Well, we’ve officially taken to the sky with Disney World’s new Skyliner Gondola System.
And while there were a bunch of things we really enjoyed about the Disney Skyliner, there were also a few things that we think you should know about before taking to the Disney skies when the new transportation system officially opens on September 29th.
Disney Skyliner Gondola Pros
It’s a FUN Way to Travel
Probably the biggest thing going for the Skyliner is how fun it is to travel by sky. Sure, many of the Disney World buses have gotten a facelift (which we’re SUPER thankful for!) and the Silver Monorail has received an upgrade as well, but people ride buses all the time, and even monorails are a little more common than GONDOLAS FLYING THROUGH THE SKY! This mode of transport is just really FUN. They move at 11 miles per hour and transport you from place to place in mere minutes, AND in some parts of the world, people pay extra to just take a ride on systems like this — and you get to do it for free!
Several of the gondolas are decorated with popular Disney characters, but we actually preferred riding in the gondolas without character decoration. (We’ll talk a bit about this in our cons section.)
You’ll See Disney World in a New Way
Speaking of Skyliner views, riding on the new transportation system provides a unique vantage point of the Walt Disney World resort. You’re soaring above the Disney parks and resorts, and the views are pretty awesome (as long as you aren’t afraid of heights).
You Can GET MORE PLACES FASTER
OK, this might seem obvious, but it IS a pro of the system. With the skyliner, you can simply get to more places, faster — especially if you’re staying at particular hotels.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will soon be a hot spot, as you’re able to board there to get to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot in just a few minutes (versus the wait-20-minutes-for-a-bus-and-then-it-still-takes-you-20-minutes-to-get-there travel plan previously).
Those staying at Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts will also have their very own Skyliner stop, and so will those at the Riviera Resort. That means quick access for those guests to Hollywood Studios and Epcot as well (though they’ll need to transfer to different lines depending on where they’re going.)
Overall, lots of folks at Disney World will cut their transportation wait time significantly most likely, and that’s a good thing.
Disney Skyliner Gondola Cons
Some Gondolas Have Obstructed Views
As we mentioned above, the Skyliner gondolas with character wraps on the outside create obstructed views of the Most Magical Place on Earth. This was our view from a character gondola…
…while this was our view from a standard gondola. Much better right?
In addition to the character obstructions, the other passengers on your gondola could potentially spoil your view as well. Depending on where you’re sitting, you may not have this problem, but sitting in the middle of the gondola won’t provide the best view.
The System Slows and Stops
While our Skyliner carried us along, there were moments when the line stopped unexpectedly. That’s because much like Spaceship Earth or Haunted Mansion, Disney’s Skyliner is Omnimover-esque; and if you know anything about these classic attractions then you know that when something unexpected happens, the whole ride slows and possibly stops.
This will likely happen while you’re riding, but don’t panic. Nothing’s wrong, but some folks may not enjoy the sensation, especially when you’re so high up. (Also, if your gondola stops, it can get pretty warm in there.) You might not be a fan of the Skyliner’s launch and re-entry either.
Quick Launch and Re-Entry
Since that 11 mile-per-hour pace of the Skyliner Gondolas is quick, and they’ve gotta push off with some serious steam to build that up on such a short journey. When you “launch” upward, you’ll feel it!
And when you’re coming back into a Skyliner station…well, you may freak out a little bit at just how quickly you’re approaching the gondola in front of you! It was a little alarming to us because we didn’t know what to expect, but armed with this information, we’re sure you’ll handle your first Skyliner ride like a pro!
Views of Hidden Construction If You’re On The Skyliner…and Marring Sight Lines if You’re Not
Now, this one is totally a matter of opinion, but you’ll certainly see some construction thanks to your bird’s eye view from the Skyliner. While it may be exciting to view the World’s construction as it progresses, it might take away a bit of the Disney magic.
And, if you happen to be on the ground, you may be disenchanted with the look of the skyliner. We’ve heard from some readers that they don’t like how the skyliner messes with the forced perspective Disney uses to trick the eye into believe that, say, the Eiffel Tower on top of the France Pavilion actually is as large as it’s supposed to be — just further in the distance. With a skyliner gondola next to it, it’s pretty obvious that it’s just…well…a teeny tiny Eiffel Tower on top of a building.
If you want to see the Skyliner in action, check out our video below!
Are you ready to hop on the Skyliner Gondolas? Let us know in the comments below!