The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has begun to regulate the Walt Disney World Monorail system, according to a new report from News 6, eight months after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to allow inspections of the privately-owned transportation system.
State Inspections of Walt Disney World Monorail Begins
An FDOT spokesperson shared with News 6 that “work is now underway to implement the new law.”
Being that this is the first time that the State has had oversight, FDOT is doing its due diligence to thoroughly complete the review while insuring the safety of travelers.Cindi Lane, FDOT District Five Public Information Director
The field inspections are being conducted by FDOT’s Structures Maintenance Office, which oversees the inspection of bridges and other structures statewide. As part of the inspection process, Disney has shared their safety manuals and other existing documentation related to the Monorail with FDOT.
When we have a monorail system that carries 150,000 riders a day, I think it is appropriate for the state, the Florida Department of Transportation, to oversee the safety standards for that particular mode of transportation.Nick DiCeglie, Republican state senator who initially introduced the legislation
If need be, FDOT has the legal authority to temporarily suspend service of the Monorail during inspections to ensure the safety of inspectors and passengers. It is unknown if this has happened.
The agency has not yet compiled any written reports from the inspections, which it reportedly expected to conduct every two years.
Another aspect of the legislation is that FDOT must establish minimum safety standards for the operation of the Walt Disney World Monorail. According to News 6, this has not occurred yet.
The Department continues to work with Disney on necessary information for the non-structural portion of the (monorail) system.Cindi Lane, FDOT District Five Public Information Director
Per News 6, Disney has not sought to repeal the legislation and regulation of the Walt Disney World Monorail in court.
DeSantis previously stated that Walt Disney World is no longer “above the law” when speaking about these state inspections. A previously proposed amendment was shared in a report in November 2023, reportedly theorized by DeSantis, which would have permitted Florida regulators to conduct attraction inspections at major Florida theme parks, including Walt Disney World.
DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company initially clashed over the corporation’s opposition to a much-debated and controversial Florida law regarding classroom instruction and discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. Most recently, in their ongoing legal battle, Disney has filed a new motion asking the judge to order the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District to turn over previously-requested documents.