The Walt Disney World Monorail. Every time we come to Walt Disney World Resort for vacation, we always make sure that our family rides on this wonderful “train”. Even when we are not staying at a monorail resort, we make riding it a part of our vacation itinerary! I can’t tell you how many times I have come to Disney World and literally breathe a sigh of relaxation with a smile on my face when I hear the words, “Please stand clear of the doors; por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas!”
One of the coolest aspects about the monorail is that when you are in the resort, it is an integral part of your experience, as it is one of the primary ways to get to the Magic Kingdom and/or Epcot. There is no extra cost to ride it, so technically, it is a “free” attraction. In fact, it may be the best “free” attraction on property, and here are a few reasons to back me up:
There are usually no long lines of people when waiting for the monorail.
Throughout the day, each monorail can carry up to 360 passengers, and usually a new one will unload and load at a station around five minutes after the previous one. Because of this, you will very rarely have to wait in line for a ride, with the exception of busy nights after Wishes or Illuminations.
There is no FastPass needed to ride it.
We all know that those FastPasses are almost as valuable as money when planning your activities at a park, as you have to use them for specific must-do attractions. Since the monorail counts as a mode of transportation in the resort, no FastPass is required!
You can ride it as long as you like.
How many times have we complained about rides in the parks being too short? The beautiful thing about the monorail is that you can usually stay on the monorail and ride it as long as you want. Whether you want to take the Magic Kingdom Express line or the Epcot line, you can ride it continually without having to leave (with the exception of the night’s-end crowd loading and unloading). We actually had our kids take their naps in it when they were younger; about 2:00-3:00 in the afternoon, the ride would just lull them to sleep! Believe it or not, the monorail can be very relaxing and de-stressing. It is an especially awesome place to cool off during the summer season.
It takes you to all of the different Magic Kingdom deluxe resorts, so you can explore them, even if you are not staying at one of them.
Disney really provides guests with the ability to not only experience the parks but also experience their deluxe resort hotels through the monorail. If you’re at the Magic Kingdom, you can hop on the WDW Resort line, and the monorail will take you to 3 of the 4 Deluxe Resort Hotels on property: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort and Spa. It gives you the opportunity to explore the hotels’ intricate, detailed themes as well as shop at and dine in their respective stores and restaurants.
It is the fastest way to get to Magic Kingdom and Epcot if you stay in a deluxe resort.
Now you see why those deluxe resorts listed above are at a higher premium than other resorts on property. However, if you can afford to stay there, you truly get the quickest and most convenient way to access the parks, and it doesn’t show up as a separate charge on your room. Resort boats are pleasant, but they can be much slower. Enough said!
You do not have to fold up your strollers and put your kids on your lap.
As parents of young children, this is a wonderful feature when traveling from the parks. While this accommodation can also be found on many of the resort boats, the monorail is quicker and more convenient when you’re lugging your happy but tired crew back to your hotel room. Guests usually have to take buses if they are staying at the Moderate Resorts or Value Resorts, and the buses require all strollers to be folded before loading into the vehicle, which can get quite chaotic if they have more than one child under 3-4 years old! However, if you are loading your family into a monorail, you can just keep each and every stroller with your children still strapped in during the whole ride.
You get some of the coolest views in the park.
From going straight into the Contemporary Resort Grand Canyon Concourse to taking a high-level tour of Future World in Epcot, a ride on the monorail gives guests a perspective around the resort not found on any other attraction. You can see all around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, including some spectacular sunsets. You can even preview nighttime shows like Wishes, Illuminations, and the Electrical Water Pageant!
So, the next time you come to the world’s most popular vacation destination, try to make time to appreciate this “ride” that you technically have already paid for. You may suddenly find yourself more relaxed and enjoying what was supposed to be a futuristic way to get around!
Dave is known all too well about his fondness for taking vacations at Walt Disney World with his wife and 3 children! As a prior U.S. Air Force veteran, he is unashamed to also share his Disney experiences with fellow veterans. He and his family currently live near Charlotte, NC.