Disney Skyliner (Gondola Transportation System) Read Post 1 Now Open!

Maineiak

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Clearly adding new IG as a new transportation stop will increase the crowds there, but if guests pass through security before boarding the gondolas, I don't think it will be as much of an issue. Guests will still need to pass through tapstiles though, which may be a bottleneck.
I'd be shocked if you had to go through security before boarding these. You don't have to currently with any other mode of Disney transport, so why would these be different? Additionally, they would then have to set up additional screening locations, whereas I think having less of those would be better and easier to manage for Disney.
 

TheMaxRebo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
I'm going against the crowd here. I am not liking this news. Yep, I have an irrational fear of heights, so there is no way I would ever get on one. I can do the monorail because it is not really that high. I'm sure these would be much higher.

As someone who stays at YC, I am not looking forward to seeing these across the skyline in the area. Doesn't really seem to go with the Boardwalk, New England theme of the resorts in the area.

People complain about the slow boat from Epcot to DHS now. It might not be any faster on these gondolas if they stop at 2 or 3 resorts along the way. As for placement at Epcot, there is a small area outside the IG that could possibly accomodate a loading platform, depending on how much room is needed. This area is very near BC, just over the bridge. It would be visible from France & maybe U.K. So could spoil the "show" in those areas too.
I don't think these need to be _that_ high off the ground and assume one reason they are bending around EPCOT is so you won't see them from in the park

Maybe from the hotel some - though some amusement parks on boardwalks have skyways so theoretically could fit the theme of that a bit

Definitely think it is a legit concern but I don't think it will be that bad
 
Last edited:
  • Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    This is what Worlds of Fun used to have from '73-'87 (was born in '88 so never got to experience this myself):
    upload_2017-2-15_11-39-38.png

    It was a cable ride that took guests across the park on a 400 foot long gondola cable.

    I do find the idea of WDW doing something similar very interesting. It would be quite a sight to me at least to see this in the skyline.
     

    DBDiz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2014
    I think my biggest concern would be the lightning proposition. Having worked at an amusement park with tall steel structures, the policy was to close those tall rides at the sign of any electrical activity within a certain radius (can't remember if it was 10 miles or greater) for 15 minutes, and the clock would reset with every new strike. With how predictable Florida weather can be on a daily basis, and with the support towers being the tallest structures in the area, I cannot imagine uninterrupted service. If they can limit this downtime, great. Otherwise, you're going to have frustrated guests unable to get to where they want to (park, resort) far too often to make this setup palatable.
     

    tjkraz

    <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2002
    I don't think these need to be _that_ high off the ground and assume one reason they are bending around EPCOT is so you won't see them from in the park
    Good point. Most sky rides of this nature are designed to provide a scenic journey. That's part of the appeal.

    But in this case, the intent could be largely functional...just a mode of transportation. If so, supports may be no taller than the monorail line. Maybe 40-50' off the ground (guessing)? As long as the gondolas are clear of obstructions--mostly roadways, cars and vegetation which can be thinned-out--it will function. And lower height means wind is less of an issue.

    There's no need to go hundreds of feet in the air.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    This is what Worlds of Fun used to have from '73-'87 (was born in '88 so never got to experience this myself):
    View attachment 220326

    It was a cable ride that took guests across the park on a 400 foot long gondola cable.

    I do find the idea of WDW doing something similar very interesting. It would be quite a sight to me at least to see this in the skyline.
    Were you aware Disney World had one of these at MK basically from park opening in the 70's to 1999. http://www.yesterland.com/skywaymk.html

    It was called the "skyway" hence the name of the thread.
     
  • Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    Were you aware Disney World had one of these at MK basically from park opening in the 70's to 1999. http://www.yesterland.com/skywaymk.html

    It was called the "skyway" hence the name of the thread.
    I had actually forgotten about that. I had been to WDW pre-1994 when I was way too young to remember and also in 1999 but I don't remember much details..I feel like I would have remembered seeing that but I guess I don't.

    But I also like the idea of sharing what other parks have done too. If these were going to be going into WDW it would likely look much more modern than what they used to have in the past at various amusement/theme parks so it would still be interesting to see in Disney's skyline.
     

    LeeAndRobin

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2014
    I think my biggest concern would be the lightning proposition. Having worked at an amusement park with tall steel structures, the policy was to close those tall rides at the sign of any electrical activity within a certain radius (can't remember if it was 10 miles or greater) for 15 minutes, and the clock would reset with every new strike. With how predictable Florida weather can be on a daily basis, and with the support towers being the tallest structures in the area, I cannot imagine uninterrupted service. If they can limit this downtime, great. Otherwise, you're going to have frustrated guests unable to get to where they want to (park, resort) far too often to make this setup palatable.
    While Disney might well choose to close these during lightning, it would be unnecessary from a safety standpoint. Why? Because the gondolas will likely have a metal shell. When you are inside a metal shell (like your car), you are inside what is known in Physics as a Faraday cage. The current flows on the outer surface of a Faraday cage, meaning those inside the cage are immune from the lightning strikes. In fact, you're much, much safer in a Faraday cage during a lightning storm than just about anywhere else you can be. This principle is used to protect people in wire mesh suits that work on high voltage lines (often from helicopters), people who work in areas where high voltage arcs are a danger, and yes, you in your car when you are driving through a huge thunder/lightning storm.
     

    OhioStateBuckeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2007
    I'm still confused about why pop and AOA will get access to this. Disney isn't just going to provide this for those value hotels with no cost.

    Will their nightly rates go up a lot?
     
  • K Gragg

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2016
    I'm still confused about why pop and AOA will get access to this. Disney isn't just going to provide this for those value hotels with no cost.

    Will their nightly rates go up a lot?
    Might as well. If you look at the map it only makes sense to include. I am sure Disney will account for it in the rates.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Ok, what about all the crazy lightning/storms that happen practically daily at WDW? How often will this gondola system be "temporarily unavailable due to weather."

    And are these gondolas air conditioned?

    How fast do they go? If they are really fast, that's cool, but if they operate at "Blizzard Beach Chair Lift" speed, no thanks.
    A detachable gondola lift (the most likely scenario here) would go between 15-20 MPH. Likely the ride from CBR to Epcot and DHS would be around 5 minutes.) The Blizzard Beach chair is a non-detachable lift, and I think it unlikely they would build it like that. (Open.)

    The gondolas would in all likelyhood be fully enclosed to prevent people throwing things out of them, and they would be air conditioned. A small solar powered unit on each gondola would likely work fine.

    The lightning I do agree is an issue. While others have pointed out that they could sustain a strike "Safely", Disney would not want guests to be inside a gondola struck by lightning. They would need to have the ability to run bus routes as an alternative during heavy weather.

    The question is, what does Disney do with people who have a fear of heights? (Answering my own question: Those people could choose not to stay at those resorts...) I wouldn't say I have a fear of heights, but I have a real fear of the cables breaking. It is irrational, I know. That video of the gondolas (or whatever is the appropriate term) in Dubai...I'm not sure I could ride those.
    I'm going against the crowd here. I am not liking this news. Yep, I have an irrational fear of heights, so there is no way I would ever get on one. I can do the monorail because it is not really that high. I'm sure these would be much higher..
    I hypothesized in the CBR DVC thread that it would be around 20 feet in the air. Your example of the Monorail is a good one - it would likely run at a similar height to the Monorail, which is around 20-30 feet off the ground. (However, a gondola would likely be "scarier" to you because of the lack of underneath support.) Cables breaking are nearly impossible on a maintained system. The Cable is made up of several separately wound cables. Not that this will make you feel better - but most Gondola accidents involve someone messing around and falling out of the cabin. Similar to most rides at Disney - the likelyhood is that any accident will be caused by the passenger. The National Ski Areas Association reports 0.138 fatalities per 100 million miles transported compared to 1.23 for cars, so almost 10 times safer than riding in a car.

    That said, I am sure you would not be required to take it, though why you would choose to stay at CBR if the main method of transportation was something you were afraid of wouldn't really make much sense.

    I'd be shocked if you had to go through security before boarding these. You don't have to currently with any other mode of Disney transport, so why would these be different? Additionally, they would then have to set up additional screening locations, whereas I think having less of those would be better and easier to manage for Disney.
    I agree - based on the "landings" it looks like they will land outside the IG and outside the DHS entrance.

    I think it is much more likely that they would just increase the # of gates at the IG. At best this would be a 20-30% increase in traffic through the IG.

    While Disney might well choose to close these during lightning, it would be unnecessary from a safety standpoint. Why? Because the gondolas will likely have a metal shell. When you are inside a metal shell (like your car), you are inside what is known in Physics as a Faraday cage. The current flows on the outer surface of a Faraday cage, meaning those inside the cage are immune from the lightning strikes. In fact, you're much, much safer in a Faraday cage during a lightning storm than just about anywhere else you can be. This principle is used to protect people in wire mesh suits that work on high voltage lines (often from helicopters), people who work in areas where high voltage arcs are a danger, and yes, you in your car when you are driving through a huge thunder/lightning storm.
    This is all true - but Disney would not want it's customers being struck by lightning even safely. I think it would close down during the summer afternoon storms.
     

    Geoff_M

    DIS Veteran, DVC Member, "Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2000
    I must say that the apparent routing is a bit odd. From the WDWMagic graphic it looks like those that wish to go between Epcot and DHS would have to transfer to a 2nd gondola at the station between CBR and AoA. I assume that the Epcot to DHS path will get the most traffic, so I'm surprised that they don't appear to have a direct gondola between those two points, with a side spur to the resorts.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    I don't buy it.

    Too much doesn't add up, or make sense.
    Well - this isn't just a rumor - the buildings indicated and their shape are on actual construction plans.

    What exactly doesn't make sense to you? I am going to quote myself from DVC CBR thread, wrote this back on January 19th:

    I can accept arguments of "they can't enter there because that's where the firework barges are" and such.

    But to say it CAN'T be done...I don't agree. IF there's money to be made from it, they'll find a way to do it. That's why I suggested some sort of shuttle. I think a canal is unlikely. They have to traverse a major roadway and also enter backstage to a park. However, they certainly could make some sort of very basic tramway with a bridge to get into the park. Even something like an elevated enclosed moving walkway. (Sure - ADA compliant as well.) They could easily do the security/ticketing on the DVC end, and leave a relatively small footprint in Epcot. See my drawing below. The distance as I measure in this drawing is a mere 700 feet. The backstage area between the canal storage and Germany could have a small offload area that is screened /hedged off, and as I said if you made it an enclosed moving walkway you would never see the backstage area. (Does this area next to Germany look at all in use to you?)

    Seriously folks - the difference between what you could charge for a DVC at Caribbean Beach and what you could charge for a DVC at Caribbean beach with direct access to World Showcase with a 5 minute ride? Talk about easy to justify the CapEx. If we are talking 14 points per night instead of 10 points per night (basis) that's an increase of 40% in points. Bay Lake Tower has 5.7 million points. 40% of that is 2.3 million points more to sell. At $180 a point - that's $400 million in Disney's pocket by making a "Park connected DVC" versus an "OKW/SSR style DVC". You think they can't solve that path for $400 million dollar?
    This discussion has been going on for over a month now - with some people saying they won't be able to do it, and some of us (pat my own back) saying they WILL find a way to do it if they see the value. Now I didn't guess a gondola...but I certainly have been saying they are going to find a way.
     

    hopemax

    Note to Self:
    Joined
    Apr 1, 2000
    I must say that the apparent routing is a bit odd. From the WDWMagic graphic it looks like those that wish to go between Epcot and DHS would have to transfer to a 2nd gondola at the station between CBR and AoA. I assume that the Epcot to DHS path will get the most traffic, so I'm surprised that they don't appear to have a direct gondola between those two points, with a side spur to the resorts.
    The speculation on WDW Magic, is that this is a transfer station for the gondolas, not for people. So no one would have to disembark and change. The gondola itself would switch lines. So board a DHS gondola at Epcot, and off it goes, or board a hotel gondola and off it goes. Like a switch on a train track.
     

    AngiTN

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2011
    I must say that the apparent routing is a bit odd. From the WDWMagic graphic it looks like those that wish to go between Epcot and DHS would have to transfer to a 2nd gondola at the station between CBR and AoA. I assume that the Epcot to DHS path will get the most traffic, so I'm surprised that they don't appear to have a direct gondola between those two points, with a side spur to the resorts.
    This is what I keep going back to myself. I can understand their idea of this but the current routing seems odd
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    I must say that the apparent routing is a bit odd. From the WDWMagic graphic it looks like those that wish to go between Epcot and DHS would have to transfer to a 2nd gondola at the station between CBR and AoA. I assume that the Epcot to DHS path will get the most traffic, so I'm surprised that they don't appear to have a direct gondola between those two points, with a side spur to the resorts.
    It's designed mainly as transport from CBR/new DVC resort to the two resorts. It is unlikely to be a better option to transport from DHS to Epcot than the current friendship boats...though they typically take about 30 minutes to make the transfer - this will probably be slightly faster, even with the intermediate stops. However, I don't think DHS to Epcot is the main concern, otherwise they would do a more direct line.
     

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