It’s finally time for us to get an INSIDE LOOK at Disney’s Skyliner gondolas and answer some long-held questions about cooling, wheelchair accessibility, and comfort!
The Orlando Sentinel reported today — with video!! — that the Skyliner system will consist of 300 gondolas in 8 bright colors with 22 character cars and will travel nearly 60 feet in the air over Walt Disney World at the system’s highest point! This will afford riders with one-of-a-kind views overlooking lakes, trees, parks, and more!
And that’s just the system by the numbers! The Sentinel spoke to Thomas Mazloum, the Disney senior vice president who oversees resorts and transportation, who explained that the gondolas will feature thoughtfully designed cross-ventilation crafted with the Florida climate in mind.
Additionally, the windows of the gondolas are designed to reflect sunlight away from the vehicles, maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the cabin.
Seating will consist of wooden benches capable of holding ten passengers, with accessibility for wheelchairs. (ECVs were not specifically mentioned, but we expect they, too, will be accommodated in the cabins.)
As we’ve reported, the gondolas have been in testing for weeks, with guests of the parks looking skyward to take in the new transportation vehicles as they whizz by — as fast as 11mph!! — in their white plastic coverings. Trips from Skyliner resorts and theme parks will take between 5-15 minutes, depending on the distance you’re traveling, and loading is described as continuous in the Skyliner stations, with the capability to pause the system to allow wheelchairs to board.
No opening date has been announced for the Skyliner system (just “fall 2019”), but the Sentinel reports that cast members are expected to begin riding the vehicles in August, and the timeline for testing is described to be “months” long.
UPDATE 4/17/19: Disney Parks Blog has released a video — which also features the Skyliner in motion over Hourglass Lake, and you can check it out below!
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What do you think of the Skyliner? Fun new transportation system or flying box of danger?
Let us hear from you in the comments!