Friday, April 3, 2009


Over the past year or so Disneyland has been rolling out a series of "new" monorails, which appear to be Mark V's dressed in Mark VII clothing (but good luck getting the straight dope out of anyone), that have been fraught with defects.

When the upgraded Monorail Red made its debut it could hardly complete a circuit before having to be towed back to the monorail barn, which has been re-purposed into a kind of intensive care unit for one-rail trains these days. It appears that not one of the engineers who designed the goddamn thing could be bothered to take out a ruler and go to Disneyland to measure how large the existing track actually was. When the time came to test their fantastic designs, the monorail actually scrapped the loading platforms in Tomorrowland and Downtown Disney and lacked the ability to navigate those pesky little things called turns.

When they figured out how to make it go, another problem reared its ugly head. During the Summer the monorails became so hot that no human being could actually survive in one. The monorail was not allowed to carry passengers on days when the temperature exceeded a certain amount. To fix the problem, they cut big holes in the windows in order to increase air flow so that by the time I finally take a ride on one my face is pelted with pouring rain throughout the two and a half mile journey to Generic Outdoor Mall and back.

Next time you want a monorail designed, get this jerk off. His monorail can actually navigate the track!

Bob Gurr, largely responsible for anything that moved on wheels at Disneyland during its early years, is still alive, so he's not exactly spinning in his grave, but I think when he finally kicks the bucket he'll be spinning into his grave, considering how much they screwed up this monorail project.

The Mark VII debacle highlights an overall problem that Disney has not been able to shake off, a lack of vision.

Instead of investing in a true rapid transit network for Disneyland, they decided to build these "new" monorails on the cheap. Their design is pathetic. Their roll out was botched. There is no net benefit to the average resort guest who doesn't give a damn that the monorail now looks more retro and phallic. Island seating and neon lighting. This is the effing future right here. How about designing a monorail that is, you know, useful?

Obligatory screenshot from that one episode.

How about tearing down the old track and replacing it with a new network that would connect the parks, the hotels, the major parking lots and the 3rd gate? Imagine stations in the Esplanade, the Disneyland Hotel, the Mickey and Friends parking structure and the 3rd gate, at the very least. It's not like there isn't a precedent for this sort of thing at Disney parks. Walt Disney World is renowned for its monorail network that connects two parks, a handful of hotels and has been largely abandoned since the 80s. Wait, there's the precedent I was looking for. The Walt Disney Company simply doesn't care about the monorail anymore.

No, that's too Walt Disney for them.

There is no vision at The Walt Disney Company. Any vision that remains at WDI has been snuffed by blind executives. These guys can only see as far as the next focus group full of blithering middle-American idiots who wouldn't know WED from their own fat scooter-riding asses.

For those of you that still go to Disneyland, enjoy parking next to the strawberry field if you dare to visit the park on a busy weekend. The International Disney parks all happen to be within walking distance of a train station. It seems that everybody in the civilized world has embraced modern rapid rail transit except for Disney and the United States.

Looking toward the future. That's too Walt Disney for 'em.


Mr. Lincoln said...

Great post. Disneyland definitely seems to see their Monorail more as a ride than as transportation. And the bigger the park gets the more frustrating it is to see it not utilized the way it was intended... same goes for the People Mover!

Can you imagine a People Mover or Monorail that connected the parking structure, hotel, and the main gate? I salivate at the thought.

Oh, and that guy in the picture, his Monorail car could use a cup-holder don't you think?

Anonymous said...

You're still an idiot-for-life, Spokker!

You always have been and you always will be!

Honor Hunter said...

How about they spend the price of about a third of a new gate for that new monorail and cancel any new attractions to pay for it?

Would that make you happier Spokker? Because that is what it would cost. Sorry, but as much as I'd like a new one that goes around the track it's just too much to pay for an addition. Now were they to build a Third Gate we might get them to fork over the money. But that's a decade away at least...

Spokker said...

It could have been a part of the cost of the resort expansion that included DCA, but there was no vision back then either.

In any case, I hope transportation, and not just more parking structures, is part of Disney's and Anaheim's vision for the long-term.

If monorail expansion is really going to break the bank, then I guess we should be disappointed about WDW's monorail system. They should have used shuttle buses instead or else we'd have a lot more attractions inside WDW's four parks.

Honor Hunter said...

Notice the monorails don't go to all the parks, right? That's because the cost was so high...

I'm not saying I don't want to see an expansion, Spokker. I'm just saying that I'd rather them spend the money that they HAVE budgeted for the parks on attractions, not monorails.

WestCOT and Port Disney were designed to have monorails, Disney-MGM and DAK were not. Even Tokyo didn't have a monorail starting out. It was years before they got one. And I like you would love to see it expanded, but it'll have to wait until a bigger budget is committed. And that requires confidence of vision. Now, I know Lasseter likes the monorails. Should his cred there keep growing then by the time the resort has a Third Gate you may see an expansion or at the least some form of themed people mover.

For that to happen, it means he's got to keep making hits. So remember that next time you don't want to go see one of those Pixar or Disney films. You could indirectly wind up being the reason we don't get that new transportation system.

How 'bout them apples?

TokyoMagic! said...

In the original Westcot plans, wasn't there supposed to be a people mover system that would take guests from the parking structures to the park entrances?

We can now add the new monorails to the long list of big disappointments which include, Light Magic, Tomorrowland '98, the Winnie the Pooh attraction, and ALL of DCA (or at least 99% of it)...oh yeah, and the Innoventions Dream Home.

Anonymous said...

Your last post is 2 and a half months ago? What, the negativity well running a little shallow these days, douchebag?

Spokker said...

Hahaha, my God, you criticize Disney and these people think you are criticizing them. They have no lives. They wait in line six hours for a fucking pin. A fucking pin. Don't they have families? Don't they have jobs? Are they so retarded and autistic that Disneyland is the only beacon of light in their lives and any negative remark about the place must be suppressed? It's a sickness. Positivity at all costs, except for those who may hold a different opinion.

Anonymous said...

You just don't get it do you?

Are they so retarded and autistic that Disneyland is the only beacon of light in their lives and any negative remark about the place must be suppressed?

To start with, using peoples debilitating medical conditions as a form of insult is fucking low.

Also, the rest of the world except you seems to realise that the people who run Disneyland, are in fact people. People make mistakes, people also have to work within a budget, and God forbid, people actually have a different idea to what they want from Disneyland than you.

Pull your head out of your ass (although your posts on other boards, including non-Disney related ones, shows that you actually like the taste of your own shit)and put some perspective in your ramblings.

You think the monorail is shit. Fine, that doesn't mean it is actually shit, especially to Disney's target audience. The people who are there to experience the magic, rather than your ongoing negativitiy, which is mostly baseless and without any real thought or subjectivity.

Grow up.

Spokker said...

"people actually have a different idea to what they want from Disneyland than you."

Yes, and everybody gets to voice their idea on the Internet. What a great thing.

But time and time again it's the Defenders of Mediocrity who can't handle other people's opinions and post long-winded diatribes as you just did.

Anonymous said...

As the other anon said spok-

"To start with, using peoples debilitating medical conditions as a form of insult is fucking low."

You are disgusting and there's no denying that fact.

Spokker said...

Nobody is above ball busting, not even retards. I believe in treating people with medical conditions just like anybody else.

Some people say Howard Stern exploits the mentally handicap. All he was doing was putting them on his show. They can be laughed at, insulted and praised just like "normal" people.

Spokker said...

As far as monorails go, Disney doesn't care anymore.

I wouldn't be surprised if current Disney World management stopped running a monorail operation and switched to buses to cut costs. Then they can sell off parts of the trains for a quick infusion of cash and offer nostalgic merchandise related to the retired attraction to sychophantic Disney nerds.

They've neglected any notion of expanding their system to the other two parks, numerous hotels and other destinations within the resort. The last expansion happened in the 80s. The same is true at Disneyland, where there aren't even rumors that someday the monorail would be expanded to other destinations like the possible third park. Nobody is stupid enough to start that rumor. No one would believe it.

So even if I believed in monorails as a viable solution to congestion (they are cool in a nerdy sort of way), I would have completely lost faith in them by now. Not even The Walt Disney Company thinks it's a good idea to build monorail systems anymore and their founder was so gung-ho about it.

Honor Hunter said...

The Monorail is Dead...

And so is this blog apparently.

Where are you Spokker? ;P