Walt Disney World's Monorail Accidents and Mishaps
(Disneyland info below)
The WDW monorails are designated by the color band around it.
- rebuilt from Purple and Pink
- rebuilt - 2011
Walt Disney World has always used monorails to transport
guests since its opening in 1971.
Millions of people first rode on the Mark IV's,
then later starting in 1989 the new Mark VI monorails. Many people are worried with the
latest accident that the system may not be as safe as once thought. They have
only had five accidents over the last 35 years (and some were very minor) and we are talking about an average of 50
million guests a year.
Here's the list of accidents:
On February 1974
- a monorail train crashed
into the train ahead. One driver and two passengers were
On June 26, 1985
- a fire engulfed
the rear car of the six-car Mark IV Silver monorail train in
transit from the Epcot station to the Transportation and Ticket
Center. This fire predated onboard fire detection systems,
emergency exits, and evacuation planning. Passengers in the car
kicked out side windows and forced a door open and climbed up the side of
the train to reach the roof, where they were subsequently
rescued by the Reedy Creek Fire Department.
Seven passengers were hospitalized for smoke
inhalation or other minor injuries. The fire department
later determined that the fire started when a flat tire was
dragged across the concrete beam, heated due to friction,
This picture seems pretty dark, but what is
hard to distinguish is that the roof is actually melted and
Emergency crews putting
out the flames
Fireman using their fire
truck to put the flames out
Zoomed in - One monorail car
engulfed in flames
On August 30, 1991
- a monorail train
collided with a diesel maintenance work tractor near the
Contemporary Resort as the tractor drove closely in front of
the train to film it for a commercial. Two cast members were
treated at a hospital for injuries.
On August 12, 1996
- an electrical fire
occurred on a train pulling into the Magic Kingdom station.
The driver and the five passengers onboard exited safely.
Two bus drivers who witnessed the fire and assisted were
overcome by smoke and treated at a nearby hospital.
On July 5, 2009
- during a failed track
switchover from the Epcot line onto the Magic Kingdom
express line, Monorail Pink backed into Monorail Purple at
the Transportation & Ticket Center station, killing the
21-year-old pilot of Monorail Purple.
One employee and six guests who were also on the
trains were treated at the scene and released. OSHA and park
officials inspected the monorail line, and the monorail
reopened on July 6, 2009,
after new sensors and operating procedures were
put in place. An
investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board
showed no mechanical problems with the trains or track, but
they did state that the track used in the switchover was not
in its proper place for the track transition. The NTSB also
noted that Purple's pilot attempted to reverse his train
when he saw that there was going to be a collision. Disney
has suspended three monorail cast members as part of the
of some 911 calls after the accident
Monorail Pink and Purple July 5th, 2009
Final 2011 report of the accident
We are very
sorry to hear about the accident that caused the death of Austin Wuennenberg, a monorail
(according to the NTSB findings, Austin tried
what he could to prevent the accident by reversing his monorail)
Channel 6 Theory.
Monorail pink and purple are offline
Monorail Teal (rebuilt
using PINK and PURPLE) is out and running.
Monorail TEAL (11-2009)
The twelfth monorail returns in 2011 to the
Walt Disney World Resort after some testing is completed. It will have the color
Disneyland, California's Monorail Accidents
Here's the list of accidents:
Anaheim, Calif. -- The Disneyland monorail train Friday night
slammed into and killed a 19-year-old youth who had climbed 20 feet to a trestle
in an apparent effort to gain free entrance into the Anaheim amusement park.
THOMAS GUY CLEVELAND of Northridge was crushed between the train and a
protective plastic canopy which extends on either side of the monorail trestles
beneath the track.
Investigating officers said the boy had scaled two chain link fences, one six
feet high and the other 16 feet high, to gain access to the track at a point
where it crosses the employees' parking lot.
Disneyland spokesmen said the accident occurred at 9:25 p.m. on June 18th, 1966
when the monorail was grinding toward its Tomorrowland stop at 25 mph.
Operator of the monorail, Dallas Baker, told police he didn't see the youth on
the track before the accident, and was unaware of anything unusual until he felt
a bump and the train stopped because of a loss of power.
Monorail of the 1966 era
Mark IV monorail
Wikipedia Disney incident reports
Return to the WDW attraction main page