“Please stand clear of the doors” has never rung so true.
While Disney World guests might be expecting exciting thrills aboard Space Mountain or Expedition Everest, passengers on what was meant to be a routine Disney Monorail ride got a lot more excitement than they bargained for this week.
A pair of videos taken by a passenger on the Monorail and posted to Instagram show the train running from Disney’s Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) all the way to EPCOT with one of the car’s doors completely open. The videos, posted by @abbieprimeknits, show passengers clutching onto poles within the car for safety, as well as sighing with relief when the Monorail reaches its destination at Epcot.
Although the situation did not result in any injuries and passengers were able to avoid the open door during their journey, the malfunction points to a major oversight on Disney’s part. The ride from the transportation center to Epcot takes about 15 minutes, with the Disney Monorail’s average speed hitting 40 mph. Because the Monorail runs high above the parks, roads and water features at the resort, the possibility of someone falling through an open door is a grave one.
According to The Disney Blog, the Monorails are equipped with door sensors that are meant to alert the train’s “pilot” if something is ajar, as well as prevent the train from leaving the station in the event of an open door. However, according to a few comments left by the owner of the videos on her own posts, the door was not closing at the Transportation Center to begin with.
“Maintenance was called and worked on it for about 10 minutes and forced it to lock,” she wrote. “When we reached the first curve upon leaving TTC it opened and remained so.”
She also explained in a comment that no one in the car was aware of the emergency phone on board that would have allowed them to contact the pilot during their journey. When they arrived at Epcot, she said, staff watched them pull into the station with an open door and presumably took action to fix the problem after the fact.
The blog WDW News Today also posits that the incident could have resulted in “Do Not Lean” signage that was implemented that was added to every monorail door on January 8.
Although the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, this scary ride is not the kind of thing one hopes to experience at the most magical place on Earth.