Exploring Disney: Gliding Along on the Monorail

Getting to the Transportation and Ticket Center is just the first step in chasing the magic and today as we continue our exploration of Disney we’re going to go further and talk about all of the ways that you can head toward your park of choice once you’ve gotten to the TTC. First we’re going to talk about the very first one that my family ever used, the monorail.

On our very first trip to Disney, we let the baby choose which park that she wanted to visit first. She chose Animal Kingdom and we simply drove to the park and parked in the parking lot. Finally, though, it was time to fulfill all of those Disney daydreams that I had been having and visit the Magic Kingdom. I already told you the fun story of how we embarrassed ourselves in front of the security guard by not having any idea where we were the first time we got to the TTC. As soon as we realized that we still had quite a bit to go before we actually arrived at the Magic Kingdom, it was time to select the transportation that we were going to use to get there. The decision was almost as big as what ride we were going to ride first.  We compared all of the options and settled on the monorail. Avalon referred to it as the montarail, and to this day, that is still what we call it.

You have two options for  parks if you want to ride the monorail. One goes directly to EPCOT while the other goes to the Magic Kingdom. To get to the tracks, you climb a ramp. This always give me the feeling that I’m doing something futuristic. Even though I know that monorails have been around for almost 200 years, there is something about walking up that ramp and onto the platform that makes me feel like I’m getting into a spaceship. User experience may vary. You might not feel the need to contact mission control.

Once you get onto the platform, pay attention to the cast members. They will direct you to the right car. This is especially important if you have a special consideration such as a stroller, wheelchair, or service dog. For the former, they will make sure that you are in a car that will accommodate the most people along with your stroller. For the latter two, they will most likely direct you to the handicap bay that will allow for easier access.

If you are visiting during a busy time or preparing to climb aboard the monorail first thing in the morning or when the park lets out, you’re going to need some patience. Prepare to be shuffled around a bit and to feel a little crowded. You might feel like people are trying to get in front of you or that you are going to miss the monorail. Focus on keeping close to your family so that you are all together and hold your ground. You’ll be fine. Even if you do step and the monorail fills up, another will be along within just a few minutes. Don’t worry.

When the monorail does glide up in front of you, wait until the doors are fully open and everyone who is getting off is off before stepping forward. They will be getting off in the other direction, so don’t worry about getting out of the way. Once inside, go all the way to the other side of the car and take your place. Fill up the space in the most efficient way possible, keeping in mind that there are plenty of other people who want to come along. Sit small children on your lap, stand if you feel comfortable doing it, and make sure that your family sits or stands close so that as many people can get in as possible.

If you are standing, make sure that you do not stand too close to the doors or lean against the doors. This can cause the doors to open. There is an iconic moment when you get into the car that tells you “Please stand clear of the doors.” Do it. The monorail moves fairly quickly, but it is smooth. Keep your eye out of the windows and watch the World pass you by while you listen to the voice overhead tell you about what you are seeing. If you are heading to the Magic Kingdom, this is when you will see a moment that will always be in my heart…the first time that we saw Cinderella Castle.

It is a breathtaking moment that gets me every single time that we go. Even if we have already gone to the Magic Kingdom five or six times that trip, the first time that castle rises up on the horizon, I get chills.

Heading to the Magic Kingdom also gives you the unique experience of actually zipping through the Contemporary Resort. Look down to see the lobby, Chef Mickey’s, and, if it’s the holiday season, the gingerbread display. Look in front of you and see decorative elements that are reminiscent of the it’s a small world attraction. That’s because they were designed by the same woman who worked on that ride, legend Mary Blair.

Getting off of the monorail can be a bit of an exciting moment. I recommend getting ready to get off as you approach the station. Pick up your bags, pick up your babies, make sure that you are holding the hand of bigger children, and be ready, but stay seated. When the monorail comes to a complete stop, the doors will open and you will head out in the opposite direction that people are waiting. I always wait to be the last person out. The few seconds that I might get are not worth getting caught up in the flow of people.

This is another of the moments that I am always craving…”On behalf of the cast of Walt Disney World Resort, we’d like to welcome you to the Magic Kingdom.”

From here, you’ll head down another ramp. Be aware that children get really antsy on these ramps and sometimes start running. Stay to the side and keep your eye out to avoid getting taken out by these children. The same goes for if you are riding to EPCOT. From here, head directly to the security entrances so that you can get into the park.

The monorail is a treasured part of my Disney trips. It feels like a attraction itself and once I feel that glide, I know that I am home.

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Taryn was born and raised, and still lives in Richmond, Virginia. Neither she nor her husband ever had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World when they were children, but when their daughter Avalon came along, they decided she was not going to follow in their footsteps. They brought Avalon for the first time when she was 3 and have been hooked ever since. Now along with Taryn’s mother and equally Disney-loving older brother, they go “home” at least once a year, and by the time she is staring longingly at Cinderella Castle from the ferry on their last night, Taryn is well on her way to planning the next trip. As a group consisting of two adults with Asperger’s, including one who is also vegan, a very accommodating husband, an only child, a senior, and a service dog, they are a pretty special family, but Taryn is excited to show that the World really is The Most Magical Place on Earth and that there is a place there for everyone. When she isn’t thinking about her next Disney adventure and trying to come up with a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party costume that will beat her Oozma Kappa nerd look, she is a professional blogger and novelist, but Taryn also likes to indulge her Disney passion on her Etsy shop It’s Better in Vinyl.

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