PHOTOS: Disney Gives First Look at Skyliner Gondola Interior, Passive Ventilation Technology

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We’ve watched the Skyliner gondolas zooming over parking lots and even over Hourglass Lake just this morning, but the Orlando Sentinel got to take a special inside look at the gondola interiors and has since shared a number of details about the new transportation method coming to Walt Disney World. Thomas Mazloum, a Disney senior vice president who oversees transportation and resorts, said the gondolas would be “absolutely comfortable” as they were specifically designed with the Florida climate in mind. Take a look!

All images courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel‘s inside look video on the Disney Skyliner gondolas.

The gondola fleet will include a total of 300 gondolas that will offer sweeping views of the property. A typical ride on the Skyliner system is set to take between five to 15 minutes, depending on your destination.

Inside, mesh panels on both sides let in a breeze as the gondolas travel at 11 mph. Reflective windows block out sunlight.

Inside, twin wooden benches can carry up to 10 passengers per gondola, including modified gondolas for passengers in wheelchairs. Gondola stations will have passengers constantly loading, but much like an omnimover attraction, Cast Members in charge of loading can pause or slow down the gondola line to allow for extra boarding time as needed.

The gondolas are set to open in the Fall, but will be unveiled come May, and will feature 22 character designs.

Now that you’ve seen the interior (and it does look rather shaded and nice) are you feeling better about the lack of A/C, or still not convinced? Sound off in the comments!

About the author

Jessica Figueroa

Jessica lives in South Florida with her 15-pound cat Gordo and a small army of Tsum Tsums. You can contact her, ideally with photos of your cats, at [email protected]

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Erik Alsgaard
Guest
Erik Alsgaard

An 11 mph breeze should work nicely to keep guests comfortable in the gondolas. My guess it will get chilly in them at night in the winter, though.

Wendy Belle
Guest
Wendy Belle

Not in the humidity of Florida, maybe in California but not Florida.

Awesome Amy
Guest
Awesome Amy

I would hope they close the window vents during the winter.
Also, FL humidity – in Winter – doesn’t make it warmer when it is cold outside. It makes it colder.

Allan
Guest
Allan

The lead side has 3 windows and the back side only has 2 which will force air thru.

Ron Patterson
Guest
Ron Patterson

i just can get over it does not have A/C

John Abraham
Guest
John Abraham

How long do you think you’ll be inside one?

Lori
Guest
Lori

When they get stuck, a long time

PAMELA DAVIS
Guest
PAMELA DAVIS

it said in the article 5 to 15 minutes depending on destintation

Randy Wilson
Guest
Randy Wilson

I dont think there’s a logical way to add AC to them. I’ve rode in many gondolas at ski resorts, its just a cable system moving along a track, there’s no place for permanent wiring for electric. Even solar panels wouldn’t be strong enough to run an A/C. I’m sure if there was a logical way, Disney would have made it happen.

JSnotorious
Guest
JSnotorious

It’s moving on a cable on a pulley system you can use that to generate power

Laura
Guest
Laura

they each have a power source since they will all have the safety spiel piped in.

Dan Uff
Guest
Dan Uff

Not too big for wheelchairs, is it?

Kathy M
Guest
Kathy M

As stated, they have some that are equipped to handle wheelchairs.

Matt O
Guest
Matt O

Can tell someone didnt read.

Tom Adams
Guest
Tom Adams

Not convinced at all. While moving I am sure it is fine. If you are stranded in one for hours due to some failure of the system or station it will be extremely not ok

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

These gondolas will be the most reliable transportation mode on property

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

This sounds like the comment of someone who has never been on a ski lift…

Allan
Guest
Allan

There are two backup generators. The first can run it at 90-95% of full speed and keep the system up and running, The second one runs at about 40% of full speed and would be used strictly to clear the line.

If both backups fail, in addition to regular power, the haul rope can be manually operated to clear the line.

Tom Adams
Guest
Tom Adams

I wonder if the gondolas were what made them make 31″ the max stroller size? My double was 32″ wide and fit everywhere at Disney that we needed it to go

Sandra A Green
Guest
Sandra A Green

Your stroller is now to large for the new rules. “As of May 1, 2019, a new stroller policy takes effect at all Disney parks, including Disney World. All strollers at Disney World must be no larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long.”

Austin Ray
Guest
Austin Ray

Doubt it. Strollers are a bigger issue in the parks than anything and with a huge surge in crowds they wanted to get ahead of it now.

Eugenio Rodriguez
Guest
Eugenio Rodriguez

But thousands of them created a lot of congestion in the parks

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Are you not aware of the new stroller policies released last month?

Cara
Guest
Cara

That’s exactly what he’s commenting on. The changes in policy.

James
Guest
James

I find it odd that Tom referenced the rule then had it pointed out to him multiple times…

I thought it was an interesting thought.

Anna Philbrick
Guest
Anna Philbrick

Still should have put some kind of cooling feature. The air circulation is great but when its 100 degree air its still super hot.

Ian
Guest
Ian

100 degrees… plus humidity

Pete C
Guest
Pete C

Technically speaking it pretty much never gets above 95 in Orlando. Typically the hottest months average 92 with vicious dew points. It feels like its 100 but it never actually gets that high. I mean you are going to be outside and hot to begin with anyway. Provided they are moving along with the shade it will easily be cooler in the gondolas than if you were outside walking in the parks. Now, if they stop…

Jane J Morris
Guest
Jane J Morris

I think they underestimate how much pause and stop that will be needed. Little tykes or older folks like myself. Just look at the buses for an example often they have one or two scooters and a dozen strollers….then us older folks (like myself) just don’t sprint up and move so fast. (as much as we would like too). There will be a lot of long pauses and they will get hot.

Thomas McCarthy
Guest
Thomas McCarthy

When they are in the station they have the doors open and move at a slow speed. If you look at videos from other systems around the world most people have plenty of time to board them. Unlike other systems though they have added a secondary load area where they can pull off a gondola for those that need extra time to load like a wheelchair or a scooter.

Stefanie
Guest
Stefanie

Don’t understand why they are allowing wheelchairs on this.. that will slow this down even more.

Steve S.
Guest
Steve S.

They have a separate line for disabled people like they have at Toy Story Mania where the vehicle gets loaded then joins the mainline.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Yeah, why don’t they keep all sick and disabled people out of Disney World entirely, just for you 🙄

MoiMoi
Guest
MoiMoi

Disabled are one thing. Overweight and lazy are another.

J D
Guest
J D

Yikes

Michael
Guest
Michael

Because if they didn’t they’d still have to run busses, otherwise get sued under ADA.

rachel
Guest
rachel

that’s an awful statement stefanie. I don’t know you, but chances are I can load onto this gondola faster than you. Im not slow and I use a wheelchair. Please think about the PEOPLE in wheelchairs before you say something like that.

Sandra A Green
Guest
Sandra A Green

Not sold on these gondolas. Florida in July/Aug./Sept. is brutal. 90* – 98% humidity, 10 people, their bags and crying kids, visitors who don’t use personal hygiene products, not a good picture especially without A/C. I live in Miami and you won’t catch me on these.

Delia M Leon
Guest
Delia M Leon

And don’t forget the Orlando super thunderstorms. Not well thought out in my South Floridian opinion. I’m with you only ride in the spring.

Jack Bridges
Guest
Jack Bridges

LOL….Delia, thank goodness you are here to tell Disney they haven’t thought something out! Sheesh, can you loan me a million?

Heidi
Guest
Heidi

I live in WPB & I’m thinking it will feel like idling along in rush hour traffic at 11 mph with my car windows rolled down…and that’s not comfortable at all (& the windows are tinted, it helps but not that much). Add that to sitting side-by-side with hot/sweaty visitors. I’ll pass & leave room for those in love with these things.

Tara
Guest
Tara

Yes yes yes. This!!! Lived in South Florida all my life. Do not see how this is going to work with no A/C!

Janet Betz
Guest
Janet Betz

Hot, humid air at 11mph does not sound comfortable. What about the times when they may be stopped!

Robert
Guest
Robert

They wont he stopped in the air. There is a method to slow down when loading and unloading if needed. It will be fine.

Ian
Guest
Ian

The power can go out Robert, takes quite a bit to run these

Joelk
Guest
Joelk

There are backup generators. I don’t know what Disney went with, but many systems of this type have 2 backup systems: one can support normal operations at full speed, and an entirely separate one to run at slow speed just to evacuate.

Pete C
Guest
Pete C

Actually any breeze feels amazing when it is hot and humid out. People are sweating already, so when any breeze comes along it will provide a cooling effect. Add to that the reflective glass providing shade. If you are in the shade in Florida with a breeze you are pretty comfortable.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I’m not here to add any value to the discussion. I’m just here to hate and complain about something I’ve never ridden.

Someone That Knows Better
Guest
Someone That Knows Better

Disney: The newest Disney attraction is just Bob Iger taking your wallet and punching you in the throat

This genius: Bah! All of these plebs complaining about something they’ve never ridden! They don’t know if it will be good or bad! They should just not voice their opinions like I don’t voice mine ever!

Scott Lombardo
Guest
Scott Lombardo

Lol. Right? I’m willing to try them first before judgement. The lack of A/C was a concern but perhaps a slow, hot, humid 11mph breeze might prove me wrong. Stay tuned…. :)

Frank
Guest
Frank

Just wait for the first initial guinea pigs to ride.

Paolo
Guest
Paolo

IMO, Disney has made yet another poor decision choosing this system… In terms of comfort and efficiency it will not get the job done… For the sake of moving large amounts of people all over WDW an elevated train system was the way to go… An El can be expanded upon fairly easily and would have been a wonderful homage to Walt Disney himself who loved trains!!!

Jack Bridges
Guest
Jack Bridges

Paolo, Disney has made another poor decision? Earth to Paolo, Earth to Paolo, come in Paolo…..You must work at Universal.

MICHAEL F GUSELLA
Guest
MICHAEL F GUSELLA

… You mean like a monorail?

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Will these run when it’s raining?

Thomas McCarthy
Guest
Thomas McCarthy

Probably as there isn’t really any reason for it to not be.

Jason p
Guest
Jason p

There’s reasons not to … lighting

Jack Bridges
Guest
Jack Bridges

Jason P. The lighting will be fine, Lightning on the other hand is a concern!

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

Why would they not?

David
Guest
David

I thought the same thing. Only mesh windows? This will be the wettest ride in the parks…lol.

Delia M Leon
Guest
Delia M Leon

That’s why they say it won’t be hot🌞! They are counting on the🌨🌩 rain.🤣 But what about December and January coldddd 🌬❄nights?

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

I’d guess it’d be no cooler than riding the boats from MK to the resorts (which we’ve done several times in January and BRRRR!!!) BUT we’re from MN, so even a cold night at Disney is better than being at home! :-)

Joelk
Guest
Joelk

The windows tilt out, so rain will be directed away from the cabin.

Cindy Staber
Guest
Cindy Staber

Almost all the time it rains here there’s lightening and thunder, which is almost every day in the summer and I wouldn’t want to be in one of these during one of our storms here. These gondolas were a bad decision. They should have extended the monorail system. I don’t know where they think there’ll be an 11mph breeze in July and August. It’s stagnant 90+ degrees until the afternoon rains.

Mark E
Guest
Mark E

the gondola moves at an average 11mph, hence the ‘breeze’ as air passes through the compartment – the actual physics will vary as the speed varies, the compartment will have deflection and is not a straight passage and takes no account of any actual breeze….

Pete C
Guest
Pete C

First, the intense, daily summer thunderstorms here typically last only 10-20 minutes. Longer sustained rains are typically not accompanied by lightning the entire time. Second, lightning is well monitored. Just like at a waterpark, they can get everyone off the slides and out of the pools well before lightning strikes. These gondola trips are only a few minutes long, so likewise they know exactly when they have to stop boarding the last gondolas so people are off the line before they need to stop service. Nobody is going to get stranded on one of these things in a thunderstorm. Finally,… Read more »

David Loyd-Hearn
Guest
David Loyd-Hearn

London is full of rain and doesn’t affect us. Though we do not have the lightening storms that Fla gets

Randy Wilson
Guest
Randy Wilson

Rain won’t be a problem, high winds will be. As an avid snowboarder, I’ve been on many gondolas, and they often shut them down when its very windy.

Awesome Amy
Guest
Awesome Amy

If it’s JUST rain, yeah, no worries. When the wind kicks up to a certain MPH, I’m sure they’d close it down (I’d say 30mph?). If there’s lightning, yeah, they’d close it down.
Most storms in FL are rain, rain, rain, WIND, LIGHTNING, WIND, rain, rain, rain… they won’t be down long.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Withholding final judgment until I’ve had a chance to ride, but my initial thoughts are hot and humid air blowing at me even at 11mph is not fun and what about when they stop and the air stops moving? AND they will stop with all the wheelchairs, strollers, ecv’s…. If they say 15 minutes ride, best count on 30

Justin
Guest
Justin

It would be helpful if you did some research before commenting. The system comes to a complete crawl while in the station, giving nearly everyone time to board – even those with mobility issues. This negates any reason for it to be stopped. Further, for those in wheelchairs or needing that extra time, there is a separate loading platform where the gondolas are removed from the line entirely (much like Toy Story Mania). Also, you do realize Disney had an operating gondola system in Florida for 25 years, right? Nobody asked for A/C then. Also, do you ask for A/C… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Agree with this!

mk97
Guest
mk97

I think a lot of people made up their minds long ago that they hate the Skyliner, and they refuse to alter their initial opinion. Most of their concerns are unfounded. Hong Kong’s summers are far worse than Florida’s and yet the lack of A/C isn’t a problem on it’s cable car.

Mike P
Guest
Mike P

Agreed. I’ve been on the one in Hong Kong in June which is actually worse than Florida’s June. Was it hot? Yep. No hotter than waiting in line to get on it and no hotter than when I got off and walked another 5 hours. It’s Florida people, it’s hot. Why have another 300 ozone depleting vehicles added to the mix? Just walk in 90% humidity for a few miles if you’re scared to ride these.

Bob
Guest
Bob

I do not believe that 11mph will do much to provide cooling ventilation. I can roll my car window down going down the interstate in the summer time in the south and it is NOT refreshing one bit. I can only imagine how bad these will be come summer. At least these may make the Monorails smell pretty good.

Gay Ellen Preston
Guest
Gay Ellen Preston

So don’t ride it

Bob
Guest
Bob

I dont plan on it!!!!

Justin
Guest
Justin

Due respect, your window open on the side of the car does not allow for ventilation directly into the vehicle, given the direction of travel. Do you ask for A/C on the Tomorrowland Speedway or the People Mover? Also, you do realize Disney had an operating gondola system for 25 years, right?

Bob
Guest
Bob

You do realize that everything you just mentioned is open air. None of them have a enclosed canopy on it like the new gondolas will.

Becky
Guest
Becky

Haven’t been worried ;)

Susan
Guest
Susan

I love this kind of transportation and the line will be short due to all those people who are against it.

Steve
Guest
Steve

10 people with no A/C for 15 minutes sounds like some people are going to be ill.

Awesome Amy
Guest
Awesome Amy

I’m thinking – hoping – that it will be more of a personal thing… like Steve’s Family gets to ride in Gondola #1. Bob’s Family in #2. Susie’s Family in #3. Not Bob+Susie+Steve ALL in one Gondola.
Maybe if Bob and Susie’s family are 4 total people, they might share a gondola, but I don’t see a “Shove ’em in there!” scenario playing out.

Kts
Guest
Kts

Does the skylines take ECV scooters as it would be nice if it caters for all

Ron Patterson
Guest
Ron Patterson

Now there’s something that needs to be delt with in the parks…..Scooters

Joelk
Guest
Joelk

Yes, it will. Cabins will stop in a separate boarding area for wheelchairs, etc.

Greg
Guest
Greg

For those saying g it needs AC, every time it leads unloads any coolness would be gone, by the time it cooled u would be getting out. It would need to have closed windows so no ventilation

Alfonso
Guest
Alfonso

Did Disney look into extending the monorail?

Allan
Guest
Allan

Monorail is something like 100 times more expensive per linear foot than a gondola system.

The Skyliner capacity is equal to a full monorail leaving every five minutes.

Awesome Amy
Guest
Awesome Amy

Great point!