More Behind the Scenes Stories

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Monorail Pilot

Kevin Rafferty, Jr.

by , Communications, WDI

This month, we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Disneyland Monorail, which opened in 1959 as part of the first major expansion of Disneyland park that included the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Submarine Voyage.

Walt Disney was personally intrigued by various forms of transportation and included a “highway in the sky” in his early plans for Disneyland park. Today, the Disneyland Resort is the only place in the world to experience the Disneyland Monorail Mark VII.

Mike Gibson has piloted the Disneyland Monorail for 20 years and was the first cast member to operate the orange Mark VII train. Mike explains his duties in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”

Learn about the history of the Monorail here:


  • We LOVE riding in the nosecone when possible. It’s such a great view of everything and the pilots are always so friendly. We haven’t had the pleasure of riding with Mike yet, but I hope to because it certainly sounds like he knows so very much about the history of the Monorail and it would be an interesting & enlightening conversation. Thanks to all of the CM’s for your hard work making each day magical!

  • 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!!

  • I remember Mike from my visit this past February when we came down from Seattle. He is probably the BEST Cast Member in the world!!! The stories he has and the people he has worked for and with, including Bob Gurr himself, are amazing. If I could, I would spend an entire day talking to him and likely want even more. Not only did my fiancée and I get to ride up front with him, but he let us take a pic and he put his pilot hat on us. It was the absolute highlight of our incredible trip. Plus, since I took my fiancée for her birthday, on her birthday, he even sang happy birthday to her on the monorail platform before he would let us leave.

    It is the simple things that make Disneyland and Cast Members like Mike the reason we keep going to Disneyland and Disney World every year. Thanks for the chance to see him again and relive our magical experience!!

  • I think being a Disneyland Monorail pilot or a Disney Imagineer would be my dream jobs! By the way, I love how the Disneyland Monorails appear to change color and how the sun shines on them. Oh, and I love the horn!

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