Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that could change how Disney World’s Monorail is inspected.
The ongoing battle between Disney and the Florida governor has resulted in several lawsuits and many proposed changes to the Disney World parks. The latest development might impact one of the most iconic forms of transportation between Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and some Disney hotels.
Earlier this year, Gov. DeSantis held a press conference where he discussed the Monorail in Disney World and specifically how it is not subject to state safety inspections. DeSantis said, “This monorail is exempt. They exempted the Monorail from any safety standards or inspections…so they’re gonna go and make sure that the monorail is subject to oversight just like everything else would be in the state of Florida.” He also mentioned the same issue with Disney World rides.
An amendment to a bill was filed a short time later that would change this inspection situation. Now, Gov. DeSantis has signed that bill into law.
Specifically, the law states the following:
“The department shall adopt by rule minimum safety standards for governmentally owned fixed-guideway transportation systems, and privately owned or operated fixed-guideway transportation systems operating in this state which are financed wholly or partly by state funds, and any governmentally or privately owned fixed-guideway transportation systems operating in this state which are located within an independent special district created by local act which have boundaries within two contiguous counties.
The department shall conduct structural safety inspections in adherence with s. 335.074 for any fixed-guideway transportation systems that are raised or have bridges, as appropriate. Inspectors shall follow departmental safety protocols during safety inspections, including requiring the suspension of system service to ensure the safety and welfare of inspectors and the traveling public during such inspections.”
This language clearly points to the Disney World Monorail, as it is a fixed-guideway transportation system located within a special district that covers two contiguous counties. It’s unclear how many other independent special districts in Florida cover two contiguous counties besides the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (which replaced Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District).
Many major theme parks in Florida conduct their own inspections of certain things, including rides. According to the Orlando Business Journal, “Current Florida law says ‘permanent facilities that employ at least 1,000 full-time employees and that maintain full-time, in-house safety inspectors‘ were exempt from state inspections.”
Disney World is the only major Central Florida theme park located within a special district, so the amendment seems to apply specifically and perhaps exclusively to the Disney theme parks. SeaWorld and Universal Orlando will not be impacted by this change.
Some people have questioned whether this change would also apply to the Disney World Skyliner.
Note that this amendment does not seem to address the issue of ride inspections, which DeSantis also mentioned previously — just of inspections for the Monorail and perhaps the Skyliner.
It’s possible that the safety inspections could disrupt the Monorail’s schedule, which could potentially cause headaches for Disney World guests as they try to make their way between the parks and hotels.
We’ll continue to watch for more updates, so stay tuned to DFB for the latest news.
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What do you think of this change? Let us know in the comments.
The post NEWS: Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill to Change Disney World Monorail Inspections first appeared on the disney food blog.