What’s It like to Drive the Disney Monorail? An Interview with a Former Pilot

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Do you like trains? If so, you’ll love the Disney Monorail!

Essentially, it’s a special train that connects the different sections of Walt Disney World. There are four main stops—Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Magic Kingdom Park, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

As it turns out, each of these trains is piloted by a Disney cast member. Want to know what it’d be like to “drive” one of these railroad cars?

We had the special opportunity of interviewing a former Monorail pilot. Interested in what he had to say? If so, be sure to read on!

1. How Did You End up Driving the Monorail?

CM: I needed a part-time job at the time. The monorail department seemed like it was desperate for people.

2. What’s One Thing About the Monorail That Most People Don’t Know About?

CM: Most people don’t know that (as of the last two years) there’s actually an autopilot feature.

3. Have You Witnessed Any “Major” Incidents on the Monorail?

CM: One person went up to me and told me a woman threatened him with a gun. She didn’t—he’d made it up. We ended up having to delay the monorail for half an hour while the police resolved the issue.

A group of park-goers waiting to board the Disney Monorail.

4. Is the Monorail Difficult to Drive? Why or Why Not?

CM: It’s very difficult to drive when in manual mode. The driving itself isn’t complicated, but you have to remain in radio communication with central controllers and operate a touch screen while driving. There’s a lot of multi-tasking involved!

5. What’s Your Funniest Passenger Story?

CM: I wish I had a funny passenger story. Some guests were nice to talk to, but many were very rude, unfortunately.

6. How Does Training for the Monorail Work?

CM: The training is very intense. First, you do something called platform training—it lasts about a week. Basically, you learn how to open and close the stations.

After working the platform for a while, you being drive training. No test I took in college comes close to the intensity of the monorail driving test. You have to take trains out of the shop at 4 am, bring them into to shop at 2 am.

You’re also working crazy hours and driving nonstop. You’re constantly getting yelled at and judged. Central controllers will give you sass over the radio and remain in constant contact with you while you’re trying to drive. It was pretty stressful.

7. What Were Your Shifts Like?

CM: I mostly worked the night shift. I’d drive in circles till my mind would melt and then I’d bring a train back to shop.

8. Have You Ever Run into Any Famous People on the Monorail?

CM: I never met anyone famous. Famous people don’t usually take the monorail—they have private transportation. Having said that, multiple Avengers actors were at the park while I was working, none stopped by the monorail, though.

What Do You Think of the Disney Monorail?

How many times have you gone on the Disney Monorail? Do you have all of the stations memorized in your head?

Let us know your experience in the comments below!

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