Welcome to the Skyliner
Welcome to the Skyliner
Kate K.

Disney Transportation has always sought to bring unique and fun ways to travel to guests. There are many monorails around the world, but none are as iconic as Disney’s Monorail. And Disney also boasts a fleet of energy-efficient busses, on-demand Minnie Vans, a whole fleet of boats that travel the various waterways. And now there is the Skyway.

Expanding the alternative travel

The plan for Walt Disney World was always to try to circumnavigate the need for cars and busses as much as possible. Over the years there was the talk of expanding the waterways to connect the Magic Kingdom ferry loops to the Hollywood Studios/Epcot waterways. But that is an expensive endeavor that would have required a massive earth-moving project and engineering as well as moving roads. So that wasn’t practical.

Expanding the Monorail was another option that was often mentioned in the Rumor Mill, but the route was always in question. But before rumors of the incoming gondola system started circulating in 2016, no one expected Disney to go in this direction.

Seeing a Need

If you are the kind of person who likes to go to the resorts, whether you’re staying on property or in a rental, like one of ours, then you may know how bad the transportation situation was for the east side of the property. It could take up to 30 minutes to travel from the All-Star Resorts (which are worth visiting for an hour or so, the décor is amazingly fun to explore!). And if the boats weren’t running, it would take forever to get from Epcot to Hollywood Studios.

The buses were unreliable at that side of the parks as well, as anyone who ever had to watch a 5 minute wait time unmagically transform into 45 minutes knows. So a solution was needed.

The Skyliner

The Skyliner is a state of the art Gondola system that connects Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Epcot Resorts and the Art of Animation area. The loading docks have the Gondolas sliding into a rotating platform much like the people mover in the Magic Kingdom. Guests will load onto the Gondolas and head back up the ramp to continue on their journey.

And if you’re not disembarking, I’m sure they have a system similar to the Monorail to let them know where you need to get off. The Monorail version is typically only used for wheelchairs since the ramp has to be added by the cast members at the desired stop. But it would make sense that they would know who was getting on and off.

The gondolas are character-themed, and they aren’t air-conditioned, but the speeds and height allow for plenty of ventilation for your comfort. I don’t think they’ll run in bad weather though so you won’t have to be worried about getting wet.

A New Take on An Old Familiar Friend

This isn’t Disney’s first gondola system. The Skyway transported its first guests in Disneyland about a year after the park opened. It ran from Tomorrowland, through the Matterhorn, and on to Fantasyland. And when Walt Disney World opened it ran the same route, minus the mountain tunnel. While most rumors say the Skyway closed due to lack of interest, or injuries. It’s more likely that the decision was due to the old one ride for one ride rule. Basically, in the old days of park expansion, one ride had to close for another to open. IT was how they kept ticket prices down. So when Indiana Jones opened in Disneyland, the Skyliner closed.

The new Skyliner is much sleeker than the old Skyway though. With streamlined cars, an automated loading system rather than a pulley launch and beautiful views between the parks.

The first guests have taken their rides, when will you be able to ride on the Skyliner for the first time?

Kate K.

Kate K. is a freelance writer, artist, designer, and programmer. She has been working with Homes4uu as our primary blogger, graphic designer, webmaster, and social media manager since 2014. You can also find Kate on her homesite www.k8ilyeverafter.com and her blog k8ilyeverafterpresents.com.

Read More About Kate K. here

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