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  1. #1

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    Monorail Expansion Feasible?

    Reading about the train at DLHK directed me to thinking about the Monorail lines at WDW. My understanding (I have not visited WDW at this time) is there the monorails stop at only a few of the parks and hotels, with busses providing service between the rest.

    Does anyone know (or could guess at) the fesability, from a financial perspective, of expanding the Monorail system to the point where it could replace the shuttles?
    Last edited by Gwyren; 05-03-2005 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyren
    Reading about the train at DLHK directed me to thinking about the Monorail lines at WDW. My understanding (I have not visited WDW at this time) is there the monorails stop at only a few of the parks and hotels, with busses providing service between the rest.

    Does anyone know (or could guess at) the fesability, from a financial perspective, of expanding the Monorail system to the point where it could replace the shuttles?
    The expansion could be feesable... but confusing for tourists whop leave their brain behind... and expensive.... so much they would charge us for the money to ride it to the parks..... or charge more for parking and resort rooms...

  3. #3

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    The Bombardier MVI costs $88 million/mile according to Monorails.org. Add in the price of monorails, stations, Cast Members, pilots, mainanence, and additional TTCs and the project for the forseeable future seems very unlikely and not needed.

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    The Bombardier MVI costs $88 million/mile according to Monorails.org. Add in the price of monorails, stations, Cast Members, pilots, mainanence, and additional TTCs and the project for the forseeable future seems very unlikely and not needed.

    -Michael
    the figure seems to go up by the minute ... it's definitely costly. I certainly agree that it's not likely to happen. I would say, Eisner would have a sex change and fall in love with Martha Stewart first. But not needed?

    Spent much time on those magical WDW buses? OOps, I mean air conditioned, magical motor coaches ...

    Monorails may not pay off immediately, but over the long run they would. Besides, Disney could simply put a surcharge on rooms (say $5 a night) toward the capital.

  5. #5

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    That is what I mean. Is it a long sensible long term investment? I have no idea about upfront costs, maintenance, labor costs, etc, but with gasoline costing as much as it does this may be a very sensible long term investment for the resort. And maybe a claim as an ECO friendly PR item as well.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    Monorails may not pay off immediately, but over the long run they would. Besides, Disney could simply put a surcharge on rooms (say $5 a night) toward the capital.
    As important as long term is, short term is much more important. Currently Disney has 13.6 miles of track. If you wanted to double that (to serve DMGM/AK/Resorts), it would cost $1.2 BILLION! That's 12 Mission Spaces! It would take 5 Titanics (the most expensive film in history costing an estimated $200m to make)! Epcot($1b) and Animal Kingdom($800m) cost less than that. So doubling the monorail (which is basically what it would be when you extend it) would cost as much as a 5th park + 2 Mission: Spaces+Titanic...and that's just for the track! I'm sure Disney will be going for that. Would you?

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    As important as long term is, short term is much more important. Currently Disney has 13.6 miles of track. If you wanted to double that (to serve DMGM/AK/Resorts), it would cost $1.2 BILLION! That's 12 Mission Spaces! It would take 5 Titanics (the most expensive film in history costing an estimated $200m to make)! Epcot($1b) and Animal Kingdom($800m) cost less than that. So doubling the monorail (which is basically what it would be when you extend it) would cost as much as a 5th park + 2 Mission: Spaces+Titanic...and that's just for the track! I'm sure Disney will be going for that. Would you?

    -Michael
    Honestly? Now? With those figures? ... No, I wouldn't.

    But I wouldn't have let it come to this either. In the 1970s, they already had the route planned for a monorail spur from TTC to the Disney Village. In the 1980s, they had plans to add a spur from EPCOT Center to Disney-MGM and the Epcot Resorts, but Eisner balked at the price tag.

    Disney just decided it would expand and add buses, damn the consequences. Kinda like how Florida allows developers to build houses without paying for schools, roads and other infrastructure first.

    I would start a staggered expansion. Likely adding the Studios and Epcot Resort Area first since it's the closest to the existing track. And again, I'd add a transport surcharge to room rates to cover it. I don't think it's going to matter to most people if they pay $279 for a room or $284.

    And to use your comparisons, WDW needs transportation solutions a helluva lot more than it needs another park. There has been plenty of talk about adding a fifth gate over the years, and I'm pretty sure Disney has even decided where it would go on property. I'd much rather see $500 million thrown into monorail expansion.

  8. #8

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    Oh, I'd also like to add that the monorail 'footers' (pads where rails go) were actually buried along the proposed route around the Epcot resorts. They're still there, just waiting ...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    But I wouldn't have let it come to this either. In the 1970s, they already had the route planned for a monorail spur from TTC to the Disney Village. In the 1980s, they had plans to add a spur from EPCOT Center to Disney-MGM and the Epcot Resorts, but Eisner balked at the price tag.
    It's easy to look back and say "What if...It would have been better if we had...etc" Hindsight is 20/20. Personally, I find no need to service the Epcot resorts. Whenever I stay at the boardwalk, DMGM and Epcot are a simple walk/boat ride away. If we want to go to Magic Kingdom, we either take the bus or go through Epcot to get the monorail. Taking a monorail from these resorts would be plain lazy. The only addition I would make is a loop to Animal Kingdom and/or Downtown Disney. That's just my opinion though.

    I don't think it's going to matter to most people if they pay $279 for a room or $284.
    Are you kidding? People complain whenever any price goes up. If parking increases a dollar, people are complaining. Although in theory a few dollars isn't a lot, people complain about everything price related.

    There has been plenty of talk about adding a fifth gate over the years, and I'm pretty sure Disney has even decided where it would go on property.
    It's just a newspaper article, but look at this.

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    It's easy to look back and say "What if...It would have been better if we had...etc" Hindsight is 20/20. Personally, I find no need to service the Epcot resorts. Whenever I stay at the boardwalk, DMGM and Epcot are a simple walk/boat ride away. If we want to go to Magic Kingdom, we either take the bus or go through Epcot to get the monorail. Taking a monorail from these resorts would be plain lazy. The only addition I would make is a loop to Animal Kingdom and/or Downtown Disney. That's just my opinion though.
    Perhaps. But the old Disney always was forward thinking. The Disney of the past decade has been reactive. You better believe if Eisner had been running Disney when EPCOT Center was built, they never would have extended the monorail, despite the fact it adds a very important design element and serves as transport at the same time.

    Yes. You can take the slowest boats known to man from the Epcot Resorts to the Studios or walk the mile. But the fact remains the resorts in that area are some of the priciest on WDW property and making those folks stand on busses just reeks of tackiness. I do agree with your thinking about DD, though. Buena Vista Drive is usually a sea of cars, not to mention stoplights, so adding the monorail there does make sense. And since Reedy Creek has goverenmental authority you'd think again they could add a tax on merchandise or food/dining or even start charging for parking to fund it.

    As for DAK ... I see the need, but it's so far away. I would bet it would be the most costly to add beams out there and there are few places for an inbetween stop ... maybe Coronado Springs.


    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    Are you kidding? People complain whenever any price goes up. If parking increases a dollar, people are complaining. Although in theory a few dollars isn't a lot, people complain about everything price related.
    People may complain. But I doubt most would notice. If a magical vacation costs a family $7,654 for a week or $7699, I really don't see people canceling their plans.


    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    It's just a newspaper article, but look at this.

    -Michael
    I read that earlier. I assume you put it out there because it says Disney won't be adding any parks in the near future, yes? I realize that. And agree with it 100% as they have already reached the saturation point and need to focus on the parks they operate now. But they do have land set aside for parks, resorts, water parks etc ... some may be built, some may not.

    I'd plan on seeing a new water park near WWoS in the next five years if I were a betting man with some inside info ... wait, I am. :devil:

  11. #11

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    $88,000,000.00 per mile!!!

    The quote of $88 million per mile for a monorail is ridiculous and would only be paid in Vegas. For a little better feel for the cost of building monorails, try out this link - http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/HowMuch.html. WDW's cost would run to the more reasonable end since they won't be starting from scratch. Much of the infrastructure is already in place with the current system. For Disney to just shoot down monorail expansion due to cost alone reeks of Eisnerism :devil: . I'ld gladly eat another $5 bucks a day to see Disney step out in front again and take a lead on something.

    Where are you Walt??

    19 days to Wilderness Lodge.
    Stuck in the Ozarks!

  12. #12

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    The roads are already built, and cheap transportation is what the cheap hotels get.
    However, the cost of WDW monorail expansion should be a lot less expensive than a public entity's expansion. There are no landowners to buyout (or pay to shut up), no threatened landmarks to destroy, etc. Try getting a monorail from the airport to WDW. That would be extremely useful, to the detriment of the other amusement parks in the area. Same reason why the bullet train to WDW is not going to happen.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozarker
    The quote of $88 million per mile for a monorail is ridiculous and would only be paid in Vegas.
    That site lists a lot of different types of monorails, but Disney uses the Bombardier MVI monorails. It would almost be certain they would stay with them. However, I was just giving a generic figure. As the monorail website says, there are many factors. It would be a little less, but with all the extra things needed including a new TTC, stations, and CM, it would still be over $1 billion.

    For me, there is a limit on what Disney should pay for things. If they would like to expand the system, I say do so a little at a time. Perhaps for the time being, just build a new TTC. I would rather they spend that billion dollars on new rides & refurbishments.

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  14. #14

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    I don't why WDW can't at least expand the monorail to the Wilderness Lodge, it's not very far off the existing rail line! They could make up the difference with increased room fees with little problem.

    A little off subject, but why can't Dinsey add a canal boat ride (The African Queen) from the Animal Kindom Lodge to the DAK? It would add a nice touch to this deluxe resort.

    If they could add a line to MGM that would be FABULOUS, but I understand that it would be too expensive. Bummer. Seems like an efficient way to move people around.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sters
    I don't why WDW can't at least expand the monorail to the Wilderness Lodge, it's not very far off the existing rail line! They could make up the difference with increased room fees with little problem.
    It would still be expensive.. and they have a Boat from there to MK.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Sters
    A little off subject, but why can't Dinsey add a canal boat ride (The African Queen) from the Animal Kindom Lodge to the DAK? It would add a nice touch to this deluxe resort.
    They could do that.... It has been talked by many people... But probably never thought of by them.. or they figure it is cheaper for a bus...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sters
    If they could add a line to MGM that would be FABULOUS, but I understand that it would be too expensive. Bummer. Seems like an efficient way to move people around.
    The monorail to MGM is about as far as to wilderness lodge mabey is choosen right.. and it would still be exensive... I wonder what the route would have been like esp since they had the footers burried already...

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