The monorail at Disneyland is an excellent way to travel between Downtown Disney and the park. Hotel guests enjoy exclusive Early Entry privileges that allow them to board 30 minutes before the park opens!
The monorail is an enjoyable, scenic ride that circles both parks. You’ll get stunning aerial views of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland in Disneyland as well as Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.
What is the Monorail?
The Disney monorail is an unforgettable attraction that shuttles guests between Disneyland and Anaheim. Towering 41 feet above the resort, it travels at an astounding 30 miles per hour.
Walt Disney had a vision for the monorail, an idea inspired by his desire to improve transportation at his theme parks. When he saw one being built in Germany, he immediately imagined creating one in America.
He collaborated with designer Bob Gurr and Alweg, the German company that invented straddle beam monorails. After moving their construction process to Burbank, CA, they constructed all of the trains and propulsion systems.
The Monorail is the only line of its kind to traverse a Disney theme park, with its station in Tomorrowland within Disneyland Park. Guests staying at a Disney hotel are eligible for early entry into the park upon boarding the monorail; guests aboard who don’t meet eligibility requirements may board at their convenience.
Where is the Monorail Station?
Walt Disney originally opened the Disneyland Monorail in 1959, searching for a transportation system that would offer guests an exclusive perspective of the park. His wish came true when he encountered Alweg company while traveling in Germany.
The Disneyland-Alweg Monorail had a futuristic design, featuring corrugated side panels and an eye-catching bubble top in front. Created by Disney’s young design genius Bob Gurr and constructed by Alweg company, this monorail had an innovative concept.
Today, two stations remain: one in Tomorrowland and one in Downtown Disney. To board these buses, guests must possess either a valid park ticket or hand stamp.
The Monorail covers a distance of 2.5 miles and takes 13 minutes to make its round-trip journey from Tomorrowland station to Downtown Disney station. Passengers can enjoy views of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland in Disneyland; as well as Grizzly Peak and Hollywood Land in California Adventure. As they ride along, a narrator provides commentary about the sights below them.
Can I Ride the Monorail Without a Park Ticket?
For an early morning rush to skip lines or to escape the crowds during lunch, the Disneyland Monorail is a great form of transportation at the Happiest Place on Earth. Plus, it’s included with your park ticket price so it can be an exciting way to view the parks from above!
On June 14th, 1959, the Disneyland Monorail made history at Walt Disney World Resort. As the first monorail ever operated in America, it provided visitors with a relaxing way to take in all of the sights of the park.
Though the original track was only a short walk outside the park, it was extended 21/2 miles in 1961 to a second station near Disneyland Hotel. This allowed guests to board the Highway in the Sky for an exciting journey through California Adventure and Downtown Disney before arriving back at Tomorrowland.
How Long Does It Take to Ride the Monorail?
Traveling around Disney World has never been simpler, thanks to the monorail. This high-speed train whisks guests across the resort with some breathtaking views along the way.
Take the monorail to and from Magic Kingdom and Epcot – it takes approximately 15 minutes each direction.
One of the longest sections of track is that which connects Transportation and Ticket Center with Epcot. This monorail makes it convenient for visitors to both parks in one day.
Monorail rides are ideal for park hopper passes holders. They can ride from Transportation and Ticket Center to Epcot for the day, then return to access Magic Kingdom’s monorail line.
Depending on when you travel, taking the monorail to and from Magic Kingdom can take as little as 10 minutes. It’s usually faster than taking the ferry; however, it may take longer during peak hours when small groups of people board at each stop.
Chris is a passionate learner and writer. When he’s not working on his blog or learning something new, he’s a full-time systems administrator and father of two beautiful girls. Chris loves spending time with his family, reading, writing, and playing hockey.