REVIEW: The Disney Skyliner Gondola System is a Really Fun and Terribly Frightening New Way to Get Around Walt Disney World

So, I finally rode on the Disney Skyliner gondola system. After all of the speculation, the worry, the people who told me it would be air-conditioned and that I was wrong, today marked my very first trip aboard Walt Disney World’s “Most Magical Flight on Earth” (as the on-board narration calls it.) We took one ride on each line of the system and I’ve compiled my thoughts below for you:

The character decals on the gondolas turned out to be a pretty bad idea. While they are awfully cute from the outside, they ruin the views from inside and any chance of taking cool pictures or video of the breathtaking views. Just watch the video below to see what I mean. You can view what it’s like to board and ride along each line in our video post here.

This review won’t be all negative, and honestly, I think there are a lot of positives to the Skyliner, too. The views, when not obscured, are mostly great. An aerial view of Epcot from behind World Showcase filled me with child-like glee. Seeing Spaceship Earth across the World Showcase lagoon brought back memories of old television specials and vacation planning videos which showed similar views recorded from a helicopter. Mind you, you do see some stuff that you probably shouldn’t, and the mostly un-themed, very green show building for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot is the greatest oversight of them all. You come very close to it, almost passing over it in fact. It really kills the sense of immersion, especially since you’re disembarking moments later and might be taking a short jaunt to the Parisian pavilion within minutes.

 

 

 

 

Flying over roadways, lakes, and more evokes the magic of the monorail at times, while bringing back some nostalgic memories of the Skyway that once soared over The Magic Kingdom. Those similarities do come with the same problems the Skyway presented, though. If you are afraid of heights, I can’t imagine a scenario where you will be OK riding this. It gets quite high above the ground at some points, and the glass surroundings offer you nowhere to hide from the outside view. If you are prone to motion-sickness, you may want to think twice about riding for prolonged periods. They are gondolas hanging from a wire, so they do sway in the wind and the exit and reentry at stations can be a bit rough. Those who are claustrophobic might also find issue being sealed in a glass box in the sky. While they were not pairing groups today, it would be idiotic to think that there will never be a line long enough for Disney cast members to pack up to 10 guests inside one of these gondolas. They pack buses, boats, and monorails full of guests, why would this be any different?

The gondolas stay in motion while loading, but at a slow-enough speed where I think guests of nearly any age will be able to board with ease. The benches inside are comfortable, but the decision to have them facing inwards is a strange one considering how much Disney has advertised the views from inside. Instead, you’ll awkwardly face the folks across from you, with your only view not obscured coming from side windows or the smaller glass portals on the doors. A center bench with seating on both sides would have sat just as many guests and solved this view issue.

The hub at Caribbean Beach has three lines loading and unloading within feet of each other.

A cast member preview doesn’t offer the best idea of how long or short lines will be at the stations on a typical day, but the intersection of guests at the hub at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be interesting to watch. Every line converges here and there are small queues ready to hold guests at each line. The gondolas also continually load like the Peoplemover or any Omnimover-style ride, but that also means the entire line stops if something goes wrong (guest standing up, fails to load in time, etc.). Wheelchairs, ECVs and such load at special platforms that then merge onto the existing lines, so there will be no hold-up there, nor rush for these guests with special needs to get onboard quickly.

The audio spiels inside each gondola are pretty annoying. Why do we need a constant “musical ding” to tell us that the announcer has something to say when it’s going to be that constant? Can’t we just hear it the once before she begins her initial announcements? Otherwise, the spiel is a nice touch, giving facts and quick tips along the way, in very similar style to the Walt Disney World Monorail.

In the video, you can hear some wind noise, and that’s because the passive ventilation system works… for the most part. The motion of the gondolas and the many open vents provide more than enough cooling power for a 78-degree day. That being said, the one time we stopped for about 20 seconds and when we slowly passed through the turn station at Disney’s Boardwalk, it got pretty hot. I don’t mean it just got warm, it got awfully muggy and noticeably harder to breathe. Today is not one of the hotter days Orlando will experience throughout the year, and it is undoubtedly going to lead to issues if the system stops for any lengthy amount of time with guests onboard. If this thing stops for any length of time over a few minutes on a day hotter and more humid than today, I think Disney is in for some serious trouble. Our short stop on the way back to Hollywood Studios in direct sunlight was scary, and there was only three of us in the cabin, to boot. I am genuinely afraid of getting stuck in one of these in July, and that is not some anti-Disney rhetoric created just to spite current management (because I’m sure someone will claim that it is and that when they stopped it was perfectly cool in their gondola.) An immobile glass box in the sky in Central Florida is going to get warm. I’m not sure how it couldn’t.

All in all, if you don’t have the aforementioned phobias, the Disney Skyliner is fun and a really cool way to see Walt Disney World. If it keeps at full speed, it’s a fast way to get around, too. It undoubtedly increases the value of staying at Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and the soon-to-open Riviera Resort, offering an alternative to the mostly unreliable Disney World bus system.

Unlike the buses, it is also more of an attraction, at times feeling a special as riding monorails or various watercraft around the Vacation Kingdom of the World. If it can keep cool, the Disney Skyliner is sure to become a guest favorite for decades to come. Well, as long as you don’t mind the heights…

 

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          1. Did they HEAVILY advertise the view? There’s still a view regardless. A bench in the middle would have required a completely different cab design. Just to get a marginally better view.

      1. No, the bench wouldn’t be able to go wall to wall. There would have to be room in front of the door for guests to go to either side. At most, it would hold 8 people. And there wouldn’t be a space large enough to hold strollers or wheelchairs like there is when the leg space is in the middle.

      2. Could you imagine leaning back against hot sweaty people on a center bench, especially if there are bigger people, it would be unavoidable. And while adults could do their best not to touch too much, kids don’t have that spacial concept. I’m super glad there is not a center bench

  1. Pretty excited to ride this during our upcoming trip – and if fear keeps the lines down…so much the better for me! ;)

    1. It will be closed indefinitely after the accident. I think you should be glad you weren’t one of those stuck up in the air for 3 hours.

    1. We rode the skyline with one of the Disney maintenance girls that works on the Gondolas. I asked her the same question. As far as she knew, there were no plans to expand the skyline to other parks or other hotels.

      1. I agree with you Tom and completely understand what you are saying with the marketing. Not sure what the other readers on here are misunderstanding.

        1. No one’s disagreeing with his take on the marketing. What people have an issue with is that Tom said, “the decision to have them facing inwards is a strange one,” and that a “center bench with seating on both sides would have sat just as many guests,” when there are obvious design reasons for the inward-facing benches (such as wheelchairs, strollers, etc.), and the assertion that a center bench would seat just as many people is simply not true.

    1. An empty center is also much easier to board and unboard passengers. And the doorway doesn’t need be as wide.

      1. First line of the article: “So, I finally rode on the Disney Skyliner gondola system.” He then goes on to very specifically discuss the specifics of what he likes and dislikes. You could read before commenting?

        1. Amy, if that’s in reply to me I wasn’t questioning Tom or his article. I was asking Timothy. He acts like this was written as a paid article by Disney but didnt say what he didnt agree with.

      2. Yes I rode it. We had a group of three and were placed with another group of three or four each different ride. We stopped for five minutes in the heat and it was warm but comparable to being in the shade outside. The decals were there to keep it cool and you couldn’t see them from the inside. You enter from the middle so it would be impossible to have seats there. The ride is very smooth and really enjoyable.

    1. Hey Timothy Scott Loser. It’s an opinion of his experience on the Skyliner. Start your own blog and write your own opinion of it if you don’t like it. In fact, no one is forcing you to read “these articles”, so just don’t.

      1. Real creative. I’m just tired of people making it popular to complain about everything Disney does. And I will stop reading thanks

  2. <>

    If the author’s description of a stop and slow down on a 78 degree day is accurate, then I hate to imagine the effect of a stop on a 95 degree day with 95% humidity. This could easily be overwhelming for small children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory and/or cardiac problems.

  3. I’m curious why you feel the buses are mostly unreliable? Sure, they’re not the most glamorous and certainly not the most nostalgic, but they are the most reliable transportation in property. Monorails go down multiple times per week or even per day, boats can’t run in inclement weather, and the same will be said with the Skyliner. Buses are what bails the other modes of transportation out and never stop running.

      1. But, again, inclement weather and the boats, ferry boats included, shut down. Buses never stop running and takes care of the monorails, boats, and soon to be gondolas when they shut down for whatever reason. They may run behind at times, but that doesn’t make them less reliable. The ferry boats go between two places, not every park and resort.

  4. Thank you for the warnings about the height and the heat. If this thing ever gets stuck on a hot, humid day, I feel really sorry for the passengers.

    1. My family ride the skyline a half dozen times last week. Was a bit jarring at first. I’m not great with heights and neither is my daughter. When the gondola stopped mid flight, about 150 ft up, presumably to let someone off at the station who needed help, my heart practically stopped. It was the furthest thing from relaxing and my daughter was seconds away from a panic attack. Luckily we only hung there for 2 or 3 minutes before it began moving again. Not fun when it stops. It stops often enough to give me reservations about it.

  5. Pretty much confirms my suspicions. Those who choose to ride this thing had better be prepared for a LOT of stops. Between families having to coax a little kid to get on, people getting on and then tripping/stumbling/having to wait for other people to sit down and preventing the doors from closing, and wise-guy teenagers jamming the doors on purpose, those gondolas are going to be halting every couple of minutes. And if they stop, you’re stuck in an oven with no moving air for who knows how long.

    I can’t believe Disney didn’t run a few cars on the hottest day of the summer with a thermometer inside, to determine that the interior temperatures were tolerable even if the gondolas were stopped for a significant length of time. So many people who go to Disney have heart or breathing problems. How long until somebody has a real medical crisis on one of these things because they’re trapped like a dog in a hot car? There’s no way to open the windows. There’s no way to let air in.

    And let’s not forget hurricane season and the stormy summer days when the Skyliner won’t be running BUT you’ll still be paying $50+ more for your hotel room because of it. Whee.

    1. The passive air system is precisely because there are ventilation windows that open. It’s no surprise that Disney has been extensively testing evacuation procedures–they know what to do to get people out, and I would bet they even know the ideal response time.

      That said, the Skyliner isn’t a unique system–it’s manufacturer has similar gondolas _without air conditioning_ worldwide.

      1. Yeah at ski resorts where’s it’s cold out not in 95-100 weather these things are death traps AC should honestly been required Ik in CA they would have been

  6. I agree that it will get hot in these boxes if the system stops for more than a couple minutes on a hot day. Another thing that worries me, and a time when I will avoid the Skyliner, is the chance of getting stuck on one with a bunch of drunks leaving Epcot at night (and possibly the chance of one of them throwing up in the box and being stuck until the next station).

    1. Fortunately, you should have sufficient heads up in advance whether it seems like Disney is combining groups. I wouldn’t necessarily expect it on an omnimoving loader, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. That said, the solution is entirely self-controlled: if a bunch of rambunctious drunks get in line behind you at Epcot, let them and several people pass–problem solved.

  7. I can’t imagine Disney will operate these saunas in the summer. I’d hope these are seasonal and they only run when the weather is cool enough. It only takes 10 minutes for a child to die of heat in a parked car, if these things break down in the May – August brutal heat — someone is going to get hurt. The last Disney skyride was shut down due to a fatality (of an employee).

    1. If you stop and think about it, the only real ‘sauna’ times would be an afternoon jaunt back to your hotel/resort, as mornings and evenings should have lower temperatures, yes? Also, since you’re already in the heat of the day, going from “outside” to “skyliner” shouldn’t be too much of a temperature difference.

      Also, we should probably stop thinking of the Skyliner as something that everyone is going to use after the initial opening. This is the equivalent of the “locals” line of the monorail. While the resorts it serves are quite large, they’re going to be the primary users. The only other “regular” users of the system will be park hoppers going from Studios to Epcot or vice versa.

      As for the former fatality, these gondolas have been used safely and reliably all over the world, including in mass transit applications such as what WDW is doing here. The three downsides are speed, distance limitations, and the necessity to transfer lines from one “pod/hub” to another “pod/hub.”

      But, unlike–say–the monorail when it was introduced, the Skyliner’s technology is proven. It’s not new. Dopplemayr has been building these things for decades. They are demonstrably reliable, comfortable, and practical for the use of moving a lot of people over short-to-medium distances.

      1. Orlando native and local here, there are plenty of 85-degree mornings and 90-degree evenings throughout the year, so it’s a bit naive to think only the afternoons will be overly hot in these things. The difference between being outside and inside a glass gondola is heat entrapment. While I agree with you that these are mainly going to be just a parlor trick and not a means of mass transportation for the crowds, it’s still concerning that these were designed without heating/cooling like many of the gondolas found at ski resorts and such.

        1. And the diminished temperature difference on a hot humid summer day doesn’t improve heat risk physically because a hot day also increases the likelihood some guests are already partially dehydrated.
          Stuck in a hot box for any significant time can induce anxiety and further hasten dehydration.

          If system stops become frequent in the summer, people will need to consider which option they prefer:
          -Drink plenty of fluid to offset potential dehydration
          -Don’t drink plenty of fluid so you don’t get stuck needing to pee up there!

  8. I hope they will add fans to the gondolas as I’m sure they will quickly over heat being in the sun all day. Also, I’m worried about how clean they will stay. People will leave their garbage, spill stuff and other human accidents.

  9. Tom- While I’m sure it hurts the view, do you think the wraps help keep the cabins cooler? And thanks for the videos.

      1. Agreed. We just returned home yesterday from Disney and rise the Skyliner four times. The wrapped pods do limit the view significantly. You can see through them to some degree, but it’s noticeable. Also, it’s hot all year long in Orlando – 90 plus every day we were there and it’s early October! And yes – when it stops for any reason it gets hot fast! Lastly – they are already combining groups. Not what we hoped for at all.

  10. I thought it was interesting they waited till Autumn to open the Skyliner. It certainly is several degrees cooler here now going into October.

    1. It’s possible they won’t run Skyliner midday next summer. Over a year that only reduces operation by 5-7%

  11. So the Skyliner services 4 resorts. All that money and the ugliness of the cables strewn all over WDW for 4 resorts??
    I saw the running times on line. For a 6am EMH opening at the Studios, they start up at 545am. Can only imagine the backlog of humanity waiting. Epcot is a bit better with the start-up an hour before opening.
    I don’t get it. Disney could have dedicated busses at every stop on the pick-up line and saved tons of money in doing so, not to mention the unsightliness of poles and cables everywhere.

    1. If you’ve ever ridden a gondola system that doesn’t I’d like to know. This is the best system I have seen hands down. I’m even more surprised they don’t rock like crazy going over the towers – something that is all too familiar when you ride the tram/gondola to Ober Gatlinburg at Gatlinburg, TN.

  12. It sounds like it is going to be just like I thought it was; multiple lawsuits! This was poorly-planned, just like everything else. When my husband and I were there one out of every three rides we went to on broke down. Then, I read about the monorail breaking down and the monorail doors falling off. ( inside the Contemporary ) I would not be one of the people getting inside of a Disney Death Box! Disney can’t even organize the construction. The rides are always broken, the monorail is not reliable and doesn’t use the air conditioner half the time. Trust me,I was there this past summer! With Disney not being able to maintain what they already have, I think people are nuts for getting inside of those gondolas! They don’t even spring for chocolates on the pillow at the Contemporary anymore! They’re cutting cost anywhere they can and they keep raising prices.
    Raising prices and making you walk to the entrance from the parking lot just isn’t going to work for me or anybody else that was there 10 years ago!
    Disney, good luck with your new death boxes.I hope you can survive it!

    1. Lawsuit from what on the Skyliner. I also highly doubt 1 in 3 rides were broke down. That doesn’t happen even on their worst day. “Death boxes” thats pretty laughable as they’re safer than driving, walking or taking the monorail.

      1. I was at Disney several years ago in July or August with my 5 year old, we were there for a week, several rides at magic kingdom stopped while we were on them….pirates of the carribean stopped twice both for at least 5 mins (may not seem a lot but it kills the magic) then we were stuck in the dining room of the haunted mansion for 10-15 mins as well as stopping inside splash mountain. I blame the stops on the water rides over crowding the parks and cramming people onto rides so the boats etc can hardly move. This problem cont throughout the week with rides stopping for various amts of time then restarting, sometimes more than once on some rides.

        1. My point is maybe rides dont break down where people need to get off but the park doesn’t run as smoothly as it used to, your paying more money for a less enjoyable experience and as someone who loves disney I actually prefer universal for quality and caring about guest satisfaction at this point. Thats my opinion.

      2. Well now we see what happens when they fail. Fortunately it was night and there were no serious issues. Next time in the middle of the afternoon in July you could have people in a serious situation. So as a Floridian I agree with the concept that they are potential “death boxes.”

      3. Lawsuits from overheating and if they stop in July there will be deaths it only takes 5-10 mintues to die in a hot car imagine these in 95 weather in the summer there death traps

  13. If you’ve been to bigger mountains for skiing, this is just atypical gondola design, two benches on each side facing inward. Traditionally, gondolas are a social place where you chat with other riders to kill the time until you get to the destination, but I get your point about the views. I guess if you’re seeing it as an attraction, not as transportation,, you’d be concerned about the views.

    My understanding is that from Carrib to Epcot is a single line, with a passthrough station at Riviera, right? You don’t need to switch cars at Riviera, right? Is the loading station at AOA on the bridge to Pop Century? I thought it was next to the little mermaid building at AOA?

  14. Tom, I do agree that the constant interruption of the spiel is annoying. If they are going to have a spiel, why not include some Disney trivia or more fun facts about the gondolas – instead of touting the latest and greatest or soon-to-be resorts. We get enough of those from all the DVC literature in our email and snail mail!

  15. I think Disney had to put some kind of window protection on the glass to keep the gondolas cooler and that would probably ruin the views (much like a car window has sun protection to darken the windows). To me, it looks like the character art on the outside is just to make that shading more attractive. In watching the video, what I noticed most was the passengers reflections, not the art. Appreciate you riding and giving us a view. I will likely not use it on my visits, but good to know what it is like.

  16. Agree with you Tom. In fact, I hate the wraps on any mode of transportation in WDW. We were riding the monorail a few weeks ago and weren’t going to Magic Kingdom on this trip. We happened to be on a Toy Story wrapped monorail and in a seat that was right by one of the characters. We were excited for the views of MK but the wrap screwed us. There is SO much to look at in WDW, why put something on the windows that would diminish that?

  17. Thank you Tom for turning the camera towards the Boardwalk Resort during your ride. You’re the 1st video I’ve seen where that was done thoroughly. As someone who often stays at the BW Villas, I really appreciate getting an idea about views of the Skyliner from some of it’s balconies.

    I really hope the people who are so bitterly concerned about the possible heat problems on the Skyliner stay away from riding. I will have no patience if I’m stuck onboard with one of those wimps should the line get stuck for 5-10 minutes and temperature start climbing.

    Hey weaklings….ride the bus!

    .

    1. I hope you now realize how foolish your comment really was. People were stuck in gondolas for three full hours. Not “5-10 minutes.” And how about not labeling people who might be disabled, have breathing problems, the elderly, small children, as “weaklings.” Better yet, let’s see how YOU do stuck in a gondola in full sun at high noon in July for three hours!!

  18. I would say the only the only thing I particularly agreed with in your review was the annoying bell before each announcement. Also it would have been better to have the fab 5 do the commentary.

  19. Most of you guys sharing your pessimistic thoughts here could be writing for SNL “Debbie Downer” skits. If you can’t say anything good about something don’t say it at all.

  20. Huge opportunity missed for a music soundtrack. For one, when departing a station and ascending into the sky, think of a soaring theme as you experience the sensation of speeding up and going up and up!

    Same for the “flight” throughout, something simple, atmospheric and background, maybe at times touching thematically on what you are “flying” over.

    Then when you descend into a station, another musical moment like in “Hook”, the “Return to Neverland Theme”, when Peter descends to Neverland.

    Some Imagineers must have pitched a score for this thing; not sure why we only have the Star Tours “airport” type announcement chimes.

    Lame.

  21. I never thought the view would have us sitting in the middle looking out, I just took the artwork to a fun thing. But I d agree that the art skin is going to wreck photo ops.

    The layout and style (passive venting) is the same as others I’ve ridden in Europe. These things work, but yes it can be a hot box.

    I have a fear of falling, rather than a fear of heights. So generally I feel OK in these, the only time I feel nervous is when it passes by a tower and bumps over the rollers.

    The part that would be annoying is getting off to switch lines. Going from Art of Animation to Epcot, do you have to switch at Caribbean and Riviera?

  22. I got a chance to experience it yesterday and was impressed. The cabins are spacious and the stations are nicely themed.
    We boarded around 8-10AM and it was a very cool day. We were stopped for about 5 minutes in direct sunlight and the cabin did get noticeably hot/stuffy. I would probably not ride in the afternoon on a summer day as it would probably get overwhelmingly hot if you were sitting idle for more than a few minutes.

  23. Looks like mostly views of backstage parking lots. Nothing terribly beautiful, interesting or magical about that. Thanks for advance look.

  24. I’m shocked about the comments. Is it really what the discussion is about? The heat? The motion? The safety?
    Gondola systems have been around for god knows how long. They travel through mountains, through cities, over water, in the heat, in the cold. And if one in the US – espacially at Disney – is built, people start worrying about safety? It’s not rocket science, folks! It’s a gondola system.

    The heat: IF (!) the gondola keeps the outside temperature, even if stopped, where’s the problem? You wait for Slinky Dog Dash in the burning sun (or at least underneath some umbrellas) in those same temperatures. And you might stand there in the heat for 30 to 60 minutes. But 10 minutes inside the gondola cabin might be too hot or damp or whatever? Sheeesh! BUT: Let’s wait until July. Maybe you are wrong about the temperatures, maybe I am wrong. Maybe we are all wrong and people might – I don’t know – freeze to death. Gondola systems are soooo unpredictable.

    The safety: Everyday you put your life in the “hands” of your car, its brakes, its wheels. And a car is a far far far more complicated system then a gondola system. Also while driving you have to rely on the skills of other drivers, that they don’t run a red light, that the traffic lights are working properly…. But a gondola feels dangerous?? Sheeesh!

    The motion: Okay, you’re at Disney. For what? The beaches? (What beaches?) No. The skiing slopes? (What skiing slopes?) No. You’re here beacuse it’s a cultural and historic landmark? Errr, no! You are here for the RIDES! Which MOVE! Sometimes even very FAST. And a goldola on a more or less linear path makes you sick….. Sheeesh!

    The crowds: Worried about drunk people in your gondola? Right! It’s like Pokemon Go. Certain Pokemon spawn only at certain spots. And it is known, that drunk people only appear inside gondolas. Never in busses, or monorails, or attraction queues. Or in your hometown. It is known.

    And please please please: is there any way to upload a drawing, why a center double-bench will most certainly will NOT fit the same number of people. Or a wheelchair. Or a stroller. And might be very bad for getting on and off the cabin. Sometimes words are not enogh. Sheesh…..

    1. If slinky broke down you can simply walk out of line you can’t when your 150 feet off the ground in a box with no AC if this thing stops in July there look at potential deaths from the heat AC should be required when your stuck 150 off the ground inside something with no air flow it’s extremely dangerous have you ever heard of hot car deaths these things are gonna be a nightmare for the company no reason to built something in Florida outside without AC that’s inexcusable and most of these things are built at ski resorts which is cold not in the heat in Florida

  25. I’ve read several comments on the internet wondering whether the gondola will float should it falls in water. Why don’t those people worry about the gondola falling 50 feet onto hard concrete? Or onto the highway with cars going at 60?

  26. Well Tom, it was obvious you went alone or in a small group with adults! Your complaints make sense if you were the average person going. Still a great review overall and nice video. I think larger parties going to the park and families with strollers will appreciate the seats being on the parameter and facing each other though— and for the all glass carts, great views will still be plenty visible. The dark cars that don’t show the outside as easily might be preferable for children or adults with a fear of heights.

  27. I’m finding it comical to read all these comments and the article itself, since everyone thinks they’re more knowledgeable than the Disney engineers. Sure, just like other things in the world, they may not be for everyone (i.e. people afraid of heights) but I really think Disney knows what it’s doing on this one. I look forward to my next visit when I plan to ride it. Thanks for referring to the bus system as “mostly unreliable” as that let me put the rest of your comments in perspective.

  28. I found your review to quite accurate at times but also very very overblown at other times. Yes the gondolas can sway in the wind but I had to really concentrate to notice when they did. Also, getting on and off I found to be the easiest and coolest part, so smooth. What I hated and completely agree with you on, as I am afraid of heights, is how the gondolas would sometimes stop mid trip for a moment or two. We would just be dangling there, at times 150 up. Uncomfortable for me but my daughter was a wreck….so scary for her.

  29. Thanks Tom. I rode it last week and was talking to a few of the cast members. The amount of wheel chairs and ECV’s were largely underestimated in the planning of all of this. While they do have the extender for the cabs and line to keep them out of the way of the normal flow, it quickly gets backed up. Especially unloading. The larger ones especially have a harder time backing out. As you well know on the Epcot line there are 3 places in which they may have to stop the entire thing for. There is a rapid increase in the amount of wheel chairs year over year. Now if this had been Tokyo it would work great because there are hardly anyone with wheel chairs or ECV’s. I went this summer. Apparently getting them out the other night when they evacuated was an event in itself. So I wonder if that is under review. Also when I rode last week they had cast members that wouldn’t let us get off at the Rivera station because we staying in Aruba at the Caribbean beach resort. They said it was faster to go to the Caribbean beach station and walk. They were very wrong there. Then other times they would let us off. So true cast members are still very green.

  30. Well, NOW we know exactly what the problem is with the gondolas. If you’re reading this comment months from now, there was an October accident/malfunction/God only really knows what that caused gondolas to be stuck up in the air for three hours. THREE HOURS. Now imagine this at high noon on a July day with 10 people tightly packed into each one. I just don’t understand what Disney was thinking here. But the skyliner system is definitely going to be closed for awhile!!

  31. We rode on opening day, and I could not agree with you more regarding the problem Disney is going to face in the heat of Summer. When we rode from CBR to AoA/PC, they loaded my group of two in our own gondola and that trip was fine. On our ride from CBR to Riviera/Epcot, the queue was very long so they were filling each gondola as full as possible. We ended up with a group of six other adults, so eight adults total, and it was uncomfortable from the moment we stepped in. That was before we stopped three times along the route, which took us a total of 40 minutes, much longer than it should take. Two of our stops were less than five minutes each, and one was, well…. much longer. It was 88 degrees outside that day, and it became unbearable in our gondola. I personally would refuse to board with that many people again. I also would not board without full bottles of water for everyone in my party (even with the emergency water available). This is going to be no joke in the heat of Summer.

  32. Thanks for the review. This is giving me pause about staying at the Riviera resort. Don’t want to rely on the gondola system. Think we are better off elsewhere.

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