While riding the tram from the Daisy section to the Transportation and Ticket Center the other day, I recalled the sheer anticipation I always felt as a guest visiting on vacation. I couldn’t wait to begin a day of fun with my children in Magic Kingdom Park. In many ways, that parking tram is the first “attraction” that guests experience at Disney Parks. Luckily, for those who want to relive that same anticipatory moment in the comfort of their own homes, we recently introduced a die-cast parking tram toy. It follows in the tradition of other toys inspired by Disney modes of transportation. I sat down with Cody Hampton, Associate Product Developer for Toys and Games, to learn more.
“We had discussed introducing a parking tram toy for a few years,” explained Cody. “It was one of the few Disney transportation vehicles which didn’t have a corresponding toy. We have a Monorail, railroad, bus and a few other ride vehicles as toys. So it was the perfect time to introduce [the tram].”
Disney Design Group Artist Lin Shih created the three-dimensional image of the tram pictured above.
“I drew the artwork directly in the computer using only reference photos,” said Lin. “The computer artwork was then used by the manufacturer to create the physical three-dimensional model.”
Following my trip on the real tram (I’m a bit too big for the toy version), I rode the Monorail from the TTC to Magic Kingdom Park. I love riding the “highway in the sky” (especially the Tron-orail!). As Cody and I chatted about my experience, he shared something with me that took my breath away – the first sample of the new Disneyland Monorail play set.
For years, we have sold the Walt Disney World Monorail play set both in Florida and California. With the introduction of the newest Monorail in California, the toy team felt it was time to create a Disneyland Resort-only version of the toy.
“We used the exact specifications [of the Monorail] provided by Walt Disney Imagineering to create the toy,” continued Cody. “The toughest part was matching the red color. The paint scheme on the actual Monorail is spectacular. After a few tries, we think it looks great!”
The Disneyland Monorail is being introduced later in 2011. Cody shared that it will have a nice surprise, a first for the Monorail play set (sorry, no spoilers this time). Once introduced, the Monorails will be sold at their respective parks. Of course, both play sets will also be released on the Disney Parks Online Store.
Before leaving Cody’s office, he shared one last preview of something with a transportation theme. Above are two new concepts for Disney Racers that won’t debut till this coming fall. He thought I would enjoy seeing them (especially since he knows of my love for all things “TRON”).
After seeing all of the transportation toys, I couldn’t help but sing “It’s Fun To Be Free” as I left Cody’s office. What is your favorite mode of transportation at Disney?
How about releasing models/toys of the three types of buses used in the parks the RTS , Gillig, and Nova low floor. I know some “big kids” who would love to have them in their bus collection one of the big kids is my dad who has all the Disney buses going back to 97. Also has the the other disney bus sets too and getting the Gillig and Nova lf’s would be a awesome addition to his bus fleet !!!
“the toy team felt it was time to create a Disneyland Resort-only version of the toy.”
Time to create? I have the Mark V Monorail toy that was sold for a year before being replaced by the Walt DIsney World toys. I hope that the new Disneyland exclusive is as nice and detailed as the original.
I love how realistic it looks. Some of the transportation toys are clearly more for kids than for the adult collector. Please keep rolling out the realistic toys. How about a Disney bus?
Finally a Tram toy! My kids love the tram and my 10year old has know the spiel since he was 5. Too bad though that it’s not modeled after the futuristic tram at the DLR. Still getting one though. 🙂
Will there ever be a peoplemover toy?
@Joy – I don’t recall any such toy. I’ve not seen anything being developed at this time. There is a whole showroom at Disney Theme Park Merchandise for the Toy Team. I’m like a kid in a candy store in there.
@Michelle – Hmmm … for this weekend? Well, the toy tram is currently only sold in the Disney Parks. So come on down – the weather is great! 🙂
I’m still confirming with the on-line team if it will be carried via the on-line Theme Park store -http://www.DisneyParks.com/Store
Meanwhile, you may want to try contacting Walt Disney World Merchandise Guest Services – 407-363-6200 (since you are from RI). They are in the office from Monday-Friday about 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (EST).
@Dalton – Forget the toy – I want a real PeopleMover to ride to work everyday!! I’ve not seen any plans at this time for one. If one was made, I want either an ORAC-1, the commuter computer, or that groovy music from Disneyland as soundchips.
My son just asked for a tram toy this weekend! How do I get him one of these toys??? Thanks!
Speaking of transportation, I’ve often wondered if there is a toy Disneyland Railroad train that is compatible with wooden train track sets? My boys would love that!
We love the parking lot tram, we love it when the operators joke around over the PA system. I think the toy tram will be making the rounds at our house very soon.
“Driver clear” “beep beep, vrooooooom”
I am a BIG fan of bring back some differentiation to Disney Park merchandise! It makes buying a souvenir more special when it just can’t be gotten anywhere per se.
@Fred – You are correct. We are targeting a late September release for Bolt. Stay tuned to Vinylmation.com for specific details. I don’t want to guarantee a date as Fall is sooooo far away. 🙂
@Ed – Thank you! I’ll share your feedback with the team.
I love the Disneyland Monorail toy!
I think its important for there to be Disneyland Resort-specific merchandise that can’t be found at other Disney park resorts.
I also have to add that I love the fact that the Disneyland Resort’s newest monorails are retro and a tribute to the original Disneyland monorail.
By the way Steve, speaking of merchandise, I’ve heard that the 9″ Bolt Vinylmation figure will be released in fall 2011. Is that correct?
I love Bolt, so I’m hoping to get it.
Looking forward to add the new Disneyland Monorail to my collection of Walt Disney World Monorails. I wonder what the new feature could be… Personally, I would love a radio-controlled monorail!
Fastest attraction in the parking lot! Gotta get one.
Hey Steve – Wouldn’t you love to see that new monorail gliding by at Disney World??
On a personal note, I’m glad to see you’re having such a great time at Disney — we worked together at Casting years ago on the internship. Do you still have your Disney van?? 🙂
Regards – Dale
@Jeremy – What did Alan Bradley say to Sam Flynn? “Wouldn’t that be something?” Wink 😉
@Tricia – No plans at this time to re-introduce that version. Sorry.
@Dale – Wow! So great to hear from you. Yes, it would be cool to see the new Disneyland monorail on the Walt Disney World beam as it reminds me of an early concept poster for the Contemporary Resort. Then again, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. Ah, my Disney Van … you remember that thing? Crazy! Sadly, it was retired many, many years ago. LOL! I hope you are doing well.
Any plans to bring back the monorail with the doors that automatically opened? I’m still kicking myself for not purchasing it when I saw it a few years back.
Good Morning, Our Family recently spent two weeks at Walt Disney World where we celebrated our twins 5th birthday. While we were there our boys and myself fell in love with the Tron Monorail. We were wandering if there are any plans to make a model of the Tron Monorail, if so, Diecast, or for the Playset? Thank you and have a magical day.