Did you know Walt Disney World is getting an entirely new transportation system soon? Joining the lineup of monorails, buses, boats and Minnie Vans is another system called Disney Skyliner. As the name implies, the Skyliner will transport guests through the sky!
Skyliner is a gondola system reminiscent of the old skyway ride at Magic Kingdom, but this iteration is a verified travel system, not an attraction. Originally announced in 2017 at a D23 Fan Expo, the Disney Skyliner will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Epcot; Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach resorts; and Disney’s Riviera Resort, a future Disney Vacation Club resort. Guests will be delivered seamlessly to Disney’s Hollywood Studios main entrance and the International Gateway at Epcot in small capsule-like gondolas.
Of course, Disney will add its own flair by adorning some of the gondolas with Disney characters or images from Disney parks. Some of the concept art shows Mickey and Minnie on two of the designs and Donald and Goofy on another. A Haunted Mansion design features the classic attraction’s Hitchhiking ghosts. Princess characters are also featured on other designs.
Guests riding the Disney Skyliner will get a birds-eye view of Walt Disney World as they glide along in the sky. The entire route will utilize 6 miles of cable! If you have visited Walt Disney World recently, you will surely have noticed the gondola support towers stretching across property. The last one was recently installed, which will allow Disney to start threading the cable soon. Even the stations have had quite of bit of progress already.
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Speaking of the stations, Disney has said that the stations will each be themed to their surroundings.
- The Epcot station, which is located at International Gateway between the United Kingdom and France pavilions of the World Showcase, will have a European theming. This will including metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and Art Nouveau-style ornamental steel structures.
- At Hollywood Studios, the station will keep with the theming of the front entrance to the park with its Golden Era architectural style.
- The Caribbean Beach Resort station will have matching color scheme and resembled the open-air style of the resort.
- Disney did not provide a rendering for the Art of Animation and Pop Century stop yet, but they said it would be whimsical and fitting to the two resorts’ theming as well.
The gondolas are said to accommodate a small number of guests in each capsule, but all are wheelchair-accessible. Something the Skyliner will not have is air conditioning. There’s a lot of concern being voiced on social media from guests who are worried about the transportation experience, particularly in our hot and humid summers. The Orlando Sentinel has reported that a Disney spokesperson indicated that the cabins were specifically tailored to provide a comfortable ride for guests in the Florida climate. They will also use cross-ventilation for air flow and reflective windows to prevent direct sunlight.
Also according to the Orlando Sentinel, “All of the stops offer unique aerial views of the resorts and parks with paths that take riders over bodies of water like Hourglass Lake. [Bob Chapek, chairman of parks, experiences and consumer products] also mentioned a Tinseltown theme and a unique view of Tower of Terror upon approach to Hollywood Studios via Skyliner.”
An exact opening date has not yet been shared, but the Disney Parks Blog recently accounted opening will be in Fall 2019.
Will you ride Disney Skyliner when it opens? Are you excited to see Walt Disney World from the skies in 2019?