My Other Car Is a Jaguar-themed Monorail

Walt Disney never intended the monorail to stay in his theme parks. He wanted it to be used to link major centers in California, and of course, this wish would have spilled over to Florida as well. Alas, it wasn’t to be! Light Rail prevailed and surface trains still rule the transportation world.

At least in North America.

But Walt did prove that it was a viable form of mass transportation with an unparalleled safety quotient. So I want to know why my other car can’t be a monorail!

OK, maybe the millions of dollars it would cost to build my own beamway might inhibit my plans to glide down to the corner store for a bag of milk, but a guy can dream!

Do they sell bags of milk at the Contemporary Resort?

Another cool thing about having my own personal monorail would be the ability to trick, or pimp, it out! I could paint it in all kinds of different colors, or:

     The Tronorail. Mine would be a Jagorail!

Yes, my other car is actually a vintage 1987 Jaguar painted a deep burgundy, so if I could wrap that idea around my other other car (my monorail) I’d be a happy (although somewhat eccentric) driver/pilot!


… a leaping Jaguar on a monorail = COOLNESS!

So who’s with me? Personal monorails for everyone with miles and miles of two-way beams to take us here and there and everywhere else besides. And if it’s not too much trouble, could you pick me up a bag of milk while you’re out please?

Top 5 Cast Members to Talk To at a Disney Park

Of course, we all talk to hundreds of Cast Members during our trips. But I don’t mean ‘talking’ as in asking where the bathrooms are or “Excuse me, is this the FastPass line?” I’m talking about the Top Five Cast Members to actually have a conversation with.

But let’s qualify this a bit more: By conversation, I don’t mean a sit-down one-hour share-your-life-story talk. Cast Members are busy people. However, some of them are available for some brief Guest interaction, and would love to chat it up with you.

         Erin, from DCA

So with that in mind, here are the Top Five Cast Members to talk to during your next trip:

Chat No. 5

Cleaning staff. Very much a thankless job, these CM’s aren’t just there to sweep up and empty garbage cans. Most of them know the Park better than anyone and can give accurate directions to anywhere from anywhere! And I’ve never met one yet who wouldn’t give you the time of day. In my experience, they will even approach you if you look the least bit lost. Taking a few minutes to interact with these great people could just make their day, and yours!

Try asking them: Where would you go in the Park right now if you could?

Chat No. 4

Parade Route wranglers. Before any parade starts, there’s usually a lot of standing around. Many of the Cast Members who are there to keep you behind the ropes will also have time for a brief chat. They may even be wearing a Pin Trading lanyard, which is an indication they want Guest interaction. But these CM’s are busy, so make it quick. Hey, can you spot the Cast Member in the picture below?


Find out who their favorite character is in the Parade, and why.

Chat No. 3

Attraction staff. These are the poor unfortunate souls you see standing in front of a ride that is not operating, or the person who operates the same thing over and over, like the Monorail Pilot below. They may get to stand for hours telling disgruntled Guests they can’t ride their favorite attraction today, or just push the same button. Sound like fun? Not much, so they could use a little interaction!

     You can still talk to Monorail Pilots at DLR, but not WDW

Try asking for a piece of unknown trivia about the attraction itself.

Chat No. 2

Merchandise Cart staff. CM’s in stores are usually pretty busy and get lots of Guest interaction throughout the day. But the poor guys and gals stuck on some of the merchandise carts are all but ignored. For example, the ones outside the EPCOT main entrance, or any cart stuck in a deserted corner of a Park. These people are bored, to say the least!

If you really want to make their day, buy something during your conversation!

Chat No. 1

World Showcase staff. This is in the number one spot because it’s the no-brainer of the list. Each Pavilion has CM’s who are from that actual country. So if you’ve ever wanted to meet someone from Morocco or Canada (and who hasn’t fantasized about meeting a Canadian???) then that person is only a few steps away! Again, make sure they’re not too busy first, but then approach them for some nice conversation.

      Nanni, from Norway, loading the Maelstrom (now Frozen Ever After)

Topics: What city are you from? How long have you been here? What’s your favorite Pavilion, and why?

Any Cast Member who is standing around and looking bored is fair game! And part of their job is to interact with you anyway, so why not take advantage of that and have some great conversations. You can learn something new about the Park or Resort you’re visiting, and they can enjoy a Guest experience to make their job more worthwhile.

That’s what they call Win-Win?

Bonus Round

Who might be too busy to talk to you? How about:

     Lightning McQueen Wrangler

Our Favorite Disney Memories – 2001

In this incriminating photo, my wife Cindy has proof of my infatuation with Minnie Mouse!

In this incriminating photo, my wife Cindy has proof of my infatuation with Minnie Mouse!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Our Favorite Disney Memories!  Last week I shared with you our favorite Disney Memories that my wife and I had from our trip over July 3rd and 4th, 2000, just before we got married.  Well, fast forward now to January, 2001 — when we were pregnant with our daughter Sophie, and took advantage of a long weekend to enjoy the trip where we ate our way around Disney!  So sit back and enjoy our trip down memory lane as Cindy and I share with you our favorite Disney Memories from the year 2001!

Cindy’s Favorite Disney Memory

When I asked Cindy what her favorite Disney Memory was, she had no hesitation on her answer.  Immediately after I asked her, she said ‘My favorite memory was when I got proof of your flirting with Minnie Mouse!’  Of course, she is referring to the image at the top of this post, which was taken at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom.  Back in those days it was a character restaurant, and I wish it still was!  I loved seeing Minnie and the other characters in their period clothing selections, and of course, the food there is pretty dang good!

Mike’s Favorite Disney Memory

The Walt Disney World Wedding Pavilion

The Walt Disney World Wedding Pavilion

My favorite Disney memory from that 2001 trip was when we were on the Monorail approaching the Magic Kingdom.  In those days, we didn’t stay on property, so we parked and rode the express monorail to the Magic Kingdom.  So, we’re on the monorail, and we were coming around the curve where you can see the Wedding Pavilion (the picture above is from the water side, so not entirely accurate, but still a nice shot I think) — and at that exact moment in time, Cinderella’s Royal Carriage was heading away from the Pavilion with a new Bride and Groom inside!  It was a pure moment of Disney Magic at it’s finest, and at that moment, I looked at Cindy, smiled at her, and said, ‘If Sophie wants to get married at Walt Disney World, well, I’m sorry, but that’s where she’s getting married.’  In true style, Cindy replied right back at me with the statement ‘Better start saving to write that $50,000 check now, then.’

I love my wife, and that was the perfect response.  It was a great memory, and one that I won’t soon forget — especially since Sophie has already told us she wants to get married at Walt Disney World — this, despite not having a man picked out or anything like that.  Those, evidently, are small details.

My friends, thank you for taking time out of your day to stop by and visit!  I hope you enjoy these looks at my favorite Disney Memories — now please, tell me, what is your favorite Disney memory?  Please let me know, and let’s all make it a great Disney Day!


Wordless Wednesday – Disney Transportation

Preparing to ride in the front of the Monorail!

Preparing to ride in the front of the Monorail!

By Mike Ellis.

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!  Today Deb from Focused on the Magic has set the theme at Disney Transportation — and while I had no idea what I was going to write about at first, all of a sudden it dawned on me — I could write about riding at the front of the monorail when we went to Disneyland!

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97 Days til Disneyland – Disneyland Monorail!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

For Day 97 of our countdown to Disneyland, we are looking at the Disneyland Monorail! There are some very key differences between the Disneyland and Disney World versions of the Monorail, with perhaps the biggest difference in my opinion being that the Disneyland version still allows you ride up front!

Another thing that is cool about the Disneyland Monorail is that it provides some really great views of some of the areas at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.  You can ride it as a means of transportation to take you from one location to another, or you can ride it as a way to relax and enjoy the views.  Take your pick.

The ride is 13 minutes long, and will take you to parts of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland in Disneyland, and Condor Flats, Buena Vista Street, and Hollywood Land in Disney’s California Adventure.

The Disneyland Monorail opened on June 14, 1959, the Monorail was the first of it’s kind in America.  Walt Disney saw the prototype for this form of transportation when he was visiting Germany in the early 50’s, and brought the idea to Disneyland.

I can’t wait until we get to Disneyland and are able to ride the Monorail!  This is something that I am really interested in, and I can’t wait!  Only 97 Days til Disneyland!