Disneyland opened the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and when Walt Disney World (WDW) opened in 1971, it followed suit with its own monorail system.
The original WDW track was (well, still is) a loop that featured four stations: the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC – it’s also the location of the main parking lot for WDW guests), Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This loop was built as a dual beam so monorails could travel in either direction. In this case, the Resort Monorail, which stops at all 5 stops (the original 4, plus the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa when it opened in 1988), runs clockwise, and the Express Monorail, which only stops between the TTC and the Magic Kingdom, runs counterclockwise.
When Epcot opened in 1982, another single-beam monorail route was built to shuttle people between the new park a=nd the TTC. But those are the only two monorail tracks ever built at WDW.
Ever wonder why?
Of course, most people would say, “It’s too expensive!” In fact, that what I’ve always said, too. And to be honest, anyone who said that would be 100% correct. But it’s really more than just cost…
Besides how much money it would be to extend the monorail further, there are lots of other (granted, smaller) reasons that mainly have to do with what WDW was planned to be in the 1970s into the 1980s, and what it actually turned into. Take a look at this video – it explains a lot of the minutiae…
Pretty cool, huh? 🙂
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary