One of my favorite memories of Disney as a kid was getting to ride in the very front of the monorail. When we arrived at the monorail station, my parents would often ask a cast member if we could ride in the front cab. Many times, the answer was yes. We were then lead to a special waiting area near the front of the platform.
Finally the moment would come when our monorail pulled into the station! The monorail driver would greet us as we boarded the most spectacular cab of the monorail. The driver’s controls were located in the back center of the cab. Bench seats lined the cone shaped front of the monorail. Those special seats were where my family and I would sit. These seats had a marvelous view of the Most Magical Place On Earth! Check out the view of Epcot in the photo above.
The pilot would often chat with us on the way to our destination. My dad, being airplane pilot himself and also very interested in trains, would often ask questions about the monorail. I learned many interesting things from the monorail drivers because of this. One of the most intriguing facts I learned while riding in the front of the monorail is that if the monorail were to travel through the Contemporary at full speed, it would blow out the windows in the resort.
Upon arriving at your destination, monorail pilots would often give children a co-pilot license. Personally, I have no memories of ever receiving one of these licenses, but I have heard from plenty of guests who did get this unique souvenir. Who knows, maybe you had to ask for one?
Unfortunately guests can no longer ride in the front cab of the monorails at Walt Disney World. After a tragic monorail accident in 2009, Disney made the decision to eliminate this experience. As much as I would love the chance to ride in the front of the monorail again, I am glad to know Disney is very dedicated to guest safety.
Did you ever have the chance to ride in the front of a Disney monorail and receive a co-pilot license? Let us know in the comments below!