A rare sight: An empty monorail car.
Just a heads up to those taking the monorail during Extra Magic Hours (EMH). You've probably heard that Disney changed their policy regarding monorail use. From now on, monorails will run for only one hour after regular park closing and they won't run at all during extra magic hours (EMH). At first glance, this seemed to be a bigger issue with regard to those staying at the Magic Kingdom resorts. After all, those guests need the monorail to get back to their resort and they pay a premium for that privilege. After experiencing the change in person, I think that transportation to and from Epcot is just as big of an issue. Here's the problem.
We were visiting the Magic Kingdom on a night when it closed at 11:00. We decided to leave right after Wishes and head over to Epcot to ride Soarin', because that park was open for EMH until midnight. Usually this just involves a quick ride on the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), then a change to the Epcot monorail. Easy peasy. Unfortunately, you can't do this anymore during EMH! And of coruse, we forgot, which made it even worse. Instead you have to take a bus, either from the Magic Kingdom or from the TTC, where you then take a bus to Epcot. It added about 45 mintues to our trip. I think once the new system is ironed out, it won't take as long, but for now, plan on at least an hour for this type of park hopping.
You're probably wondering why the change? Well, it's for safety purposes as it became more and more apparent that the trains needed more downtown every night for maintenance. And we're all for making the parks a safer place.
If you're a guest planning a vacation to Disney World and you're going to be staying on the monorail for convenience purposes, know about this change in advance. I know that a lot of guests don't use EMH, so it's a non-issue, but if you're paying $500 a night to stay at the Grand Floridian and you expect to be able to use the monorail during EMH, you might want to weigh the value of what you're losing against the cost of your room. Personally, I still think you can't beat staying at a monorail resort even without EMH access, but that is a very personal thing.