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

joelkfla

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2001
Question: do only certain colored gondolas run on certain lines?
No, each of the 3 lines does have a dedicated set of cabins, but they are a mix of colors and of wrapped/unwrapped.

The cabins are numbered. I believe each line has a different number range, with the lower numbered cabins on the Epcot line.
 

seashoreCM

All around nice guy.
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
The Epcot line would run better if a gondola discharging a wheelchair, etc. at Riviera did not load another wheelchair, etc. there. This shortens the time it is at a full stop.

The previous station handicapped loop would need to release an empty gondola every now and then for Riviera boardings according to demand but not counting any non-empty gondolas leaving that loop in the proportionate share.

When a handicapped designated (WAV?) gondola resumes motion after a full stop at Riviera (perhaps getting to a medium speed instead of the slow speed), the next few gondolas, which may or may not have discharged other guests while waiting behind, may have to skip loading new guests in order to catch up with the 10 second spacing exiting Riviera.

The Riviera machinery may or may not be able to accomplish the preceding moves without which there will be more complete system and cable stops.
 
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mamabunny

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
The Epcot line would run better if a gondola discharging a wheelchair, etc. at Riviera did not load another wheelchair, etc. there. This shortens the time it is at a full stop.

The previous station handicapped loop would need to release an empty gondola every now and then for Riviera boardings according to demand but not counting any non-empty gondolas leaving that loop in the proportionate share.

When a handicapped designated (WAV?) gondola resumes motion after a full stop at Riviera (perhaps getting to a medium speed instead of the slow speed), the next few gondolas, which may or may not have discharged other guests while waiting behind, may have to skip loading new guests in order to catch up with the 10 second spacing exiting Riviera.

The Riviera machinery may or may not be able to accomplish the preceding moves without which there will be more complete system and cable stops.
Actually, it's just a matter of timing and synchronization...

If the line has to be stopped for a mobility device to unload at Riviera, then that's the ideal time to load the next mobility device in line; you already have stopped the line, and once everyone is more skilled at using the Gondolas (CMs and Guests alike) I believe you probably could "turn" a gondola in less than 2 minutes; probably 90 seconds total. Especially if while the mobility device user is waiting, the CMs "coach" them on exactly what to expect, and have them positioned to drive straight on once the cabin is clear. Then it's set the chocks, board anyone else with the mobility device user, and send the cabin back into service.

There's no HA access at that station, and I'm sorry to have to be the one to say it, but that's just *wrong*. I realize there is a turn there, and it might have been more technologically difficult to put an HA bypass in there, but Disney (as well as the manufacturer) has no shortage of brilliant engineers on staff. That bypass could have happened either before or after the turn by elongating the portion of the station where they bypass would be located, if nothing else. It didn't have to happen right at the turn itself.

The way that Riviera was designed was a problem waiting to happen (and we didn't have to wait long to see it) - and it was purposely created that way. I can't believe that at some point, someone in a meeting didn't bring up that very scenario as a possible "pinch point". The "incident" will most likely repeat unless they literally close that station to *anyone* other than walk-ons/walk-offs - absolutely no strollers, no mobility devices, no one who might cause the line to stop, ever can enter or exit there. (And that won't happen, because there is always a self-entitled Guest who will demand their "right" to use that station, and a CM who won't stand their ground, and enforce the rules. But that's another topic for another day.)

The Riviera station feels to me like it may be a big problem in the future... I certainly hope not, but it feels short-sighted in design, and incomplete.

I kind of wish they would just close it altogether for anyone to load/unload, and then it becomes a non-issue.
 
  • RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    I read the gondola was up and running today with less hours for this week
    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/disney-skyliner/

    Disney Skyliner – Now Open
    Take to the skies—travel by aerial gondola for a bird’s-eye view of various locations around Walt Disney World Resort!

    Skyliner Operating HoursSkyliner Operating Hours
    Beginning today, Guests may travel aboard Disney Skyliner from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. However, system updates later this week will result in the following modified operating hours for Oct. 16-18:
    • Oct. 16: The Disney Hollywood Studios line will be closed while the other two lines will be available from 1 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
    • Oct. 17-18: All lines will be open from 1 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/the-daily-disney/os-et-disney-skyliner-gondola-reopns-20191014-wa6vy4tcfzfzhbnevjc4idieku-story.html

    The Disney Skyliner gondola transportation system is returning to service Monday, a little more than a week after visitors were stranded in the air for as long as three hours.
    Notifications on Walt Disney World’s official website and the My Disney Experience app indicate that the hours of operation Monday will be 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Disney also says that on Wednesday, the line going to Hollywood Studios will be closed for “system updates,” and the other two lines will run from 1-10:30 p.m.
    The Disney Skyliner gondola transportation system is returning to service Monday, a little more than a week after visitors were stranded in the air for as long as three hours.

    The Disney Skyliner gondola transportation system is returning to service Monday, a little more than a week after visitors were stranded in the air for as long as three hours. (Dewayne Bevil)
    All lines are scheduled to run from 1-10:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
    The Skyliner has been closed since the evening of Oct. 5, when the system stalled with hundreds of visitors aboard. The Skyliner had been open for seven days when it halted. Disney has not disclosed the cause of disruption or commented about photos circulating on social media showing crumpled cabins at one of the system’s loading stations.


    “Following a complete review with the manufacturer, we’ve made adjustments to our processes and training, and we are improving how we communicate with guests during their flight with Disney Skyliner,” according to a post on the official Disney parks blog.
    Last week, observers on the ground could see the lines and cabins being periodically put through their paces without passengers.
    New signs at the Skyliner loading stations indicated that service “may occasionally be interrupted by stops and delays.” That is particularly true, Monday’s blog post notes “when we need to accommodate guests who require additional time to load their cabin.”
    The three lines of the gondola system connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot and four Walt Disney World resorts, including Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation, Pop Century and the Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property set to open in December.



    .
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    Cool video by Skip Porter showing one of the wheelchairs that Sue was talking about entering a Disney Skyliner Gondola in the station's accessible queue. The Disney cast member requests the wheelchair enter first. Then the Disney cast member places the chocks behind the rear wheelchair wheels. Then Disney cast member allows the rest of the gondola guest(s) to enter.

     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    Cool video by Skip Porter showing one of the wheelchairs that Sue was talking about entering a Disney Skyliner Gondola in the station's accessible queue. The Disney cast member requests the wheelchair enter first. Then the Disney cast member places the chocks behind the rear wheelchair wheels. Then Disney cast member allows the rest of the gondola guest(s) to enter.

    Nice!
    The video wouldn’t actually play for me. I think because Facebook doesn’t allow saving off of Facebook.
    I am Skip’s Facebook friend , but for some reason, his posts were not showing for me. So this is good - I got to tell Facebook I want to see his posts and view the video on Facebook.

    I took some screenshots in case other people can’t see it either.

    21F8A705-5D50-42B4-A837-DC8711C112C6.jpegE3303FAB-42B2-4B9A-A5B7-F4283850A5BA.jpeg1804B9BA-73BD-40C8-896F-14EA8F030F0D.jpegED62266D-107D-47E6-A39F-496BAA9118B9.jpeg94218DC6-AF30-4A4E-BE51-2664AFFE732A.jpegB6B4593B-57EC-442E-8DD6-A28EE6C7DD69.jpeg
     
  • SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    Skip’s wheelchair is not the same model as my daughter’s, but all Permobil power wheelchairs are pretty similar size snd shape. This picture with blue trim is similar to Skip’s.

    The picture with yellow trim is similar to my daughter’s. Even though the wheel arrangement is different, they have similar ‘footprints’.0F671225-EB1E-4566-9AE4-EC27A432F5CD.png5394111B-6934-45D2-8274-113E1039E6C2.jpeg
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    Sue, thank you.

    Nice!
    The video wouldn’t actually play for me. I think because Facebook doesn’t allow saving off of Facebook.
    I am Skip’s Facebook friend , but for some reason, his posts were not showing for me. So this is good - I got to tell Facebook I want to see his posts and view the video on Facebook.

    I took some screenshots in case other people can’t see it either.

    View attachment 444063View attachment 444064View attachment 444065View attachment 444066View attachment 444067View attachment 444068
    Skip’s wheelchair is not the same model as my daughter’s, but all Permobil power wheelchairs are a pretty similar size and shape. This picture with a blue trim is similar to Skip’s.

    The picture with yellow trim is similar to my daughter’s. Even though the wheel arrangement is different, they have similar ‘footprints’.View attachment 444076View attachment 444077
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    So if that wheelchair user was in the gondolas during the 3 hour downtime due to the accident, and they had to evacuate by ladder, what would happen? I'm thinking if I had to use a specific electric wheelchair, the last place I'd go with it is on one of Disney's gondolas! I know they only evacuated a few pods this time, but who is to say they'll be able to do that next time?
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    So if that wheelchair user was in the gondolas during the 3 hour downtime due to the accident, and they had to evacuate by ladder, what would happen? I'm thinking if I had to use a specific electric wheelchair, the last place I'd go with it is on one of Disney's gondolas! I know they only evacuated a few pods this time, but who is to say they'll be able to do that next time?
    444146444148444149444150444151444152


    Reedy Creek has spent $1.4 million on equipment and a truck that can go up to 116 feet and another truck for about $840,000 that can reach 173 feet.
    Reed Creek firefighters will also be able to access the gondolas by using a barge bought by Disney on a lake along the route.
    Training on the new equipment began in April with Reedy Creek first-responders logging more than 2,500 hours so far.
     
  • lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    Just curious... they made a big deal about the benches folding up to accommodate mobility devices. But all the pictures and reports i’ve seen don’t show that. It looks like they are squeezing the wheelchair between the benches and making that person sit with their back to the rest of the party. Or have i simply missed reports/pics where one bench was folded?
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    Just curious... they made a big deal about the benches folding up to accommodate mobility devices. But all the pictures and reports i’ve seen don’t show that. It looks like they are squeezing the wheelchair between the benches and making that person sit with their back to the rest of the party. Or have i simply missed reports/pics where one bench was folded?
    Hi, lanejudy. I haven't seen anything either.

    I wonder if it is because Disney cast members to want to put chocks behind the wheelchair and mobility scooter wheels. The Disney cast members also require the wheelchair and mobility scooter to enter first before the rest of the passengers and to move all the way across the gondola until their wheels meet the metal bumper bar allowing the chocks on the other wheels to keep the wheelchair and mobility scooter wheels from moving.

    Maybe they think it might take to much time for the wheelchair guest to turn around and get situated before the chocks are added.

    Maybe Disney decided they did not want the opposite of the wheelchair's chocked wheels to always bump up against the back of the gondola's folded bench so the chocks would be effective.

    It would be interesting here something from someone in the know.

    I would have liked to face the front of the gondola, too.

    All the warning label stickers on the interior glass of the sliding entrance doors can't be seen by the wheelchair and mobility scooter user either.

    444205
    444203444204
     
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    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    Just curious... they made a big deal about the benches folding up to accommodate mobility devices. But all the pictures and reports i’ve seen don’t show that. It looks like they are squeezing the wheelchair between the benches and making that person sit with their back to the rest of the party. Or have i simply missed reports/pics where one bench was folded?
    I have not either
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Reedy Creek has spent $1.4 million on equipment and a truck that can go up to 116 feet and another truck for about $840,000 that can reach 173 feet.
    Reed Creek firefighters will also be able to access the gondolas by using a barge bought by Disney on a lake along the route.
    Training on the new equipment began in April with Reedy Creek first-responders logging more than 2,500 hours so far.
    Yes, all and good, but will they take time to unload equipment or just people, KWIM? Looks like only one platform lift could handle an ECV, for example. And would they even think about unloading someone strapped into a wheelchair over a body of water? I know in our evac training back when I worked on boats, we did not take the equipment with us, just the people.
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    Just curious... they made a big deal about the benches folding up to accommodate mobility devices. But all the pictures and reports i’ve seen don’t show that. It looks like they are squeezing the wheelchair between the benches and making that person sit with their back to the rest of the party. Or have i simply missed reports/pics where one bench was folded?
    I have talked to someone who knows for sure (it was after they opened, but before the accident/incident).

    The seats do all fold up. The ‘partners’, which include Disney as well as the company that built the gondolas chose to load mobility devices without folding up the seats to start with.

    They were planning on using the first months for evaluating the loading process, including whether to leave both seats down, fold one or both up, and whether to load mobility devices driving in or backing in. I don’t know how long the evaluation process was/is planned for.

    I remember during the first years of the monorail, CMs actually strapped wheelchairs down on the monorails the same way as on buses. That hasn’t been done for many, many years.
    So, I do expect changes.
    I have seen videos of other gondola systems from the same company in cities which showed wheelchair loading. The ones I saw did not stop the gondola and did not have an ‘accessibility loop’ like Disney has. The systems I saw had stations that were similar to the Riviera station.

    [
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    Yes, all and good, but will they take time to unload equipment or just people, KWIM? Looks like only one platform lift could handle an ECV, for example. And would they even think about unloading someone strapped into a wheelchair over a body of water? I know in our evac training back when I worked on boats, we did not take the equipment with us, just the people.
    I think the reason for the fairly large platform is to hold multiple people in one load; each gondola can hold up to 10 people.

    If they needed to evacuate a wheelchair user, I don’t think they would unload the wheelchair onto the platform lift.
    Maybe manual wheelchairs because they are relatively light and the person in the wheelchair could be pushed onto the platform fairly easily. It would also provide a person who might be unsteady to have a place to sit.
    I very much doubt they would do it with a power wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are very heavy - my daughter‘s is near 300 pounds, without her in it. They would also need to rely on the device user being able to drive out. I’m not sure I would trust someone’s ability that far above ground!
    I believe they would probably put the wheelchair user onto a stretcher or they may have evacuation chairs.
    A wheelchair like Skip‘s can turn in a deceptively small space. I can’t tell for sure how much space there is from the pictures, but I know it could turn around entirely with both seats folded up, and probably even with just one.
    Most people who own power wheelchairs also have an accessible van. This picture shows the dimensions of a typical van, which is much smaller than the available space in the gondola.
    Our van has two front seats, so we’ve got less maneuvering space. we can still easily turn our daughter’s manual or power wheelchair completely around in that space.
     

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    seashoreCM

    All around nice guy.
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2001
    The idea of folding up a bench is to allow a scooter to be moved over a little towards the folded bench and give leg room for others sitting on the other bench.

    But it takes more time to maneuver the scooter and get others seated.

    For some wheelchairs, the benches can be left down and six more family members, three on each bench, can ride.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    Frankly, I wondered if the reason the benches aren't folded up is because they wanted to keep the mobility devices as much in the center of the cabin as possible, to help keep it "balanced" feeling?

    I can imagine also that they could fold those benches up, and stand ?15? people in there (if they wanted to) to clear queues quicker...
     


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