The History of the Disneyland Monorail: Mark VII, 2008-Present

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios


Today we end our look at the history of Disney Parks monorails with the current model of the Disneyland Monorail, the Mark VII. As you can see from the image above, Walt Disney Imagineering designed the Mark VII to have several similarities to the Mark III version – especially the nose cones that were seen on those classic trains.

In addition to the nose cone, another change with this model was a new seat configuration that allowed guests to sit facing the windows, to better enjoy the elevated view of the Disneyland Resort from the comfort of their seats.

Monorail red debuted at the Disneyland Resort on July 3, 2008, as the first Mark VII train. Monorail blue then began transporting guests later that summer and the last train, monorail orange, went into operation in April 2009.

Mandy the Disneyland Monorail

In 2012, the Mark VII has shared the beam way with Manny, Mandy & Mona Monorails to celebrate of the grand opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park. These new friends took up temporary residence above Disneyland Resort for the remainder of the year to welcome Lightning McQueen, Mater and the rest of their friends from Radiator Springs.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at monorails through the years – and be sure to check back next month as we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Disneyland Monorail.

Read more about the history of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Monorails in the posts below:

Before we depart, tell us – If you could go back in time and experience any of the Monorail models, which would it be and why? Leave your answer in the comments!


  • Thanks for this great series Erin. It’s always fun to look back and see Disneyland’s history. I love the retro look of the Mark VII. 🙂

    Also, I was wondering, will there be any updates in the coming weeks on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage? I’m hoping that Disney Parks blog will give readers a peek into the refurbishment. Is it still scheduled to reopen this fall, or has it been delayed? Thanks!

    • Hi Fred – I’m glad you enjoyed it! Yes, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is scheduled to reopen this fall. I’ll share updates as soon as I have them.

  • I would love to travel on the Mark I or Mark II if I could go back in time and experience any of the Monorail models. Being a nostalgist, these two models are the ones I would most like to experience.

    This has been one of my favorite series on the Disney Parks Blog, Erin. Thank you for covering the history of my favorite mode of Disneyland transportation! 😀 I look forward to celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Disneyland Monorail next month!

  • If I could, I would love to go back for one more ride on the Mark II, which I remember as a kid still had the “Disneyland-Alweg” Monorail System designation on it, and I never knew what “Alweg” was until much later in life when I learned about the origins of the Monorails. Or to go back and ride on the Mark III would be fun, too. Either way, I would want to ride up in the bubble, which I never got a chance to when I was a kid and I always envied my friends and cousins who did get that chance!

    One thing about the current Mark VII Monorails that wasn’t mentioned in the story is all the new, low energy LED lighting in the cabins which give off a very wonderful, futuristic glow when you ride them at night. Also, I like how the Monorails still, to this day, have a flashing beacon on the roof at each end, which must have been very futuristic looking back in 1959 when the Mark I first came online. Mark I, II and III beacons were red flashers like the kind on the top of older police cars where there was a mirror that rotated around a bright bulb, all housed inside a clear red covering. Then on the Mark IV, the beacons became very bright white flashing strobe lights such as the kind found on aircraft, and they provided a very modern updated look that I loved. Now, the Mark VII monorails beacons are LED blinkers in keeping with the modern energy efficient lighting elsewhere on these new trains. Honestly, there really isn’t any need to have beacons at all on these trains, they serve no real practical function other than they look cool and it’s great that every new version of the monorails still have them!

  • Hi Erin,

    One word for this post today.

    L O V E !!

    Thank you so much,

    • Thank you, Jackie. 🙂

  • Ever since my first visit from Canada to WDW in 1982, and saw the mono rail in action, it has been a life long dream to work for WDW and drive it when I retire in 2017.My plan is to find a seasonal residence in Orlando and start applying. I’ve been working for North America’s 3rd largest public transportation system for the last 27yrs, so I am hoping they will welcome my experience and hire me. If so, you will see a grown man cry from a dream fulfilled.
    Have a Disney Day!!

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