PHOTOS: Disney Skyliner’s EPCOT Line Experiencing Frequent Downtime

If you’ve attempted to ride the EPCOT line of the Disney Skyliner at any point this month, you probably walked over to the International Gateway station or Caribbean Beach station only to find that the particular line was down. You might’ve also booked a reservation at Disney’s Art of Animation or Pop Century Resorts with the intent to hop on a gondola and travel to EPCOT, only to have to take a bus halfway from Caribbean Beach station. (The same might play out at Disney’s Riviera Resort once it opens.) The fact of the matter is, the EPCOT line experiences more downtime than any of the other routes on the Disney Skyliner.

The line is down again today. Signs posted outside of the International Gateway redirect guests to use bus service back to their resorts, or they can otherwise walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It’s been six weeks since the Disney Skyliner accident took place at Walt Disney World. As you probably are aware, multiple gondolas were seen crashed into each other and numerous guests were stranded in the air for over two hours, stuck inside of the gondolas.

The fledgling transportation system has seen adjusted hours and a fair amount of downtime since it returned to service, with the majority of downtime affecting the line on which the accident took place. Despite its high guest capacity and the vast infrastructure built specifically for the Disney Skyliner, it is proving to be no more reliable than the current boat, bus, and Monorail transportation already in place.

We’ll continue to monitor the status of the Disney Skyliner’s operation across the resort for any future updates.

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  1. Wow. I can’t imaging how annoying it would be for guests to walk to the skyliner entrance at the back of Epcot only to learn that it is closed and that they need to walk all the way back to the front of the park to get a bus. I hope there is a way they can know that without walking all the way back there, like maybe signs posted around the park? I’m surprised that something as seemingly straightforward as a sky ride is presenting such problems but I am confident Disney will figure it out.

  2. I stayed in the Carribean Beach resort last weekend and even though we did see the Epcot line down once it was available ever other time we needed it. As a season passholder I loved this transportation and am excited to make use of it often.

  3. Just came back from a week at WDW during which we used Skyliner frequently between Hollywood Studios and EPCOT and didn’t experience a single incident of downtime.

  4. I don’t know if it’s accurate to say no more efficient than buses. It’s already moved millions of people. Hopefully they are ironing out the bugs and we can end up at a nice equilibrium of operational hours.

  5. Yup, ran into that issue last Sunday, coming from AoA, had to go to Hollywood, take ferry to Beach Club and walk over. It’s the “extra boarding time” pullout thing that’s having the issue. Gondolas aren’t designed to pull in and out of line so frequently. I think they’re going to have to stop using that feature if they want the skyliner to run properly.

  6. We are at Disney right now and I was skeptical about the new transportation system. I am here to say… IT IS INCREDIBLE! Quick, efficient, and so much better than being packed on a bus with cranky guests. I only wish they would open it earlier for extra magic hours. During our trip it opened 30 minutes before the park that we were going to. We like arriving earlier to get closer to the front.

  7. We are staying at Pop next week and specifically booked it months ago to use the Skyliner. Is Disney doing anything to make it up to guests like us if the skyliner is down?

  8. Didn’t they raise the rates at Disney’s Art of Animation or Pop Century Resorts because it has gondola access?

    When it’s not working, it sucks to be paying a premium over the All-Star resort rates.

  9. Strange they are having so many problems. We stayed at AOA a little over three weeks ago and used the Skyliner often without any down time problems, other than one evening leaving Epcot when a thunderstorm was imminent.

    I hope they get it sorted soon. It really was a convenient way to get to the World Showcase and HS.

  10. These sorts of gondola systems are in use all over the world. What is special about the WDW ones that is causing them to break down? Did Disney take shortcuts in materials or construction? Is the Orlando weather to blame? Under-staffing? Is it the same curse that causes the WDW bus system to be so awful? Or is it simply test and adjust pains? Does anyone the symptoms of what is causing them to be down? I’m assuming if someone knew the cause it would have been fixed by now.

    1. It’s the extra time/ADA mechanism, it pulls gondolas on and off line, very unique for a gondola structure, doesnt work well.

  11. I’ve been curious how the system works that keeps the site of the cable constant but allowed the gondolas to slow at the stations and turns, as I’m used to static chair lifts. This video seems to address that, and the gondolas here look very similar.

  12. Patience… Patience. This is a first of it’s kind type of system and there are many bugs which can’t be worked out until it has run awhile under normal service.

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