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

DeniseJH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
The longest anyone in my fam was ever delayed was by a bus breaking down out in the middle of Disney property. It took forever for them to bring a new bus, to transfer, and to get to their destination. Monorails have also stopped for hours... the Skyliner is new and after the first actual major stoppage everyone is focused on it and talks about it. I would have never even thought to post about a bus breaking down and being delayed 2 hours until now.

As for me, I hope that the operation of the Skyliners gets smoother and smoother... when I rode it multiple times it never even stopped. That's what I hope for the future for the system as a whole. I will also continue to ride it as it is a fantastic mode of transportation, with no skin off my nose if people don't want to ride it for their own reasons, I always hope people have good vacations at Dis and that always means doin Dis the way their fams choose to.
These Skyliner stops seem to happen daily, if not several times a day. (I'm not speaking of the major incident.) Can you say that about your bus situation? That is my point. I'm with you though, I certainly hope that with time the Skyliner will become more efficient, but it doesn't appear to be dependable currently - at least not enough for me.
 

Mome Rath

3 Decade Disney Traveler
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Well, I suppose that, yes, bus issues do come up quite regularly, it's just that you are sometimes stuck at a different point in the journey and people don't think about it the same. What I mean is; waiting well over an hour for a bus at EPCOT, and that's standing in line, and doesn't include the actual time to load and travel to a destination. I've waited consistently on buses over 20 min in line (that's not every time, but yes, every day), and that doesn't include the slog to the bus stop nor transport time... The time I spent utilizing the Skyliner was radically shorter and smoother (and much more enjoyable) than the time I spent on buses.

The little stops that the Skyliner is making during a normal day is largely due to guest issues, not issues with the line itself (you can stand at the terminals and watch it happen). Yes, it also seems Dopplemayr may have some work to do on the side line to make it integrate smoother into the main line... if that's the case I'm sure Disney will keep pressuring them to make adjustments.
 

DeniseJH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Well, I suppose that, yes, bus issues do come up quite regularly, it's just that you are sometimes stuck at a different point in the journey and people don't think about it the same. What I mean is; waiting well over an hour for a bus at EPCOT, and that's standing in line, and doesn't include the actual time to load and travel to a destination. I've waited consistently on buses over 20 min in line (that's not every time, but yes, every day), and that doesn't include the slog to the bus stop nor transport time... The time I spent utilizing the Skyliner was radically shorter and smoother (and much more enjoyable) than the time I spent on buses.

The little stops that the Skyliner is making during a normal day is largely due to guest issues, not issues with the line itself (you can stand at the terminals and watch it happen). Yes, it also seems Dopplemayr may have some work to do on the side line to make it integrate smoother into the main line... if that's the case I'm sure Disney will keep pressuring them to make adjustments.
Agreed - but part of my point is that the busses are a known entity - I know how to schedule my time around them. With the Skyliner having these stops, apparently frequently, it makes it harder to plan your transportation needs, time wise. But I'll add that the Skyliner just ain't my thing anyway: I was never going to love it, so yeah...built in prejudice here for sure. :)
 
  • Bing Showei

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2017
    I sense a big part of it is that we have such a low bar for buses that when we sit there and the bus’s projected ETA creeps minute by minute and ends up 15-20 minutes later than initially stated when we arrived, we just roll our eyes and board.

    It’s not big news to post:

    “Man. We were waiting for the bus this afternoon and ended up stranded there for 20 minutes longer than we were supposed to be!”

    It takes pieces falling off the monorail, doors opening while in motion, and customers kicking out windows for fresh air on a stalled train to make the news anymore.

    This is not to excuse the Skyliner, but rather to say mass transit as a whole sucks. Skyliner is a new unknown with a lot of detractors on the sidelines ready to chant “I told you so.” So of course it’s under a spotlight.

    I have no doubt that in a year, when the particulars of servicing a world class theme park population are ironed out, I suspect it’ll be just as ****ty as buses, boats, and the monorail.
     

    ksromack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2012
    I sense a big part of it is that we have such a low bar for buses that when we sit there and the bus’s projected ETA creeps minute by minute and ends up 15-20 minutes later than initially stated when we arrived, we just roll our eyes and board.

    It’s not big news to post:

    “Man. We were waiting for the bus this afternoon and ended up stranded there for 20 minutes longer than we were supposed to be!”

    It takes pieces falling off the monorail, doors opening while in motion, and customers kicking out windows for fresh air on a stalled train to make the news anymore.

    This is not to excuse the Skyliner, but rather to say mass transit as a whole sucks. Skyliner is a new unknown with a lot of detractors on the sidelines ready to chant “I told you so.” So of course it’s under a spotlight.

    I have no doubt that in a year, when the particulars of servicing a world class theme park population are ironed out, I suspect it’ll be just as ****ty as buses, boats, and the monorail.
    You are totally right. Our last trip buses were very rarely at our stop at the inital time posted.....and I can't count how many times the monorail had to stop before reaching our destination.....5 or 10 minutes here and there...no one thinks anything of it because no one is surprised by the delays. The magnifying glass is definitely on the Skyliner! And dont get me wrong, there have been some horrific stories about the Skyliner. Every mode of Disney transportation is not without its issues. I'm still going to use in in December but I'm going into it with eyes wide open. It's just too convenient for those of us staying at CBR
     

    DeniseJH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2008
    You are totally right. Our last trip buses were very rarely at our stop at the inital time posted.....and I can't count how many times the monorail had to stop before reaching our destination.....5 or 10 minutes here and there...no one thinks anything of it because no one is surprised by the delays. The magnifying glass is definitely on the Skyliner! And dont get me wrong, there have been some horrific stories about the Skyliner. Every mode of Disney transportation is not without its issues. I'm still going to use in in December but I'm going into it with eyes wide open. It's just too convenient for those of us staying at CBR
    It's so crazy that I'm finding out while reading this post about the monorail stops. I've never had one stop while riding and I don't remember having read about these stops before now. I guess we've been lucky!
     

    ksromack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2012
    It's so crazy that I'm finding out while reading this post about the monorail stops. I've never had one stop while riding and I don't remember having read about these stops before now. I guess we've been lucky!
    You know, we are usually talking about our plans for the day, talking to strangers on the monorail......I never even give it a second thought. The only time I even paid attention was the day we were going to The Contemporary for a dinner ADR and I was concerned we'd be late.
     
  • thegales

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2002
    We did a quick trip to WDW this past weekend. On Friday night, we parked at DHS and did some GE stuff. It was raining off and on, so we really didn't feel like doing anything else there. So we decided to ride the Skyliner. We left just as Jingle Bells, Jingle BAM was letting out. We waited at most for three minutes to board (and it was probably faster than that). We were seated with another small group, and we were in a wrapped gondola. With the rain, wrap, and darkness, we really couldn't see outside. Once we arrived at Caribbean Beach, we got off, and got right back on again. While fun, it was uneventful since we couldn't see.

    On Saturday afternoon, we were at Epcot, and it was a zoo. So we decided to go to DHS via the Skyliner. Minimal wait to board at the International Gateway stop. I was surprised (although I had the facts so I should not not have been surprised, I just chose to ignore them) how long it took. First the turn station, then going through Riviera. There were three of us, and we sat with a group of six. I was seated on the side where only four people sat, and I did not feel cramped. Looking at the people sitting on the five side, they didn't looked cramped either. We were in an unwrapped gondola, and it was a great view. At Caribbean Beach, there were a lot of people waiting, with a CM holding the sign saying 'End of Line'. We were about to get in that line, then realized it was the line for going to Epcot. We had to walk around all the people waiting for the Epcot Skyliner for us to board to Hollywood studios. After we boarded, the CM put a mother and her her child in a stroller in the gondola with us. It was a single stroller and the child stayed in it. The mom did fine getting on and off, but I can certainly see it taking a bit longer if you have a folded up double stroller and you need to keep track of the two kids.

    At the end of the evening, we were going to reverse our trip to go back to Epcot. We were told that the Epcot line was down (see other thread mentioned earlier) and we should take the Epcot bus. Of course, we just missed one bus, but there were people already there who were not able to board. Next bus came in about 20 minutes. We boarded and were on our way back to Epcot. The good news is, we needed to be at the front of the park, so taking the bus was probably the right choice anyway, since the Skyliner would have dropped us off at International Gateway.

    We did see one gondola being sent back onto the main line from the secondary boarding area, and as someone else mentioned, it comes within inches of the next gondola. Even though I was just watching, I may have jumped a bit when they were so close.

    Overall, I think they can be great. The sheer number of guests that it can handle without having to wait for individual buses is phenomenal. As I am with all Disney transportation, I do not trust it to get me somewhere within a certain period of time. If I had a reservation for something, I would leave 30+ minutes extra for the journey. I do this for all modes of transportation (bus may take longer to get to stop, monorail gets stopped on the line, boat's horn gets stuck on so it needs to be fixed (and yes, that did happen on Saturday earlier in the day going from MK to Wilderness Lodge), line of cars trying to get through the toll plaza to pay for parking). I am looking forward to ride again in the future.
     

    gorkt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2011
    I definitely pad all transportation times by 30 minutes. I have been stuck on pretty much every mode of WDW transportation as well.
     

    HeiHei2018

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2018
    Agreed - but part of my point is that the busses are a known entity - I know how to schedule my time around them.
    As other posters have said, all Disney transportation requires at least a 30-minute buffer, which should account for 95% of delays. Someone more dedicated than me can do the math to see if my estimate is in the right ballpark. Of the six bus rides during our August trip, we had three bus delays - one due to ECV loading/unloading and multiple stops, one due to a long interval between buses at park opening, and one due to an unannounced shift change.

    It sounds like using that same buffer on the Skyliner will work equally well.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    We did a quick trip to WDW this past weekend. On Friday night, we parked at DHS and did some GE stuff. It was raining off and on, so we really didn't feel like doing anything else there. So we decided to ride the Skyliner. We left just as Jingle Bells, Jingle BAM was letting out. We waited at most for three minutes to board (and it was probably faster than that). We were seated with another small group, and we were in a wrapped gondola. With the rain, wrap, and darkness, we really couldn't see outside. Once we arrived at Caribbean Beach, we got off, and got right back on again. While fun, it was uneventful since we couldn't see.

    On Saturday afternoon, we were at Epcot, and it was a zoo. So we decided to go to DHS via the Skyliner. Minimal wait to board at the International Gateway stop. I was surprised (although I had the facts so I should not not have been surprised, I just chose to ignore them) how long it took. First the turn station, then going through Riviera. There were three of us, and we sat with a group of six. I was seated on the side where only four people sat, and I did not feel cramped. Looking at the people sitting on the five side, they didn't looked cramped either. We were in an unwrapped gondola, and it was a great view. At Caribbean Beach, there were a lot of people waiting, with a CM holding the sign saying 'End of Line'. We were about to get in that line, then realized it was the line for going to Epcot. We had to walk around all the people waiting for the Epcot Skyliner for us to board to Hollywood studios. After we boarded, the CM put a mother and her her child in a stroller in the gondola with us. It was a single stroller and the child stayed in it. The mom did fine getting on and off, but I can certainly see it taking a bit longer if you have a folded up double stroller and you need to keep track of the two kids.

    At the end of the evening, we were going to reverse our trip to go back to Epcot. We were told that the Epcot line was down (see other thread mentioned earlier) and we should take the Epcot bus. Of course, we just missed one bus, but there were people already there who were not able to board. Next bus came in about 20 minutes. We boarded and were on our way back to Epcot. The good news is, we needed to be at the front of the park, so taking the bus was probably the right choice anyway, since the Skyliner would have dropped us off at International Gateway.

    We did see one gondola being sent back onto the main line from the secondary boarding area, and as someone else mentioned, it comes within inches of the next gondola. Even though I was just watching, I may have jumped a bit when they were so close.

    Overall, I think they can be great. The sheer number of guests that it can handle without having to wait for individual buses is phenomenal. As I am with all Disney transportation, I do not trust it to get me somewhere within a certain period of time. If I had a reservation for something, I would leave 30+ minutes extra for the journey. I do this for all modes of transportation (bus may take longer to get to stop, monorail gets stopped on the line, boat's horn gets stuck on so it needs to be fixed (and yes, that did happen on Saturday earlier in the day going from MK to Wilderness Lodge), line of cars trying to get through the toll plaza to pay for parking). I am looking forward to ride again in the future.
    Hi, thegales. Thank you for posting your experiences. I look forward to using my wheelchair in several weeks.
     
  • North of Mouse

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2011
    It's so crazy that I'm finding out while reading this post about the monorail stops. I've never had one stop while riding and I don't remember having read about these stops before now. I guess we've been lucky!
    Same here! Have been riding them daily on our trips since opening, and other than short pauses for other trains, have never been on one that stops/malfunctions.
     

    Bing Showei

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2017
    It's so crazy that I'm finding out while reading this post about the monorail stops. I've never had one stop while riding and I don't remember having read about these stops before now. I guess we've been lucky!
    There are probably tens of thousands of riders who never even knew that regular stoppages are a thing on the new Skyliner system. Or that there was ever a 3-hour long incident at one point.

    The DIS is an echo chamber that amplifies everything, whether it's the outrage-of-the-hour, or systematic issues with implementing a new mass transit system serving such a large, diverse, population. The Skyliner has issues, no question. But to read these boards the sense one gets is that it breaks down, stops, and shuts down all the time. At this early stage, it probably does have more issues than you'll see one year from today, but as a percentage of passengers moved, I'm not convinced it's that much more terrible than the monorail or buses.
     

    Craig Larson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2018
    Well, after a week staying at POP, I can say the Skyliner is absolutely amazing. Understanding this is anecdotal at best, but we rode over a dozen times, and only had one stop of less than a minute (probably 15-20 seconds at most). There was also once where it stopped for 15 seconds or so right after we got off at EPCOT. The only other downtime we noticed was when we went to rope drop EPCOT. We were in line about 15 minutes before the scheduled open time. Cast Members said the EPCOT line was not operating, and we could either take the bus from POP or take the POP to CBR line and get a bus at the hub. We decided to wait for the skyliner, because we liked it that much. And just as we started to board at POP they announced the EPCOT line was running. We were so glad to stay in the line. On our last day, we park hopped from MK to HS just to take the skyliner back to the resort.

    Just to summarize: we love the Skyliner, definitely our favorite mode of transportation.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    There are probably tens of thousands of riders who never even knew that regular stoppages are a thing on the new Skyliner system. Or that there was ever a 3-hour long incident at one point.

    The DIS is an echo chamber that amplifies everything, whether it's the outrage-of-the-hour, or systematic issues with implementing a new mass transit system serving such a large, diverse, population. The Skyliner has issues, no question. But to read these boards the sense one gets is that it breaks down, stops, and shuts down all the time. At this early stage, it probably does have more issues than you'll see one year from today, but as a percentage of passengers moved, I'm not convinced it's that much more terrible than the monorail or buses.
    echo chamber is a great term

    Also (and I think this goes for beyond the DISBoards and even beyond Social Media) but people tend to be more vocal about a negative experience vs one that is good or fine), plus some people just love to point out negatives in something that is "on top"

    Plus people tend to be focused to negative things (social media is set to show you things that make you upset as you engage more then) so if someone is trying to attract viewers, having a "hot take" about a negative at the parks is a way to do that

    Not to say there aren't issues - of course there are and I think there are more stoppages than the "practically never, ever stop" that seemed to have been messaged prior than it opening - but reality is probably not as bad as one would htink if they only read social media reports on the system
     

    g-dad66

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2009
    Does anyone know what time the Skyliner has started running in the morning, now that EEMH at DHS has ended?
     

    Craig Larson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2018
    Does anyone know what time the Skyliner has started running in the morning, now that EEMH at DHS has ended?
    We took the bus for the 8AM EMH on Sunday for Holywood Studios (we wanted to get there at least an hour before rope drop). When we walked past the Skyliner, the folding sign they have been using for the times showed it was opening at 7:30 that day. So, looks like they are opening a little earlier, but still not at 6:45 for EMH like it was first announced.
     

    MusicalAstronaut

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2017
    We looooooooved the skyliner during our last visit, and I can't wait to take it again soon. I was surprised that it took about ~20 minutes to get from Epcot to DHS because it felt so quick. I think between not standing forever waiting for a bus/boat and having a nice spot to sit (with a great breeze) made it a way more enjoyable park hopping experience. One morning we arrived at EPCOT (the plan was to hop to DHS) to find it wasn't working, so we ended up staying in Epcot. It would've taken long enough for us to get there that we would've had to turn right around to get back to Epcot in time for our fastpasses. It also did stop once while we rode it. *Immediately*, the person across from me pulled out their phone and started facetiming or snapchatting or something about how we were trapped on the SkyLiner. I think we maybe sat for 5 minutes, no longer than 10. This was over Halloween and it was quite warm that day but it felt fine in the gondola while it was stopped, but again, we didn't sit very long. On the other hand, I've been trapped in a jam-packed monorail for 40 minutes in October (so it was over 90 degrees outside) and it was ridiculous how hot it got in there. I was next to the tiny window and felt really lucky at my spot. Little kids were red & sweating and some people were really starting to get concerned. I was there solo but let me tell you, I saw some people charge at the CMs when we finally got off (apparently someone in the monorail ahead of us leaned on the doors, triggering some safety thing that stopped it, which made us all move at like 0.05mph towards the station to be safe). In any case, I still take the monorail & I can't wait to take the skyliner again. That thing moves fast & I just love having a spot to sit & rest for a bit!
     

    thegales

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2002
    We took the bus for the 8AM EMH on Sunday for Holywood Studios (we wanted to get there at least an hour before rope drop). When we walked past the Skyliner, the folding sign they have been using for the times showed it was opening at 7:30 that day. So, looks like they are opening a little earlier, but still not at 6:45 for EMH like it was first announced.
    Heard on a Podcast over this past weekend: Even though all the information indicated it started at 7:30 am, the actual start up time was 8:00 am. They were the first ones on the Skyliner when it did start. But they said that even though it was a quick ride, there were a ton of people in front of them, almost negating the purpose of rope dropping DHS. Their recommendation (as long as the Skyliner continues to actually start at 8:00 am) was to use alternate transportation for DHS rope drop.
     



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