Tuesday Disney Tips: Monorail Rundown

The monorail system at Disney World opened with the original complex on October 1, 1971. It is one of the best, and certainly most fun, methods of transportation at Walt Disney World. In fact, it is my favorite mode of transportation. Once you are familiar with how the monorail system works, I hope it will fast become one of your favorites too.I use the monorail for many reasons:

  • Taking a ride on the monorail is a fantastic way to see the WDW property
  • It is a relaxing and enjoyable way to really feel like you are at Disney. It says, “Yes, you have arrived” or “Welcome home”
  • It is a fun way to get from Point A to Point B
  • It is understandably the only transportation for my Monorail Mania Meal

There are three monorail routes: Express (outer loop), Resort (inner loop), and Epcot

The Express and Resort monorails run on a dual-beam with the following routes and schedules.

  • Express:
    • Route: This monorail connects the Magic Kingdom with the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). The route travels on the outer loop in a counter-clockwise fashion.
    • Schedule: Service begins 30 minutes prior to Magic Kingdom park opening and ends 1 hour after park closing.
  • Resort:
    • Route: This route travels on the inner loop in a clockwise pattern making stops in this order: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
    • Schedule: Service begins at 7:00 a.m. and continues until 2 hours after the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (whichever is latest) closes. During MK Extra Magic Hours, as well as special events, this monorail runs until the Magic Kingdom is emptied of all guests.
  • Epcot:
    • Route: The Epcot route is run on a single-beam. It provides service between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Epcot. Service on this route runs clockwise on the loop.
    • Schedule: Service begins at 8:00 a.m. and continues until 1 ½  hours after either Epcot or the Magic Kingdom (whichever is latest) closes. During Epcot Extra Magic Hours, as well as special events, this monorail runs until Epcot is emptied of all guests.

For many years, children were allowed to ride in the front of the monorail if they were chosen and they would leave the train with a monorail co-pilot license. In fact, there is still a lot of published advice out on the internet about how to get the privilege of doing so. However, since the monorail accident of 2009, no one but crew is allowed to ride up front for safety reasons.

During peak times, the monorail can get quite crowded so, just as on the Disney Bus Transportation System, you may need to stand. There are hand rails above each side by the doors and poles in the center of each monorail car to hold onto in that event. All monorails are also wheelchair-accessible. If you have any questions, any monorail cast member will be happy to help you.

If you’ve been dreaming about a Disney Cruise vacation, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to find out how to make your dream a reality. I promise you, it will be a magical vacation that you and your family will never forget!!

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Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.

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