disney also brought in fire & rescue teams to attempt an evacuation.

However, it looks like they were able to get a tug out to push the disabled monorail into station where guests could unload easier

It’s not clear what caused the breakdown, but it seems that the missing piece that fell off near EPCOT was something important that eventually caused a short.

Walt Disney World’s monorail fleet was upgraded to the Mark VI models beginning in 1989 and the aging system has been struggling to keep up with its duties of transporting guests with frequent breakdowns and long periods of downtime for maintenance.

I think Disney World dodged a bullet here. It sounds like other than some inconvenience and overheating everyone was alright. Incidents like this will continue to put the pressure on Disney to either upgrade their fleet again or find a replacement for the monorail.

Does today’s incident make you rethink the safety of Disney’s monorail fleet?

13 thoughts on “Monorail Blue loses parts becomes stuck at Walt Disney World”

  1. By the look of it, I think it may be a pick-up shoe – the bit that slides along the electrical rail on the track to pick-up power. It looks like a piece of the undercar fairing – we’re seeing the backside in the photo – with the show mounted to it. Could be the shoe caught on something and the fairing it was mounted to was the weak link, and broke. It also looks like the cables connected to it were severed, so those could have resulted in the sparking and failure.

  2. The monorail is an iconic representation of WDW, but it is well beyond it’s life expectancy and Disney seems to be tolerating this situation. Substantial funds have been put towards Disney Springs, Pandora and Star Wars, yet existing infrastructure critical for effective operations such as the monorail seems to be ignored. The cars are worn out and far from the exciting passenger experience that the system once was. I’m guessing that Disney is going to evaluate the effectiveness of the soon to be installed gondola system as a potential replacement, but that will put many more years on an already fatigued monorail system. Please Disney, it is time to do more than just try to maintain the existing system.

    1. It’s time for Disney to dump the monorail. It was magical, but at this point, it is more of a hassle than anything. Disney can spend the money on rides and attractions. We go to Disney for the attractions and rides in the park, not monorail.

      As far as Magic Kingdom parking goes, they can move parking into garages on the west side of the Magic Kingdom like Universal uses. They can use the land where the current monorail station sits as ticket booths.

  3. Totally agree with Todd. Last year, when I still had an annual pass (before Disney priced this Sr. Citizen out of it), I was stranded at the Grand Floridian after it broke down. I had noticed a pattern of frequent breakdowns (usually at worst time of day like park opening for the T&TC monorail to the Magic Kingdom) and asked a monorail worker why so many breakdowns lately. His response? “What do you expect from an outdated 45 year-old system pasta it’s useful life”! This from a Disney worker. I was shocked by his candor!
    I would hate to see the monorail scrapped as it is, as Todd said, an iconic symbol of Disney!
    Disney really should throw a few million dollars towards the monorail infrastructure…and maybe spend less on some Toy Story gift shop or something. ?

  4. Walt Disney World Monorail System is definitely an iconic attraction and should never be replaced. However, a much needed upgrade to the system sounds to be a necessity. If Disneyland Resort can upgrade their Mark V trains to Mark VII’s, surely the largest theme park resort in the world could fork over the funds to upgrade their trains and infrastructure. Disney, PLEEEEEEASE listen to your fan base, cast members, and GP. It’s time to budget for upgrades throughout the resort complex, especially budgeting for an overhaul of the monorail system. DO NOT REPLACE THE MONORAIL, JUST UPGRADE IT!!

  5. The monorail system is old and tired and needs to be completely overhauled. They break down frequently and Disney needs to put some time and money into these monorails to bring them into the modern age. There is better technology out there and now is the time.

  6. So…monorails are delightful, but so many cities have effective electric LRTs either at grade level or elevated. Imagine how great it would be to see miles of grade level right-of-way routes around WDW and then at the busy areas like MK Toll, EC Toll, new Disney’s HW entrance and the ridiculous DS area the LRT would rise above the roadway and glide passengers into parks for fast in and out. WDW has enough landscaped boulevards between lanes to do this. Lay concrete, lay tracks (if needed), and plug in electrical cables…seems like a great option although not the most aesthetic. But who is the new WDW customer? Millennials and not the wide-open suburbanites of the past half century who want “pretty” landscape and “lots of grassy” knolls. Give me fast transport, enclose the windows inside with vibrant scenery on flat screens so I dont see the real world outside, and my “magic” isnt lost. Retire Mark VIIs…put me on a virtual spin on my hour long LRT journey from the Contemporary to Blizzard and I am a happy camper. Make me wait for an aging Mark VII…ugh!

  7. Mark VI…Mark VII…whatever they are. And is Bombardier leading the way with some new transportation system that Disney isnt grabbing onto or dismissing to protect their “millions” in concrete beams? Let is go, Bob Iger….let it go.

  8. For quite some time now we’ve been told that the express monorail loop at the Magic Kingdom isn’t operating because they’re “testing” the automated monorail piloting system. However, I’ve heard rumors that they’re really not operating monorails on the express loop in order to save wear and tear on the near-dead fleet. The fewer operating hours each train spends on a track, the longer it’ll last.

    It’s time to order a new fleet of monorails, Disney. It’s not like they’re going to magically get better with time.

  9. For me, the monorail has always been a part of the Magic Kingdom experience. I still love going through the Contemporary. My kids still remember riding in the front when it was still ok. That said, it’s clearly time for new cars. I can’t believe they’d just dismantle the investment they’ve made in the monorail “track” over the years which is why I’m hopeful we’ll never have to say goodbye to the monorail completely.

    It sounds like there may be some new transportation options in the future, perhaps even autonomous vehicles at some point, but I hope that the monorail will always be one of those options.

  10. the monorail is NOT going anywhere. stop fooling yourselves. the monorail is as iconic to disney as the castle is. problem is, they have failed to put a serious investment into the system since it started showing serious problems. why?? because there is no immediate profit to be had. but without it, profits may take a serious hit. the hotels around seven seas lagoon are billed as monorail/magic kingdom accessible. its a MAJOR selling point to these resorts. monorails are NOT going anywhere.

  11. There is a law that says the max life of a train frame is 50 years. This includes the monorail trains.

    The MKVII in Disneyland was built with the MKV frames, and bodies, with tech upgrades. The only part that is new is the front and read nose cabins.

    The MKV trains were built from the MKIII frames from the 1960’s.

    So no fear, the MKVI’s have 20 more years of use.

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