Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sweet, sweet, Monorail goodness!

As promised, I am touching on Disneyland's Monorail system, but it's consensual, so it's fine. To understand Disneyland's monorail, we must first go back in time to what came before it: The Viewliner

Ah, Tomorrowland's Viewliner train. And an Autopia car.
R.I.P. Viewliner. 1957-1958. You won't be missed.
Walt liked trains. A lot. He liked them so much that he pretty much had them everywhere. Casey Jr. Circus Train in Fantasyland. The Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland in Frontierland. The Jungle Cruise in Adventureland (just go with it, I'm on a roll here.) The train around the park itself. You get the picture. What about Tomorrowland? The Viewliner opened on June 26, 1957. Some short time after that, Walt took a trip to Europe, saw a monorail, and basically said "Crap, that's what I wanted! Get that Viewliner out of there!" So on September 15, 1958, the Viewliner made its last loop around Tomorrowland and was sent to that big train track in the sky.

The Disneyland Mark I Monorail
 The Disneyland monorail debuted in 1959 as the Mark I for a sightseeing tour of Tomorrowland.  Unlike the Walt Disney World trains, it was not designed as a transportation system, but rather a showcase for a transportation system. (Think big toy train... Not that big! Jeeze, tone down the imagination some.)  Two years later the track was expanded to the Disneyland Hotel and the Mark II trains where added.  From there it has changed here and there and the trains have been upgraded over the years. (We are currently riding the Mark VII fleet.) Also, the Disneyland Hotel traveled west a little bit, claiming it "just needed space" from the monorail station it neighbored. So the hotel station invited Downtown Disney to move in and they've been happy ever since.

The Mark V resembled Disney World's Learjet-style monorail. 
Okay, the somewhat brief history lesson is over.  On to my review of the Disneyland Monorail. Unlike Walt Disney World's system, I do not miss a trip on Disneyland's.  It's small, quick, clean, and a piece of my favorite nostalgia.  Does it take you places? Yeah, sort of. It takes you anywhere you want, as long as you only want to go to Tomorrowland and Downtown Disney. Can you see things?  Hells yes you can!  Great views from all around the park! It had gnarly (and eventually disappointing, and then gnarly again) views of the California Adventure construction. A section of the ride travels down Harbor Boulevard where you get to point and laugh at those suckers driving their automobiles. Another section of the ride zips overhead of the Autopia, where you get to point and laugh at those suckers driving their automobiles.
The current Disneyland Mark VII Monorail. Sleek. Sexy. Stylish. Supreme.

Simply put, the Disneyland monorail is awesome, and I like it. 


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  3. I'm a pin trader. I admit it. I love it. I've been slowly collecting monorail pins. On my recent trip to WDW, I found one- but it looked a little...different. I thought perhaps it was a Disneyland monorail, but I wasn't sure. Your pictures confirm my suspicion. Great, now I have to start two separate monorail pin sets. *sigh* Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in....

  4. I actually love the WDW monorail, must admit. However you're selling me on the superiority of the Disneyland one. ;) I never knew anything about the long-deceased Viewfinder, er, Viewliner. Interesting tidbit (stored away for future trivia question...)