Tips & Tricks

What You Need To Know About Disney World’s Monorail

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Last Updated on February 4, 2020 by Allyson

Please stand clear of the doors, because it’s time to learn all about Walt Disney World’s Monorail. The monorail is one of the many transportation options available at the most magical place on earth. It’s super easy to use and makes for a great way to get around, especially if you’re staying at one of the resort hotels where you can catch the monorail.

The monorail is a huge part of Disney history and there are all kinds of interesting facts about the transportation system. Plus, if you’re new to Disney World there’s monorail information you need to know, like when and how to transfer if you get on the monorail at Magic Kingdom and want to go to Epcot.

But, no need to worry or panic if you don’t know all the monorail ins and outs just yet, because that’s what I’m here for. Now let’s get talking about one of the most impressive parts of Disney World.

1. What Is It?

The monorail, or the “public transport of the future,” is simply a public transit system that travels on a track to certain locations around Disney World. FYI: You do not need to purchase a park ticket to access the monorail.

2. It’s History

Walt Disney was inspired to build the monorail after visiting Germany and discovering a similar transportation system built by the ALWEG company. The monorail first originated at Disneyland and debuted in 1959, four years after the park initially opened. As for the Disney World monorail, it first ran on Oct. 1, 1971, the same day the resort (Magic Kingdom was the only park at the time) officially opened.

3. It’s Nickname

If you ever hear someone talking about the “Highway in the Sky,” they are referring to Disney’s monorail.

Walt Disney World, Grand Floridian Resort Villas, Monorail
Credit: Courtesy of Walt Disney World

4. Where Do You Catch It?

You can access the monorail from six locations: the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Resort, and Epcot. So, if you’re staying at Contemporary, Grand Floridian, or Polynesian, you can board the monorail right from your hotel, which is definitely a nice perk.

5. Where Does It Go?

The monorail travels to each location mentioned in the previous bullet. However, if you don’t know the system, it can be a bit complicated. For example, there are three different lines.

First, there is the Resort Hotels Line or the Resort Loop, which shuttles guests to all of the resort hotels attached to the monorail line, in addition to Magic Kingdom and the TTC. The monorail makes stops in this order: Magic Kingdom, Contemporary, TTC, Polynesian, Grand Floridian. It goes in a constant clockwise loop.

The second line is the Epcot Monorail Line, which shuttles guests back and forth between Epcot and the TTC.

Lastly, the third line is known as the Express Monorail Line or the Magic Kingdom Line, which runs alongside the Resort Line, but only stops at the TTC and Magic Kingdom.

6. How & When To Transfer

With that said, how and when do you transfer onto the correct line? It’s really not as hard as it sounds. First of all, there are signs that will direct you to the correct location. Plus, you can always ask Cast Members for help.

Secondly, let’s say you get on the monorail at Magic Kingdom and want to go to Epcot. You will need to go to the TTC stop to transfer to the Epcot Line. The same goes for if you get on the monorail at Epcot and want to go to the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary, Polynesian, or Grand Floridian. You will need to get off the Epcot Line at the TTC and transfer to the Magic Kingdom or Resort Hotels Lines.

The above is just one example, but if you follow signs and ask for directions, if needed, you’ll be fine! Riding the monorail is really very simple once you get the hang of it.

7. When Does It Run?

The monorail opens 30 minutes before the earliest park opening until one hour after the latest park closes.

Credit: Giphy

8. How Long Is The Ride?

This really depends on where you’re going, in addition to any “traffic delays” or technical difficulties, but, overall, it’s a pretty short ride. If you hop on the Resort Loop Line and go in a complete loop, it will be about a 15-20 minute ride from beginning to end. And if you hop on the Epcot Line, it will be an estimated 10-15 minute ride, because the monorail goes around the park giving you great views and a short tour of Epcot.

9. The Transportation & Ticket Center

The TTC is Disney’s transportation hub and serves as a transfer point between boats, buses, and the monorail. In addition to hopping on the monorail here, guests can park their cars and also purchase park tickets. As previously stated, the monorail takes guests to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. A ferry boat will also take park goers at the TTC to Magic Kingdom. If visitors want to go to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom, they can hop on a bus.

10. The Highway In The Sky Dine Around

If you ever wanted to dine on the monorail, this is the closet you’ll probably ever get. The Highway in the Sky Dine Around experience allows guests 12 years and older to enjoy quite the culinary journey at three different locations.

Guests can enjoy a welcome appetizer and a specialty cocktail at the Contemporary’s The Wave… of American Flavors; “island-inspired libations and appetizers” at Polynesian;  champagne, artisanal cheeses or charcuterie, and a main course at Grand Floridian’s Cítricos; and then, finally, desserts, cordials, and coffee on a private patio back at the Contemporary to watch the Happily Ever After fireworks. This experience costs $170/person plus tax, with gratuity included.

11. It’s Popular Catchphrase

Each time prior to the monorail leaving the station, there is a safety announcement said in both English and Spanish. The phrase has become so popular the saying now even appears on T-shirts. It goes as follows: “Please stand clear of the doors!” / “¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!”

The monorail is something everyone should ride at least once. It’s a huge part of Disney history and will make your experience all the more special. If you have further questions, please let me know in the comments!

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