Do I Have To Ride With Other People In The Gondolas
This is going to depend a bit on how busy the Skyliner is when you visit, but in general, the cast members will not force other people into the gondola with you, if you have a group. Lets say you have 6 people in your party, typically you will ride alone and not be forced to ride with 4 other people.
On the other hand, if you are a single rider, its likely that they will put more people into the Skyliner with you. Again everything depends on the current capacity and how busy it is at the time you ride.
What Resorts And Theme Parks Are On The Skyliner
The Skyliner connects two theme parksEpcot and Disneys Hollywood Studios to four resorts: Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Art of Animation, and Riviera Resort. Pop Century and Art of Animation share a single station between the two hotels. If you need to know more about these hotels, we have the following reviews:
We havent reviewed Riviera and have no plans to do so.
How Many People Fit In A Disney Skyliner
The standard Disney Skyliner gondola has the capacity to accommodate 10 guests riding in it at a time. While this might not seem like a lot compared to some of the other transportation methods in the parks, they have around 300 gondolas running along the Skyliner route which lets them transport almost 4,500 guests per hour!
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Skip If You Have A Fear Of Heights
The Skyliner flies up to 60 feet off the ground. Photo by Laurie Sapp
Dont do so well with heights? The Skyliner uses hanging gondolas 60 feet up. If you have a fear of heightsor if youre claustrophobicthe Skyliner might not be for you. But if you can handle Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain, youll probably be fine.
The interior is spacious for some, but if you dont like the thought of being locked in a box 60 feet up, consider alternate transportation. Photo by Laurie Sapp
Disney Skyliner Times And Schedule
When does the Disney Skyliner open every day? The answer right now is: Early. Disney has just reduced the Disney Skyliner hours due to early closing hours for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
Right now Disney Skyliner Hours are:
- 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
For the most part, the Skyliner operates just like any other form of Disney transportation in that it will open 30-60 minutes before park opening and close 1 1 1/2 hours after park closing every day.
There are no set official Disney Skyliner operating hours, so you have to base it on when the parks are opening on the day you plan to ride. If the parks are listed to open at 9 am, the Disney Skyliner should be operational by 8:00 8:30 am that day.
Last year, the Disney Skyliner was operating at times from 6:45 am to 10:30 pm, which was to handle the early mornings at the parks during the holiday rush. This change in the Skyliner schedule was to accommodate the new earlier opening hours at Disneys Hollywood Studios.
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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.
Skyliner Gondola Details And Information
Skyliner gondolas can hold up to ten passengers without a wheelchair, ECV, or stroller on board. With one of these, capacity drops to six passengers. Strollers can remain open with a child riding in them as long as they fall within the maximum size requirements: 30 x 48.
Seating on Skyliner is on two wooden benches that face inward. There are no seatbelts. Riders are instructed to remain seated.
There is safety information inside the cabin, and theres an Emergency Call Box should riders need to get assistance while in flight.
Skyliner gondolas are not air conditioned. Cross-ventilation is the method by which they mitigate the heat of central Florida.
We found the vented windows to be sufficient when the gondola was in motion. However, when stopped for several minutes, the heat does rise inside the gondola.
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Itinerary : Do It All
If youre the go-big-or-go-home type and have lots of stamina, then heres your itinerary. Its best to start at the hub of Caribbean Beach since all routes connect to this station. Enjoy the relaxing waterside setting of Banana Cabana, setline in to share an appetizer or two.
Up next, head over to Disneys Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts, which is one of the shortest routes. Venture to Petals Pool Bar at Pop Century or The Drop Off Pool Bar at Art of Animation. I recommend The Drop Off since it is slightly newer. From here you will need to head back to Caribbean Beach to get to your next destination.
With Hollywood Studios admission:Board the Disneys Hollywood Studios route since it is only a three-minute ride. I suggest starting at Tune-In Lounge, the quintessential Disneys Hollywood Studios bar, and then go full hyperspace to Ogas Cantina inside Star Wars: Galaxys Edge .
With Epcot park admission:Continue from Disneys Hollywood Studios to the Caribbean Beach hub and transfer to the Epcot route. This 10-minute ride will give you some time to rest. The United Kingdom pavilion and the France pavilion are the closest stops near the Skyliner station park entrance. Consider timing your visit to where you can be inside of Epcot for the fireworks around 9pm. What a fantastic way to end your epic do-it-all gondola crawl.
How Fast Is The Disney Skyliner
The Disney Skyliner is a relatively fast way to travel between the resorts and the parks.
They will travel nearly 11 mph at their top speed and will slow down to 1 mph when they arrive at a station.
The Disney Skyliner never fully stops to keep things moving quickly for everyone riding. Cast Members are able to slow down the Skyliner even further than 1 mph to accommodate guests that need more time to get on or off of the gondola.
If you are someone who might need extra time to get on the gondola, be sure to let the Cast Member in charge know so that they can make sure to slow it down for you.
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Which Disney Parks Have The Skyliner
Later, will discuss the various resorts and routes the Skyliners takes but lets start with the parks that have Disney Skyliner stops.
Epcot is on the Skyliner route. It leaves you at the back entrance which usually has less traffic than the front.
Disneys Hollywood Studios is also part of the Disney Skyliner route. It lets you off near the bus station which is in front of the park.
The Skyliner changes the game for park hopping. You can now get to Epcot from Hollywood Studios in less than half the time. And in addition, you can go from Epcot to Magic Kingdom using the monorail system. This removes the need of getting on a Disney bus!
Rope Drop And Closing Time Lines
Just like anything else on Disney property, demand for Disney Skyliner is greatest at park opening and park closing. With the theme parks having a staggered operating schedule it can be tricky, but it helps that there is not a mad rush for Disney Transportation across all the resorts and all the parks at the same time.
I personally made the mistake of forgetting about rope drop time at EPCOT. I parked at Disneys Hollywood Studios so I could use the Skyliner to go over to EPCOT. This method doesnt really save any time, but since I only intended to visit World Showcase it was nice to enter EPCOT at International Gateway after a scenic ride. We arrived at the Caribbean Beach Station 20 minutes before park opening so there was a substantial line for the Skyliner. It took us about 15 minutes to get through the line.
Naturally, there is more demand right at closing time, after nighttime shows, so there may be a little wait at the EPCOT Skyliner station.
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Four Itineraries For A Disney Skyliner Gondola Crawl
Written by Dani Meyering
Theres magic in the air! The much-anticipated Disney Skyliner gondola transportation system is now open at Walt Disney World Resort. This marks the largest addition to Disneys transportation options since the monorail system.
One of the most fun ways for local couples to enjoy this new Disney experience is on a DIY gondola crawl. Much like the popular do-it-yourself monorail crawl, creating your own gondola crawl is sure to be one of your most memorable Disney dates ever. And with five Skyliner stations along the route youve got a lot of options. Check out our four themed itineraries below to create your own date night gondola crawl.
Disney Skyliner Cable Cars
The Disney World gondola system has almost 300 gondolas that take guests from destination to destination. Youll see the brightly colored gondolas floating through the air high overhead on steel cables as they transport guests to and from parks and resorts.
To make them even more fun, about half of the WDW gondolas are decorated with Disney character wraps showing Marvel characters, Star Wars characters, ride characters and of course, Disney and Pixar characters enjoying the ride. What could be more inviting than seeing your favorite characters inviting you to fly along with them?
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Caribbean Beach Resort Skyliner Station
The Caribbean Beach Resort skyliner station is considered to be the hub of all of the Disney gondola stations because from here, you can get anywhere the Skyliner gondolas travel.
Set in the heart of the Caribbean Beach Resort, guests staying at this resort can use the internal bus transportation system to ride over to the skyliner at Caribbean beach.
The Caribbean Beach skyliner is the largest station since it travels to so many places and is designed to fit right in with the rest of the theming at Caribbean Beach Resort with its beautiful open air and wrought iron design.
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Disney Skyliner Route Map:
Weve created a map for you to follow to see the exact route of the Disney Skyliner showing all 6 stations. It doesnt matter where you start, almost every line will bring you to the Caribbean Beach station in the middle where you will decide which line to get on:
Everything looks really close on the map of the Skyliner, but those gondolas are moving some good distances at a quick pace! Were hoping Disney releases an official Disney Skyliner map on paper, so well keep you informed about that.
In the meantime Disney also has a digital map of the Disney Skyliner system on the My Disney Experience app, check the link so you can see it on there too.
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Caribbean Beach Skyliner Gondola Station
The hub of the Skyliner system, Caribbean Beach houses the main building that receives the lines from all the connected properties. Much like the Ticket and Transportation Center this location is the busiest. Travelers who may not have visited these resorts before may get off at this stop to stroll around, shop, watch fireworks from the beach, and eat at Sebastians Bistro.
Isnt A Gondola A Boat
The word gondola originally referred to the long, narrow boats used to navigate the canals of Venice. Over many years, the term came to be used to refer to different, similar shaped containers, including those used in rail transport, those handing from the underside of an air vessel, and eventually those suspended by cable.
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Final Thoughts On The Disney Skyliner
Disneys Skyliner is an excellent addition to Walt Disney World. After riding it a time or two, youre sure to become a pro at the whole traveling by air thing.
Dont hesitate to plan a ride on the Skyliner where you did a little resort hopping. Ive been known to ride the Skyliner over to the resorts on Crescent Lake just for the fun of it.
My favorite time to ride the Skyliner is at sunset. The views are astounding, and it doesnt cost anything to ride whether youre staying at one of the resorts or not.
Some will even take the Skyliner between Hollywood Studios and Epcot for fun. Epcot is usually open later, so if you have the park hopper ticket, you can make a trip of it.
However, you can walk or boat between the two parks as well.
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I cant stress enough how important it is to learn your way around Disney as much as possible before your vacation. Its a good idea to make a list on your phone of all the transportation options that will be available at your resort and where theyll take you.
It would be very frustrating to stay somewhere like Port Orleans French Quarter and not know boat transportation to Disney Springs in your backyard.
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And I cant tell you how many times Ive been at the Beach Club bus stop over the years and someone walks up looking for the bus to Epcot. The walk to Epcot from the Beach Club is less than five minutes.
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Which Disney Resorts Will Have The Skyliner
As you can see on the Disney Skyliner map above, the Skyliner has stations at four of the Disney Resorts.
Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort has the largest station near the Jamaica area of the resort. Disneys Art of Animation Resort and Disneys Pop Century Resort share a station on the generation gap over hourglass lake. Finally, the new Disney Riviera Resort has a station.
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Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort
This moderate resort is our top pick for those looking to take advantage of Disneys Skyliner transportation options. Not only has the resort recently completed an extensive renovation to guest rooms, restaurants and central amenities but the property will also house a Skyliner transfer station making it a breeze to get to and from the other resorts on the line as well as the theme parks. We are told the station will be fashioned in a style in keeping with the island vibes of the resort. Coming in as one of the more affordable moderate resorts and with fantastic new options like waterfront dining, your Disney dollars will go a long way once the Skyliner system is open.
For more amazing reasons why we love Caribbean Beach check out this article.
Is There A Disney Jail
While Disney keeps its so-called jail under wraps, most have described the jail to look more like a security office or holding area. Guests cannot be arrested by Disney security. However, depending on the circumstance, the Disney jail can be used as a place to hold a disruptive Guest until police arrive.
What is the dark side of Disney? The Dark Side of Disney is a feature-length documentary film that examines what happens when Disney fans take their obsessions to the extreme.
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Are You Ready To Plan Your Next Disney World Trip
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Is The Disney Skyliner Transportation System Air Conditioned
The short answer is no. But to help keep guests comfortable, each Walt Disney World Skyliner gondola has reflective panels to avoid direct sunlight and cross-ventilation windows that allow for air flow. Even on the warmest days at Walt Disney World, the gondolas stay nice and cool so long as they are moving. And on those cool nights, the vents can be closed so guests will not get too chilly.
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