How reliable is the monorail?

I keep reading scare stories about monorail delays and breakdowns. How reliable is it, really? If you had a time-sensitive appointment, would you trust the monorail, or use some other means of transport?

I would be aware of the options, because the monorail can be really frustrating sometimes. It’s great when it’s running smoothly and not too crowded.

The resort/MK boats are a great alternative, as is taking an Uber for the resort/Epcot route.

Note: If going from the Poly to MK or EP, I always walk through the Poly grounds to the TTC because the resort loop takes more time than you might expect.


Usually, it is fine. But sometimes something unexpected happens.

Last trip, while we were next to board the monorail, the train came up about 8 ft short of where it was supposed to stop. It took 30 minutes for them to fix the problem and get the train back in motion. As a result, the entire monorail line was out of commission for those 30 minutes. The other direction was running fine during this time, but I’m not sure it would have been faster at that point to get out of line and flood the other side in response.

I think the boats are more reliable in that regard. However, we’re told that both the boats and monorail take the same amount of time. In our experience, when the monorail is running smoothly, it is a bit faster than the boat.

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We’ve only stayed at the monorail resort once (last June) because we prefer the EP resorts. But the entire week we were there, it wasn’t down at all and ran pretty early - even early enough to get us to EMM. I would say be aware of your other options and be prepared to switch to one of them if need be. But we had good luck.

I am not a control freak… I know that I cannot control most things. The monorail is one of these things. Being a statistics man, I think you should lean towards the more “controlable” options if you are trying to make an ADR or the like.

From least to most reliable:
Driving yourself
Walking (when possible)


I was very concerned after hearing recent stories. When we stayed at the CR 4 years ago they were doing a lot of repair work and the monorail was sporadic. It was a pain, but not the end of the world since we were doing three straight days at MK so we could walk.
This most recent trip (2 weeks ago) we booked the Poly b/c of the monorail and as it got closer to our arrival day I started to worry. We had no delays, no breakdowns, and no opening doors :slight_smile: They were on time and working just fine, which I can’t say for the busses.

I’m anxious to hear when the new monorail trains will go into service, now that it was announced. I’m hoping they are there before our 2020 trip.

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Our overall experience a few weeks ago was it’s fine for most times, sketchy for time sensitive. Sometimes in the evening at Epcot, we had an empty car for the ride to MK. we stayed at BW and one morning decided to walk through ep to get to monorail for ride to MK. Well, I misjudged the monorail line at TTC, and realized we’d have to wait a cycle or 2 to actually get on. We were running late for our PP FPP, so embarrassingly, I called for a Minnie van just from TTC to MK. hindsight, I should have gotten it from Epcot gate, or even our hotel.

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Hmm . . . let’s talk specifics.

I have about an hour to get from MK to GF — but that’s got to including going to the front desk, picking up my blazer and chinos, getting changed in a bathroom, and walking to V&A. My original plan was to take the monorail because I thought it would be fun to pass through CR on the way.

I’m guess that if I’m late for V&A, it’s probably not that big of a deal. I’m assuming the table is pretty much mine for the whole evening. But it’s obviously not ideal to be late.

So is an hour enough, or do I need to think about the boat? Is there a walking option?

No walking option. The boat would be the alternative - likely more reliable if you’re concerned about timing. Generally we preferred the boat from MK to GF and Monorail from GF to MK as that orientation is one stop for each. It seems unlikely that the monorail would breakdown for that long with you on it that would cause you to be late so I don’t think it is a big deal which you choose. If the monorail breaks down before you get on then you can catch the boat instead…

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The monorail around from MK to the GF is the longest, time-wise, because you have to stop at CR, TTC, and Poly first.

Boat is presumably more direct in this situation.

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Is the monorail via the Contemporary the magical experience I’m imagining?

If you find stopping and waiting for people to get off/on while inside a terminal “magical”.

To me, the more magical experience is taking the express monorail from the TTC through the CR to MK. The resort monorail is less magical since your view is more inhibited due to the boarding station.

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I think the boat ride from MK to GF is rather enjoyable and an hour would be enough time. You can always take a ride on the monorail when you don’t have a specific time schedule.

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I had done it as a kid 40 years ago. We did it a few weeks ago and it was neat the first time more for nostalgia, but overall, notsomuch…

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I took the monorail last year from the TTC to MK, I think. I don’t remember much about it, except that it was busy and smelly. I don’t remember there being an awesome view.

Don’t sit for the monorail ride. Stand. And despite the fact that the doors might open spontaneously, if you stay close to the doors, you get a better view of things. If you stand on the left side of the train, you get a better view of the park from a distance across the Seven Seas Lagoon. If you stand on the right side, you get a better view of Tomorrowland after passing through CR.

For that, I recommend better deodorant.

Oh wait. You were implying something else…

Since you ask, it smelt of sick.

That’s unfortunate. I’ve not noticed that myself, but then I don’t have the best sniffer in the world. Perhaps it was just a case of bad luck.

No, not at all. They are crowded, hot, and smell like the subway (urine?). Not magical at all.

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