The Disney Skyliner at Walt Disney World – Here’s What We Know So Far

We are getting more and more excited about the new Skyliner transportation system at Walt Disney World. We love the Disney buses, the monorail and the boats around the resort, but we are looking forward to this new system that will give Guests a bird’s eye view of the park. Here’s what we know about the system so far.

12. It will stretch across three miles, connecting Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the not yet built Disney’s Riviera Resort with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT’s International Gateway.

11. Disney’s Riviera Resort, which will be on the Skyliner route, will be a Disney Vacation Club resort—the 15th DVC property yet. It will be located between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It will have 300 rooms and a rooftop restaurant. Disney has announced this is scheduled to open December 16, 2019.

10. It will be an electric-powered gondola-style ride that makes use of big gears to move the gondola ride vehicles along the route. Because the entire system is grounded, the Skyliner will be able to stay in operation, even during a lightning storm, per the manufacturer of the ride—the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group. The electrical work alone cost Disney a cool $3.8 million!

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9. The gondolas will have Disney characters on them. They will be designed in such a way that it will appear that the characters are riding in the gondolas with Guests.

8. The system boasts some impressive abilities. The manufacturer states that the gondolas used in the Disney Skyliner system can operate in winds of up to 35 miles per hour—not hurricane force, but strong winds nonetheless. The system can also feasibly move 3,000 Guests through every single hour.

7. The Skyliner system will include several stations. The station at EPCOT’s International Gateway will be somewhat reminiscent of structures from the early 1700s. The station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will have the feeling of an open-air village. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the station will be located close to the entrance and will gel well with the entrance and the bus stations. The station between the Art of Animation Resort and the Pop Century Resort will be fun, creative and exciting (but Imagineers are mum on the details).

6. The current construction has created terrible eyesores at multiple places around Disney World. We know the finished product will be worth it, but right now the fences, the construction materials in the water at Hourglass Lake, the construction vehicles and the cranes are unsightly, and there’s not a lot Disney can do to hide the construction because the towers for the Skyliner are so tall.

5. At the 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo (IAAPA is the International Association of Amusement and Attractions), the Skyliner’s manufacturer—the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group—had a gondola on display that looks very similar to the gondolas that will be used in the Skyliner system. The gondola on display comfortably seats 8 people.

4. Each section of the system cost Disney $1.2 million.

3. Stops along the Skyliner route include EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk, the Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, North Side and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, South Side.

2. Though the Skyliner will be a ride, no FastPass+ service will be offered, as the system’s purpose is to provide another means of transportation in the parks, rather than serving as an attraction only.

1. There is no firm opening date set yet, but Imagineers are hopeful that the first gondola will take flight in fall of 2019.

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.