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Disney Skyliner is an upcoming gondola lift system for Walt Disney World that is scheduled to open on September 29, 2019. It will have five stations located at resorts and theme parks.

Disney Skyliner
Concept art of a Disney Skyliner capsule
Concept art of Disney Skyliner
Overview
TypeGondola lift
SystemDoppelmayr Garaventa Group[1]
StatusUnder construction
LocaleWalt Disney World Resort, Orlando
TerminiEpcot
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Pop Century Resort
Stations5
Services3
WebsiteOfficial website
Operation
Planned openingSeptember 29, 2019[2]
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
Operator(s)Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
CharacterFully elevated
Number of tracks3
Route map

Epcot
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Left arrow Disney's Hollywood Studios
Bus transfer
(via short walk outside park)
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
link with Disney's Pop Century Resort

Contents

PredecessorsEdit

Not long after the opening of Disneyland in 1955, a similar gondola system called the Skyway debuted, connecting Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. When Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort was opened, the same gondola system was implemented – as well as at Tokyo Disneyland when it opened to the public in 1983. The Magic Kingdom Skyway closed in 1999, with the station in Tomorrowland demolished in 2009 and the Fantasyland station demolished in 2012.[3]

HistoryEdit

On February 15, 2017, the Reedy Creek Improvement District filed plans with the South Florida Water Management District for "various improvements." Among these plans was a design for a 100-foot-high (30 m) building in the shape of a "V," consistent with a gondola lift changing direction.[4] The blueprints described improvements to the south end of Epcot at the World Showcase, as well as in Disney's BoardWalk Resort and Disney's Hollywood Studios.[4] These V-shaped structures were also planned for Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort.[5]

On July 15, 2017, the gondola lift plan was confirmed at the D23 Expo. Bob Chapek, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said that the system was going to connect four hotels with Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, affording "a bird's-eye view" of the area.[6] No opening date was announced at the time.[7] The proposal was announced as part of the unveiling of 23 improvements to Disney Parks,[8] including a "makeover" of Epcot[7][9] and carpool-style "Minnie vans."[10] The Skyliner would also connect a new resort called Disney’s Riviera Resort.[10][11]

By 2018, Disney Skyliner was under construction.[12] The towers and gondola stations were more than halfway completed by summer 2018.[13] In November 2018, Disney Parks announced that Disney Skyliner would open in fall 2019.[14]

Testing with passenger cabins began in late January 2019, on the line between Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney's Hollywood Studios.[15]

On July 15, 2019, it was announced that the Disney Skyliner would open on September 29. The Riviera station will open by December 16, the resort's opening date.[16]

StationsEdit

The planned stations for the Disney Skyliner are:[6][7]

EpcotEdit

The Epcot station will be outside the park at the International Gateway entrance. The International Gateway is located between the France and United Kingdom pavilions in Epcot's World Showcase section.

Disney’s Riviera ResortEdit

The Riviera Resort station will be at the west end of the resort, adjacent to the Aruba section of Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. This will be an intermediate station on the Epcot line, and is the only station that will not be a terminus.

Disney's Caribbean Beach ResortEdit

The Caribbean Beach Resort station will be south of the resort entrance road, near the Jamaica section of the resort. This station will be the hub of the Skyliner, as the three individual lines to Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Art of Animation/Pop Century will all terminate and connect here.

Disney's Hollywood StudiosEdit

The Hollywood Studios station will be outside the park next to the existing Bus Stop.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort/Disney's Pop Century ResortEdit

A single station located on the bridge across Hourglass Lake will serve both Disney's Art of Animation and Disney's Pop Century Resorts.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Pedicini, Sandra (April 18, 2017). "Disney World gondolas would connect parks, hotels, documents confirm". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Disney Skyliner Gondolas Will Take Flight In September". WFOR-TV. July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "Skyway to Fantasyland". Disney Park History. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Pedicini, Sandra (February 15, 2017). "New cable car system at Disney World? Plans raise the possibility". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Bilbao, Richard (February 15, 2017). "Rumor: Disney may be working on a gondola transportation system". Business Journals. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Smith, Thomas. "Disney Skyliner, New Minnie Vehicles to Transport Guests Around Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Bevil, Dewayne. "Coming to Disney World: Tron, Guardians of the Galaxy ride, 'Star Wars' hotel". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Levine, Arthur (July 18, 2017). "Disney announces 23 wild new developments for its theme parks". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  9. ^ Barnes, Brooks (July 15, 2017). "Disney Vows to Give Epcot a Magical, Long-Overdue Makeover". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Baran, Michelle (July 16, 2017). "Disney World building club resort, new ways to get around". Travel Weekly. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ Kubersky, Seth (July 15, 2017). "DVC Disney Riviera Resort and Skyliner gondola transportation announced for Walt Disney World". Attractions Magazine. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Holmes, Jamie (September 20, 2018). "Walt Disney World Skyliner: Channel 9 gets first look at Gondola". WFTV. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Bilbao, Richard (August 28, 2018). "Here's what's up with Disney's future gondola system". Business Journals. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  14. ^ Smith, Thomas (November 14, 2018). "Disney Skyliner to Begin Transporting Guests in Fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Tuttle, Brittani (January 28, 2019). "Initial testing now underway for Disney Skyliner gondolas". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Smith, Thomas (July 15, 2019). "Disney Skyliner Takes Flight on Sept 29, 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved July 15, 2019.