The Disneyland Monorail System is a monorail line that operates at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. It has been operating since June 14, 1959. It was the first permanent monorail system to operate in the western hemisphere. It is similar to the Walt Disney World Monorail System.
The monorail originally opened as Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System on June 14, 1959, and was not a transportation attraction. It was only a sightseeing attraction in Tomorrowland. In 1961, the track was extended to 2.5 miles to transport guests to and from the Disneyland Hotel.
In 1999, the monorail began lengthy closures and limited capacity due to the construction of the new Disney's California Adventure theme park, which already existing monorail tracks passed through. In 2001, the monorail began running full capacity again and passed through the new park, as well as the hotel within the park, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Disneyland Hotel station was converted to the Downtown Disney station, themed to the adjacent Rainforest Cafe. In 2004, Monorail Orange was taken off the line and taken to Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale to be reverse engineered. Monorail Blue was removed from service on September 2006 and was shipped away to also be rebuilt. The monorail was closed from August 21 through late December 2006 to prepare for the opening of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in 2007. For the opening of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage on June 11, 2007, the livery of Monorail Red was changed to almost completely yellow, with the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage logo on the middle car. Monorail Red was then changed to promote the Year of a Million Dreams promotion.
The Mark I trains were not built by ALWEG, who only built the beamway. They were built at the Disney Studio by Bob Gurr and ran from 1959 until 1961. Then the track was extended later to the Disneyland Hotel and the attraction became an actual transportation system. These trains only consisted of three cars.
The Mark II trains were modified by Disney Studios and replaced the two-year-old Mark I trains in 1961. As the system was now transporting guests between Tomorrowland and the Disneyland Hotel, each train had four cars. The bubble dome on the top of the end cars was made larger.
The Mark III trains were built by WED Enterprises and began operating in 1969, and the rolling stock was increased to five cars per train. The trains' lengths were increased to 137 feet long. The lettering on the sides of the train still initially read "Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System". These were the last trains to make reference to ALWEG.
The Mark IV trains were built by Ride & Show Engineering of San Dimas and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm of Germany, and replaced the Mark III trains one by one in 1987, as the Mark V's run on the chassis of the Mark III's Instead of the trains consisting of one color, these trains were simply white with a colored stripe on the sides to resemble the Mark V trains of the Walt Disney World Monorail System.
The Mark V trains held a total of 145 passengers per train, with 32 each in the two end cars and 27 each in the three middle cars.
The Mark VII trains were built by TPI Composites. These trains are upgrades of the Mark V trains, having new body panels and seating arrangements, but still using the same Mark III chassis. Externally, the trains bear heavy resemblance to the Mark I trains, minus the bubble-top cab and upside-down Cadillac tailfins. The first train, Monorail Red, went into service on July 3, 2008. Monorail Blue and Monorail Orange later went into service. It was later revealed that Monorail Purple had not been upgraded and was scrapped.