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

DisneyOma

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
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...
There could be a weight limitation that would prevent that many people on at once.
 

lanejudy

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Guests are expected to sit on the WDW Skyliner. It was not intended to be jammed full with standees. I don’t know exactly why they aren’t folding benches, but as someone above surmised, I think it could be due to loading/unloading time and the fact that the “aisle” between the benches is wide enough for mobility devices. I just don’t care for the fact that leaves the person in the wheelchair/ECV riding with their back to the rest of the party.

Enjoy your vacation!
 

RaySharpton

Retired and going to Disney.
Joined
Oct 28, 2000
Guests are expected to sit on the WDW Skyliner. It was not intended to be jammed full with standees. I don’t know exactly why they aren’t folding benches, but as someone above surmised, I think it could be due to loading/unloading time and the fact that the “aisle” between the benches is wide enough for mobility devices. I just don’t care for the fact that leaves the person in the wheelchair/ECV riding with their back to the rest of the party.

Enjoy your vacation!
I agree. I mean you are going to back out of the gondola one way or another. I wish that WDW would let wheelchairs back in when getting into the gondola.

Then the wheelchair user could drive straight out.

The metal bar can be used going backward or forward as far as protecting the gondola wall from the mobility devices wheels and the chocks can still be placed on the front wheels.

I don't like my back to other people when sitting in my wheelchair.

And all of the warning labels are pasted on the sliding gondola doors and not facing the other wall.

And if alone in the gondola the chocks prevent me from rolling back to reach the emergency call button with speaker located on the wall near the front entrance of the gondola.

Guests might have issues being slow going backward whether going in or going out of the gondola.

I wish that they would let up back up into the gondola so we can see everyone in front of me and participate in any conversations during the ride.
 
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  • SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    I agree. I mean you are going to back out of the gondola one way or another. I wish that WDW would let wheelchairs back in when getting into the gondola.

    Then the wheelchair user could drive straight out.

    The metal bar can be used going backward or forward as far as protecting the gondola wall from the mobility devices wheels and the chocks can still be placed on the front wheels.

    I don't like my back to other people when sitting in my wheelchair.

    And all of the warning labels are pasted on the sliding gondola doors and not facing the other wall.

    And if alone in the gondola the chocks prevent me from rolling back to reach the emergency call button with speaker located on the wall near the front entrance of the gondola.

    Guests might have issues being slow going backward whether going in or going out of the gondola.

    I wish that they would let up back up into the gondola so we can see everyone in front of me and participate in any conversations during the ride.
    I can tell you for sure they are aware of those concerns and before the incident that stopped the skyways, they were looking at other directions of loading.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    It's in my google news feed that a gondola switching from the ADA area to the main line did not switch properly and the area was shut down again? It happened yesterday, at the CBR station. Glad they caught it before it fell off or something.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    Gondola Stuck at ADA Load Station Led to Disney Skyliner Downtime Today
    by dis & *****


    It’s been three weeks since the Disney Skyliner accident took place at Walt Disney World. As you probably are aware, multiple gondolas were seen crashed into each other and numerous guests were stranded in the air for over two hours, stuck inside of the gondolas. The fledgling transportation system has seen adjusted hours and a fair amount of downtime since it returned to service just a few days ago. Today, the line that runs from the Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts encountered an issue.

    From what we could see, a gondola appeared to be stuck transferring from the stationary, ADA load platform (used for wheelchairs, ECVs and other guests that may need more time to board) to the main line. Once they did get that once-stuck gondola in motion, it visibly had a hard time transferring to the main line as cast members, security, and those tasked with maintaining the Skyliner looked on. Guests in line to ride the Skyliner to Art of Animation and Pop Century remained there through all of this.

    The line eventually re-opened to guests, but the ADA load platform remained off-limits. As we headed to the Hollywood Studios line this evening to return to our car, we could see that the platform was blocked off with a cone and a barricade, being watched by a Disney security cast member. We assume that the maintenance team and engineers will be looking at the issue overnight once all guests are clear of the area.
    It's in my google news feed that a gondola switching from the ADA area to the main line did not switch properly and the area was shut down again? It happened yesterday, at the CBR station. Glad they caught it before it fell off or something.

    moderator edit: links removed
     
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  • mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    It's in my google news feed that a gondola switching from the ADA area to the main line did not switch properly and the area was shut down again? It happened yesterday, at the CBR station. Glad they caught it before it fell off or something.
    I saw that article too, on another website. It sounds like they had that particular ADA load/unload platform shut down for the better part of a day.

    I don't think it would have fallen off? (OK - I don't want to think that it could have fallen off... LOL) but I do worry about the fact that this issue cropped up so quickly. Although... given the number of people who are at WDW every day, and the amount of miles those gondolas travel - non-stop! - all day long... I presume that it's inevitable that some issues will occur. I think everyone might have felt better if those issues had occurred later...

    Still not sure if I am going to ride it in January when we are down there again. I think a lot of it will be determined by how many more (if any) "incidents" there are between now and then...
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    The ADA gondolas are removable so they could fall off - they go from one track to another, don't they?
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
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    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    All the gondola are "removable" in that sense, and can be removed for storage (there are storage "barns" at CBR). This is my very basic understanding, probably without the correct technical/mechanical terms: All of the gondola cars release from the cable at the stations and move through the stations much more slowly driven by the station tracks or wheels. The cars entering the stationary load for wheelchairs/ECVs have a switch high up on the cable arm that allows them to move onto the secondary track. None of the cars are attached to the cable while in the stations. However, the likelihood of cars disengaging from the cable not in the station is very unlikely. These gondola systems are used in many places and we don't hear of gondolas falling from the sky on a regular basis.

    I haven't found much information about the incident the other day. Apparently one gondola car from the stationary load area did not move back into the main track. The line shut down and workers did get it moved, but the stationary loading area remained closed. I've heard nothing further, so presumably the issue was minor and considered resolved.
     

    PatMcDuck

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 12, 2000
    We rode the first week, and one day at the AoA station, they could not load WC thru the stationary loading area, it was open back up the next day. My son uses a large 18" Convaid chair. On first day I pushed him in, on regular guest line, it was tight but he fit. Getting him back out was a little trickier. Fortunately, he can walk, so after this, I would partially collapse chair right before boarding, it was still pushable, I did not have to lift it. Then I could easily get chair inside and him and me, on regular line.

    There were many times we were pointed to the stationary boarding area, but we always refused, with a simple comment like, "we got this, we are experieinced" or whatever. At times, the stationary lines were LONG, especially at Studios station.

    We loved the Skyliner and will book resorts with access when we can. It saves me trying to board a bus, lifting my son's heavy collapsed Convaid chair, and mange him at the same time (poor balance and depth perception, Downs and Autism) for at least 2 parks, we drive to AK, so only MK involves the bus.
     
  • Selket

    Been there - done that
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2000
    We were there last week and I really enjoyed riding the Skyliner - it's a lot of fun. I much prefer it to the bus.

    I did find it frustrating that the first time I went to ride I was next in line and they shut it down (weather?) - next time went to ride and the Epcot line wasn't working - not sure why - and one time we were riding just for fun (my DH finally got a chance to ride) - we were trying to go RT from DHS to Epcot and we got stuck at Epcot - they took it down. The boats got slammed and we ended up using the walkway to get back to DHS. There was a medical issue with someone and paramedics were called so they stopped the line due to that (I am guessing?). The issue with the guest was unrelated to the Skyliner - he didn't fall or anything. They were right beside of us talking to him so I unintentionally could hear the whole thing.

    Not sure I could recommend riding it for fun unless you've got extra time and are ok getting stuck somewhere you may not want to be! I'm glad we didn't get stuck at CBR - not sure how easy/quick it would have been to get a bus out of there back to the park. Seems like it would be a headache to get there and wanting to change lines and it goes down - especially with an ECV or WC.

    I also noticed that many people with mobility devices went through the regular que not realizing there was a separate que. They got pulled out and directed over but it created a sort of odd situation where they were entering the other line mid-que so either got in front of people or had to go to the back. I'm sure they were frustrated to spend time in one que and be told to go elsewhere. I saw this the most at DHS. The CM's or signage isn't working well enough.
     

    Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    My mom rides in a wheelchair because of reduced mobility and sometimes balance issues (from cancer and ongoing chemo treatment). We usually rent a regular push wheelchair for the week. Could we still load in the regular Skyliner line? Either (a) I could push her on quickly or more likely (b) she could stand up and load and I would collapse chair in half and carry on. Anyone try this? I apologize if already addressed but I haven't read the last 21 pages.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    And all of the warning labels are pasted on the sliding gondola doors and not facing the other wall.

    And if alone in the gondola the chocks prevent me from rolling back to reach the emergency call button with speaker located on the wall near the front entrance of the gondola.
    These are safety issues and should be reported to WDW guest services as huge concerns.
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    My mom rides in a wheelchair because of reduced mobility and sometimes balance issues (from cancer and ongoing chemo treatment). We usually rent a regular push wheelchair for the week. Could we still load in the regular Skyliner line? Either (a) I could push her on quickly or more likely (b) she could stand up and load and I would collapse chair in half and carry on. Anyone try this? I apologize if already addressed but I haven't read the last 21 pages.
    Most of this post is from before the Skyliner opened, so only the last few pages have actual experience. We just got back from WDW and I working on a post about the Skyliners with many pictures and video.
    The regular line loads on moving Skyliners. They are moving slowly, but still moving.
    Given that she has reduced mobility and sometimes balance issues, it would be safer and less intimidating for her to load at the mobility loading area where the gondola is completely stopped.
    PatMcDuck posted above that they were able to go thru the regular line with her adult son’s Convaid chair (looks like a large umbrella stroller). If you choose to try it, I’d suggest using mobility line the first few times and watching the regular line boarding so you get a feel for how everything works and how fast it is.
    My guess is that if she’s riding in the wheelchair, you will need to use the mobility line - they want to make sure the occupied wheelchair won’t tip or move during the ride.
    These are safety issues and should be reported to WDW guest services as huge concerns.
    I did report the concerns - wheelchair rider going forward into the gondola, having chocks under the wheels that prevent the chair from moving, warnings and alert box to call for help by the front door. I was told these are all things they are aware of and are looking at.
    But, more voices are always better.

    We rode multiple times during our stay. The very first time, the CM made sure the wheelchair brakes were locked and put wheel chocks behind her rear wheels. Trips after that, they said we didn’t need the chocks because her wheelchair has brakes and anti tip bars.
    I don’t know the reasons it was decided to have wheelchair riders drive in instead of backing in, but think part might be so that the CM can check for brakes and tip bars (many people’s personal chairs don’t have anti tip bars or they are placed high).
    If the chair is backed in, it would be harder to place the wheel chocks to hold the back wheels. Putting them under the front tires would not hold as well.

    I’m sure things will change as time goes on. Driving straight onto the monorails with a mobility device was not always how it was done. The monorail cars used by wheelchairs originally had a small center wall, which contained tiedown straps. In the beginnin, wheelchairs were tied done on the monorails just like they are on buses. As time passed, they stopped doing that.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    We just got back from WDW and I working on a post about the Skyliners with many pictures and video.
    Cool!

    Most of this post is from before the Skyliner opened, so only the last few pages have actual experience. We just got back from WDW and I working on a post about the Skyliners with many pictures and video.
    The regular line loads on moving Skyliners. They are moving slowly, but still moving.
    Given that she has reduced mobility and sometimes balance issues, it would be safer and less intimidating for her to load at the mobility loading area where the gondola is completely stopped.
    PatMcDuck posted above that they were able to go thru the regular line with her adult son’s Convaid chair (looks like a large umbrella stroller). If you choose to try it, I’d suggest using mobility line the first few times and watching the regular line boarding so you get a feel for how everything works and how fast it is.
    My guess is that if she’s riding in the wheelchair, you will need to use the mobility line - they want to make sure the occupied wheelchair won’t tip or move during the ride.
    DisneyOma said:
    These are safety issues and should be reported to WDW guest services as huge concerns.
    I did report the concerns - wheelchair rider going forward into the gondola, having chocks under the wheels that prevent the chair from moving, warnings and alert box to call for help by the front door. I was told these are all things they are aware of and are looking at.
    But, more voices are always better.

    We rode multiple times during our stay. The very first time, the CM made sure the wheelchair brakes were locked and put wheel chocks behind her rear wheels. Trips after that, they said we didn’t need the chocks because her wheelchair has brakes and anti tip bars.
    I don’t know the reasons it was decided to have wheelchair riders drive in instead of backing in, but think part might be so that the CM can check for brakes and tip bars (many people’s personal chairs don’t have anti tip bars or they are placed high).
    If the chair is backed in, it would be harder to place the wheel chocks to hold the back wheels. Putting them under the front tires would not hold as well.

    I’m sure things will change as time goes on. Driving straight onto the monorails with a mobility device was not always how it was done. The monorail cars used by wheelchairs originally had a small center wall, which contained tiedown straps. In the beginnin, wheelchairs were tied done on the monorails just like they are on buses. As time passed, they stopped doing that.

    SueM in MN
    Moderator of disABILITIES
    Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread
    Thanks for your report.
     

    Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    Thanks SueM. I also recently went and rode the Skyliner. Now that I think about it I think you are right that stepping on and off a moving gondola would be hard for her. I also know that she wouldn’t want to sit her wheelchair but next to us. I wonder if we could board the stationary gondola but walk on and bring the chair either folded or they could latch if preferred.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    Thanks SueM. I also recently went and rode the Skyliner. Now that I think about it I think you are right that stepping on and off a moving gondola would be hard for her. I also know that she wouldn’t want to sit her wheelchair but next to us. I wonder if we could board the stationary gondola but walk on and bring the chair either folded or they could latch if preferred.
    You can always ask the Skyliner CMs when you get to the station 🙂 Just explain it like you did here! 🙂 Remember that anytime they offer us something out of the ordinary, that it's a form of Pixie Dust, and so we may not be able to get it every single time, but your request seems reasonable 🙂
     


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