Skyliner Hotels See Reduced Bus Service Hours in Disney World!

If you’ve been to Disney World in the past few months, chances are you’ve noticed the gondola system connecting Epcot and Hollywood Studios to a variety of Disney resorts. The Disney Skyliner is the newest mode of free transportation offered to guests and it connects both Epcot and Hollywood Studios to Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Art of Animationand Riviera Resorts.

Disney’s Skyliner (Walt Disney World/David Roark)

The Disney Skyliner first opened up at the end of September 2019, and up until this point, the opening hadn’t affected the other options for free transportation at these four Disney World resorts. However, it looks like that has now changed!

Starting this week, the Disney Bus Service to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios has been reduced to one per hour at all four resorts on the Disney Skyliner line. Instead of using the bus, guests are being directed to use the Disney Skyliner to travel to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Riviera Resort Bus Station Sign

While the signs imply that the Skyliner is the only way to access these parks, we were told by Cast Members that buses will still be running from Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and Riviera to these parks, just at a very reduced rate.

What do you think of the Skyliner? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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10 Replies to “Skyliner Hotels See Reduced Bus Service Hours in Disney World!”

  1. Our family had two reservations for Pop Century, our usual resort, set for early-mid June. We just last week found out about the bus changes. Some in our party have no desire whatsoever to use the Skyliner, and we have one elderly member that requires an ECV- seems like that would be more of a hassle on the Skyliner than it even is on the buses. The reduction to one bus an hour of course means the same coming back to the resort. If you just miss the bus, that’s a long wait until the next one. All factors considered, we changed our reservations to Coronado Springs. I’m sure Disney considers that a “win” for them- we went from Value to Moderate. I usually defend Disney on most of their decisions, but this change, coupled with the charge for parking at Disney resorts, leaves me a bit angry.

  2. This is a surprise. It would have been nice if WDW had advised of this pending change when I booked Art of Animation for February. I anticipated, as foretold, that Skyliner would be an additional optional transportation mode, so I wasn’t concerned about where our rooms were in relation to Skyliner station at AoA, or anything else Skyliner related. However, it now appears Skyliner is pretty much being forced on guests. At least now I do know not to stay at a Skyliner resort during summer, as I can’t envision being able to stay cool in the Skyliner during a summer day. And then there are the frequent summer thunderstorms. And anticipated breakdowns. I’m hoping such a drastic reduction in bus service is a temporary glitch which WDW works through. Soon.

  3. I was at Art of Animation from 12/28 until 1/4/20. When we used the Skyliner to get to and from Hollywood studios in the middle of the day and in at the end of our day maybe a couple hrs before closing, it was an easy ride and took much less time than waiting and riding the bus. HOWEVER, it did not open up in time to get me to Hollywood studios 1hr before opening in order to get into Hollywood to sign up for the boarding groups at Rise of the resistance. The buses did not get you there in time either. I felt Disney did not take care of resort guests. The solution was to start operating one and one-half hours prior to park opening so guests can be in a good position to get on a boarding group and get into standby lines before the long waits started.

  4. I wonder if part of that is due to it being January. I would think during high season they would increase the bus service. And what are they doing with all those spare buses now? Perhaps increasing bus frequency on other routes? Or just parking them? And yes, if the SKyliner goes down you may be stuck at a resort waiting for an hourly bus-probably would change plans and go to a different park in that case-along with everyone else. We’ll see how this plays out…

  5. I was there over Christmas and using a very conservative estimate, I would say that each SkyLiner branch can do the job of 60 buses per hour, so the few buses per hour that are run from each resort to Epcot and HS only add negligible capacity.

  6. I timed it from international gateway to HS and it was 20 minutes. Not bad by Disney standards. And a lot more pleasant than the bus or monorail. But I too am concerned about how Disney will deal with mechanical and meteorological anomalies.

  7. I seem to recall more than a few posters here praising the coming of the skyliner, saying it would expand the transportation system moving more people and taking pressure off the overloaded system. As predicted, that doesn’t seem to be WDW’s intention. Enjoy your slow and overcrowded highways in the sky (and on the road and water).

  8. The Skyliner is fun and so scenic, but not the fastest form of transportation (not that any form of transportation there is very fast). I would make sure I allowed lots of time if I had a dinner reservation for example. It was nice to take it from Hollywood Studios to International Gateway versus taking the boat back to Boardwalk. We just booked another trip to WDW today and I told my travel agent that my biggest concern with the Skyliner is hoping it doesn’t break down.

    1. I rode it last week to try it out…I’m not usually afraid of heights but some spots were really high and above the freeway was a little scary. If it stopped at one of those high points I would have been anxious…people who are afraid of heights cannot ride this. Also it is VERY DARK riding at night…