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  • Trip Report UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

    So yesterday, I decided with some friends that we would watch the Main Street Electrical Parade, and then Wishes. So we did that, and afterwards we decided to just wait until the park close at 11pm, to let most the people filter out before we left the park.

    So I have yet to stay until park close with the new Monorail operating hours. Now for whatever reason the monorail was closed an hour BEFORE park close yesterday.

    So when we left exited the park at 11pm, there was a line for the Ferry from the Ferry Dock all the way up to the exit turn styles, filling the whole entrance plaza, and walk ways. My party and I decided to just sit and chill for an while, while the crowds were ferried across.

    During this time a number of fights broke out, between guests, and it Disney Security was not near by to respond nearly as quickly as they should have.

    After an hour of waiting, we decided to just take the boat over to the Polynesian and walk over to the Ticket and Transportation Center. Once we reached the Grand Floridian, and Polynesian dock there, was a line for that Ferry that was still well over an hour. There was a quiet anger that you could feel from all these guests who paid to be on the Monorail, and were stuck in this large line, waiting for these small boats to move them back to their expensive resort.

    Long story short after waiting over 2 hours (so it is 1 am now), we finally are able to get on a Ferry to the TTC.

    In all my times of being in a Disney Park (in the hundreds of visits) I have NEVER experienced a situation that was as unacceptable as this. I have never heard more people speak ill of their Disney experience, and I have never seen so many physical fights between guests.

    I guess the moral of the story is:
    1. Don't pay for a room on the Monorail, until it is running normally again.
    2. Don't stay until park close for fear you might be stuck for hours on end.
    3. If you are stuck, just wait until almost everyone else has been ferried across, before you go, so that you can avoid angry guests.
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  • #2
    Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

    From what I've read, lightning struck the monorail beam which blew out the anti-collison sensors. Not agreeing with their new monorail policy, but this is why yesterday was difficult for the monorails.
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    • #3
      Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

      Lightning struck the beam so the monorail was shut down. Usually the monorails will run an hour after park closing.
      Last edited by jbored; 08-21-2011, 06:49 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

        Lightening or not, this was unacceptable. Disney runs an armada of buses and could easily have staffed a fleet of buses to help ease the burden on the boats. There are contingencies for the loss of the Monorails and it sounds like they were not implemented.
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        • #5
          Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

          well lighting strike or not, last night was unacceptable, and there was 0 guest communication.
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          • #6
            Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

            Also Advisory to all future guest for the next few weeks...the monorails are closing an hour after park close so that they be have some routine maintenence done

            ---------- Post added 08-21-2011 at 10:42 AM ----------

            also ..we cannot staff an armada of buses..since the company is on a no over-time policy right now

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            • #7
              Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

              Originally posted by GoofyCM View Post
              Also Advisory to all future guest for the next few weeks...the monorails are closing an hour after park close so that they be have some routine maintenence done

              ---------- Post added 08-21-2011 at 10:42 AM ----------

              also ..we cannot staff an armada of buses..since the company is on a no over-time policy right now
              And so the GUESTS get screwed... And not a subtle screwing, this is EACH GUEST lost an hour or two of their lives, which you can't ever give them back...

              What a way to run a railroad...

              If y'all could harness the power of WED turning over in his grave, y'all could solve the energy crisis...

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              • #8
                Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                Originally posted by GoofyCM View Post
                ..we cannot staff an armada of buses..since the company is on a no over-time policy right now
                As usual, Disney's policy is to pocket the profits while the guests get screwed.
                "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                designed to appeal to everyone."

                - Walt Disney

                "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                - Michael Eisner

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                • #9
                  Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                  Originally posted by GoofyCM View Post
                  Also Advisory to all future guest for the next few weeks...the monorails are closing an hour after park close so that they be have some routine maintenence done

                  ---------- Post added 08-21-2011 at 10:42 AM ----------

                  also ..we cannot staff an armada of buses..since the company is on a no over-time policy right now
                  No over-time policy or not, there SHOULD have been calls put out and call-ins brought in to supplement the ferry system...this is a HUGE slap in the face to ALL the guests...I'm sorry I'd be more than slightly miffed at the prospect for waiting MULTIPLE HOURS only to get to my CAR!!!
                  The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                  -George S. Patton

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                  • #10
                    Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                    Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
                    Lightening or not, this was unacceptable. Disney runs an armada of buses and could easily have staffed a fleet of buses to help ease the burden on the boats. There are contingencies for the loss of the Monorails and it sounds like they were not implemented.
                    Originally posted by KingEric View Post
                    well lighting strike or not, last night was unacceptable, and there was 0 guest communication.
                    Stuff happens. There is a fleet of buses, but not every bus is staffed at 11PM and it would have taken just as long to have called people back in to staff them.

                    I would have just walked.

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                    • #11
                      Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                      This is just another case of Disney dropping the ball in WDW. While many guests are probably returning after a few years when things were different, these guests are now returning home and telling their friends about how awful the Disney experience has become. These experiences probably won't have an impact on ticket sales this year, but I can see it have an impact in future years.

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                      • #12
                        Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                        Originally posted by GoofyCM View Post

                        also ..we cannot staff an armada of buses..since the company is on a no over-time policy right now
                        I have a no OT policy on my staff at work last week we had 15 hours because my customers needed special assistance. These rules are made to be broken.
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                        • #13
                          Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                          Originally posted by TommyB View Post
                          Stuff happens. There is a fleet of buses, but not every bus is staffed at 11PM and it would have taken just as long to have called people back in to staff them.

                          I would have just walked.
                          The question is what time did lightning strike the beam? If it happened at 2200 and the majority of bus drivers got off at 2100 then ok I can see where the busses wouldn't have been back up to full capacity at 2300, however if it happened earlier you could have easily kept people longer to shuttle between guests from the main gate to the TTC...

                          Even if this was a case where the option of calling people in/back was not an option the question is then why wasn't security beefed up or communication better? I know many people including myself would be somewhat more understanding if the communication was made...

                          Heck they could have even routed ALL hotel busses through to the TTC, it would have made the busses overcrowded briefly but it would have shown that they were doing SOMETHING to try and remedy the problem, as it is they are caughting looking like they are standing around with their hands in their pockets...
                          The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                          -George S. Patton

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                          • #14
                            Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                            Florida is the most lightning-prone state in the U.S.

                            So Disney's answer to a lightning strike on the monorail beam is to have its guests stand around outside for hours in threatening weather, waiting for a boat?

                            Lame.
                            "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                            it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                            together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                            designed to appeal to everyone."

                            - Walt Disney

                            "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                            - Michael Eisner

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                            • #15
                              Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                              Did they announce that the monorail was shut down or did people have to learn about it from security guards at the monorail entrance? Personally if they knew that the monorail would not be running at closing time they should've made an announcement in the park so that people had ample time to deal with when they should leave and how.

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                              • #16
                                Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                                Originally posted by toonaspie View Post
                                Did they announce that the monorail was shut down or did people have to learn about it from security guards at the monorail entrance? Personally if they knew that the monorail would not be running at closing time they should've made an announcement in the park so that people had ample time to deal with when they should leave and how.
                                Good points, and I agree that announcements should have been made. But it is Disney's responsibility to transport its customers safely, not the customers' responsibility to "deal with it."
                                "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                designed to appeal to everyone."

                                - Walt Disney

                                "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                - Michael Eisner

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                                  Originally posted by mikelieman View Post
                                  If y'all could harness the power of WED turning over in his grave, y'all could solve the energy crisis...
                                  That's a little difficult considering Walt was cremated.

                                  But I agree what happened is completely unacceptable and VERY unprofessional. It probably left a VERY bad taste in a lot of guests mouths and it wouldn't surprise me if any of them decided to never visit WDW again based on that one experience as it could have been their first trip ever to the resort and you only get ONE chance to make a good first impression.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                                    1) Someone please assemble a timeline - exactly WHEN did the Monorails get hit by the lightning strike and how long before they got the trains into stations and passengers cleared, tried to reset and restart and found the MAPO anti-collision system was fried?

                                    2) Is there a process for Monorails to tell the Operations Duty Manager(s) in the Parks on that line that they are 101 - or 102 if they have passengers and trains stranded on the beam?

                                    3) And after Monorails has had a chance to investigate and find their systems have failed at a critical time, is there a process for them to make announcements in the waiting lines or over Parkwide PA systems? Either there is a process in place and someone dropped the ball, or there aren't and they should develop them.

                                    And IIRC the MAPO system is a simple passive signal coupler on the power rail, and the active signal transmit and detector gear is on the trains - it should have only blown the system couplers in the beam area and on the one or two trains closest to the strike. Trains further away and on other beams would be protected by both distance from strike and the lightning arrestors on the Beam power systems.

                                    Either way, they should still be able to operate Monorails on a reduced capacity on a "Visual Flight Rules" basis just like airplanes - reduced speeds, increased clearance distances, and trains have to announce all station entries and departures and Hold Point stops or passes over the radio....

                                    A Supervisor needs to act as the "Traffic Controller" and an assistant to keep a chart of where all the trains are at all times. Good old magnetic whiteboard "Ouija Board" with the system map showing stations and hold points, and magnets for all the trains - steal one from an Aircraft Carrier. Or make your own ADMACS computer system.

                                    "No Overtime" is a total cop-out, if they have thousands of stranded Guests you do whatever you need to do to make it happen - Period. And WDW is not setup to "just walk" back to your car or hotel - that place is just too darned big and spread out, it can be well over a mile just between the parking lot and the front gate... You grab the keys and get everyone you can who is qualified to drive a bus out driving the buses, and you get some more who aren't out there working Guest Control at the lines.

                                    Without *all* the transportation systems they have running effectively, they are as good as closed - most people don't bring their cars to WDW to go between parks, they fly in and fly home, and use Disney's transportation for their entire stay.

                                    --<< Bruce >>--
                                    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                                      ^ The lightening strike (according to what I read) occurred at 3 in the afternoon. That's like 8-9 hrs prior to park closing. So yeah, it is kinda crazy that they had so much time to call in extra buses or work out a backup plan or something that. It could be that they were hoping to have it fixed in time to deal with the closing crowd but honestly closing time crowds are already bad enough even on a day when the monorails are working. So yeah, they were asking for a disaster by not getting extra transport on standby.

                                      I still think that guests in the park should've been informed by means other than a security guard at the monorail gate. Reason being, a lot of people know that it's a wait in itself to deal with closing time ferries. Some people have schedules to maintain and I think it would've been helpful for guests to have known that only the ferries would be in operation and that wait time for said ferries would be hours long. It's not telling people to deal with it. It's telling people to be prepared for an unexpected and unusual situation.

                                      But again inexcusable for them to not have a back up plan with so much time they had to prepare for it.
                                      Last edited by toonaspie; 08-21-2011, 04:43 PM. Reason: word failure

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: UNACCEPTABLE! Disney's new Monorail operating hours at the Magic Kingdom

                                        Originally posted by TommyB View Post
                                        Stuff happens. There is a fleet of buses, but not every bus is staffed at 11PM and it would have taken just as long to have called people back in to staff them.

                                        I would have just walked.
                                        You can't walk from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian, can you?

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