(9/14/11) There has been a lot of talk over the past day or two about the Walt Disney World Monorails. Over the past few days, there have been several reports sent in about system-wide shutdowns as well as all kinds of heightened security measures. In regards to the later, we’ve heard reports about guests being held back from loading into the Monorails while someone would inspect each cabin, checking inside the hidden panels to look for anything that did not belong, before giving the all clear for guests to board. Security Dogs were also spotted sniffing out the Monorails during the busy 9/11 weekend as well.
However, beyond all this has been several new reports coming in about what may be near daily breakdowns in the system. I’ve reported in the past on how the WDW Monorail fleet has aged to the point where it is beyond its expected lifespan and in need of replacement, though to date, it does not seem as if any orders have gone out to construct a new fleet. Even if those orders were issued today, it would likely be another two years or so before the first new monorail could begin test runs on the beams. Case in point… it’s already been over two years since the deadly monorail accident of 2009, and Disney is just now getting the rebuilt monorail back on the beam for testing.
According to one report, at least one of the system shutdowns was pre-planned in order to get the future Monorail Peach out on the beamway, all by itself, for it’s first real test run. According to the source, I’m happy to say that all went well. Once they log enough test hours with Monorail Peach, it will be given it’s color stripe and soon rejoin the fleet. Meanwhile, lets hope Disney is ready to starting ordering some new trains soon, otherwise we could be looking at a repeat of how Disneyland’s Monorail system was just driven to the breaking point, and trains were cannibalized for parts to keep others running until even that wasn’t enough any more. At least the Disneyland Monorail is primarily used for entertainment purposes… unlike the WDW system which is quite vital to ensure the transportation of guests from the Magic Kingdom to the parking lot, as well as shuttling guests between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
(9/13/11) I’m not really sure what took place, but a reader on site at WDW reported that early Monday evening, the entire Monorail system was suddenly shut down, all riders removed, and the monorails were being pulled off the beams. Anyone know what happened?