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  1. #1

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    Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    I love the Disneyland Monorail -- it is one of those iconic images that practically screams "Disneyland"! However, the technology dates from the 1950's and is nothing more than rubber pneumatic tires riding on a concrete beam. It is no longer "cutting edge".

    But how to update the monorail technology without destroying the classic monorail train esthetic? One answer -- redesign both the undercarriage of the trains and concrete beam track for magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) technology!

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    Not only would this retrofit make for an exciting public relations announcement, but the ride quality of the monorail would improve signficantly (especially if the monorail route is expanded to include the rumored "Third Gate").

    What do my fellow Armchair Imagineers think?

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Hold on WDWR has this techonogy in its people mover the problem is though it can only work on a flat surface. There is probaly new and better ways of doing it since the 1980's though but that was the biggest problem. It might be time to replace the track with all new modern technology but hey Disneyland is fine WDWR needs a new transportation system all over the entire property so they might want to do something with that.

  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Maglev is hardly cutting edge, it's been around longer than many people on MC have been alive. It's not common place because it's not a great thing.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Maglev is hardly cutting edge, it's been around longer than many people on MC have been alive. It's not common place because it's not a great thing.
    But the monorail concept was not commonplace when Walt decided to use it. It was unique. And I respectfully disagree with the statement that MAGLEV is not a great thing. Asia is making extensive use of it and it would be very unique in the American Disney parks. For those reasons, wouldn't a Disneyland/WDW MAGLEV Monorail be a very cool ride?

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  5. #5

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    What if we just redecorate all of Tomorrowland into a Jules Verne Steampunkish inspired land? Then we could have this:




    Nah I'm just joking. I personally have no opinion on the monorail. Whether it should stay, go, or be updates is someone else's debate.



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  6. #6

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorQ9 View Post
    But the monorail concept was not commonplace when Walt decided to use it. It was unique. And I respectfully disagree with the statement that MAGLEV is not a great thing. Asia is making extensive use of it and
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    If it was great it would be all over the place. Since it's invention many trainlines have been built in the US and none found it to be reasonable over diesel engines, diesel electric or electric systems.

    It's not being extensively used in Asia, China is building train systems by dumping tons of money into them and then claiming they are high tech while trying to hide thier railroad safety record is aweful.

  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianpinsky View Post
    Hold on WDWR has this techonogy in its people mover the problem is though it can only work on a flat surface. There is probaly new and better ways of doing it since the 1980's though but that was the biggest problem. It might be time to replace the track with all new modern technology but hey Disneyland is fine WDWR needs a new transportation system all over the entire property so they might want to do something with that.
    WDW's people mover down not use Maglev. The People movers are pushed by Magnets, but they are very much in contact with the rail at all times, and are rolling on metal wheels along metal tracks. A Maglev train has not wheels and basically floats along the beam.

    I *think* I have read that Maglev train can negotiate an elevation change in their beamway so long as it is not at a station? Not sure there on that or if it could handle the time of the elevation changes the DL monorail handles along its beam.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    My employer is a technology R&D company in Torrey Pines. They have an experimental maglev rail in one of the R&D areas with a cargo type rail car on it. Sometimes when I'm down there working on an issue It's neat to see that thing power up and float along every now and then, but apparently it's there because the technology isn't quite there yet. I'm not saying that you can't find maglev vehicles, just that it's not exactly a perfected technology quite yet.

    From Wiki on "maglev":

    Birmingham - "the system was eventually closed in 1995 due to reliability problems" and "It was in operation for nearly eleven years, but obsolescence problems with the electronic systems made it unreliable in its later years."


    Despite the seemingly negative twist of my words, I'm actually all for a maglev upgrade. It's less working parts to go wrong. A redundancy system would have to be built in ( wheels ) in case all power was lost and it dropped to the track. I know it doesn't drop far, maybe 15 millimeters, but it would be enough to cause a problem. Overall it sounds like a good idea as long as it works.
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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    China is building train systems by dumping tons of money into them and then claiming they are high tech while trying to hide thier railroad safety record is aweful.

    Not to mention how many times a day our network is attacked by IP addresses that are clearly traceable back to mainland China. Any advancements made are thanks to concerted hacking efforts that I have to fight on a daily basis. We're not alone, they hack anyone and everyone they can steal technology from and then claim they made it.
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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Since the trains were just replaced a couple of years ago, I doubt we will see new ones any time soon.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Ultra-high tech Monorails at Disneyland is a very cool idea. Unfortunately, given the months-long fiasco of the last Monorail upgrade, the ongoing downtime with RSR, and the Ergonomics 101 issues plaguing the Matterhorn upgrade, today's Disney would seem to be the last company one would pick to accomplish it. The sad fact is that Disney no longer has a Bob Gurr.

    Nor, apparently, do they have a telephone with which they can call him for some sorely needed advice.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 12-11-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Ultra-high tech Monorails at Disneyland is a very cool idea. Unfortunately, given the months-long fiasco of the last Monorail upgrade, the ongoing downtime with RSR, and the Ergonomics 101 issues plaguing the Matterhorn upgrade, today's Disney would seem to be the last company one would pick to accomplish it. The sad fact is that Disney no longer has a Bob Gurr.

    Nor, apparently, do they have a telephone with which they can call him for some sorely needed advice.
    Sometimes I wonder if WDI is just good with set decoration nowadays and not ride systems anymore.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    If it was great it would be all over the place. Since it's invention many trainlines have been built in the US and none found it to be reasonable over diesel engines, diesel electric or electric systems.
    Just to keep things straight, what we think of as diesel engines (or locomotives) are actually all diesel electric (a diesel engine turning an electric generator that provides power to electric motors on the wheels).

  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Nor, apparently, do they have a telephone with which they can call him for some sorely needed advice.
    But they do have a hydrophone for listening to fish talk.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  15. #15

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    Re: Disneyland Monorail - Time to Enter the 21st Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by calsig31 View Post
    But they do have a hydrophone for listening to fish talk.
    In English, no less.

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