WDW - Monorail System

Wednesday, March 5, 2003 3:57 AM
jkpark's avatar I think the monorail system needs expanded at Walt Disney World. There should not only be access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but also the Disney MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, and other major attractions in the resort complex.

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YOUNGSTOWN 2010

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 4:11 AM
This one topic has had hours and hours of debate over on the Disney forums. Most people would agree that expansion of the monorail seems like a natural addition but Disney has an issue of spending millions, perhaps even billions of dollars on expanding the system without getting a direct benefit.

The hotels already have extremely high occupancy even though people must drive of ride busses to the parks from most of them. If hotel occupancy slipped dramatically and they could point to inconvenience of getting around property as a reason why, then you might see an effort to expand the system.

As it stands now, I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 4:55 AM
Between Project Gemini and the Alien Encounter renovation next year, I don't really see Disney spending much more or anything else. That and they still need to get Mission:Space finished
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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 5:09 AM
jkpark's avatar
Well, it's just a thought. I wouldn't expect for them to go right out and exapand. I wouldn't consider Project Gemeni a final deal, it's still up in the air (Michael Eisner). Disney is considering to close their parks at least one day out of the week.
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YOUNGSTOWN 2010
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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 5:34 AM
Eisner is one of the greatest opponents of the monorail expansion. He doesn't feel it is necessary or cost effective.

The other thing is that they get premium prices for the monorail resorts. If they expand the monorail to All Stars, Caribbean Beach, etc then it kind of diminishes the value of Poly and Contemporary.

There has been some discussion of light rail transportation which would be a lot cheaper than the monorail expansion but again, I don't see it happening in this decade.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:17 AM
I have to point out that an expansion would be in the low millions to low tens of millions to expand (dependant on the length). The right of way is already owned and mass-produced concrete track segments and supports are cheap. They would need a few more trains, too, but they are probably also pretty cheap (compared to 'regular' trains, VERY cheap). This is just an FYI for the cost argument. But if they don't expand it, they have their resons not to...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:18 AM
I believe that they should get an expanded monorail but the likeness of it happening is unlikely. I believe that if you ask anyone if it should be expanded without the concern of money then they would probably say yes but if you add money into the picture then I would not like it happen and make the money go the parks.

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Coasterbuzz: Where it's okay to scream like a girl

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:23 AM
Kick The Sky's avatar It would be nice if they just expanded the system to the other parks. The Epcot-Magic Kingdom connection is really convenient. It would be nice if they could link up the parks and downtown disney as well.

BTW: What is Project Gemini anyways?

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Bob Hansen

Operation Wicked Twister
Goal: Lose enough weight (50lbs) to ride Wicked Twister in 2K3
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*** This post was edited by Kick The Sky 3/5/2003 11:24:15 AM ***

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:44 AM
Gee, this discussion is full of popular monorail myths. Expansion of the WDW monorail would be natural. Monorail has higher capital costs than their fleet of buses, and less operational flexibility (that is, the route can't be changed). But the monorail doesn't get stuck in traffic, can operate much faster than the bus network, can carry more pphd than the buses, and should have significantly lower operating costs. For WDW, even the per mile expansion costs should be low because (initially at least) the ROW is already owned, the basic plant is already owned, and quite frankly, beamway is cheap! Someone suggested a light rail system...I should point out that installing a rail system would be foolish in an environment where the monorail system already exists, as construction costs for LRT are in fact higher than for monorail.

For more arguments in favor of monorail in general, have a look at The Monorail Society. Oh, and to keep things on topic...Kim Pedersen, tMs founder, is himself a coaster enthusiast...in fact before he built his backyard monorail, he built (and demolished) two backyard wooden coasters.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:53 AM
Hey, I am pro-monorail...but...I am also a realist. When working at WDW in the College Program I believe we were told that the cost to construct the monorail comes out to about $1 million per span. That is going to get pretty expensive if you want to go to Animal Kingdom.

Again, the issue comes out to the return on investment. The hotels are already booked without monorail stations. People ride the busses.

Considering the trains are basically built from scratch, construction of a fleet of them wouldn't be cheap either.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 7:22 AM
I was just reading an interesting article from Seattle's "Stranger" about monorails and their cost. Some speculate that a Monorail can cost about $25 million per mile...critics say it costs more, whereas Light Rail could cost about $80+- millions per mile. (third paragraph up from the bottom)

http://www.thestranger.com/2000-07-13/monorail3.html

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 7:30 AM
Jeff's avatar Those costs seem pretty ridiculous. I admit, I don't know what a span of concrete would cost, but even a million each seems too high.

I think the bus system works fine. Unless someone could prove that the monorail would be less expensive to operate to the additional locations, and calculate a reasonable time frame for return on investment, I see no reason to even think about it.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 7:30 AM
A million buck a span? That's a joke. Someone is doing some serious leg pulling. The track is cheap, the land is already owned... what's a better situation than that?

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 8:50 AM
Don't remember the source, but I recalling reading that the cost of WDW monorail track was $1 million/mile which seems a lot more in line.

Mike

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Laugh your troubles away at Riverview, the world's largest amusement park.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 8:54 AM
Kick The Sky's avatar Well it all comes down to dollars and cents really. What additional revenue are they going to generate if they build monorail track to all the resorts and parks? The answer to that question is the answer to whether they will build additional monorail track. My guess in that case would be no. How many more guests are you going to get to patronize WDW just because of additional monorails? Will those monorails take them somewhere else where they might spend more money? Not likely with most guests having hopper passes to other parks and a monorail from a park to a hotel is actually taking that guest away from money spending areas.

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Bob Hansen

Operation Wicked Twister
Goal: Lose enough weight (50lbs) to ride Wicked Twister in 2K3
Progress: 21 pounds since 1-1-2003

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 9:07 AM
It's unwise to look at the monorail system as a money maker since it makes no revenue! A system expansion would make getting around easier for guests (and who wants to ride a bus versus a "futuristic" monorail?)

Certainly cost plays into it, but the system should be look at as a "public" good rather than a private one. Convenience and volume of use are probably more in line with the aspects to consider when planning a potential expansion like this. You know it's not going to pay for itself, but it helps people get around, which has benefits of its own (see: US Interstate system).


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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 9:15 AM
Well, it might have been a million per mile but I was almost certain it was a million per span. I am pretty sure I have seen that figure on Disney fan sites as well.

The point is simple though. Busses do the job effectively and have more flexibility than a fixed rail line. People have been saying for a dozen years or more (probably since D-MGM) that expansion is on the horizon and not one foot of additional track has been laid.

The biggest question? Who gets the monorail first? Cedar Point line from the mainland or additional lines at WDW?

Please, don't take me serious.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 9:26 AM
What might cause WDW to revisit monorail expansion might ultimately be the expansion of the Park Hopper program. Whenever the customer is sitting on a bus, tram, monorail, ferry, or car, he isn't in the park spending money. When he's moving from park to park, he isn't spending any money. If he is using his own car to drive from park to park, there is an equal chance that he will simply drive off the property for lunch, and return to the park of his choice, in which case the Disney Compound has just lost a significant sale. The additional parking fee, assuming there is one, only recoups about an eighth of that lost lunch.

Wouldn't it be better for people with park-hopper passes to park at the TTC (or their park of first choice) and spend the rest of the day navigating the World on the monorail system? Given that the monorails can carry more people more frequently than the buses can between parks, and given that scaling back the bus fleet would bring about traffic improvements ...

Well, eventually it will make sense. Of all the fixed-guideway transportation options, it is the only option that makes sense for WDW, given the ground conditions and the existence of the current MK-VI system.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 9:42 AM
I've actually heard estimates of close to a billion dollars to connect all parks and Downtown Disney to the monorail system. But that's including Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, too.

The thing to remember is it's not just concrete rails and pylons- it's also additional trains, power substations, stations, planning, surveying, and rennovation to the flow of foot traffic at the entrance to parks.

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- John
Dag, yo
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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 9:53 AM
... which still won't cost a billion dollars. ONE BILLION DOLLARS? Give me a break! You can build many miles of high speed railroad track with that kind of money. I doubt it would ever reach 100 million to build a few more miles of cheap conrete track.

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