A Profile of Victor Koman's One-Man PR Campaign
to Save Disneyland's Last Mark III Monorail

In 1987, I noticed a change happening in Disneyland. One by one, the old bubbletopped Monorails that I rode and loved as a child and adult were being replaced by new, aircraft-sleek trains. The Mark V monorails — though lovely — did not possess the retro-futuristic look of the Mark III trains.

When I asked a monorail operator what the Disney Company was doing with the old trains, he said that the undercarriages were being refurbished to carry the new outer shells, but the old shells were being demolished.

I was shocked! After thinking about it and wondering what one man could do to change what was undoubtedly a well-considered corporate decision, I sent a letter Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner, several Disneyland executives, as well as celebrities and other interested parties. I received a reply and encouragement from Walt Disney Attractions President Richard A. Nunis in February. In March, I researched and contacted scores of transportation museums across the country.

I called my effort "The Incredibly ad hoc Committee to Preserve the World's Last Mark III Monorail" and used my PR abilities acquired through a life-long interest in public speaking, community theater, film, and advertising (not to mention my geriatric Apple ][+ computer) to
  • Generate press releases and progress reports.
  • Facilitate TV, radio, and newspaper interviews, obtaining front page coverage in the Orange County Register and mentions in the Los Angeles Times, Herald Examiner, and other newspapers.
  • Expedited on-location interview with KABC TV News in Disneyland monorail roundhouse.
  • Pursued and procured on-air radio interviews for KNX Newsradio and others.
  • Coordinated photo ops with Disneyland Public Relations and others within the Park.
Finally, less than a day before the scheduled demolition, I received word that the Walt Disney Company would make every effort to preserve the front section of Old Red and save this rare example of 1960s-era futurism for an unspecified project.

Old Red Lifted from Track
Old Red's Last Day -- 18 April, 1988
On 18 April, 1988, Disneyland crew carefully
removed the front segment of Monorail Red
from its track in front of the roundhouse.
(photo taken from Harbor Blvd. overpass by VK)
Mouseorail Model Awarded to Victor Koman
In December, 1989, The Walt Disney Company
introduced the refurbished Monorail Red
as the street-legal Mouseorail and honored
Victor Koman for his efforts in helping to preserve
the last Mark III monorail.
Several Disney executives were kind enough to send letters, including Disney Archivist David R. Smith and then-President and CEO of Walt Disney Company Frank Wells.

A year later, I learned of Disney's plans for Monorail Red while flipping through an issue of Disney News. I issued a final press release and thought that would be the end of it. Much to my surprise and pleasure, I was invited to appear on Stephanie Edwards's KCAL TV program LA In The Morning and was interviewed live along with my daughter, Vanessa. Disneyland Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Warren presented me with a one-of-a-kind hand-carved model of the Mouseorail in recognition of my efforts.

I was floored! It was a pleasure and an honor to help save Old Red, but to be formally and publicly thanked by the Walt Disney Company was more than I would have hoped or imagined.

Mouseorail Dimensions

  • Length 40 feet
  • Width 8 feet
  • Height 12 feet
  • Weight 5 tons

Mouseorail Extras

  • Television Monitor and VCR
  • Cellular Telephone
  • Mickey "Tail" Lights
  • "Ear-View" Mirrors
  • License Plate: 35 EARS

Customized by
Ultra Limousine of Brea, Calif.

Mouseorail Debut
Mickey's Mouseorail, rebuilt and converted
from the last of the Mark III bubbletop monorail cars,
became Disneyland's first "moving" attraction.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Base cab and chassis from new Chevrolet commercial truck, with V8 engine and automatic transmission. The Mouseorail uses unleaded gasoline, has a heating and air conditioning system as well as an onboard generator, and seats 16. The bubble section of the Monorail, where once sat the operator, now holds a multi-featured remote facility, offering a bird's-eye view for the on-air personality doing live, mobile radio remotes using state-of-the-art equipment. A custom stereo system provides 200 watts per channel transmitted externally through 25 concealed speakers located throughout the Mouseorail.