From the OC Register:
At about 5 p.m. today the first members of the public boarded the new Mark VII Monorail at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland station.
While some people who went on the first red monorail trip seemed to think it was just another monorail, some guests were thrilled to be on the new train.
“It was air conditioned and it was pretty,” said 8-year-old Bethany Masten from Sacramento. Masten and her family were on the first public trip with the new monorail.
Disney marked the arrival of the new monorail train with signs throughout the park. And the monorail features more than just the red sides, blue glass windows and blue-lighted floors and seat backs. The train’s message also reflects the new train.
“Ladies and gentleman, welcome aboard the monorail 7,” the speakers sounded on each ride around the park. Later, the recorded message says, “You’re riding on the new Mark 7 Monorail, the latest-generation Disneyland monorail.
“I have no other monorail experiences to compare this to, but this train looks pretty futuristic,” admitted 38-year-old John Sturgeon. This was the first visit to Disneyland for Sturgeon and his family who came to the park from Silver City, New Mexico.
On that same, second ride for the public, was Catherine Keene of San Diego. She admitted that she made her group wait for the new train, which she said looks much cooler than the old train and that also rides more smoothly.
“We saw the red monorail driving along the tracks all day. It looked so pretty and new, so we all wanted to ride on it,” Keene said.
On a ride around the track with a monorail driver, Scott Kea, he said that a few things have changed for the drivers. He said the new train has more cameras, the ability for drivers to talk to specific sections of the train and a “cushier” seat for the driver.
While some guests did not know about the new train, Michael Villanueva, a 29-year-old from Brentwood, was excited for the new train. As he walked up on the monorail platform he said of the old-style monorail train “that one’s boring, I want to go on the new one.”
Villanueva said he’s been waiting for the red monorail to open. He saw the monorail testing earlier in the day, but when he saw signs announcing that guests could go on the monorail he said he ran to the monorail station in Tomorrowland.
“I was like ahhhhhh I have to ride on the new monorail,” he said.
Disney Spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez said the red monorail’s soft opening means it will be open off and on throughout the weekend. She did not know when the monorail would begin full-time operations for park guests.
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