If you’ve been to Walt Disney World recently, you have probably noticed one of the massive construction projects throughout the property…the Disney Skyliner. In advance of its opening later this year, fact and fiction abound across the Disney fan sites about this newest addition to the World. Let’s take a look at the Disney Skyliner and see what’s true!
First the fiction…
“There is no air conditioning in the gondolas. I am going to die of heat stroke!”
Living in Colorado, gondolas are very commonplace out here. Let me assure you that while it is true that there is no air conditioning in the cabin itself, you will be just fine. There are vent windows at the top of both sides of the gondola that allow for air flow. If you have never ridden in one, you will be pleasantly surprised at the breeze that circulates in the cabin while in motion.
“I am going to have to run and jump on the moving gondola. That’s just an accident waiting to happen. I am going to sue Disney when I break my leg!!”
Don’t worry, there will be no running and jumping required. Gondolas are spaced far enough apart that when they come in to a station they slow down dramatically for guests to exit and board. The cabins typically move slower than the moving walkway attractions like Haunted Mansion and Spaceship Earth that Walt Disney World visitors are accustomed to navigating with ease. The ones we use at several of the ski resorts here in Colorado allow for plenty of time to load our equipment on the outside of the cabin and then board as it very slowly creeps through the station.
“The Disney Skyliner will never run in the summer, because of the rain, lightning, and winds.”
Believe it or not, gondolas can and do run in all types of weather all over the world on a daily basis. The type of cabins that Disney will be using from Doppelmayr, can operate in rain and wind speeds of over 50mph safely. While Disney may chose to shut down the Skyliner from time to time during electrical storms, that is not necessarily required. For fellow science geeks out there, think of each cabin as its own Faraday cage.
“There’s no way I’m riding that thing, if it gets stuck, I am going to have to repel down a hundred feet on my own!”
It is actually very rare that cabins get stuck, and often even if there is a malfunction, a line can still be brought back in and unloaded. But in a worst case scenario, you have to be evacuated, keep in mind the Disney Skyliner is approximately 50 feet high at its tallest point, not a hundred feet. Here in Colorado, our ski patrol routinely spends time practicing with volunteers evacuating them from the gondolas. With Disney’s stellar record, I am sure they will do the same. In the event an evacuation becomes necessary, safety personel board your cabin from the roof, harness each guest in, and slowly assist you being lowered to the ground. Not necessarily an ideal situation by any means, but it certainly would be an exciting memory from your vacation that you wouldn’t soon forget!
And now the facts…
The Disney Skyliner will transport guests by connecting Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to four resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Not only will there be brightly colored gondolas, there will also be select gondolas adorned with graphics from favorite Disney attractions and movies. Some of the featured themes will include:
- Mickey & Minnie
- Donald & Daisy
- Lilo & Stitch
- Finding Dory
- Peter Pan
- The Haunted Mansion
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Chip & Dale
- The Princess and the Frog
- Ralph Breaks the Internet,
- Monsters, Inc.
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Toy Story
- Beauty & the Beast
- Star Wars
There will be five loading stations located at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and the last one situated between Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation.
The initial testing of the Disney Skyliner has begun in recent weeks, and appears to be going well.
While no official opening date has been announced, Disney has said that it will be ready to go by fall 2019.
Let The Countdown To The Disney Skyliner Begin!
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