skyliner evacuation 3
A Skyliner Evacuation took place this weekend

Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue Raised Concerns Weeks Before Saturday’s Disney Skyliner Accident at Walt Disney World

The story behind the Disney Skyliner incident continues to unfold, as a new report by WESH revealed previous concerns from Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue staff about the Disney Skyliner.


The primary concern, according to union leaders, is the lack of staffing as Disney continues to push the boundaries of public safety with new attractions. The Skyliner had been open a mere six days before emergency calls related to the Disney Skyliner accident went out around 8:30pm last Saturday.

Sean Pierce, of the Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue union said,

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“We’ve gotten lucky! And we need to stop pushing our luck. If this had been between noon and 4 p.m. and you had 100 cars with anywhere from four to 10 people on each car and you have to extricate those people off of those vehicles, it’s going to take a long time and 32 people aren’t going to get it done.”

Pierce echoed the concerns expressed by many Guests via social media in the lead-up to the Skyliner’s opening. Roughly 30 of the 32 firefighters on call Saturday night were called onto property to assist with the Skyliner evacuations.

The Disney Skyliner remains closed after Saturday’s incident that left some Guests hospitalized. Disney’s official statement is that there was a “malfunction” on the system.

Stay tuned to WDWNT for the latest news on the Disney Skyliner and the rest of Walt DIsney World!

  1. From what I’ve read it appears that one of the gondola’s got stuck at the spur by the end of the station – exactly where the teal gondola is sitting. The spur is used to pull one gondola out of service to keep the line moving and it looks like it got stuck as it was passing the spur entrance. You can even see the spur in the picture – it’s the rectangle cutout in the roof. There are recent pictures after the incident that shows the gondola parked in the spur correctly so that they were able to restart the Epcot line to finish evacuations. Obviously it isn’t confirmed but it appears that’s where the problem started since one gondola is stuck right at the entrance to it instead of being pushed out onto the line with the rest of the gondolas backing up behind it.

    I’m really not sure why it took so long for CM’s to hit the E-Stop button either when they realized there was a problem.

  2. Call the management of Tokyo Disney to immediately take over the American management can’t handle even maintenance let alone big projects even after scaling it back.🐂💩 Mr. 🤖

  3. Let’s not get it twisted. The Skyliner has been in testing for months. It just so happens that there was an issue after it went live to the public. It was not built, then immediately opened and had an issue on day 6. It could have been tested for 6 months, and then had an issue on the first day of use. It’s engineering and technology – they are not without incident from time to time.

    1. Good point, it was tested but not a real world test. They could have and should have tested it at full capacity with people to simulate actual operations. That might have exposed the faults before opening to the public, both mechanical and operationally.

      1. I do not disagree with your statement. If they had tested prior at full capacity, perhaps it may or may not have lead to detecting there was a problem. I think this was just a matter of chance. My issue stems from the wording in this article, “The Skyliner had been open a mere six days…” It makes it sound like they threw up the Skyliner and started operating it on a whim. I wish it would have said, After several months of testing, the Skyliner experienced mechanical issues six days into it’s operation to the public.

      2. I doubt they were testing them dead empty all year. They most likely tested with water dummies to simulate weight like they do on roller coasters and other rides. Disney and other parks around the world do this and incorporate soft openings where it’s essentially open at full capacity but hours aren’t set and its usually not announced. I know they did this with guests and CMs for most of September – at least 2 to 3 weeks. But what good does that do if this accident happened as a result of say human error or a mechanical problem in the station as it appears to be?

  4. I saw the fire department near the Hollywood studios line right before cast previews with a ladder going up to a gondola and that was concerning to me before they even opened. I really hope they can fix whatever the issue is. They’re a fun addition to WDW

  5. No one was “hospitalized”, don’t exaggerate the story for attention…one person asked to be taken to the hospital to be checked out, they were NOT admitted this they were NOT “hospitalized”. No one was hurt, merely inconvienved by this breakdown

      1. I find it quite interesting (and slightly humorous) that your website can second guess, criticize, and otherwise talk condescendingly toward what Disney should or should not do, but when ANYONE does that to you or one of the other authors, you get incredibly defensive.

        P.S. When discussing the Skyliners, please be accurate and state that they opened to a mixed REVIEW (yours) and not reviews (PLURAL).


        An Objective Disney Fan

        1. Have you aggregated every review of the Skyliner on the internet? Because I would be supremely impressed. Also, I’m not sure you understand the difference between defensive and actually being willing to talk about such things with readers of the site. I notice most sites just post stories and then do no respond to comments or social media.

          It’s really easy to post responses like this with no real name or face, but I’m sure you are thew hero of your sub-sect of distwitter.

          1. Honestly I have read many reviews of it and they were all positive and loved it. Your review was the only one who had a mixed review so to speak. I could honestly count on one hand how many websites had a negative impression of the Skyliner. The inclusion of the tag at the end of every Skyliner article that it was met with negative reviews is rather dishonest. And from what I remember, your whole basis was over “lack of views” because they advertised the views. The other was the spiels which is rather minor and can be easily fixed. I also doubt anyone with a phobia (motion, heights, small spaces) would be unaware of it going into a ride on this so that cant be considered a negative either. In addition I’ve seen countless pictures taken from inside the Skyliner – a few on your own site here – that dont show the character wraps blocking views in the slightest. I like reading the park updates posted here but constantly using misleading headlines for clicks, and trying to push a narrative that the Skyliner opened to “mixed reviews” based on your ride during cast previews is disingenuous at best when the negatives are either non-existent or nonsensical to be counted as negatives.

            1. “They were all positive”, “I can count on one hand how many websites had a negative impression” would lead to “mixed reviews”. Mixed reviews means some are good, some are not. It’s not a reference to balanced reviews individually pointing out good and bad things.

              It is very easy to sit at home and try to degrade the work we do down to “titles made to get clicks” or “they only said this for clicks”. I’m pretty certain at this point that I could write any title and that’s all the few detractors will say.

              Also, believing that all positive reviews are sensible and all negative are not doesn’t really lend a lot of credibility to your argument. Me citing mixed reviews represents that both sides exist, you’re trying to disregard anyone who wasn’t a fan. Also, there’s a full video from inside a wrapped gondola in our post if you actually read it.

          2. I appreciate the fact you’re willing to engage your readers. But, I must admit, after decades of being a Disney fan, I’m becoming more and more skeptical of the company, its leadership, competence, and direction; so perhaps I am too willing to appreciate anyone not blindly accepting of Disney’s spin. My bias.

  6. How can I get an answer to a civilized and well thought out question on Twitter?

    If a power outage or an other incident caused a full stop of the Disney Skyliner, how long would it take to evacuate 300 cars with 3000 persons hanging precariously on a wire?

    1. I’m guessing that a major variable would be how long it would take Disney to decide to call in outside help, and then whatever other calls that outside help might have to answer if the problem affected areas outside the Park, or even other areas and rides within the Park. That said, Disney would be derelict if they don’t have backup plans in place to deal with any emergency that can be reasonably foreseen.
      I also suspect, but am only guessing, that the removal is far more hazardous than being stuck inside the gondola, assuming the cabin temperature, etc. remained habitable. It would be an unusual situation where a gondola hanging from the wire would in itself be “precarious”.

  7. Here’s my “take it for what it’s worth…” My biggest respects to this site. WDWNT is passing on the info how news(and I use the term loosely) outlets are reporting it. Don’t shoot the messenger. There are AP standards and not all outlets adhere. I was a tv news producer so I’m pretty familiar. The term “hospitalized” is thrown around A LOT and incorrectly. It’s a term used if EMS transports anyone to the hospital and he/she stays overnight as opposed to being released after a few hours(i.e. admitted to a bed/hospital room even for 24 hr observation). Some outlets use it for any situation where EMS transports to the ER. Some outlets correctly use it if the person was admitted. Also keep in mind, PR people may issue a blank “he/she was hospitalized” and not TRULY know how to use the term(sad but true). Anyway. A lot of people are upset saying “big deal. Because it’s Disney everyone is blowing it out of proportion. These gondolas are used all over the world and if there is an issue it doesn’t get blasted across the media, etc.). Very true. However, with the way Disney is cutting corners, claiming losses in park revenue, rushing projects while the big wigs still make millions…something like this deserves to get blasted. Disney needs to stop putting profit before anything else otherwise it will get blasted and put under a microscope.

  8. Reedy Creek fire rescued 1 gondola in 3 hours. It’s time for Disney to outsource its boutique fire department to Orange and Osceola counties. RCFD dogged the rescue to improve its contract negotiation position.

    1. @Jeremiah, you don’t know if the Reedy Creek Fire Dept (RCFD) did that on purpose, unless you work for them. Do you work for them, and were you there on scene? If not, yours is just an opinion, not fact.

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