What Is The Walt Disney World Gondolas
From the 1950s to 1999 disney had a similar gondola system called the Skyway. The Skyway was located in the Magic Kingdom and connected Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
It was a nice way to give tired guests a brief respite, but it was slow moving. disney has taken this idea and really ramped it up.
In the same fashion that the monorails connect some deluxe resorts to two of the theme parks, the Skyliner will connect two value, one moderate and one deluxe resort to two parks.
Disney already offers resort guests complimentary travel via the monorails, water taxis and bus shuttles. The logical addition to land and water travel is air travel!
The great thing is that the gondolas will not have to fight through traffic, which will make for quicker commute times than the bus shuttles offer.
We all know how long the lines can be to board the shuttles and having an additional transportation system is a great way to alleviate some of the congestion at both resorts and parks.
The Skyliner doesnt require any additional roads either, youll be traveling up to 60 feet above disney World!
Tips For Using The Disney Skyliner System
- If you have a fear of heights or enclosed spaces, we wouldn’t recommend the Skyliner as a travel option.
- For people with severe motion sickness, the Disney Skyliner may also not be the best option. Flora can easily get carsick and seasick, and she felt some queasiness during each takeoff and when the gondola stopped and gently swayed in the air.
- Anyone can ride the Skyliner! You do not have to present any hotel reservation information in order to get to the resorts accessible by gondolas.
- That said, you cannot park at any of the resorts if you are not a registered guest, are not attending a convention or do not have a dining reservation.
- Keep the gondola balanced if you do not want an extra rocky ride! Don’t all sit on one side, and have the tadpoles sit in between the grown-up frogs.
- Riding at night offers a toadally different experience. As we left Hollywood Studios after closing, we could see the fireworks exploding in the sky at EPCOT! If you have a character-themed gondola, it is a little harder to see out.
- If you’re staying at any of the resorts along the Skyliner routes, Skyliner is currently the only Disney transportation option available for EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Buses are only available if Skyliner is not operating.
With this new addition, more improved and fun ways to hop around Walt Disney World will allow guests to save time and create even more magical memories! Ribbit!
How Long Are Waits
The Skyliner waits have been mostly manageable and not a reason to avoid the Skyliner. From outside the entrance to the Epcot Skyliner station, for example, we waited only 10 minutes. The biggest problems arise at park close and when lines go down :
The #DisneySkyliner logistics at the end of the night at Epcot are a mess. At this point, we can’t recommend using the system as a reliable form of transportation. From frequent stops to managers who weren’t prepared for park close, there are plenty of growing pains
At Epcot, the situation is even more complicated. Once you exit after close, youre just stuck waiting for the Skyliner no matter what. At Hollywood Studios, you can see a long line and then opt for the bus instead.
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What About The Buses
When the Skyliner is in operation, guests at Pop Century, Riviera, and Caribbean Beach will all be advised to use the Skyliner when going to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Buses will not be available for Hollywood Studios or Epcot.
Art of Animation, however, typically does have buses.
Quick Tip: If you are staying at Pop Century and wish to exit out the front of Epcot, you can take the Art of Animation bus and walk to Pop from there.
When the gondolas are closed or not running, buses will be dispatched to transport guests between Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the above-mentioned resorts.
Dining On The Disney Skyliner
Not only does the Disney Skyliner make it easier to get between some resorts and parks, it also makes visiting nearby resorts for dining a lot easier, too.
In particular, were a fan of taking the Epcot line over to the Boardwalk area which used to be so difficult to get to from other resorts.
Read all about everywhere you can Dine on the Disney Skyliner.
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Where Are The Disney Skyliner Stations Located
The Caribbean Beach station is located across the lake from the Trinidad section of rooms . This is also just south of the Jamaica section of rooms.
The Riviera Resort station is located between the Riviera Resort and Caribbean Beach Aruba Rooms. This means all guests staying on the west side of Caribbean Beach, farthest from the main building and pool, have easy Skyliner access.
At Art of Animation and Pop Century, the station sits between the two resorts on Hourglass Lake.
At Hollywood Studios, the Skyliner station is unmissable outside the front of the park, on the way to the buses.
The Epcot station is located at the World Showcase entrance. If your unfamiliar with this entrance, its accessible via the bridge between the UK and France pavilions.
What Is The Disney Skyliner Capacity
Each Disney Skyliner Gondola fits 10 guests. If any of the guests require Wheelchairs or ECVs then the capacity will change. There are special gondolas that are fitted to accommodate handicapped guests. These gondolas only have a capacity of 6 guests.
The entire system can run somewhere around 300 gondolas meaning that they are able to transport approximately 4,500 guests per hour. Thats pretty impressive!
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What If The Skyliner Is Not Running
There is no notice at your resort, in the parks, or via the My Disney Experience app that the Skyliner is not running! This can mean extra walking for you if you walk to the Skyliner station and then discover that it is not running!
Resorts When the Skyliner is down, signs will be placed at each resort Skyliner station directing you to the resorts bus stop. At the Riviera, Art of Animation, and Pop Century the Skyliner station is located at the opposite side of the resort from the bus stop. youll need to walk about a .25 mile on top of the walk to the Skyliner station at all 3 of these resorts.
I recommend finding a spot as close to your room as possible or window facing the Skyliner where you can see a portion of the Skyliner route or routes that you desire to ride if possible. Do a quick check to see if it is running before walking to the station.
It is possible for different sections of the Skyliner to be down while other sections are running. During my last stay the Epcot Riviera Caribbean section was mostly down 3 days of my 4-day stay while the other sections Art of Animation/Pop Century Caribbean Beach Hollywood Studios were running.
At the Caribbean Beach they have a bus stop at the Skyliner station that becomes active when the Skyliner is down. But if one of the other bus stations is closer to your room you should follow my advice to find a spot close to the room to check if the Skyliner is running.
Disney Skyliner Operating Under Reduced Hours
Disney has just announced reduced operating hours for the Disney Skyliner Gondola system effective immediately. Since The Walt Disney World theme park hours have been reduced, transportation methods like the Skyliner are also following suit.
Here are the new Disney Skyliner Hours for each of the 3 lines:
- Disneys Hollywood Studios: 9:00 am to 8:30 pm
- EPCOT International Gateway: 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
- Disneys Pop Century Resort & Disneys Art of Animation Resort: 9:00 am to 8:30 pm
The Disney Skyliner will continue to close 1.5 hours after EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, which are both now closing at 7:00 pm.
This change of course is normal as it doesnt make a whole lot of sense to keep the Skyliner open if guests arent going back and forth to the parks. I guess that late-night Skyliner Bar-hop schedule will have to wait for the moment.
Once parks increase their operating hours again, likely near the holidays, we expect the Disney Skyliner hours to be extended too. Stay tuned for more soon.
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Speed And Ride Time Length
Disneys official estimated ride times for the Disney Skyliner are rides between 5-15 minutes, though most will be quicker than 15. There are more than 300 gondolas in the Disney Skyliner fleet and they travel at heights of up to 60ft.
The Disney Skyliner cars also move pretty fast with a cruising speed of 11mph and slow down to about 1mph when arriving at the station and people are exiting and loading.
Typical Estimated Disney Skyliner Ride Times:
- Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort to Disneys Pop Century Resort or Disneys Art of Animation Resort: less than 4 minutes
- Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort to Disneys Riviera Resort: about 2-3 minutes
- Disneys Caribbean Beach to Disneys Hollywood Studios: about 5 minutes
- Disneys Riviera Resort to International Gateway at Epcot: about 9 minutes
- Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort to International Gateway at Epcot: about 10-12 minutes
Most of these times are taken from the Caribbean Beach station since that is the main hub for the Disney Skyliner and guests will be getting on and off here.
From our experience, its a very fast and effective way of getting around property, and the original estimates from Disney are very conservative. When there are no delays, the Skyliner moves super fast and beats all of the times listed above.
Does The Skyliner Change The Value Of The Hotels It Services
Yes! The gravitational pull of the Skyliner has moved a lot of guests away from the monorail resorts near the Magic Kingdom to the resorts that the Skyliner services including the deluxe resorts on Crescent Lake: Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk Inn. And for the first time moderate and value Disney resorts have non-bus options to get to some of the theme parks. This has made Art of Animation and especially Pop Century incredibly popular.
We are regularly seeing standard rooms at both those hotels and Caribbean Beach Resort selling out before other on property hotels. So if you want to book a Skyliner hotel, you should book sooner rather than later (remember you can always make changes for free if you change your mind- 30 days in advance of your trip for package bookings and 5 days in advance for hotel-only bookings.
In addition, the Skyliner has definitely driven prices up at Pop, Art of Animation, and Caribbean Beach Resort. You can expect equivalent rooms at Pop and Art of Animation to be at least $30-$40 more per night on average than any of the All Star Resorts . Youll see the same markup when comparing Caribbean Beach Resort to the other moderate hotels, like Coronado Springs and the two Port Orleans resorts.
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Are The Walt Disney World Skyliner Gondolas Safe
In case of emergency, each Disney skyliner gondola is equipped with an emergency contact call button as well as an emergency kit. While the Disney skyliner did have one notorious flight shortly after it began where guests were stuck in gondolas for hours, it has not had anything similar happen since that incident.
It appears the Disney skyliner system has worked out its kinks. But if you happen to get stuck in a stationary gondola for a longer time frame, you are welcome to open the emergency kit and use what you need in order to help you a through the emergency.
The emergency kit can be found under the bench inside the gondola. The Disney skyliner Emergency Kit includes things like:
- Instant ice
- Sickness bags
Here Are Some Of My Favorite Things To Bring On My Wdw Travels
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you plan your magical vacation. Here are some things that I used on my own magical trips and I hope youll also find them helpful as well. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, Ill earn a commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact items that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family.
General Carry Items: These are probably some of the most important things that everyone should have with them at Disney World.
Park Bag: Ive seen lots of people go to Disney World and make the simple mistake of not coming prepared. You can pick up a nice Loungefly park bag like this one and save the day for your family.
A Good Pair Of Sandals: Ladies, theres nothing like a good pair of sandals like these in the parks. That way when it rains and your feet get wet you arent stuck walking around in a wet pair of sneakers all day.
Portable Neck Fans: These are just the most amazing little invention that you NEED to have at least for the kiddos. They charge via USB and are highly recommended, especially if you are going in the summer heat. You can check them out .
Planning Your Trip: I know that planning a trip can be a lot. If you want more help planning your next trip I 100% recommend using The Vacationeer as a travel agent. They go above and beyond for their clients and they are the only ones that I can say that I would trust to plan my familys travel.
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What Is The Disney Skyliner Gondola System
The Disney Skyliner Gondolas are the newest transportation system in Walt Disney World, roughly based on the old Disney Skyway buckets at the Magic Kingdom. These, however, are much bigger, and built to carry guests from hotels to parks and are an alternative to the Disney bus system or other forms of public transportation.
They are designed by the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group which is an Austrian company that manufactures chairlifts, gondolas and cable cars for ski and amusement parks. They also have experience building urban people moving systems and have produced over 14,600 installations in 89 countries
The Skyliner was announced in 2017 at the D23 Expo when Bob Chapek explained Disneys commitment to improving transportation in Walt Disney World, and construction began on the Skyliner in 2018.
Riding in the Disney Skyliner is a unique transportation experience in Walt Disney World because being in an elevated position allows guests to have a birds eye view of the resort in places theyve never seen like that before. Think the same way the Monorail system allows you, but in new places.
Contrary to what was originally thought about the Disney Skyliner Gondolas, this newest transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort does NOT have air conditioning however with the speed it moves at, it does let significant airflow through them.
Skyliner Facts: What You Need To Know
This new transportation connects Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts , Disneys Riviera Resort , and Caribbean Beach Resort with Disneys Hollywood Studios and Epcots International Gateway.
The Skyliner will operate over 300 gondolas in eight bright colors. Some gondolas will be wrapped with character art including classics like Mickey and Minnie and the Hitchhiking Ghosts and newer faces like Coco and Moana.
Skyliner will travel at speeds up to 11MPH and at heights up to 60. There are three lines coming and going from Skyliners hub at Caribbean Beach Resort. The three lines end at Hollywood Studios, Epcot , and Art of Animation/Pop Century.
Travel times vary between stops.
- Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios 4-5 minutes
- Caribbean Beach to Art of Animation/Pop Century 5 minutes
- Caribbean Beach to Riviera Resort 2-3 minutes
- Riviera Resort to Epcot 9-10 minutes
Remember that if youre transferring from one line to another, youll do so at Caribbean Beach Resort. Queues for transfers are relatively close together for easy access, but youll still need to join the queue for the line, not a separate transfer queue. Add those times up for total travel times.
Amenities at the Skyliner stations include restrooms and a coffee stand . When Riviera Resort opens in December, well confirm availability here as well.
Riders have been able to bring coffee aboard the Skyliner, but no policies have been released regarding food and drink. We will look into this, too.
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How The Skyliner Gondolas Work At Disney World
My Disney Experience
Want to see the exact path these beauties take?
Disney has added the Skyliner to the My Disney Experience app.
Heres the Pop Century/Art of Animation station:
And, heres the station at the International Gateway at Epcot . As you can see, you fly over a lot of Disney parking lot space and enter Epcot between the France and United Kingdom pavilions:
How Long Does The Skyliner Take
Travel times for the Skyliner can vary by a few minutes, but heres what you can expect:
- From the Caribbean Beach station to Hollywood Studios: about 5 minutes
- From the Caribbean Beach station to International Gateway at Epcot: about 12 minutes
- From Caribbean Beach to Pop Century/Art of Animation: about 3-5 minutes
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All Your Questions Answered About The Disney Skyliner
For a certain subset of Disney fans, including my son, Walt Disney World in Florida cannot be separated from all the different types of transportation one gets to experience. From the monorail to ferries across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the iconic Walt Disney World Railroad, Disney World is heaven for transportation lovers. In 2019, Disney opened its newest form of transportation, the Disney Skyliner, which has become an instant hit with guests. Not only is the Skyliner an efficient means of transportation at Disney World, its also a delightful experience.
In this article well discuss what you need to know about the Skyliner and how you can enhance your Disney World vacation via experiences on and around the Skyliner. The Skyliner is like life: the journey is as important as the destination!