Disney World Monorail Evacuated After Possible Lightning Strike

It wasn’t such a Zippedy-Do-Dah Day after all for about 120 passengers on the Walt Disney World monorail Sunday night.

As clouds and thunderstorms rolled through the area, passengers on the dedicated Epcot monorail line found their trip cut short by a power outage. WPTV quotes Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler as saying:

“A power outage Sunday evening forced the evacuation of about 120 passengers from the monorail.”

Whether the power outage was caused by lightning is unclear. WPTV reports that the power outage was not due to lightning, where other outlets, including New York Daily News, claim it was.

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Regardless of the cause, the power outage made for a rather eventful evening for the passengers on the train. After the outage, the monorail came to a stop. Says 15-year-old Lily Mock, a passenger on the train:

“It wasn’t a jolting stop, but it did stop really fast — the monorail glided to a stop.”

The train was stopped for about 90 minutes, according to Daily Mail. Without power (and air conditioning), temperatures in the packed cars quickly rose to over 90 degrees. However, passengers remained calm, according to USA Today, and firefighters from the Reedy Creek Fire Department (Walt Disney World’s in-house fire department) were able to evacuate the passengers.

At the site of the incident, the monorail was about 30 feet off the ground. The height of the tracks vary throughout their routes. According to Disney By The Numbers, the highest point of the track is 65 feet.

Lily Mock tweeted these photos of the accident while waiting to be rescued:

For her trouble, Lily tweeted that she was given free ice cream and several free Fastpasses (tickets that allow the visitor to bypass regular lines at certain popular attractions).

According to the Daily Mail, there has not been a major accident on the Walt Disney World monorail in “three or four years.” The most serious monorail-related incident at Disney World occurred in 2009, when, according to the Examiner, monorail pilot Austin Wuennenberg was killed when he was involved in a crash with another train at a station. Amateur video of the aftermath of the incident was posted on YouTube:

Have you ever been involved in an accident, closure, or other mishap on a Walt Disney World (or other major theme park) attraction? Please tell us about your experience in the comments.