Seemingly Useless Monorail Garbage Hides a Secret Transportation Codex

Walt Disney World is a never-ending labyrinth. As our understanding deepens, our eyes are opened to new wonders we never knew existed. It’s a giant tootsie pop, and the more we lick, the closer we come to the gooey David Bowie center.

It takes a long time to peel back these layers of the onion. I’m mixing metaphors now, and I advise you not to mix tootsie pops and onions in real life. It is not pleasant. But mixing David Bowie with anything is always okay. And sometimes the most trivial items can take hold of a man’s fascination and drive him deeper and deeper into new levels of obsession.

 

Do not be fooled by those unofficial transportation collector cards! Accept only the real thing!

I recently obtained the above Official Walt Disney World Transportation Collector Card during a trip to the Magic Kingdom. I have visited the Magic Kingdom in all the decades of its existence, and not once have I ever been offered an Official Walt Disney World Transportation Collector Card. I never even knew they existed. It wasn’t until I finally had a child in tow that an attendant approached us and secretly offered us two of these priceless relics for free!

My 2-year-old promptly obliterated one of them, but I salvaged the second one.

I was prepared to pass it off as nothing more than those silly little “Magical Moments” they like to give to kids. These things are harmless. A chance to distract kids with bright pictures while waiting for mundane things like riding the monorail or failing the height stick. They’re cheap bits of fluff designed to hold attention for approximately 58.4 seconds, and then are quickly disposed of.

Forget the Mickey stickers that are distributed from every corner like gateway drugs. My son has received a lame Autopia driver’s license, a monorail pilot’s license, a whole bunch of crap from Innoventions, and even a “Compensatory Star Tours FastPass for your Entire Family When You Finally Grow A Few More Inches.”

I can imagine the moms and dads of America finding this stuff wadded into the crevasses of their suitcase the next time they pull out the luggage for a family trip. It probably garners a brief nostalgic memory of their Disney trip eight months ago. And then gets promptly tossed in the garbage.

I took the card and marveled at Disney’s assumption that anyone (even a 2-year-old who can’t read) would think a Walt Disney World Transportation Collector Card was even going to cause a blip in the attention radar. Then I turned it over to read the back.

Fun facts about both monorails AND crickets! And a hidden mickey, for you hidden mickey freaks! Did you find it?

There is absolutely nothing of interest here to fans. Even if you didn’t know the maximum speed of a Walt Disney World monorail, did you really care? And who doesn’t know who Jiminy Cricket is? I admit the Pinocchio Village Haus Hidden Mickey fact is okay, but you wouldn’t rush straight there to hunt for it. The card is a bit of garbage, just as we thought.

Except for that little line: “17 of 25.”

I stopped and re-read it. This isn’t just a bit of monorail fluff. This is one of an entire series. A series of collectible cards built around the Walt Disney World transportation system! Somebody sat down and painstakingly designed the entire set.

…Distributed it to various modes of transportation around property.

…Dared me to collect all 25!

Our brains are trained to ignore this stuff. Through experience and societal evolution, we have built-in filters that send this kind of manufactured puffery right past our logic circuits and into the garbage disposal. But if you give logic a chance, it can sometimes blow your mind.

Think about it. Can you even name 25 different modes of Walt Disney World transportation? Monorail, bus, tram, ferry, boat… seriously, I’m running out now. I guess you could start splitting the boats out into different styles. The smaller launches that service Poly and Grand Floridian. The Friendships at the Epcot resort. Maybe Magical Express gets its own card.

Yet some evil genius not only came up with 25 modes of transportation, he planted collectible cards at each one of them all over the property. A game about the most boring aspect of a Walt Disney World vacation. Unadvertised. Available only to cute toddlers. When the attendants don’t have anything better to do. An audience that has no concept of just how logically confounding these items are that they hold in their grubby little hands.

It’s downright diabolical.

Now that I know these other 24 cards exist, there’s a part of me that’s obsessed with finding them. What if there are modes of transportation that I never knew existed! What if this is like Scientology, where only the Level Five fans get to use the Blizzard Beach pack mules, or the Downtown Disney transporter room? Are there Freemasons hang-gliding off the Contemporary rooftop as we speak?

It’s like stumbling onto an entire Da Vinci code treasure hunt, buried in the unassuming transportation infrastructure of a massive resort complex.

The quest is on, ladies and gentlemen. And in this short of a race, there’s no prize for finishing second. I will solve this puzzle through the sheer power of my own magnificent brain. Forget those complete sets of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom spell cards. Those things can be had for mere hundreds on eBay. But a complete set of Walt Disney World Transportation collector cards?

You can’t put a value on that.

 

Shane was raised on a steady diet of EPCOT Center and Kenner action figures. Parkeology is the happy result. He is the creator along with his friend Ted of the WDW47 Challenge and the WDW49 Challenge — featured by such media giants as CNN, ABC, FoxNews, and the in-flight magazine for Norwegian Air. With his brother Tristan, Shane is the author of the adventure fantasy novels Arabian Heist and Johnny Shipwreck. He currently resides in the Swiss Family Treehouse.

15 thoughts on “Seemingly Useless Monorail Garbage Hides a Secret Transportation Codex

  1. there are actually hidden Freemason tunnels under WDWR that help Freemasons get around faster

  2. Because of the tights that he’s wearing in Labyrinth, you can see David Bowie’s tootsie pop.

    • The ECV card is elusive. I’m not even sure it exists. But then, I wasn’t sure the Complimentary Handicap Parking Wheelchair card existed either, until it was found in the collection of a deceased billionaire from Little Rock.

  3. OMG! You got Blue Monorail card #17!

    I’ve been searching for that for years! It completes my collection…. I’ll give you $500 and do your laundry for a year for it.

  4. A secret: there’s more than 25. Each mode of transportation (bus, monorail, boats) has their own set. My 20 year old sister fanatically collected them on our last trip. (She even stalked a few boat captains!) Besides the cards currently in circulation, we came home with a few “retired” cards dug out of the recesses of CM bags.

  5. Unfortunately you might be one link short of a major cover-up by the Catho- …WDW.

    From what I’ve heard, card #25 was Monorail Pink (or Purple), and therefore retired after the crash. (And holy naturalist John Muir that does not feel like it happened over 3 years ago)

    • Shawn, that is actually an interesting idea. Was there really a Monorail Pink/Purple card that they got rid of after the accident? That adds a whole nother layer, and actually does make it sound like somewhat of a collector’s item! This whole Transportation Collectible Card game really is an underground secret sect!

  6. They kind of cheat. It’s NOT 25 DIFFERENT types of transportation, but 25 cards. 3 bus types, all the monorails, and 5 or 6 boats as I recall. I had a bus driver give me a few, then we started collecting them. they are from several (10?) years ago I think at this point, so the trick is asking the old/veteran driver/pilot/etc.

  7. I personally love bits of free junk. Those are the sorts of things I hoard because 1. They are free and I am cheap and 2. They take up no room unlike mugs, vinylmation and other souvenirs. I have only one of these cards (the green monorail #18/25) but they are awesome, obscure and unnecessary which is exactly what still keeps my WDW love strong XD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website