Ladies and gentlemen, we are currently holding for further traffic clearance……
Did those words just come from my mouth? Do those words sound familiar? If you love the Walt Disney World Monorails then I am sure you have heard that phrase thousands of times! What about being able to say “please stand clear of the doors” in Spanish without even knowing the language? That one is easy because I learned it from riding the monorail at Walt Disney World. “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas”! I have even set my computer to recite that line when it closes down.
The Monorail system opened in 1971 at Walt Disney World (WDW). When they first began operating there were 2 lines. They followed the same route but went opposite ways. There was the express monorail that provided service between the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and the Magic Kingdom. This monorail is on the outer loop and runs counter-clockwise. The local monorail, known as the resort monorail runs on the inner loop and runs clockwise. This monorail makes stops at the Magic Kingdom, The Contemporary Resort, The Transportation and Ticket Center, The Polynesian Resort, The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and back to the Magic Kingdom. When EPCOT opened up in 1982 a 3rd line was added. You could catch this monorail at the TTC and have a long journey to EPCOT! What’s cool about the EPCOT monorail is when it when you are riding on it, it makes a complete circle around Future World and you get a birds-eye view of the park. Before EPCOT opened to the public, you could take a monorail there for a preview of what EPCOT was all about!
When I first started going to WDW there were 10 monorails. The resort monorails had 5 cars each and they were red, blue, green, orange and gold. The express monorails had 6 cars each and they were black, silver, yellow, pink and purple. Being that we usually stayed at the Contemporary we only got to ride on the resort colors but I always wanted to go on the other ones. I also remember we would run up the escalator and try to get a seat in the front with the driver. Since the beginning they have added a few more colors like coral, lime, teal and peach. Also all the monorails now have 6 cars and I am unsure if there are specific colors for specific lines. Sadly, the pink and purple monorails were retired after an unfortunate accident and guests are no longer able to ride in the front with the driver.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I am a big fan of the WDW monorails. When you arrive at the Orlando International Airport there is a monorail that takes you from the terminal to the baggage claim. The voice on the speaker was at one time the same voice you would hear on the recording of the WDW monorail. To me, this felt like I was almost at Disney!! We always would rent a car and as soon as we got to Disney property I would be on the lookout to see a monorail. I would always keep track of which colors I had seen and I had this weird craziness where I would write down the order of monorails on each line for the day. My parents called it “monorail watching”. My dream job was to be a monorail driver. Well one day my dream came true…..
My family was at WDW at Christmas time. We used to stay at the Contemporary for 2 weeks and being that it was Christmas Eve we decided not to go to a park that day because they all closed early so Cast Members could be with their families. My sister and I decided that we wanted to ride the monorail. We were lucky enough to be able to ride alone in the front. I started to talk to the driver about what it was like to drive a monorail and he asked me if I wanted to give it a try. I am sure he would have been fired for this if he was caught but back then I wasn’t thinking about that. I was so nervous and excited and he walked me through what to do. It was a lot of fun and I still remember it like it was yesterday. When we would approach the stations, he would switch places with me so he wouldn’t get in trouble. I ended up going around 3 times. The last time we went around we had to wait to get into the Contemporary station because of traffic so he told me to make an announcement and say “Ladies and gentlemen, we are currently holding for further traffic clearance.” I remember feeling embarrassed but loved saying it. I knew it was time to “disembark” (meaning to get off, another word I learned from riding the monorail) from the monorail because I am sure my parents wondered where my sister and I were. Of course at that time there were no cell phones. I thanked the driver and told him he made my dream come true. I am really glad he didn’t get caught or get in trouble for what he let me do. I rushed down the escalator and felt flushed! We found my parents and told them what had happened and they were amazed. The rest of the day I could not stop thinking about it and could not stop smiling.
To this day I have not forgotten how happy that experience has made me. Now that I am an adult I know what happened was wrong and could have been dangerous for the people riding the monorail. But back then, it was a thrill to be able to fulfill one of my dreams! I would not trade it for anything. My family has not been to WDW for 4 years which is way too long. We are hoping to plan a trip soon. I know I will still get excited when I see my first monorail! I am also looking forward to boarding the monorail and hearing the familiar voice of the monorail and the famous line “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas!”Share