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Walt Disney World's Monorail Accidents and Mishaps over the years


February 1974

June 1985

August 1991

August 1996

July 2009









Walt Disney World's Monorail Accidents and Mishaps

(Disneyland info below)


The WDW monorails are designated by the color band around it.

Purple - retired
Pink - retired

Teal - rebuilt  from Purple and Pink

Peach - 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 injured.


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, and ignited.


This picture seems pretty dark, but what is hard to distinguish is that the roof is actually melted and gone.

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 investigation process.

MP3 of some 911 calls after the accident


Monorail Pink and Purple July 5th, 2009

NTSB Documents or here

Final 2011 report of the accident

We are very sorry to hear about the accident that caused the death of Austin Wuennenberg, a monorail pilot. (according to the NTSB findings, Austin tried what he could to prevent the accident by reversing his monorail)


After the accident.


Channel 6 Theory.


Monorail pink and purple are offline indefinitely (07-2009)

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 PEACH designation. Welcome back!!!





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 graveyard


Wikipedia Disney incident reports


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2009 Monorail Crash -youtube

2009 Monorail crash theory from channel 6 - youtube



2009 Monorail Crash -youtube

2009 Monorail crash theory from channel 6 - youtube