Walt Disney World’s Skyliner, a gondola system designed to ferry guests to and from select resort hotels and theme parks, opened this past weekend to little fanfare, but what few guests took time to experience it have given it rave reviews.
As USA Today reports, the Skyliner systems consist of about 300 gondolas suspended from wires, not unlike what you would see in Europe ferrying sightseers to the tops of Alpine peaks. Only instead of ferrying guests to the tops of the Alps, the system ferries guests no more than about 40 or so feet above the ground, to and from certain places within the resort system.
The new transportation option joins Walt Disney World’s extensive in-house transportation system. Via a vast network of buses, boats, for-hire cars (the Disney version of Uber), and of course, the famed monorail, Disney gives guests who would rather not get behind the wheel a multitude of options, if sometimes confusing, for getting around.
As another cog in Disney’s exhaustive transportation mechanism, and not, say, a newly-opened Star Wars-themed land that significantly increases the size and scope of an existing theme park, the opening of the Skyliner system wasn’t met with much in the way of hype of buzz. And indeed, those few guests who experienced it over the weekend spoke excitedly about essentially having it all to themselves, and not having to wait in line.
They also gave it rave reviews.
The stupendous #DisneySkyliner officially opens to the public 9/29/19.
The system features 45 minutes of zooming lines over #WaltDisneyWorld and the gondolas are glorious.
No magic band needed.
— David Martin ???????? ???? (@FOX35David) September 27, 2019
One traveler, for example, wrote of his excitement at being able to see parts of a fireworks show from a birds-eye view. Another called the gondola service “smooth and fun.”
It's a busy opening day for Disney Skyliner. pic.twitter.com/RizqzZUcjL
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) September 29, 2019
This morning we are at the media event for the Disney Skyliner at #WaltDisneyWorld! Here is the complete time lapse POV of the route from Caribbean Beach to Epcot! We LOVE this mode of transportation! It’s amazing!!! ???? #DisneySkyliner pic.twitter.com/7Ix2ScrbEu
— Theme Park Review (@ThemeParkReview) September 27, 2019
Similarly, in the video below, you can watch this pair of Disney vloggers take a pre-opening day ride around the Skyliner circuit before it opened to the general public, in which they, too, rave about the experience.
The System Is Not Without Its Limits
One potentially serious drawback to the system is that the individual gondola cars are not climate-controlled, and when the cars aren’t moving, it can get rather stifling inside the cars in the Florida heat. Riders say that when the cars are moving the problem is mitigated somewhat by the breeze blowing through, but when they’re still, all bets are off.
Further, unlike the bus system, which will effectively get you from anywhere in the resort to anywhere in the resort, the Skyliner only has a handful of lines, with certain resorts and theme parks being connected.