Disney Skyliner Gondolas Will Not Be Air-Conditioned, But Will Feature Onboard Audio

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The somewhat mysterious Disney Skyliner system continues to be constructed at Walt Disney World, soon connecting Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Riviera, Pop Century, and Art of Animation Resorts. While we know where the Skyliner will go, details on much else have been scarce. Given that Central Florida is a humid swamp most of the year, the most pressing issue for many has been whether or not the suspended gondolas will have any air-conditioning or cooling system inside. According to inside sources, they won’t.

Epcot Skyliner Station, Concept Art

If these sources are to be believed, each gondola will not be air-conditioned, but rather have some small openings around the windows to provide ventilation for guests, similar to the AC-less Disneyland Monorails. Needless to say, Southern California weather stays relatively more moderate in the Summer months than Orlando, so we’ll have to wait and see how that works out for guests riding. We suspect that there will be some sort of grate over these openings to protect guests below from any falling debris, but we are not certain on this as of yet.

There will be onboard power in the gondolas, but this will be used only to provide the onboard audio system. This is a necessity to provide guests with safety spiels, as well as to let them know everything is alright if there are any unexpected stops along the way (just as occurs on most Walt Disney World attractions).

Disney has yet to make any statements about any of the above information, nor announce an opening date for the Disney Skyliner system.

We will of course keep you in the know as more information becomes available. Stay tuned…

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

42 Comments

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  • Wow, a set of suspended greenhouses as a central Florida transportation option and they include a sound system but no air conditioning, why is this a good thing?

    • I wouldn’t go on March thru jan. Could u imagine being stuck on it in Aug when the feel like temp is 105. Now you are stuck in a little toaster oven. Ive been there every season. Florida doesn’t really have season. My family goes basicly once a month. And as we all no when something is new things tend to break down. Good luck disney

  • Seriously??

    I *was* really excited for the Gondola system. Now it will most likely it will be a one and done.

    I hope when the engineers and “the suits” show up to give it a test run it’s hotter than heck.

  • Yeah, I already boycott the monorails because they pack those things in tighter than a Japanese commuter train. I was really hoping for a bit of air flow on these…guess I’ll stick to the boats and walking.

  • “Needless to say, Southern California weather stays relatively more moderate in the Summer months than Orlando…”

    I have to mention that when I was in DL in August, they shut the monorail down every day before noon due to the heat concerns inside of the cars. If these things stop moving, they will really get people cooking. I’m also curious to see how they handle the almost daily thunderstorms that roll through during the summer. It’s not like a ride that they can quickly clear when weather rolls in.

  • According to Jim Hill, his “inside sources” are reporting the exact opposite. He claims the monorails will have a/c. Let’s hope he is right!

  • My excitement to ride the Skyliner just went from a 10 to -3. What are they thinking? The Skyway cars were hot and they were open air!

  • Are they also going to install security cameras to stop people from doing the devil’s tango inside the gondalas?

  • Re: Gondolas: And What about Lightning Strikes ??? From what I’ve seen Florida certainly has its share of Lightining Strikes ✨⚡️⚡️⚡️

  • Battle Royale of the rumour mills. Jim Hill says they will be air conditioned. Tom Corless says they won’t. Let the best source win.

    • Yeah…I’ll go with Jim on this one (he just had a show where he explicitly stated they would be AC). I can’t see them not being AC in Florida…if nothing else, for liability reasons.

      • Exactly. People will be passing out and dehydrating and of course, just NOT riding them. If they suspend bus service from the resorts that have Gondola access, this whole picture doesnt add up.

    • There were pictures taken yesterday of one of the gondola cars in the DHS station probably being used to check clearances. This car does not have AC equipment which lends even more credence to the no-AC rumor.

  • Seems really far fetched to me, when the ride breaks down (and it will) for an hour and a half in the middle of August, people will be having heat strokes in these things.

    Ventilated windows seems really unlikely as well, since it rains sideways in central Florida almost every day.

    Back to the rumor mill with you!

    • There are only two gondola systems in the world with AC and they both require the batteries to be constantly re-charged when going through the station. So even if these system did have AC, it wouldn’t be of any help in an extended break down. Break downs should be pretty rare since gondolas have multiple backup drive systems.

    • “Ventilated windows seems really unlikely as well, since it rains sideways in central Florida almost every day.”

      And who amongst us didn’t hork a loogie from the top of the old Skyway while soaring over Fantasyland.

  • I think I’ve seen rumors of the no air-conditioning before, as other gondolas by this manufacturer doesn’t have any. If you think about it, each car would need to have a massive amount of power for the little personalized a/c. I probably won’t be riding when it gets hot, but I guess they expect there to be enough of a breeze that high up

  • No air conditioning in Florida in summer in a portable green house ….. Well, the first or second or tenth time there is a medical emergency due to this or passes out, there is a great and winnable lawsuit against Disney on this. And there is no way you can avoid it. This is just stupid. Even the Eye has air conditioning!

  • I dont understand why Disney would design this system without air conditioning. This is not an attraction – this is a transport system. This would surely be common carrier system, that is a commercial system to transport people or goods open to the public. This means they would be strictly liable for any issues; and required to use the utmost care to their customers. This is different from a ride / attraction which is design to thrill and is not open to any person (just those who pay to get in). It quit foreseeable that heat and humidity would be problem in Florida from mid April until October when it can easily get over 90 degrees (with feels like temperatures over 100). Stuck in a glass enclosure, it doesn’t take a genius to see some people may (and most likely will) get sick and suffer from heat related injuries even after a few minutes. Even on cooler days, internal temps can rise quickly. It is the same basic reason you don’t leave animals or people locked in cars when its hot and/or sunny outside.

  • Do they have any idea how quick the cars will smell like a bums nutsack in the summer time?! They will completely rancid by lunch time!!

  • 8 months out of the year it will be fine, even most mornings and evenings during most of the summer it will be fine. Yes, during peak summer afternoons the ride will turn into a microwave, but I expect they’ll get shut down during peak heat more often than not.

    Much ado about nothing.

    • Sorry to disagree with you that this far from much ado about nothing. This is big issue. Animals and people die when left in locked cars (analogous to what this is) when the temperature is only mid 60s outside. According to studies at the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences in San Francisco State University, within 10 minutes a car’s internal temperature (again, this is analogous to this system) rises approximately 19 degrees as compare to outside temperature. Within 20 minutes, its 29 degrees. It does not matter of if the windows (or this case, slots) are slightly open. It is not clear how long it will take this vehicle to reach its destination or if it there will be sufficient time to cool off between next guest.

      The average daytime high in December, January and February 72-74 degrees in Orlando. That means the internal temperature could be 91-93 degrees (if takes only ten minutes to go from point a to point b). In March and November its 78 degrees (97 degrees inside). April and October 83/84 (102-103 inside). May through September 88-92 degrees (107-111 degrees inside).

      While these are averages (and just the high), and nighttime would be different, there is going to be significant amount of times throughout the year one cannot use this system without air conditioning. This is potentially a very dangerous problem. And Disney would liable for the damages resulting from cost cutting of not having A/C in this system.

  • This is a video of the interior of a gondola in La Paz Bolivia, https://youtu.be/IUUJaS28JL8 This gondola is made by the same company as Disneys Skyway. Note the window at the top and also under the seats. it looks like my suv back windows. It would allow the top of the window to move out about 2 inches while keeping the bottom in.
    this might be the free flow air.

    There are other videos on youtube look up …. La Paz red line cable car gondola

  • I thought Disney Imagineers and were the “Cream of the Crop”…….”Walt” would be sending the idiots who made this decision packing.

  • I find this hard to believe, if not outright illegal. People will overheat and dehydrate. You’ll have elderly people passing out. There will have to be some kind of cooling system. If not AC, fans or something in the ceiling will move the air around.

  • Apparently the gondolas are going to have heavy duty venting in order to combat temperature issues whilst not adding to the weight so it runs more effieciently.

  • It’s illegal to leave an animal or person in a Florida car in the summer but it will be legal for Disney to transport guests in non-air conditioned gondola’s in the same conditions? A window slightly open for ventilation doesn’t work in a car and won’t work in a gondola. Common sense says Disney won’t open itself to the liability. I forsee many days in the summer it will not be running due to weather either heat or lightening.

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