Changes to the Monorail May Make it Less Appealing to Some Guests

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This week Disney added dividers to the monorail cabins which will allow for increased capacity. Not all of the monorails have these new dividers, but it would stand to reason that eventually all monorails will have them. The dividers allow for two parties to be on the same bench inside the monorail cabin. This change may make riding the monorail uncomfortable for some guests, which includes our field research team.

Monorail open for loading. (photo is pre COVID-19)

When waiting to board the monorail a Cast Member will assign you a numbered spot on which to wait. Once the monorail arrives and you head inside you will sit in the section with the corresponding number. Larger parties will be split into more than one section.

Monorail with New Additional Dividers – January 2021
Monorail with New Additional Dividers – January 2021

With average sized parties there can be up to four parties per door leading into the monorail cabin. There is a divider in the middle of each bench, as well as the top of the benches in the middle of the cabin.

Standing room is still not allowed, but with the new dividers the visibility is decreased. The cabins are still at a lower capacity than pre-COVID-19 times, but during peak monorail times there is a noticeable difference now compared to the past few months.

Monorail with New Additional Dividers – January 2021
Monorail with New Additional Dividers – January 2021 (departing Magic Kingdom)

Our field team, myself included, does not feel comfortable on the monorail with the increased capacity. The good news is, during non-peak times, essentially the middle of the day until park hopper hours kick in, the demand for the monorail is usually low enough that you’d most likely still at least have the bench to yourself.

Have you been on the monorail since the July 2020 reopening? What do you think of these changes?

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Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

14 thoughts on “Changes to the Monorail May Make it Less Appealing to Some Guests

  • January 14, 2021 at 5:09 pm
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    It’s been a while (EPCOT’s 25th anniversary to give the honest answer how long!) since I’ve been down to WDW, but, seeing this makes me think of something that I’d been wondering about to begin with for the monorail. These days, I use a power wheelchair (or at least an ECV) if I’m planning to do anything with a fair amount of walking (think grocery store, forget the walking for WDW!). I’m not 100% sure how the monorail was handling ECVs & power wheelchairs before these partitions went up to break up the benches, but, it makes me wonder if it’s even more difficult now. I know that when I used an ECV last time on a monorail, I still would put a hand on the pole to help control the amount of “jolt” that I could end up experiencing since I’m sitting 90 degrees to the direction of travel. With these up, not only does it seem harder to grab, but, you’re invading someone’s space all the more.

    Anybody see, since these went up, how WDW is handling things for ECV & wheelchair guests?

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  • January 14, 2021 at 5:26 pm
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    I’m guessing if people are comfortable flying to the Florida, riding the buses, etc…they should be comfortable with the monorail situation. Especially for a 10 minute ride.

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  • January 14, 2021 at 7:34 pm
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    Once this is all over, I hope I never see a piece of plexiglass ever again.

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  • January 14, 2021 at 9:11 pm
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    Not liking the decreased visibility.

    Also, I’d much rather be able to see other occupants of the compartment to be sure they’ve got their face masks on. I get the feeling that when people can hide, half of them remove it.

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  • January 14, 2021 at 11:32 pm
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    Maybe one day someone will invent a transparent divider (disengage sarcasm mode).

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  • January 15, 2021 at 6:03 am
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    I still think since my husband and I use ecv’s due to medical conditions we have while at Disney there would b no way to share a monorail car with other guests due to the dividers would not serve the purpose.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 6:56 am
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    I’m wondering how you would get a stroller on and off. This was definitely the easiest transportation for us since we have 9 grandchildren and strollers are essential. There didn’t seem to be enough room to accommodate even one stroller.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 7:01 am
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    We were just at wdw the week before Christmas. I won’t be going back until all of the changes are gone. Wearing a mask is terrible. It’s hot and sweaty, and taking pictures with one on is pointless.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 10:29 am
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    We were just there yesterday and spoke to a cast member about these partitions yesterday. So here’s some information we discovered: There were three in our party, myself and my children (10 & 8). We were assigned two partitions, but we fit in one, so we sat together. I think it was mainly because they wouldn’t be able to see me if we sat separately that they wanted to squish in together. ECVs, wheelchairs and strollers all fit in the middle between the partitions, but grabbing the poles is nearly impossible right now. The CM said that they just put them up last week and they are just trying them at this point to see if they work to increase monorail load. However, they will be reaching out to people for feedback regarding the partitions. We honestly didn’t mind them, but we’ve been many, many times, so we didn’t necessarily need/want to look at all of our surroundings. I do think that it’s going to make it harder to fit a decent number of people in the monorail if a group of three was assigned two partitions and when I told the CM that we’d all sit together, they elected to leave the other partition open instead of adding one more party.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 10:48 am
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    If you are feeling uncomfortable about dividers allowing for increased capacity at Disney World, my next question is why would you go here during a potential deadly pandemic???? It certainly is not a necessity for you or your family to travel here. The same goes for restaurants. These are not rights, they are decisions that you make and you alone accept the responsibility for your safety. I love Disney World too but to complain about how these businesses are trying to survive seems very selfish to me.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 11:35 am
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    I think you are correct. I’m a Disney parks fan but would not choose to go right now for any number of reasons. I have no problem wearing a mask when out and about, but would not choose to vacation where/when they are required.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 11:48 am
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    I was there in September. I typically rode in a compartment by myself. The monorail has always lacked in circulation, so adding dividers will add to discomfort without doing anything to limit spread of an airborne disease-in fact by adding capacity, supports the possibility of increased spread . Bad idea, and I’ll make sure to only ride in off hours if needed to get to a monorail resort. Boats are running now, and that will be my first choice.

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  • January 15, 2021 at 3:30 pm
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    We’re locals and have previously felt very comfortable visiting since reopening with all the measures Disney had in place, but things like these (and seating every row) along with the new, more contagious strain, have me nervous. I’d be anxiously awaiting the return of the EPCOT monorail since park hopping returned, but now we definitely won’t be using it. (So I suppose it may have the desired effect of increasing efficiency by decreasing demand!)

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  • January 15, 2021 at 8:50 pm
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    Disney cannot keep operating at reduced capacity indefinitely, and it is starting to take steps to allow for increased capacity. I understand if people feel uncomfortable, but the reality is that Disney is a business and has to make a profit to exist. To think it can keep operating as it is now is fantasy.

    Reply

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