Walt Disney World sets opening season for Skyliner gondola system for fall 2019

Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2018 8:04 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the blog:

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, announced that Disney Skyliner will be ready to begin transporting guests at the Walt Disney World Resort beginning fall of 2019!

As many of you know, this new state-of-the-art gondola system will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Read more from Disney Parks Blog.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:22 PM

this seems, even for Disney, to be a long time to get this thing up and running.

As a non-local, is there anything inherently unusual about either this version of the conveyance system, the location, or geotechnical issues that makes this thing take so long to construct? Is there some bit of waiting for hotel construction to finish in order to open it "all at one time".

It's essentially flat land, so I'm at a loss as to what's taking so long.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:23 PM
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Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:46 PM

Wild-A**-Guess: Disney generally tries to avoid doing things in/near a theme park when the park is open. That might be slowing down the Epcot and Studios stations, which in turn slows down the whole project.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:53 PM

Diana said she or someone she knew saw them stringing cable. The stations and turns looked like they were nearly ready, which is to say that they appeared to have the mechanicals in place before they put sides and roofs on them. Does anyone know which manufacturer is doing it? That company that does the big ski lift installations had an enormous booth at IAAPA this year.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:31 PM

Brian Noble said:

Wild-A**-Guess: Disney generally tries to avoid doing things in/near a theme park when the park is open. That might be slowing down the Epcot and Studios stations, which in turn slows down the whole project.

Normally I would agree, but a random google image search turned up an August 2018 pic of the Epcot station with siding going up. While obviously not completed, it certainly looked closer to being "nearly ready" than "still needs a year (!) to go".

Maybe they're just trying to link it to the expected opening of Star Wars, but it just seems like the timeline is much longer than one would expect.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:44 PM

The system is certainly a novelty, but I do expect that it will help move people around. The boats are always too crowded, and you can almost walk it faster with all of the stops. Having a single entrance now to DHS may make parking a little less messy, too.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 4:53 PM

DoppelMayr is the company that does 95% of the ski lifts I've bothered to pay attention to. I think I remember them trying to get into the thrill ride business at some point.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:11 PM

On YouTube I came across a video with a section of it testing. It’s only one of the arms with no gondola attached, it’s at night, and it’s the leg that heads toward DHS.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:16 PM

Now it seems even more strange that they've got almost a year to go.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:44 PM

I don't see how it takes a year either. Admittedly, the videoed branch is one of the shorter ones, but even if it was the first one structurally (sans wires) complete, it has only been a few months since they started, and this branch is functional. It will not take 6 months to string the branch to Epcot. Could this a supply chain issue? I imagine this is a high gondola-count install compared to their average. Could it be that they just will not have enough gondolas manufactured before fall?

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:56 PM

Well, unless you want to hang from a belt loop. :)
And I reckon there’s all kinds of things keeping this at a slow pace, not the least of which would be the plethora of gondolas this lengthy system will require.
On our last visit, in February of 17, we noticed a lot of land clearing and prep as we drove along the roads, and I’m not sure at that point in time we were even aware what it was going to be.
I can’t wait to see it, but I’m not sure the way our visits run and where we stay will make it very convenient or necessary for us to use. Maybe if we go from Studios to EPCOT, but do I recall correctly that that’s going to be a long trip with several stops?

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:40 PM

RCMAC said:

Well, unless you want to hang from a belt loop. :)

In this forum, I think you could sell that as an upcharge quite easily. B-)

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 9:12 PM

Jeff said:
. Does anyone know which manufacturer is doing it? That company that does the big ski lift installations had an enormous booth at IAAPA this year.

Yes, the Skyliner is a Doppelmayr product.

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Friday, November 16, 2018 6:33 PM

If the gondola supply was an issue, I'm sure they could open in stages or with limited gondolas.

By the way, we got to try out the big one on Lantau Island in Hong Kong last year. The capacity seemed pretty high all things considered.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018 5:41 PM

Random question.... Anyone know if these things are going to be air conditioned? If not, that could potentially be a pretty stuffy ride in the Florida heat.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018 8:03 PM

Nope. Passive air cooling through the vents in the front and back.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018 8:30 PM

I would guess something very simple; they're just not in any hurry to get it fully functional. With all the incredible new things coming to the park in the next few years, I would bet all they really care about is getting to up and running before Galaxy's Edge opens up.

What's the rush?

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Sunday, November 18, 2018 9:53 PM

Not air conditioned? Seriously? Are they open then without windows, cage-style?

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Sunday, November 18, 2018 10:29 PM

Not air conditioned? Wow. Passive air ventilation doesn’t do much when you’re pushing hot, humid air through...

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Monday, November 19, 2018 8:07 AM

That is strange.
And I saw a photo of the “first” gondola to arrive somewhere and it was wrapped, like some do to the windows of a city bus, with the usual Disney art all over it. And that’s all well and good, except it would be impossible to see into the interior of the cabin from the ground or even as it approached a terminal. Eh, maybe it was just a one-off for promotional purposes. And I hope so, because that seems like a bad idea.

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