Published: November 21, 2011 at 10:23 AMHoly cow, for year's I've been advocating for Monorail expansions. They intended to expand them, they even laid foundations to the Studios and built in space for a station at the Swan and Dolphin, but Eisner didn't want to spend money on things that didn't make profit. But it is so true, if we could get rid of those buses-there are a million reasons to hate them- and use monorials, perhaps even people movers, to move around the crownds safely and on cheap electricity versus crowding the Disney roads with buses, the whole experience would be so much better.
I know that more and more people are complaining about the buses, and they have every right to.
Published: November 21, 2011 at 11:31 AMWhat a shame. I had always wondered why Studios and other places didn't have a monorail system, and now I know. Ah, well.
Published: November 21, 2011 at 11:34 AMI had never thought about how visually, the facades do help in deceiving you while walking. I wonder if that is one more reason why Animal Kingdom seems like such a difficult park to walk through. I love that it is mostly trees and landscape, but there aren't enough facades to help you feel like you are reaching your destination quickly.
Published: November 21, 2011 at 10:52 PMMonorails are essentially a light rail systems. Proven light rail systems exist that cost less and have higher capacity than operating the monorail system. Monorails tell a story to the passenger and so can rail. Walt loved his rail.
Even though extensively spread out, there are still core areas in the resort that are relatively compact; MK/Resorts, DHS/Epcot/Resorts, Downtown Disney/Resorts, and hotel row near Crossroads. Run park to park express routes adjacent to these routes.
Rail routes are straightforward to design serving these core areas. A circular route can service the outlying areas. Need to add value and make money from this? Add some profitable destinations themed with each resort and the resort tour becomes its own attraction.
With the rail traffic as a feeder, consider finally building Progress city. It becomes the light rail hub and a separately themed guest and business destination. There is even a prime place to put it - west of the junction of Epcot and World drives. Good rail access to all 4 parks. Good road access with Epcot Drive, World Drive, and Western Way.
Published: November 22, 2011 at 7:26 PMSuperb insights. Deserving of a book-length treatment in itself. Gennawey understands the essence of urban _development_ rather than simply building, an understanding lost within Disney management when Walt passed on. A former Imagineer confided to me that the evisceration of the Disney World concept probably resulted in more Imagineers jumping ship than any other single event.
A new development of similar shape and import is happening on the other side of the world, in China: themed industrial parks and cities. A story worth looking into. Walt's spirit lives on in the world's most dynamic economy, no longer ours.
PhD, Urban Planning, UCLA
Published: November 22, 2011 at 7:36 PMPlease note I registered since posting my earlier comment. I'd be glad to be associated with my posting so that people can reach me.
Published: November 25, 2011 at 10:15 PMThank you for the comments. I hope everyone gets a chance to check out the book. I will also be speaking at the Walt Disney Family Museum on the topic of Mineral King in January.