The Disneyland Monorail is an iconic transportation system at theDisneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Opened in 1959, it was the first daily operating monorail system in the Western Hemisphere. The monorail provides transportation between Tomorrowland in Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, and the Disneyland Hotel. It is a fun and convenient way for guests to travel between the different areas of the resort. The monorail trains themselves are quite futuristic-looking. The nosecones and tailcones are made to look aerodynamic, like a rocket ship. The trains run on a single beam elevated track, gliding smoothly and almost silently. Riding the monorail gives guests a birds-eye view of the parks and hotels below.
Average Wait Times: Wait times for the Disneyland Monorail can vary depending on the time of day and season. On average, you can expect to wait between 10-30 minutes, with shorter lines during off-peak hours.
Height Requirements: Unlike many Disneyland attractions, the monorail does not have a height requirement, making it an excellent option for guests of all ages.
Single Rider Option: The Disneyland Monorail typically does not offer a single rider line since it’s a transportation system rather than a traditional ride with seating assignments.
Genie+ and Lightning Lane: The Disneyland Monorail is not part of the Genie+ or Lightning Lane system.
Rider Switch: Rider Switch is not applicable on the Disneyland Monorail, as it is not a ride attraction with height requirements.
Disability Access Service (DAS): If you or a member of your party requires the use of DAS, the Disneyland Monorail is wheelchair-accessible. Guests using a wheelchair or mobility device can typically board at the Tomorrowland Station.
History and Design
The Disneyland Monorail was designed by Walt Disney himself, along with his team of Imagineers at WED Enterprises. It opened on June 14, 1959, just in time for the grand reopening of Tomorrowland. The Mark I trains consisted of three cars each and were named the Red and Blue trains. The sleek, retro-futuristic design of the monorail was inspired by the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle and Disney’s vision for transportation of the future.
The trains feature a wraparound bubble window at the front for great views. The architecture and styling contribute to the nostalgic charm of the experience. In 1961, the monorail track was expanded to the Disneyland Hotel, making it an actual transportation system rather than just an attraction. Over the years, the monorail has expanded to three trains – Red, Blue and Orange. The trains are still based on the original iconic design from 1959.
The Disneyland Monorail provides a smooth, 11-minute, 2.5 mile ride around the resort. The elevated track provides great views of Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, the hotels and the Anaheimarea. The ride begins when guests board the train at one of two stations – Tomorrowland Station or Downtown Disney Station. The trains depart every 10 minutes or so from each station. As the train leaves the station, guests get an elevated look at the bustling Tomorrowland area of the park.
The track curves around the north side of Tomorrowland, giving views of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Star Wars Launch Bay, and Space Mountain. Continuing on, the monorail glides above the Fantasyland and Mickey‘s Toontown areas of Disneyland. It’s fun to try to spot your favorite attractions like It’s a Small World, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Roger Rabbit‘s Car Toon Spin from above.
The train then makes its way out of the park, crossing Disneyland Drive and into the Downtown Disney District. You’ll get an overhead glimpse of the lively dining and shopping area. The final leg of the journey takes the monorail past the Disneyland Hotel before looping back to Tomorrowland. The ride comes to a stop back at the station where guests disembark.
Queue and Loading
The queue areas for the Disneyland Monorail are relatively small and simple. At the Tomorrowland Station, guests wait in a short, uncovered outdoor queue before entering thestation. At the Downtown Disney Station, the queue is indoors and features photos, concept art and facts about the history of the monorail. There is also a small gift shop at thisstation. The loading process is very efficient, with cast members directing guests to quickly fill in all available rows from back to front. The bench-style seats allow for 3-4 guests per row. Wheelchair accessible spots are available on each train as well.
Tips for Riding
Here are some tips to make the most of your Disneyland Monorail experience:
Use for transportation – The monorail provides a quick way to get between Tomorrowland, Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel. It’s faster than walking.
Beat the crowds – Ride early in the morning or late at night to avoid long lines. The monorail starts running one hour before park opening.
Ride both ways – Ride to Downtown Disney first so you disembark at Tomorrowland on the return trip and are right in the park.
See the sights – The left side of the train generally has the best views of Disneyland Park and the right side has views of Downtown Disney.
Take photos – Be sure to snap pics of Disneyland from the unique elevated viewpoint.
Listen to the narration – On your first ride, listen to the narration to learn about the history of the monorail.
Experience at night – The neon lights of the park are beautiful to see from the monorail at night.
The Disneyland Monorail is a classic attraction that has been beloved by generations of guests since 1959. It’s an enjoyable way to travel around the resort while taking in unique aerial views. Riding the monorail is a relaxing, scenic experience that is suitable for all ages. With a bit of planning, you can use it as efficient transportation and beat the crowds on busy days. Don’t miss a ride on this iconic, futuristic monorail during your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Disneyland Monorail Review
The Final Word
Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disney enthusiast, don't miss the opportunity to take a ride on this iconic attraction and savor the nostalgia and wonder it evokes.