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Disney Skyliner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Disney Skyliner
Disney Skyliner, October 2019.jpg
Disney Skyliner system over Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
LocaleWalt Disney World Resort, Bay Lake, Florida
Coordinates28°21′33″N 81°32′42″W / 28.35910°N 81.54495°W / 28.35910; -81.54495
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Pop Century Resort
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata
TypeGondola lift
SystemDoppelmayr Garaventa Group[1]
Operator(s)Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
OpenedSeptember 29, 2019[2]
Number of tracks3
CharacterFully elevated
Route map

Monorail transfer
(via walk through park to front exit)
Disney's Riviera Resort
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Art of Animation Resort/
Disney's Pop Century Resort

Watercraft transfer

Disney Skyliner is a gondola lift system at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. It opened on September 29, 2019 (2019-09-29), with five stations located at resorts and theme parks. Each gondola cabin can hold up to 10 guests, or up to 6 if there is a wheelchair or stroller. Guests sit on twin, inward-facing, wooden benches.[3] Strollers 30" x 48" and smaller are able to roll directly into the gondola and do not have to be folded.


Not long after the opening of Disneyland in 1955, a similar gondola system called the Skyway debuted, connecting Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. When Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort was opened, the same gondola system was implemented – as well as at Tokyo Disneyland when it opened to the public in 1983. The Magic Kingdom Skyway closed in 1999, with the station in Tomorrowland demolished in 2009 and the Fantasyland station demolished in 2012.[4]



On February 15, 2017, the Reedy Creek Improvement District filed plans with the South Florida Water Management District for "various improvements." Among these plans was a design for a 100-foot-high (30 m) building in the shape of a "V," consistent with a gondola lift changing direction.[5] The blueprints described improvements to the south end of Epcot at the World Showcase, as well as in Disney's BoardWalk Resort and Disney's Hollywood Studios.[5] These V-shaped structures were also planned for Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort.[6]

On July 15, 2017, the gondola lift plan was confirmed at the D23 Expo. Bob Chapek, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said that the system was going to connect four hotels with Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, affording "a bird's-eye view" of the area.[7] No opening date was announced at the time.[8] The proposal was announced as part of the unveiling of 23 improvements to Disney Parks,[9] including a "makeover" of Epcot[8][10] and carpool-style "Minnie vans."[11] The Skyliner would also connect to Disney's Riviera Resort.[11][12]

By 2018, the Skyliner was under construction.[13] The towers and gondola stations were more than halfway completed by summer 2018.[14] In November 2018, Disney Parks announced that Disney Skyliner would open in fall 2019.[15]

Testing with passenger cabins began in late January 2019, on the Hollywood Studios line.[16]


On July 15, 2019, it was announced that the Disney Skyliner would open on September 29.[17] The Skyliner opened as scheduled.[18][19]

Select Skyliner cabins feature classic Disney pals such as the Fab Five, but newer films including Zootopia and Ralph Breaks the Internet are also represented. Both animated films and Walt Disney World attractions make appearances on the gondolas, including Lilo & Stitch, Moana, Finding Dory, The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. The nearly 300 cabins feature onboard audio, which is unique to each of the three routes. Each cabin has wooden bench-style seating that fits a maximum of 10 people. Disney Skyliner hours vary depending on park hours, the weather, and the season. Some routes begin operating before the parks open, while others begin operating right at park opening; all routes will remain open for a bit after park closing.[20]


Skyliner station at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Skyliner station at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The lines for the Disney Skyliner are hubbed from a central terminus at Caribbean Beach Resort.[7][8]

Epcot line

The longest of the three lines is the Epcot line. Departing from the Caribbean Beach hub, the line rises up to cross over the Jamaica and Aruba Villages of the resort, before descending to the first of two midstations at the Riviera Resort. This is also accessible from and adjacent to the Aruba village of Caribbean Beach. Here, the line turns west and travels alongside Buena Vista Drive. As it reaches the Boardwalk Tennis Courts parking lot, the line hits its second midstation. This midstation is unthemed, as it only serves to turn the line to resume traveling north. After crossing over the Epcot Resorts Boulevard and passing behind the France pavilion at World Showcase, the gondola descends into its final terminus at the International Gateway entrance to World Showcase. The zig-zag route of the Epcot line enables the line to avoid bisecting World Showcase and backstage areas.

The journey time for a one-way journey along the full route from Caribbean Beach to Epcot is 11 minutes. A journey between Caribbean Beach and Riviera takes three minutes, and the journey between Riviera and Epcot takes six minutes.

Hollywood Studios line

The Hollywood Studios line heads due west out of the Caribbean Beach hub. The first part of the line cuts through previously unused forest space, before descending and crossing over the tollbooth entrance to the Hollywood Studios parking lot. The line then crosses through the parking lot before descending into its Hollywood Studios terminus, in between the park entrance and the bus stop.

The ride time for a one-way journey on the Hollywood Studios route is 5 minutes.

Art of Animation and Pop Century line

The shortest of the three routes. This line heads due south from the Caribbean Beach hub towards the Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts. The first half of the line takes place over reclaimed swampland. After passing by the Art of Animation Resort's north building, the line descends and travels across Hourglass Lake, ending at a terminus on the middle of the lake.

A one-way journey on the Art of Animation route takes 4 minutes.



  • October 5 - A gondola became jammed while exiting the  Riviera Resort station. A subsequent backlog of gondolas got stuck with the jammed gondola, causing the stop of the attraction. There were no known injuries.[21][22][23]


  • April 22 - A gondola that was exiting accessibility loop, an extra extension of the station loop where gondolas can stop fully to allow guest needing extra time to load and unload safely, got stuck in a spot around the normal turn from the unload platform. There were no known injuries.[24]
  • June 8 - Two gondola cars entering the International Gateway station at the rear entrance to Epcot came closer causing the system to shut down and stranding guests for some minutes. There were no reported injuries.[25]
  • October 11 - The Skyliner stopped for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, leaving riders stuck. No explanation was given by Disney officials but each rider was handed a bottle of water and $50 in Disney gift cards upon arriving safely back to the ground.


A Skyliner cabin at the International Gateway on the terminus of the Epcot line.
A Skyliner cabin at the International Gateway on the terminus of the Epcot line.

The Skyliner is the only gondola system in North America with double loading, and the second double loading aerial lift system in the country after Quicksilver Super6 at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado. At the end terminals of each line, most cabins unload their guests at the first unload area immediately after decelerating, then turn around before loading guests on the other side of the terminal. However, some cabins are routed through automatic switches to a secondary loading and unloading zone which is designed for disabled passengers and those who need more time while boarding. These cabins are stopped for a fixed period of time at a platform to load and unload guests, before rejoining the main conveyor of gondola cabins at the merge point.

See also


  1. ^ Pedicini, Sandra (April 18, 2017). "Disney World gondolas would connect parks, hotels, documents confirm". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Disney Skyliner Gondolas Will Take Flight In September". WFOR-TV. July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "Everything you need to know about the Disney World gondolas (Disney Skyliner)". WDW Prep School. April 27, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "Skyway to Fantasyland". Disney Park History. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Pedicini, Sandra (February 15, 2017). "New cable car system at Disney World? Plans raise the possibility". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Bilbao, Richard (February 15, 2017). "Rumor: Disney may be working on a gondola transportation system". Business Journals. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Thomas. "Disney Skyliner, New Minnie Vehicles to Transport Guests Around Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Bevil, Dewayne. "Coming to Disney World: Tron, Guardians of the Galaxy ride, 'Star Wars' hotel". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Levine, Arthur (July 18, 2017). "Disney announces 23 wild new developments for its theme parks". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Barnes, Brooks (July 15, 2017). "Disney Vows to Give Epcot a Magical, Long-Overdue Makeover". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Baran, Michelle (July 16, 2017). "Disney World building club resort, new ways to get around". Travel Weekly. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Kubersky, Seth (July 15, 2017). "DVC Disney Riviera Resort and Skyliner gondola transportation announced for Walt Disney World". Attractions Magazine. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017.
  13. ^ Holmes, Jamie (September 20, 2018). "Walt Disney World Skyliner: Channel 9 gets first look at Gondola". WFTV. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  14. ^ Bilbao, Richard (August 28, 2018). "Here's what's up with Disney's future gondola system". Business Journals. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  15. ^ Smith, Thomas (November 14, 2018). "Disney Skyliner to Begin Transporting Guests in Fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  16. ^ Tuttle, Brittani (January 28, 2019). "Initial testing now underway for Disney Skyliner gondolas". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  17. ^ Smith, Thomas (July 15, 2019). "Disney Skyliner Takes Flight on Sept 29, 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  18. ^ Leonard, Suzy Fleming (September 27, 2019). "Disney World: Skyliner gondolas open at Orlando resort this weekend". USA Today. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Carter, Ashley (September 27, 2019). "Video: Everything You Need to Know About Disney Skyliner". News 13. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  20. ^ Hop Aboard the Disney Skyliner Transportation System at Walt Disney World
  21. ^ Harris, David; Bevil, Dewayne. "Riders on Disney World's new gondolas stranded for hours; Skyliner now closed". Orlando Sentinel (October 6, 2019). Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Russon, Gabrielle (October 6, 2019). "Disney World gondola shutdown strains theme park's rescue efforts". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  23. ^ "Apparent Disney Skyliner Crash Shuts Down System; Evacuations Underway". BlogMickey. October 5, 2019. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  24. ^ "BREAKING Disney Skyliner Reportedly Crashes Again at Disney World". BlogMickey. April 22, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  25. ^ "Disney Skyliner Crashes Again at Disney World". BlogMickey. June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 October 2021, at 08:52
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