Can anyone ride the monorail at Walt Disney World?
The short answer is yes, anyone can ride the monorail at Walt Disney World Resort.
Before you start planning your monorail adventures, here are some things you should know about this iconic Disney transportation.
What is the Disney monorail?
The monorail is an integral part of the transportation system at Walt Disney World and an important part of the original plan for the Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney’s vision for the resort in Florida was that guests would leave the real world behind when they entered. The Seven Seas Lagoon separated the guest parking lot from the entrance to Magic Kingdom Park. When the park opened in 1971, guests parked their cars at the transportation center and had the choice of two different routes to the park; ferry boat or monorail. This is still in place today if you are arriving by car.
Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr based the design of the Walt Disney World monorail system on the original ones he designed at Disneyland Resort while giving it an updated look. Bob Gurr is known for his work on all things “motorized” including the Autopia cars, the Haunted Mansion Doom Buggies and the Matterhorn Bobsleds. For more information on the fascinating Bob Gurr – listen to podcast episode 59 where we got to chat with him about his work with Walt Disney.
Where does the monorail go?
The options for guests to ride the monorail are on one of three lines:
- Magic Kingdom Express Line
- Resort Line
- Epcot Line
The Magic Kingdom Express Line brings guests from the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) to the Magic Kingdom. It’s a complete loop that only makes those two stops as is essential for transporting guests at the end of a busy night quickly.
The Resort Line is a full loop that stops at the resorts as well as the TTC and Magic Kingdom. It runs on a separate parallel track to the Magic Kingdom Express line. The Resort Line stops at Magic Kingdom park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).
The Epcot Line goes from the TTC to Epcot and back again on a continuous loop.
While these lines operate primarily as transportation between the stops, they also offer unique views on the journey!
Who Can Ride the monorail at Walt Disney World?
Now, let’s get to the main question: Can anyone ride the monorail? The answer is “absolutely” at Walt Disney World. The monorail is open to all guests, regardless of whether you’re staying at a Disney Resort, have a park ticket, or are just visiting for the day. Since the stops are outside of the theme parks, you do not require a ticket to ride. The monorail is one of the few Disney attractions that you can enjoy without needing theme park tickets.
It is important to note that this is NOT the case in Disneyland California where the monorail stop is INSIDE of the park. You must have valid park admission in Disneyland to ride.
Are the Disney monorails accessible?
The Walt Disney World monorails are incredibly convenient for people with mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters. When the train pulls in to the station and the doors open, a Cast Member will provide a ramp for you to drive right in! For those with electric mobility devices it can be difficult maneuvering your scooter in to the narrow spot on the bus, but the monorail doesn’t have that challenge. The Disney Skyliner also offers a ‘drive on’ experience as well. For information on renting an electric scooter (ECV) see my blog post here.
Where do you get on the monorail?
- If you are resort guests staying at one of the 3 deluxe resorts on the monorail line there will be a monorail station right inside of your hotel!
- If you are arriving by car to the Magic Kingdom, you will park at the TTC and board the monorail there.
- If you’ve got the park hopper option on your tickets it is the best way to hop between Epcot and Magic Kingdom – you transfer at the TTC between lines.
Basically anyone can get on at any stop and go for a ride! Sometimes it’s fun to do the resort loop and get off to look in the gift shops at the resorts or grab a bite to eat.
Hours of operation:
- The resort and express monorail begin operating 30 minutes prior to when Magic Kingdom park opens and stop one hour after Magic Kingdom park closes.
- The EPCOT line begins operating 30 minutes prior to when EPCOT opens and stops 2 hours after EPCOT closes.
Tips for your monorail adventures:
- The monorail is incredibly busy at park opening and closing and you will experience long lines. If you’re riding for fun, try off peak times for the best experience.
- Do NOT lean on the doors. Keep children away from the doors and if possible, get a seat and enjoy the views from the windows.
- When entering the parks and/or monorails, be prepared for security checks. Each guest will walk through detectors and be subject to bag searches. If you have an umbrella in. your bag or glasses case – hold them out in front of you when you walk through the detectors for smoother screening.
- The Monorail lines are continuous loops, which means you can stay on board and enjoy multiple loops around the resort if you like. If you miss your stop – it will come back again!
- The monorail is fun, but it doesn’t go everywhere! For example, there is no monorail access for Disney Springs, the water parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom or many of the Disney resorts on property. Know where you’re going and map out the most efficient transportation options to get there.
The monorail is such an iconic piece of Walt Disney World history and is an impressive sight for Disney guests. I don’t care how old you are, the first time you see the monorail go through the Contemporary Resort, it’s beyond cool! I could sit at the Contempo Cafe and watch it all day.
Have you been on the monorail? What did you love about it?