The History of the Disneyland Monorail: Mark III, 1969-1987

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

I hope you have been enjoying our series on the history of the Disneyland Monorail. I can’t decide whether I’m having more fun searching for these fantastic vintage photos or learning about each of the different models of this iconic attraction. Today the series continues with a look back at the Mark III and its nearly twenty-year run on the rails above Disneyland park.


By 1969, the Disneyland Monorail had become not only an incredibly popular mode of transportation for guests traveling from the Disneyland Hotel, but also quite the E-ticket round-trip attraction. When Walt Disney Imagineering built the Mark III, they knew they needed to increase the capacity of the trains to support their popularity. So the trains increased from the 4-car models introduced in the Mark II to new 5-car trains, reaching a length of 137 feet. Maintaining the traditional colors of past trains, the Mark III featured red, blue and gold monorails, with a fourth color – green – added to the fleet.

The Mark IV Monorail premiered in 1971, but not at Disneyland park. I’m sure you can guess where – leave your answer in the comments!


  • They premiered at Walt Disney World

    • You all know your Monorail history! Well done!

  • The Mark IV Monorail premiered at Walt Disney World…of course. 🙂

  • Mark IV premiered at Walt Disney World, leaving Disneyland to leap frog in number to V. Do I win? 🙂

  • 1971 would have to be at Walt Disney World in Florida. The original hotel loop around Seven Seas Lagoon.

  • I hope you’ll continue this series with the Mark IV at WDW, I’ve really enjoyed it so far!

    • Thanks, Matthew! There’s no stopping now, so ¡por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas! 😀

  • I love this series, they are always a blast to read!

    One question I’ve always had is how Monorail trips worked with the old ticket books. Would you have to use two “E” Tickets to do a round trip on the Monorail (to and from the Disneyland hotel)? And would you have to use a ticket going from the hotel to Disneyland?

    I was born too late so I never got to use the tickets system – I’m fascinated by it!

    • Great question – I’ll see what I can find out!

  • God morning! I LOVE the Monorail at WDW, but can you tell me: does the monorail system at Disneyland use the same monorail spiel about the doors (“Please stand clear of the Doors.¡Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas!”)? I ride the monorail at WDW every time we visit, just so I can hear that phrase. It hearkens back to my early youth; when riding the Monorail from the TTC was the last leg of the journey, and that phrase would make me feel that I really was there, and not just dreaming!

    • Sorry, Terry – but it does not. 🙁

  • Love the info and old pics.
    About Stevens question, if my memory is correct, if you left the monorail at the hotel, you were leaving the park, therefore got your hand stamped. Then when you got back on, with a stamped hand, you could get on the monorail without using another ticket. If you didn’t have your hand stamped, you need a admission ticket to the park and again could get on the monorail without using a ticket.

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