Saturday, March 21, 2015
5 Great Things About Walt Disney World's Monorail
By Lisa Green
Stated simply, I love the monorail. I’m pretty sure it’s a family thing, too, since we ALL love the monorail, and the resorts, restaurants, and shops on the monorail loop! We have stayed at all three resorts on the loop (The Contemporary, The Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian) and became DVC members at the earliest possible time once Bay Lake Tower was complete. Yes, we can walk to the Magic Kingdom from our DVC “home”, but let’s be honest – it’s the MONORAIL that drew us in.
If you’ve ridden the monorail EVER, then I’m sure you love it too! I’m sharing today the FIVE things I love most about this most unique, special, fantastic, dare I say magical mode of transportation in the whole wide World! Please don’t hesitate to comment with what YOU love most about Disney’s “Highway in the sky”.
1. The VOICE – and I’m not as picky as some. I do love the late Jack Wagner’s “Please Stand Clear of the Doors. Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.” – the original voice of the monorail system and still the voice that says that particular line. I’ve loved ALL the voices! Joe Hursh, voice of the monorail from 2004 to 2012 is probably the one I like the best – because I have incredibly happy vacation memories from those years! In 2012, voice actor Tom Kane (Star Wars, The Clone Wars) took over…taking a bunch of flack from die-hard monorail fans for being too bland in his delivery. The first time Joseph looked me in the eye (around age 9) and deadpan, perfectly lip-synced “Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas” was one of the most memorable, happiest moments of my life as a parent!
2. The SMELL – call me weird, but the monorail has a unique smell and I love it! Maybe it’s the air conditioner – for sure, on a hot day, the monorail is a cool and relaxing oasis – nearly a destination on its own – the fact that it takes you places while you’re listening to #1 and riding in cool, shaded comfort is just a great bonus!
3. The WRAPS – if you missed “Tronorail” or “Avengerail” I’m so sorry! The outside of the monorail occasionally gets a totally fabulous new groove. There have also been wraps for Iron Man 3 and Monsters University. Inside and out, the monorail often adopts an alter-ego based on Disney’s latest cinematographic endeavors. It’s just the coolest thing EVER. Anybody remember when Stich was inside the monorail with you? Ah, good times.
4. The EATS – No, the monorail hasn’t started serving snacks, but it can take you to some of the very best, most exciting (and delicious) restaurants on Disney property. Take ‘Ohana for example – this resort-loop favorite has been, for a long time, one of the hardest places to get into for a meal.
5. The CONVENIENCE – even if you are not staying at a resort hotel on the monorail loop, you can’t beat the ease of jumping on the monorail at the Magic Kingdom, making a quick switch at the TCC (Ticket and Transportation Center) and…presto! Arriving at Epcot! If you haven’t had the pleasure of riding the monorail into the station at Epcot, you’ve been missing out! Also, if you ever want to see some truly exceptional Christmas decorations – jump on the monorail at the Magic Kingdom, hop off at each resort for a look-see, and end up back at the Magic Kingdom. Grownups can do the very same thing for happy hour – hop off at each resort for a snack and a beverage!
One time, six of us were anxiously awaiting the monorail to whisk us off to our ADR at ‘Ohana and we could see it in the distance (Magic Kingdom station) – inching, literally, barely moving forward. As our ride drew slowly closer we could see what the problem was…not a mechanical malfunction as we would have expected, but a squirrel on the rail! And that squirrel was running for his life – straight towards all the spectators on the platform now watching the drama unfold with rapt attention. Surely, that squirrel would jump off the track and head for safer ground….but NO! He kept on running towards us – the HUGE crowd waiting for a ride – and holding our collective breath in anticipation of what fate the squirrel might face. As it ran ever closer, the poor thing began stopping every few feet to rest – and we all just quietly looked on! The air fairly crackling with anticipation. Finally, AT THE STATION – the poor squirrel leaped for safety and the crowd sighed in relief before, as one, everyone began to cheer! With that uproar, the monorail came to a stop and shortly, we were off – to enjoy our evening.
Now, it’s your turn! What do YOU love most about the Walt Disney World monorail system?
This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog
Editor's Note: Lisa can also be found co-hosting The Disney Exchange Podcast along with Dave Hodges and myself! - Nick