5 Reasons People Say They Are Totally Not Riding the Disney Skyliner

Fall 2019 is quickly approaching, which means so is Disney’s new Skyliner gondola system. These new gondolas will give guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World property as they are transported to specific Disney locations.

Disney Skyliner test gondolas

Many people are pumped for this new transportation system, but others… not so much. Some are saying they are not going to waste their time or energy on the Skyliners at all. And here are some of their reasons.

1.  It Doesn’t Go Where I Need to Go

The Skyliner will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios to International Gateway at Epcot via Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort.

This will not only give guests a new way to travel between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but it will provide some much needed resort to resort transportation. The Disney Skyliner will also give guests at resorts like Caribbean Beach and Pop Century easier access to dining locations in the Epcot Resort area — including Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk.

If you are not staying at one of these resorts, though, the Skyliner might not seem too useful for you. You will likely only be hopping aboard if you are staying or eating at one of those resorts, or if you are just taking a ride to check the new gondolas out!

2. There Will Be Long Wait Times 

Since this is a new, hot form of transportation, tons of people will likely want to ride to check it out, potentially leading to big crowds. This may also mean that it will take you longer to ride the Skyliner than to catch a resort bus. Disney offers SO many other transportation options. From boats, monorails, and buses, many guests would rather use a tried-and-true form of transportation to take them from point A to B.

3. It Will Make Too Frequent Stops 

There will also be frequent stops as the gondolas let people off at different locations. Why not hop on a resort bus that will go directly where you want to go? We hear the gondolas may go at speeds of a whopping 11 mph, but when they have to stop every three minutes to let guests off it will kind of slow down the process.

If you are trying to get the kiddos back for a nap or if you are rushing to make a dining reservation, other forms of transportation may be faster — at least until the hype dies down.

4. They’ll Need to Work Through Kinks 

Even though Disney has been testing the gondolas for the last several weeks, the Skyliner will probably need to work through a few kinks at the beginning of guest operation. A full day of operation carrying loaded gondolas will be very different that operating in test mode. The system may get overloaded and may even go down.

After Disney has the new system running and operating more smoothly, the Skyliner may be an easier and more desirable mode of transportation.

Skyliner Concept Art ©Disney

5. They’re Not Air-Conditioned 

So… Disney has not officially confirmed this, but it seems like there will not be air-conditioning on these gondolas. From what we’ve heard, riders will be able to open a small window to provide ventilation inside of the gondolas. We’re not sure how that’s going to work, actually… but I guess we’ll soon find out!

Themed gondolas from the Disney Skyliner system

Are you planning to ride the new Disney Skyliner? What are you looking forward to? What don’t you like about them? Let us know in the comments below!

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83 Replies to “5 Reasons People Say They Are Totally Not Riding the Disney Skyliner”

  1. Can anyone ride them or do you have to stay at one of the resorts? We’re coming in November and I’d love to just ride it for the view!

  2. Don’t you people realize how close Disney watch the weather. Two weeks ago I was at Epcot and notice all the stands between Germany and China pulling racks under cover and dropping tops preparing for the rain. The golf course early had told me it would start raining at 7. He missed by about 7 minutes. And the merchandise stayed dry. They will have the gondolas stopped and empty if necessary before any storm hits.

  3. Given we have the exact same system in London as part of public transport (you can use your oyster cards on it) and it runs perfectly fine cant see the problem with them at all. They run daily and have been for years here!

  4. Safety is number one at WDW. Our biggest concern is with the lightning. WDW will shut down outdoor theme park attractions if a lightning strike is present in the area. Every day in the summer it always thunderstorms around 3pm. So we’re wondering if Disney policy will be to shut the gondolas down and get guests off of them quickly? We just hope guests don’t get stranded during these daily storms, yikes!

  5. They have not officially confirmed if they are air conditioned but from what I’ve heard is they have put a full ventilation system in place that air will come through the top of the gondolas to keep them cool. Also when they first open I believe only guest from those hotels get to be the tester guests until kinks are worked out.

    1. Gotta laugh about the no air conditioning concerns. You folks need to get out more.

      These types of gondolas are found in several places worldwide without AC and Florida isn’t going to be the hottest.

      Rode the one in Singapore earlier this year in the middle of the day and very comfortable with the ventilation. And Singapore is a full on tropical climate less than 1 degree from equator.

      Enough about no AC…

  6. I think that Disney blew it on this one. They have a great monorail system that’s tried and true that runs in all types of weather and is air conditioned. Will the gondola system shut down when there is lightning in the area, which is almost every summer day in Florida? I hope that it proves me wrong as I’m getting tired of paying increases for things that are not innovative.

  7. I can’t believe people are catastrophizing that the gondolas are actually going to fall off, and into a lake brimming with alligators no less.

      1. There won’t be any. Adding AC would be extemely expensive. People don’t have issues with parking lot trams, the MK railroad, the AK safari, or standing lines in the sun. The Skyliner won’t be any hotter than any of those.

  8. I absolutely want to try them! I never got to ride the Skyway when it was in the Magic Kingdom. I’m a little nervous about how easy or not it will be to get in or out of one using a wheelchair or ECV, but I guess there’s only one way to find out!

    1. There is a separate inner loop at each station for limited mobility guests. Cabins will be detached from the haul rope and redirected to the limited mobility loop where they will come to a complete stop for ECVs and wheelchair users. The rumor is every tenth cabin will be put on the limited mobility inner loop until WDW has better data as to how many actually are needed on the limited mobility loop.

  9. This one ride has identified the following WDW visitor phobias:

    Fear of heights
    Fear of smells
    Fear of lightning
    Fear of alligators
    Fear of confined spaces
    Fear of crowds
    Fear of heat and humidity
    Fear of water

    Did I miss any?

      1. In that case, Jess, we need to add:

        Fear of hurricanes
        Fear of tornados
        Fear of sink holes
        Fear of blue hair
        Fear of sandels with socks
        Fear of sun burn
        Fear of mosquitoes
        Fear of sharks
        Fear of amusement parks

      1. As a guest who will be staying at CBR in October, I’m excited to ride the new gondolas! And, from the sounds of it, they’ll be room for me, since so many people are afraid of alligators, heat and “old technology”….yay!

        These have got to be faster, safer and more efficient than monorails, but I don’t hear anyone freaking out about the scary train traveling on a wire in the sky!

  10. I’m not sure how you can make a very informed decision since no one has ridden one yet. It should alsk be pointed out that Disney doesn’t build many things that turn customers away. They seem to have a pretty good grasp on customer satisfaction. Whether you intend to ride them or not the sime fact is many many people will and this will make the other forms of transportation less crowded!

  11. Surprised I didn’t read hadelybeny mention my #1, 2 and 3 reasons.. I HATE heights.. Even the thought of them give me heebeegeebees. I’m a big guy and gravity is not my friend. That thin little single arm dangling 30 to 50 feet in the air.. No thanks!

    1. I’m with you. Absolutely phobic about heights. No way will I be able to get in these without medics treating a full-blown panic attack.

  12. No AC is a huge problem in a metal box hanging in full sunlight all day. A small window may provide some ventilation but that air will be 90+ degrees. Also just the thought of it breaking down and you are stuck in that with no moving 90+ degree ventilation! If you live in Florida you know AC isnt an option it’s a must have. Don’t see many people turning off the AC and using their “ventilation” windows in their car and that goes much faster.

  13. I think if they are running when we go in Sept. we will try them.
    My question is do you stand or sit and how many people fit in one gondola? Haven’t seen any information
    on that..

    1. There are two benches across from each other that seat 4-5 people.

      Doppelmayr says the cabins weight limit is 1,800 kg, which is 3,968 lbs., or 397 lbs. per person.

      1. So, one gondola will hold more weight than, both, the offense and defense lines of an NFL team. That should alleviate any fears the cable snapping from excess weight.

  14. If the gondolad are not air conditioned they are going to smell pretty funky in a short while. I have noticed “aromas” from guests on the monorail, and those are air-conditioned.

    1. My husband and I always say “they smell similar to cattle cars.” But we still take a ride every opportunity we get. Lol

  15. I had a hard time getting past the headline. “Totally not riding”? What the hell kind of journalism is that? I guess we know the generation of the writer.

    1. I’m not sure we do. Totally is a fine word; it’s synonymous with absolutely or completely, words which I somehow presume you would fine acceptable. Your association of the word with a particular generation or age does more to date you than the author.

  16. It depends on the travel time. I can definitely see people taking it from HS to the back of Epcot for a dinner reservation. Arrive from your resort hotel by bus at HS. You will save yourself a heck of a walk.

  17. The captain of our friendship from Hollywood to Epcot yesterday confirmed that they will not have air conditioning. I did see a few without the white wrap the other day and they looked nice. Just the different colors, not characters, but they were nice looking

  18. This seems like one of the dumbest ideas ever. I can’t see where this is going to help at all considering basic capacity.

    1. Umm, capacity is 4-5K people per hour on each line in each direction. That equals a full bus departing every 60-70 seconds or a full capacity monorail train every 5 minutes. With loading continuously, park closing is likely the only time you’ll wait more than a minute or two to board one.

  19. Hey y’all. I was born and raised in Florida and I’ll just say alligators are actually not everywhere. I spent a good chuck of my life never seeing them. Now just like anything if you go looking you’ll probably find some but in everyday life it’s really not so common. Especially at Disney World. They did have that one incident with the kid but I’m pretty sure they now make sure they keep the gators and humans far apart.

  20. Dear lord. Having lived in a ski resort and having taken a gondola on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis for months on end, reading these comments drives me crazy. I can’t disagree with one and two, as it doesn’t go everywhere and wait times may be long during peak times. Like lines for buses and the monorail get long as well. However, the rest is just silly. Very rarely does the gondola actually stop, except due to weather. If they need to offload a car or let someone with limited mobility on, it slows down or redirects the gondola to a different loading area. And working through kinks? 100s of ski resorts around the world have these, Disney will figure it out. The AC thing could be uncomfortable, but these gondolas seem to have more ventilation than others. Relax. This is a tried and true method of transportation.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Have these people never visited a ski resort where these are quite common. Others are saying they should build more monorails but monorail tracks are expensive to build and difficult to move. At least with a gondola system, there can be more flexibility for future expansion.

  21. The gondolas look like the ones used to transport people from CityGate to Ngong Ping in Hong Kong.

    If indeed they are the same units, then I can confirm there is no AC. The ones to Ngong Ping have a small window (maybe 5″ wide) that can open at the front and back of each car.

    I can also confirm the abject terror of riding in one during a heavy thunderstorm!

  22. As someone who often does solo trips, I can’t imagine them giving a solo rider a whole gondola to themselves. Then let’s hope you get put with nice folks and not creepy or obnoxious folks.

  23. No, we go in Augusy every year. No way will I get in one without air conditioning..not sure how fast these can go, wouldnt want to spend a lot of time getting to our destination. Cool, yes, for me and my family though NO!

      1. That would put CBR to EP in the 6 minute range. For park hopping it should be about 15 minutes since you have to go to the resorts and change lines.

  24. AC is not needed in the gondolas. You are moving so you will have a breeze and you are also in the shade. It’s hotter walking around the park with the sun directly on you. If you’re concerned about alligators your car could also swerve off the road and you could land in a swamp filled with hungry alligators then lightning could strike too.

    1. Uh, not sure where you live, but having tee and planted from Ohio to here in Central Florida, I can tell you that most people would not purposely drive around at low speed with there window open 5″ in shade. Let alone with strangers that may or may not share your cultural norms for hygiene.

  25. My biggest worry is the pop-up thunderstorms and worse Florida offers. Not so sure I want to be in one of these with torrential rain, wind and lightning.
    Mwa-Mwaaaahhh.

  26. Will definitely ride them. I rode the previous one that went from one side of the Magic Kingdom to the other and hated they had been removed. They were open air and the breeze up there off of the pavement was welcome relief. Don’t know how comfortable these will be with just small opening but still willing to give it a try.

    1. I remember the gondolas back in the Magic Kingdom days. Those things loaded and unloaded pretty quickly, and I remember the breeze above the park cooling it down as well. That was many years ago, so maybe my brain is foggy, but even back in the day, they were an efficient means of travel.

  27. Gondolas are tried and true at ski resorts around the world.

    1) they slow down at departure points but never stop.

    2) the windows typically slide down and there is usually a roof vent.

    3) they don’t just fall off.

    4) yes they may stop but it’s only for a few moments.

  28. During normal operation they do not stop, they detach in the corral where they crawl and will have a moving walkway. They also will not fall off the cable, I know this happens all the time at ski resorts I. The sub zero temps…..o wait no it doesn’t, the only thing that may suck is no ac, bit if properly ventelated it may not be a big deal. The last time I rode the carresuel there was no ac, and not on many other attractions either.

  29. I wouldn’t ride those things if you paid me!
    There are alligators in hourglass lake, just like any other body of water in Florida has gators in it.
    What happens if your cart happens to fall off the overheard cable by some weird circumstance? Your in the water with the gators!
    Bad idea whoever drummed that up

    1. I thought about that too. I wonder if you ended up in the water off you’d even be able to get out of the cage. Doubt you’ll be able to open the doors from inside for safety reasons.

    2. I can think of a dozen different reasons for why I wouldn’t want to ride this contraption, but yours has to be one of the silliest reasons of them all. Have you ever ridden Space Mountain, Rock N Rollercoaster, Test Track? Imagine how that’d feel if a car flew off the tracks by some weird circumstance. I’d take my chances with the gators.

  30. My husband and I will probably not ride The Disney Skyliner not only for the reasons listed above, but what happens if it malfunctions and you’re stuck at some midway point?

    1. There are redundancies built it in case of main engine failure. If the backup generators fail too they can be manually cranked in.

  31. Wow I miss the old ride in WDW it was a slow relaxing way to get from one side to the next. It would be great if they reused the platforms and incorporated the original into the new ride as well. Last time I was in Disney I mentioned reopening that ride it’s funny these years later it might finally happen.

    1. This new system is not in the parks, and is nowhere near the magic kingdom… so that chances of incorporating those old stations is pretty nil.

  32. Disney actually has already confirmed the lack of conventional air conditioning. Also, #3 is just ridiculous. These things don’t ever stop… Like the haunted Mansion, or, you know, the skyway that previously existed in MK. There is literally no stopping during normal operation.

    1. The Haunted Mansion can, and does, stop. Car #1 is the only time they can stop it, but they can to let a wheelchair passenger on board. I wonder what the handicap accessibility of the gondolas will be like.

        1. The cabs can be detached from haul rope. There is a separate loop in the stations that they will move the Skyliner cabs that need to come to a complete stop for ECV and other mobility issues on to. Rumor is every 10th cab will be sent to the limited mobility loop to begin with.

  33. The lack of AC is huge. That makes zero sense for about 6 to 8 months of the year in Central Florida. It was a really dumb idea.

    1. They have shade and ceramic tinted heat rejecting glass plus the ride time is shorter than Kilimanjaro Safari or the train at MK. Standing in line in the sun in Toy Story Land will be far worse.

      Has AC been around even 100 years at this point?