Walt Disney World Skyliner Gondola cabin video, photos, info.

bookgirl2632

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Update: we were able to board at Riviera this morning. Currently on it now. It’s amazingly cool, in all regards. Very quiet as well. We boarded at 8:20am and arrived at Epcot at 8:29am. Very nice ride and experience. Bag check was a breeze and now waiting to enter.
 

gap2368

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
where is a YouTube from Prince Charming Dev

A few take aways from this video. is there is an emergence kit in each gondola ( not sure what all it hold guess the same items that was on twitter form someone else)

they will run in the rain but if there is lighting with in 6 miles they will get everyone off and not let any more guest back on ( so summer times will more then likely be down for a few hours )

Also in-order to park at one of the Skyliner resorts you must have a reservation as there is not enough parking

He also show the call Botton like other have.
 

RaySharpton

Retired and going to Disney.
Joined
Oct 28, 2000
Check out Jessica's great first-hand reports using her wheelchair during the opening day Disney Skyliner gondola at the link below:

https://www.disboards.com/threads/first-hand-review-of-skyliner-from-a-wheelchair.3771974/

I’m a lucky girl and just happened to be here in WDW on the first day of Skyliner's grand opening. We're staying at Caribbean Beach in the Aruba section. We left Epcot via International Gateway at 4:50pm to board Skyliner, and these are some of my experiences and thoughts:

1. There is a separate line for people using mobility devices. While I thought that line was short, in reality it took much longer to board than for those who were in the "walking" line, which moved at a decent clip as long as Skyliner was working. There were six folks with mobility devices and their families in front of us.

2. Skyliner goes down pretty frequently, at least it did today. We waited what seemed like forever in line, partially because we were waiting for the accessible loading and partially because it was down for up to 10 minutes at a time.

3. There are 95 seconds, in theory, between loading of accessible gondolas. I do not believe these gondolas are any different from the regular ones - they just don't allow as many people on them. You can load 10 "typical" travelers in the gondola or 6 in parties with a mobility device. Anyway, while the gondolas are moving, there are about 12 gondolas on the regular track for every 1 gondola on the accessible track. The ones on the accessible track rejoin the regular line pretty seamlessly once things get moving. They pull two gondolas at a time onto the accessible loading area for unloading/reloading.

4. They load people using mobility devices in a forward direction into the gondola, and I have to say it's pretty tight in there. There is absolutely no room to turn around, and my wheelchair is pretty small. That means gondolas are unloaded in reverse, so you're going backwards. This is particularly not ideal because all of the warning signs and instructions are on the inside of the door behind you, so you can't read them at all. I would much prefer to load backwards and unload forwards, but that's just me. I honestly don't think Disney thinks a lot of these things through. I have many examples.

5. Not mobility related, but the ride itself is pretty cool if you aren't scared of heights (which I'm not). My husband, on the other hand, was freaking out and felt like he was in a tomb. This was exacerbated by the fact that the gondolas with designs and characters on them are REALLY hard to see through. Like, really hard. And the glass is reflective, so you're pretty much looking at yourself sort of in a funhouse mirror. They also sway in the breeze, especially when they're stopped mid-flight.

6. All in all, it took us over an hour from the time we got in line at Epcot to getting to our room in Aruba at CB. It was an inordinately long time for a system that has been touted to be quick and only take 10-15 minutes to get to and from any of the stations. And my line for a gondola on the accessible track was only 6 families deep.

Let me know if you have any questions that I didn't answer.
Yes, there are vents in the floor. Honestly, it was pretty cool in the box. No complaints on that front.

My husband saw the intercom box behind me, but said it was pretty far up in the corner by the door. They put a block brake behind the wheels of the wheelchair, so between that and the height of the box there (as well as my husband being in the way) there is absolutely no way I could have reached it. Again, part of the problem here is that the mobility device is loaded forward so you can't see all the emergency signage behind you.

I wiggled the benches and I think I saw a hinge, but I didn't see a latch. It could have been under the bench.

I took a couple of me and my husband. I'll try to edit this to post them as I took them on my phone.
UPDATE: We ended up riding twice today. The first time was pretty early in the morning to Hollywood Studios and it was smooth sailing. When we got to that station, I saw a Disney suit and approached him. It turns out he works for engineering and loved getting feedback on the direction mobility devices are loaded/unloaded. He and a manager that was called over both looked stunned when I mentioned the emergency details being behind the backs of people using devices. They hadn't thought of that. They also suggested that I try to load backwards next time, so I did. I didn't ask the CM at the station, and just told him I was going to go in backwards. He also looked stunned but didn't say anything.

Speaking of that second ride, it was after the final Illuminations from the Epcot Station to CB. What a disaster for people in the "wheelchair line". The line was backed up beyond the bottom of the ramp up to the station. While that was well and good for the "ambulatory line" because that one moves quickly, the "wheelchair line" took FOREVER. We were once again six from the front and waited 55 minutes just to load. I can't imagine how long the people at the end of the line waited. It's really ridiculous from an efficiency perspective. The 95 seconds to load and unload are way too long. They need to rethink the ratio of mobility device gondolas vs. "regular" gondolas. Thankfully there were a number of suits there who were watching all of this happen. The "ambulatory line" didn't have nearly as many people by the time we left as the "wheelchair line".
 
  • RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    A recent video by passport to the parks showing using Disney Skyliner gondolas after the EPCOT closure at the International Gateway on the Disney Skyliner EPCOT Station.

    The lines were long, but he was able to make it through in about 17 minutes because of the crowd emptying after the closure of EPCOT.

    That's not bad. I've waited longer for a bus at closing before.


    .
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    A recent video by passport to the parks showing using Disney Skyliner gondolas after the EPCOT closure at the International Gateway on the Disney Skyliner EPCOT Station.

    The lines were long, but he was able to make it through in about 17 minutes because of the crowd emptying after the closure of EPCOT.

    That's not bad. I've waited longer for a bus at closing before.

    17 minutes at Park closing is not too shabby at all! Especially since a lot of folks will be (relatively) close to the IG when fireworks are done, and I would guess that they will naturally gravitate towards the Skyliner if it goes where they are headed.
     

    persimmondeb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2009
    Any word on what they are doing with those who don't use a wheelchair/scooter but need extra time to board? I use a cane and have balance issues, and I'm a bit nervous about boarding a moving thing, especially by myself.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    Here is another video with info about Disney Skyliner gondolas by wdwprepschool:


    Shannon performs a walk thru on how to use the Disney Skyliner system with a few tips.

    She also said that guests at the Disney Caribbean Resort are using the Disney Riviera Skyliner Station.

    For the time being, the Disney Skyliner Stations are opening about 15-minutes before park openings and 30-minutes after park closings. I don't know about the times, but that is what a Disney castmember told her along with these times will continue to change.
     
  • RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    Wow! These BlogMickey comments really surprised me!

    I am still going to ride the gondolas this December.

    I liked the passport to the parks showing using Disney Skyliner gondolas after the EPCOT closure at the International Gateway on the Disney Skyliner EPCOT Station. He was in similar lines and it took him 17-minutes to get on a gondola at the closing of EPCOT.

    I wonder if BlogMickey was having a bad day or if this is from one of his staff?

    BlogMickey.com

    @Blog_Mickey

    ·
    4h

    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
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    I think it's growing pains, and will resolve fairly quickly.

    Clearly, the Skyliner is proving to be far more popular than Disney prepared for!

    And it sounds like they need to work on smoothing out the timing and ?maybe? the loading procedures for the HA line; I know that I would be MUCH quicker to exit if I was allowed to take the 5 to 10 extra seconds up front to load in reverse, so I could drive out at my exit point.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Wondering if the system has done the evac unloading due to localized thunderstorms yet?
     
  • lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    Wondering if the system has done the evac unloading due to localized thunderstorms yet?
    Local thunderstorms shouldn't result in emergency evacuation procedures. They will simply bring all loaded gondolas to the station and unload, without loading more. I haven’t heard of need for a shutdown since opening.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    I think it's growing pains, and will resolve fairly quickly.

    Clearly, the Skyliner is proving to be far more popular than Disney prepared for!

    And it sounds like they need to work on smoothing out the timing and ?maybe? the loading procedures for the HA line; I know that I would be MUCH quicker to exit if I was allowed to take the 5 to 10 extra seconds up front to load in reverse, so I could drive out at my exit point.
    Yes I too think it is growing pains and when the newness and they have time to work things out it will be much smother. I think there will always be some type of line at the end of the night and I think this was the new night time show at EPCOT.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    The Disney Skyliner Gondolas don't have tie-downs for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

    In the videos, the Disney cast members request the mobility device enter the Disney Skyliner Gondola first all of the way to the metal bar of the opposite wall. It looks like the bar is the height of the wheels to protect the gondola wall.

    Then the Disney cast member places a chock device behind each wheel of the wheelchair or mobility scooter to keep it from moving during the flight and possibly rolling over other guests' feet that might be in the gondola. I think some guests have mistaken these devices for weights in empty gondolas.

    Then the rest of the guests are allowed to enter.

    When exiting at their destination, everyone just follows the procedure in reverse.

    .
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    The Disney Skyliner Gondolas don't have tie-downs for wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

    In the videos, the Disney cast members request the mobility device enter the Disney Skyliner Gondola first all of the way to the metal bar of the opposite wall. It looks like the bar is the height of the wheels to protect the gondola wall.

    Then the Disney cast member places a chock device behind each wheel of the wheelchair or mobility scooter to keep it from moving during the flight and possibly rolling over other guests' feet that might be in the gondola. I think some guests have mistaken these devices for weights in empty gondolas.

    Then the rest of the guests are allowed to enter.

    When exiting at their destination, everyone just follows the procedure in reverse.

    .
    I'm glad to know that the chocks are being used, even though it seems like the swaying tends to be more to-and-fro versus side-to-side. It's still good to keep anything with wheels from rolling back and forth! Don't want anyone accidentally "testing" the holding ability of the doors with an ECV! 😱
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    https://www.easywdw.com/easy/blog/taking-the-disney-skyliner-gondola-to-epcot-for-park-open-and-frozen-ever-after/

    easywdw posted a video about using the Disney Skyliner Gondolas for rope drop at Disney Parks and Skyliner schedule and Disney Caribbean Resort info.

    Taking the Disney Skyliner Gondola to Epcot for Park Open and Frozen Ever After
    We’ll take the Skyliner from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Epcot to see what we can expect at the International Gateway (IG) entrance at Park open. I wrote a preliminary review last week introducing what to expect from the new transportation system, along with some tips on how to best utilize it. I followed that up with a look at the Skyliner operating schedule over the next few months, and what it may mean for the future of the Studios’ Extra Magic Hours schedule and the potential for extended operating hours at a Park that now plays host to the Star Wars franchise. As we transfer from Hollywood Studios to the Caribbean Beach Resort, and then to the Riviera Resort and Epcot, I’ll add some updated thoughts on how things are going up in the calamitous cupboards in the sky. We’ll also check out some new park-hopping opportunities that the Skyliner introduces and some alternative transportation options and touring strategies should the gondola system be down in the morning. Then we’ll see how things go entering Epcot with the potential for 25,000+ more people using the World Showcase entrance/exit in the Skyliner age with guests from Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation coming this way.
    Hollywood Studios continues to open at 6am for Extra Extra Magic Hours, which means the Studios’ Skyliner station opens at 5:45am, along with the line that connects the Park to Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. Above is the scene outside the Studios on Thursday, October 3rd, at 7:21am. That’s a little less than half of the way through the three-hour set of Extra Extra Magic Hours, and almost two hours after the Skyliner initially came online. Very few people are headed into the Studios, which is part of why our plan to ride Smugglers Run just before the Park opens to everyone at 9am works so well.
    In November, this is the current Skyliner schedule, heading into and (more importantly) out of Hollywood Studios:


    This is also the time that the Pop Century/Art of Animation and Caribbean Beach sections of the Skyliner begin operation.
    Here’s the November Skyliner schedules for Epcot, where the service comes online one hour before the first eligible guests may enter the Park:


    Epcot typically opens at 9am with one 8am morning Extra Magic Hour each week. The fact that the Studios’ line opens no later than 7am means that it’s possible to transfer to the Caribbean Beach Resort hub in plenty of time to catch the first Epcot gondola of the day. Theoretically, that means you could take the bus from any of the other Disney resorts to Hollywood Studios, and get on the Skyliner there, and then use it to transfer to the International Gateway entrance at Epcot. This does not make a tremendous amount of logistical sense at the moment unless you were planning on starting the day with breakfast at the Boulangerie in France. Later in the day, you might also elect to take the bus to the Studios and then board the Skyliner over to Epcot or one of the resorts that it services, either just for fun or if you’re planning on starting your day at Epcot in the World Showcase.

    I’m not expecting the new Ratatouille ride, which opens in the France Pavilion in the summer of next year, to be a huge priority, but those entering from the IG will have a tremendous advantage there over those entering from the main entrance due to the Gateway’s close proximity to France. We’ll see how things shake out there come June 2k20 or so.

    Potentially, you could also use the Skyliner to Park Hop to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, or Disney Springs, instead of using the buses at the Studios. Here’s the signage outside the Skyliner station at Caribbean Beach:


    At Caribbean Beach, the Internal Shuttle stop is just around the corner from the station. When the Skyliner is down, buses to the affected Parks will also pick up guests there. To Disney’s credit, as I stood waiting for the Skyliner to come online, there was always a bus to Epcot waiting. It typically took a couple of minutes to depart as it waited for additional guests, but it’s always nice to be sitting comfortably in air-conditioning and knowing that you’ll have a ride.

    From a touring perspective, switching around where you’ll enter Epcot may present some challenges. I’m planning on visiting the Frozen Ever After ride in the Norway Pavilion first thing, because that’s where the International Gateway holds an advantage, because it’s closer to the World Showcase entrance than the main entrance out in front of Spaceship Earth. That also means I’m planning on heading to Soarin’ immediately after, and I have a FastPass+ for Test Track to ride that in the late morning. If I was entering Epcot from the main entrance, my plan would be to ride Test Track first, followed by Soarin’ immediately after, and then plan on using FP+ at Frozen later in the day.

    If you are staying at a Skyliner resort, and the service is down, and you’ve based your plan on entering Epcot through the International Gateway, then you have a few options. First, you could Uber/Lyft to the Beach Club Resort and then walk over to the International Gateway from there. The cost would be about eight dollars, and after you arrive at the Beach Club, the walk through the lobby and to the Gateway would be about five minutes. If you stop by guest services at the resort and explain what happened, then they would likely reimburse you for the cost of the trip or “make it right” in some other way. You could also take the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios, assuming that line is open, and then walk or take the boat to the International Gateway. That would likely take longer – five minutes to ride over to the Studios and then about 20 minutes to walk or boat over to the IG. Third, you could fire up the My Disney Experience app, or bring up FastPass+ availability at DisneyWorld.com, and try to switch out your Test Track FP+ for a comparable Frozen FP+. Hundreds or thousands of people are switching around their FP+ choices in the morning, so it’s likely that something desirable will become available. You could then take the bus to Epcot’s main entrance and proceed with the usual touring plan.


    There’s a Joffrey’s stand on the walk up to the Skyliner station:





    ld Port Royale than some of the rooms in the Preferred buildings. This Preferred designation also doesn’t take into account the location of the Skyliner stations. Amusingly, the buildings closest to the gondola stations are also typically furthest from the main building. So Barbados building 33, which would have been the least convenient Preferred building before the Skyliner, now splits the difference a bit in being closer to the Gondola Station than buildings 31 and 32.

    Splitting the difference again, I think rooms in buildings 45 and 51 will continue to be your best overall bet. You’re about five minutes away from Old Port Royale, and about eight minutes away from either Skyliner station. My guess is that Disney has also increased the number of Internal Shuttles, which are Disney buses that circle the resort, stopping at each bus stop. A lot of guests are going to disembark the Skyliner and prefer to get on a bus to take them back to Trinidad or even something closer like Aruba. Because it should only take a couple of minutes for an Internal Shuttle to appear, you’ll never be more than a few minutes away from any point of interest at the resort.

    Moving forward, buildings 51, 52, and 53 will also be closer to the Riviera Resort and its various restaurants and lounges. But again, a bus will come and pick you up close to just about any guest building and transfer you to the Skyliner, the Riviera, Old Port Royale, or Trinidad if you’d like to go to Spyglass Grill. If you are planning on staying at Caribbean Beach, then you may want to take into consideration which building you’d like to request, depending on where you plan on spending the most time or how you prefer to travel. Recently, we disembarked the Skyliner, boarded an Internal Shuttle, and were ordering drinks at Banana Cabana, adjacent to the Sebastian’s Bistro Restaurant at Old Port Royale, in less than ten minutes. I was a happy camper. I use “camper” literally, as I recently spent all of my money at that new Grand Floridian lounge and now live in a tent inside gondola 054.
    Plus a lot other info and a Part II to come.
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    Regarding evacuations - they have not had any since the Skyway opened, but I did see pictures of practice sessions in various locations before they opened.

    as lanejudy posted, thunder storms would not cause an emergency evacuation. WDW watches the weather, so they would have warning and would unload the guests who were on the skyway, but not pick up any more.
     

    bluecruiser

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2008


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