Walt Disney World Gondola System Foundation Construction About to Begin

We reported back in February about a rumor that Disney is planning to build a gondola system connecting Epcot, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation/Pop Century Resorts, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Now comes an official “Notice of Commencement” for the construction of “foundation and building infrastructure” at six different locations that correspond with the six locations we mapped out for the gondola’s route.

 

The six addresses in “Attachment ‘A'” correspond exactly to the locations on the map from our February post.

The addresses in the Notice of Commencement are:

  • 251 E. Buena Vista Dr., Bay Lake, FL – this is the turn at the intersection of Buena Vista Dr. and Epcot Resorts Blvd., near the Speedway gas station.
  • 785 Studio Dr., Bay Lake, FL – this is the station located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • 1874 Avenue of the Stars, Bay Lake, FL – this is the station located at the International Gateway entrance to Epcot.
  • 1910 Animation Way, Bay Lake, FL – this is the station at the Hourglass Lake bridge between Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
  • 1051 Sea Breeze Dr., Bay Lake, FL – this is the station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
  • 1074 Sea Breeze Dr., #C, Bay Lake, FL – this is the turn on the property of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

This is the first official filing of a Notice of Commencement, and typically construction begins soon after such a notice is filed.

Previously, Disney filed paperwork with the South Florida Water Management District regarding the Hourglass Lake station because that impacts a body of water under the SFWMD’s purview.

PCL Construction Services Inc. is a large construction firm in the civil and industrial sectors and has done work at Orlando International Airport, Legoland Florida, the Orange County Convention Center, and many other locations in Orlando and around the world.

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42 comments

  1. Joey M

    Yes now do we expect a spring 2019 opening? Now Disney has to announce it as this is to big to hide! #wdwgondolawatch

    • Megan

      You can just take a boat between the two. I think this is more about some value-added transportation options for CBR and POP/AOA, less about making it easier to get from HS to EP.

    • David Dayton

      It does not go sequentially because the purpose of the gondola system is to move guests from Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation and Pop Century to either Hollywood Studios or Epcot. It is not intended as direct transportation between HS and Epcot. Laid out like you have it a guest at Caribbean Beach wanting to use the skyway would have to travel to the Art/Pop station and then to Hollywood Studios before going on to Epcot. This would cause a lot of congestion with all of these resort guests traveling to HS or Epcot to all have to travel in the same direction. This system better distributes traffic going to or returning from either park.

  2. Zombies_Grace

    The map needs updating:

    1. The turn at northern Caribbean is also a station. You can get on an off there. It will be a feature for the new DVC there.

    2. The station at Pop/AoA isn’t on the bridge.

    • They will next begin developing value DVC at Art of Animation.,and Pop. If you are staying at Pop, AOA or Caribbean Beach and not DVC you will need to pay an additional fee to ride this.

      • Zombies_Grace

        Just about every insider who confirmed that there is indeed a gondola system and what the route will be have all said there is no upcharge to ride it.

        So… what’s your source that you’ll have to pay to ride it if you’re not at DVC?

  3. Rob Von Roll

    If its really a gondola lift that is going in, they havnt said or noted anything about tower footers. Tower footers go down some 15 to 30 feet. They havmt mentioned on any permits or in any drawings about the footers for the towers. As for the contract, Doppelmayr would be the manufacture. Doppelmayr bought out Von Roll back in 1996. The original manufacturer of the Disneyland Skyway and Walt Disney world Skyway as well. Been in the aerial ropeway for over 30 years.

      • Rob Von Roll

        Tower footers have codes they half to go by . Seperate codes from the stations. As for the staff to run a bran new gondola lift, 4 people. Everything is automated..

  4. RollTideFamily

    We are at Disney World this week, it’s spring break and the parks are busting at the seams with guests, but so few cast members. They have more than half the lines for restaurants at Hollywood studios closed, Starring Rolls we see gone, 2 of 16 entrances open, 3 metal scanners of 10 open, 40-50 minute wait to buy coffee, only left side open, right is closed completely, and one register. I understand staff cost money, but come the heck on, what a terrible time we’re having here. So many construction walls with nothing fast happening behind them, it’s like the empty promise that never delivers. I don’t believe Disney if they build this gondola will staff it to run it. It will be run poorly, not very safe, and only for a huge fee. Not a believer after our current visit. Up now to go to Magic Kingdom, our nuder 3 y/o excited, rest of us anticipate a poor experience if Friday and Sunday any indication.

    • JuanC

      Disney knows all this, but really doesn’t care about customers anymore. They then have low talent managers who wonder why they were down huge percentage last year in attendance and profit, while all other them parks grew enormously.

      This gondola is unlikely to be built IMO under current Disney management where doing and giving less always short term trumps long term goals. Gondola a security, safety and ADA nightmare from day one. Many plans have been put in ‘just in case’, more than actually materialize into anything.

      • danlb_2000

        Yes, Disney has come up with a lot of ideas that have never materialized, but I have never seen a major project get as far as permitting and not get built in some form. The closest was probably Hyperion Wharf which got as far as construction starting before it was stopped and re-worked into what is now Disney Springs.

      • Jason Diffendal

        Why do you say it is a security, safety, and ADA nightmare? It will be better than the monorails in all three respects. The Roosevelt Island Tramway (look it up) performs quite well and is wheelchair accessible.

      • Rob Von Roll

        All new gondola lifts are 100 % ADA accessible. Look up http://www.doppelmayr.com. The gondolas move at a creap speed while you enter at ground level with the entrance of the cabin. You can easily flip up a seat for a wheelchair.

    • War Damn Eagle

      I would also anticipate a poor experience if I planned to bring my 3 y/o to the parks nude. Fork over the money and get the kid a proper shirt, shorts and shoes! This isn’t Tuscaloosa, it’s Disney World.

  5. SamanthaB

    PCL construction has never built a gondola or transportation system. There’s few in the world that do, and none have filed required permits for transportation. Not saying ‘never’, but Disney hasn’t exactly been growing under Bob Iger. They cut and shut down more than grow, maybe some refurb areas that are profit makers like Be Our Guest, Avatar-land and Star Wars. Would be surprised if happened. And sadly agree with poster who said if they did it, under their current management, it would be run cheaply and half assed.

    • SamanthaB

      Oh yea, before someone points out Disney Springs, was refurb and growth area, but not Disney run and 100% profit oriented for tenants of the mall/eatery location.

    • danlb_2000

      In theory, the gondola system would have a smaller operating cost per guest then buses it would replace, so that may the financial reason they are building it.

  6. Barbara

    The number of “haters” posting here is unreal. My children and I just spent the weekend at Dosney for their spring break. It was phenomenal, probably the best time we have had there. Hollywood Studios was perfection. Staff was incredibly generous and kind to us. One imagineer gave my family a fast pass just for talking w her while we waited in line for Chip and Dale. My children were able to “open” for the Disney Jr show, ai waited in line for 30 min to get good seats. Lines were not terribly long, and the Star Wars show was fantastic! I am thrilled about this gondola addition. We ate at the commissary location and accidentally dropped a whole tray of food. A member of their staff came immediately, picked up my receipt and without question brought me a whole new tray of food. Disney is still the most magical place. Get it together people! Sheez

    • Ron

      Was this you First time to Disney? its been apparent for Years that the Magic has left Disney for Profit, the Food coast going up up and up. Annual passes, parking and hotel cost going up while Quality going down, the classic rides that have been ruined to catar to over sensitive kids, the younger cast members are just there as a job for the most part they keep the same stigma you find out in town, they Push the vacation club, and the high end resorts, there current business model looks more like a playground for the Rich and less for every one, The current people running Disney have lost sight on Walt’s dream,

    • pattys

      Not haters Barbara, just your numbers sound like COMPLETE LIES! There’s MUCH longer waits, The staff MUCH too busy to have time to chit chat with you. Very clearly you work for Disney in Guest Relations. They employ number of college kids who post just about like you do.

      • Giwreh

        Excellent unmasking/debunking, pattys.
        We also seen this kind of faked-customers spindoctor marketing, popping up all over TRIPADVISOR & TRIVAGO.
        Alas, many people don’t grasp it.

        NOTE
        The last phrases are downright corporate slogans. (Disney is still the most magical place. Get it together people! Sheez)

  7. Tom

    Okay. Metal cars hanging from a metal cable in the lighting capital of the world. Anyone? Regardless of grounding and lightning protection systems, Disney will shut this sucker down whenever lightning is in the area. Which is all the time. Whomever thought this was worth the money should be shown the door.

    • pattys

      Not to worry Tom, Disney VERY unlikely to spend a nickel, unless they think they will have enough suckers to get a million back! They have really cut things back in the last year to painful levels for guests. Very obvious.

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