Is Disney planning to end the Epcot Monorail? According to a source of Lance from Screamscape the answer may be yes. Why would they do such a crazy thing as the lost of the Epcot Monorail would be for sure a big lost of kinetic energy for the park? Well, if you follow me on the D&M Facebook page HERE you probably have seen the video below showing the incident which took place on Monorail Red as it was running on the Epcot beam with one of the doors which opened by itself and stayed open while the monorail was running down the line.
Sure, just an incident like this shouldn’t been enough to shut down the whole Epcot Monorail line but, as Lance fairly notice, the fleet of WDW Monorail is getting old and the cost of replacement will be too high for Disney. Add to this another rumor saying that Disney is thinking to build a hotel at the entrance of the park and here is what Lance is saying, making the link between both rumors:
“According to one source, Disney has run the numbers forwards, backwards, upside-down and sideways and determined that in no uncertain terms that the ongoing operation of the existing monorail system has become nothing short of a nightmare. The system has aged to the point where reliability has become a major concern, the cost to update it is said to be beyond anything they are willing to pay. On top of this, the rising costs and downtime issues to try and maintain the current system as-it-is, has risen to the point of just being almost unfeasible to continue to due for the long term.
So what is the plan? Lots of options are being discussed… but the one item that I’m told has become 100% necessary is the eventual closure of the Epcot Monorail line. In light of this latest incident… this could happen much sooner than later. This would be the first phase, allowing Disney to take an entire beam-offline and give them time to do some proper refurbishments to those trains to allow the two Magic Kingdom lines to keep running for a time. Ironically, I’m told the plan to close the Epcot line is also one of the reasons the concept of building a new giant resort hotel project over the entrance to EPCOT has come up.
The buying of time for the MK beams also gives Disney time to decide if perhaps they could fund a refurbishment of a smaller system that could continue to see the Resort and Express beams continue to operate. If not, eventually the Express Beam will also close, and Disney will use what’s left of the fleet to keep a single monorail beam running for the resort guest line only.”
I agree that Lance might have the right insight here and i don’t like it. Frankly Epcot Future World without a Monorail running inside it is no good news. Monorails are still a symbol of the future, there is not a lot of them running, specially inside towns and it’ll be again a part of Walt vision which would disappear.
According to Lance: “For now the monorails will continue to run, but from what I’m hearing, the clock is ticking and someday the monorail may depart to Neverland. For now, we’ll just keep an eye on the future of the Epcot line, as any future incidents like this latest one can only serve to shorten the lifespan of that route. Of course, the performance of the new Skyliner system that will run between Epcot and the Studios may also factor in heavily. If successful, the distance traveled by Gondola between Epcot and the Studios is about the same as the distance between the front of Epcot and the TTC, and they could even re-use the same travel pathway is they so desired.”
Make sure to follow Lance on Screamscape as he daily post news about theme parks around the world and has some of the best sources in the business. And also watch the video below in which Monorail Monday talks about the recent episode where Monorail Red traveled the beam with an open door panel, and discuss replacing the monorails, and an important safety tip if you ever have a problem while riding the monorail.