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*Updated: Feb. 4, 2020
Who’s ready to take flight on the Disney Skyliner? The new transportation system at Walt Disney World debuts very soon and here’s everything you need to know about the gondolas.
1. Opening Date
The Disney Skyliner, which has more than six miles of cable, opened on Sept. 29, 2019.
2. Routes & Destinations
You can catch the gondolas at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, in addition to the following resorts: Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation.
There are three different lines:
- Epcot/Riviera to Caribbean Beach Line
- Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios Line
- Caribbean Beach to Art of Animation/Pop Century Line
IMPORTANT: Day guests wanting to ride the Skyliner should park at Hollywood Studios. Those using the Art of Animation/Pop Century Line can access the shared station by walking across the Hourglass Lake bridge.
Caribbean Beach is the largest station and serves as the main hub of activity for all parks and resorts. This will also serve as a transfer location. Guests will have to disembark at the Caribbean Beach station if they want to reach a different station. It’s similar to the Monorail, in which the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) serves as a transfer location.
As for the Riviera Resort station, this does not serve as a transfer station. Though, if guests want to get off at the Riviera station, they should stand up as the gondola pulls into the station to alert Cast Members working that they want to disembark, while all other guests should remain seated.
For example, if you board at Epcot and want to go to Hollywood Studios, you’ll need to disembark at the Caribbean Beach station and hop on the Hollywood Studios Line. When you reach the last station on the line (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Art of Animation/Pop Century), you will be required to disembark (you can then hop back on, but you must get off first to do so). Apparently, there are no round-trips offered on the Skyliner.
According to WDW Prep School, here are the estimated travel times for each stop:
- Pop Century/Art of Animation to Caribbean Beach: 5-6 minutes
- Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios: 5-6 minutes
- Caribbean Beach to Riviera Resort: 5-6 minutes
- Riviera Resort to Epcot: 9 minutes give or take
- Caribbean Beach to Epcot: 15 minutes give or take
Here is a map of each stop:
3. Location Of Each Station
There are five loading stations: Epcot’s International Gateway, Hollywood Studios, Caribbean Beach, Riviera Resort, and Art of Animation and Pop Century (these two share a station). There’s also a turn station between the Epcot and Riviera lines, which simply serves as a turning point for cabins to change direction and turn.
Here’s where each station is located:
4. Features & Designs
There are nearly 300 cabins that hold up to 10 guests. Those traveling with wheelchairs or assistive devices are able to ride the gondolas as well. If or when there is a wheelchair or an assistive device, only six guests maximum will be allowed inside the cabin.
Each gondola has its own special Disney-themed design on the exterior. There are cabins featuring many beloved characters, attractions, and films, including Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Chip & Dale, Goofy, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Coco, Beauty and the Beast, Moana, Peter Pan, Zootopia, and more!
You can see the designs here:
In addition to the gondolas, the stations also have individual designs themed to each location. For example, the Caribbean Beach station resembles an open market building inspired by the islands. Also, the Epcot station is inspired by the architecture of nearby pavilions and features a mural with the theme of flight.
5. Air Conditioning & Ventilation
Air flow was a huge concern for many guests, especially when temperatures climb during the hot Orlando months. I’m sure if each cabin needed air conditioning, Disney would’ve installed some type of system. But, that’s not the case.
Instead, each cabin has been “specifically tailored for the Florida climate.” There is cross-ventilation for air flow and special reflective windows to keep out the direct sunlight.
As someone who has been on the Skyliner several times, I can attest that there is plenty of air flow as you glide through the air. When you stop, the cabins can become a bit stuffy, but not to the point of uncomfortable. Plus, the gondolas typically don’t stop for long.
6. The Views
Watch the video below to see the views from the gondolas. They are stunning.
7. Other Important Facts
-Strollers Requirements: Strollers that are 30″ x 48″ can remain open with a child in them when you board. If they are any bigger, they will have to be folded and carried inside the cabin.
-Joffrey’s Coffee: Did you know there is a Joffrey’s located outside the Caribbean Beach station? This particular location also sells a new “Toffee Flight Latte” that right now can only be found at this Joffrey’s. The latte has a blend of sea salt caramel toffee and dark chocolate and is topped with toffee, chocolate crumbles, and whipped cream.
If or when more information is announced about the Disney Skyliner, I will update this post as soon as possible.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort