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The Orange County RegisterOriginal Article »
December 21, 2007
ANAHEIM – The first new monorail car in two decades slid onto the Disneyland track on Thursday as the theme park prepares for guests to ride it starting in late February.
Starting Monday, five flat-bed trucks transported in the five cars of the first redesigned train from Vancouver, Canada, where they were built. Crews ripped off white shrink wrap, which made the cars look like a Space Shuttle, and took about an hour and 15 minutes for a crane to hoist the nose of the first red-striped train to the parking area.
The ride started in 1959 as part of Disneyland's first expansion and the current cars have carted visitors around the Disney area since 1987. For three years, Disney Imagineers have been working on the upgrades that will roll out through the summer.
"I think we're always looking for ways to update and refresh classic attractions," said Scot Drake, the monorail lead designer. "This is definitely an iconic attraction."
The biggest change is the look of the train: The first electric cars have blue glass and red stripes that change color in the sunlight. The next two cars will be blue with purple glass and orange with blue glass.
Bench seats will face the windows, allowing visitors a full view of the parks, Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel. The capacity and speed will remain the same.
Until the February debut, Disney workers will put finishing touches on the construction and test the train after the park closes.
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