The Disneyworld Monorail System opened on June 14, 1959 as a sightseeing attraction in Tomorrowland in Disneyland. It was the first daily operating monorail in the western hemisphere. In 1961, the track was lengthened to leave the park and stop at a station in front of the Disneyland Hotel. In 1987, Disney began phasing out the old Mark III trains one by one. Mark V monorail trains were introduced as the older trains were stripped to the chassis and rebuilt instituting the loss of the bubble top driver's area in favor of a streamlined "lear jet" look similar to the trains at the Walt Disney World Resort. The attraction's name changed to Disneyland Monorail System. The Mark V trains were built by Ride and Show Entertainment and up to 1989 Mark V trains were named by the color of the stripe: Monorail Red, Monorail Blue, Monorail Orange, and Monorail Purple. When new Disney's California Adventure theme park was being constructed, the Disney Monorail began closures and limited capacity because already existing monorail tracks passed through the site. In year 2001, the Disney Monorail began running full capacity again and passed through the new park. In 2004, Monorail Orange was taken out of service and taken to Walt Disney Imagineering to be reverse engineered. The new trains are scheduled to be completed and installed by 2007, with a whole revamp of the system, including a name change to Disneyland Resort Line.
All luxury resorts in Walt Disney World are connected to the Disney Monorail system. Guests simply wander out from the main lobby and are whisked aboard a waiting monorail to their destination. Currently, the monorail system connects the Magic Kingdom, 3 luxury hotels, the transportation center and EPCOT. When entering the station, riders may ask a cast member if there is room to ride up front with the pilot. There is seating room for four individuals. In the case of the Resort train, riders in the front may not be leaving at the next station; for the other monorail lines, those riding in front must disembark at the next station. Monorail pilots may give out souvenir co-pilot licenses to guests riding in front with them.
Unfortunately, this modern, efficient and futuristic service is available to the newest theme parks, MGM Studios or Animal Kingdom. To get to other destinations in Walt Disney World, guests of any resort must rely on Disney buses.
Hopefully the transportation system will soon be modernized to include more monorail service.