A guide to using Walt Disney World’s monorail.
Disney’s monorail system (affectionately known by Disney lovers as the “Highway in the Sky”) has been moving guests at Walt Disney World since opening day in 1971. For many of us the monorail is as much a symbol of Walt Disney World as the castle with its own t-shirts, toy sets, figurines and other products. Each train is identified by a uniquely colored stripe running down its side. When my sister and I were little our dad would pay us 25 cents if we could guess the next color monorail that would pull into the station at the Polynesian Resort. These days the tradition continues with my children as we all pick colors on the Magical Express bus and whichever person picks the correct color of the first monorail we see wins.
But the monorail is so much more than a fun game of guess the color. It is the workhorse of the Disney transportation system moving approximately 50 million guests a year over its almost 15 miles of track.
The monorail system runs 3 different routes using 12 trains. The number of trains in service on any given day depends on the crowd levels. You do not need a park pass to use the monorail.
Resort Route ~ This is a circle that runs from the Magic Kingdom all the way around Seven Seas Lagoon stopping at the three resorts located on the monorail line along with the Ticket and Transportation Center. These resorts are (in order of the stops) the Contemporary Resort, the Ticket and Transportation Center, the Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and then back to the Magic Kingdom. This line is primarily for those staying or dining at one of the three resorts although there are no restrictions as to who can use these trains.
Express Route ~ This route runs the opposite direction of the resort route and only stops at the Ticket and Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom. The trains do go by the three resorts along the track however they do not stop. This route is designed for those parking or being dropped off by bus at the Ticket and Transportation Center. It’s also used by guests “hopping” from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot and vice versa as they change trains at the Ticket and Transportation Center to catch the monorail to Epcot/Magic Kingdom.
Epcot Route ~ This route runs from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot and back. When you pick up the train at the Ticket and Transportation Center you will be treated to a pleasant 10-15 minute ride that will end with a quick pass through Future World at Epcot. This is a great way to get an overview of the park and check out the crowds.
You don’t have to be staying at a monorail resort or visiting a park to ride on the monorail so next time you are at Walt Disney World treat yourself to a round trip ride on the “Highway in the Sky”!
My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Disney Destination Specialist affiliated with Travel with the Magic. I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com or on Facebook and we’ll get started!