Now that the Disney Skyliner gondolas are all finally unwrapped, they’re finally getting a breather in the heat.
Rising temperatures in Orlando means it’s time to test just how well this passive ventilation technology really works. Today on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios line, all gondolas had their vents fully opened during testing:
You can see that there’s three vents on the front of the gondola, two larger ones on the back, and one on the side. The vents open up about 90 degrees to allow for better airflow, not unlike old-school Jalousie windows that are common in so many older Florida homes.
(The main advantage to these is the ability to be left partly open during heavy rain while still allowing air flow. This has yet to be tested once it starts raining sideways, as is the norm during Florida storms.)
The windows may seem tiny from afar, but a closer look at a Skyliner gondola shows that they’re much larger than they seem. The vents seem to take up about half the gondola exterior on each side.
As we got to see during a tour of the gondola interiors, that bottom strip below the Disney Skyliner logo also acts as a lower ventilation system, with perforated panels embedded within.
Testing might include unseen thermometers inside each gondola gauging max temperatures throughout the journey down the line and back.
Whether these passive ventilation windows will be able to be controlled from the inside, by the Skyliner operators remotely, or simply flap around at the mercy of the day’s relentless winds is still unknown, but the more we get to see of them, the more our fear of melting subsides.