Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Two Monorails, October 1969

Whenever I see photos of the old Monorail (this one's a Mark II), I can't help but miss that fantastic streamlined design. They looked like they were going fast even at a complete standstill. In this first picture, we can see the "Monorail Yellow" arriving at the Disneyland Hotel's Monorail station, with one of the trams beneath it. I assume that the bus with the striped top is a shuttle from one of the nearby non-Disney hotels (maybe the Candy Cane Inn!). In the background, there is the old Disneyland sign, and beyond that is the distinctive space-age dome of the populuxe Anaheim Convention Center. I've had more than one out-of-towner ask me if that was Space Mountain (at which point I laugh at them until they cry).

Two words sum it all up: bubble dome. If all vehicles had bubble domes, there would be no war. The boxy, Lear jet-inspired Mark IV Monorail was introduced in 1987. I suppose the old ones were in need of replacement, but I don't understand the need to make them resemble their Florida cousins.

Wikipedia has an image of concept artwork for the newest Mark VII monorails (which I've posted below), currently being built ("Designed and engineered in-house by Walt Disney Imagineering and Burke Design"). They are supposedly going to be introduced this year. It's pretty cool! No bubble dome though.


Daveland said...

Bring back the bubble!

Anonymous said...

What are they thinking at WED? ---opps Imagineering(TM)? No Dome??? It's like leaving the cherry off the cheesecake!... The Acounteneers could charge a separate "enhancement package" and for a small fee a the door, you could ride in the bubble!

Speaking of charging extra for cherries, I stopped into Coke Corner on Main Street a few days ago and ordered a Cherry Coke.

Price of the Coke: $2.69
Price of the Cherry Syrup: $.29
Knowing that all profit centers have been identified and maximized: Priceless.

-Katella Gate

Anonymous said...

The rumor is that the Mark VII design did originally have a bubble top, however, the clearances today are not the clearances of yesterday, and the bubble top had to be cut.

allyn fratkin said...

i just can't see enough pics of the monorails. thanks.

btw, mark iv was introduced in 1971 at disney world. the current disneyland trains are mark v.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that's the "Space Mountain" that I saw Elton John perform in circa 1974.