June 14, 1959 – Disneyland Monorail opens

On this day in 1959 the Disneyland Monorail System opened at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, becoming the first daily operating monorail in not just the United States but the entire Western Hemisphere. Walt Disney had envisioned the monorail as a futuristic and efficient means of public transport, but the automobile’s popularity was on the rise during this time thanks to affordable fuel and increasing options when it came to cars and trucks. America’s love of the automobile all but erased the potential for the monorail as a means of mass transit.   The Disneyland Monorail System opened as an attraction during the rededication of Tomorrowland along with Submarine Voyage and an expanded Autopia. The original trains, the Mark I Red and Blue, were each three cars. In 1961 the Disneyland Hotel station was lengthened in order to connect with the monorail track so that it could accommodate a new four car train, the Mark II, making the system truly usable as a means of transportation for the park. These days the cars are generally outfitted with decals representing Disney movies being released or park expansions. For example, in 2012 the cars were dressed as characters from the movie “Cars.” Monorail Red became Manny Monorail, Monorail Blue became Mandy Monorail, and Monorail Orange became Mona Monorail. The track features two stops, one in Tomorrowland and the Downtown Disney Station, which stands where the original Disneyland Hotel (and Hotel Station) used to stand prior to being torn down in 1999.  Images:The Monorail in 1959Disneyland Monorail Red as it appears todayWalt Disney with the Monorail

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