When you’re going to Disney World, especially in this era of social distancing and capacity restrictions, some lines are to be expected. You’re likely going to wait in a line for the buses, you’re likely going to wait in (sometimes long and confusing) lines for stores, restaurants, and attractions, and you may even wait in line for the pool!
But there’s one line you may NOT be thinking about or planning for, and if you stay at certain resorts, not planning for this line could MAKE or BREAK your day!
Yes, it’s time we talk about those lines to get on the Disney Skyliner!
What’s Going On?
If you’re staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, or Disney’s Riviera Resort, using the Skyliner to get to EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios is usually your BEST option, especially in the mornings or at night.
The Skyliner is a fun, fast, and pretty easy way to get to and from these four resorts, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. However, due to the pandemic, Disney is currently only sitting one party per gondola and there are social distancing markers in line. Those can sometimes equate to one thing you might not even be thinking about: LOOOOOONG lines. Lines to get on the Skyliner can be REALLY, REALLY LONG, especially at the Skyliner “hub” at Caribbean Beach in the mornings!
We took the Skyliner from Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios twice on a recent spring break morning, and the line to get on the Skyliner went ALL the way to the Skyliner Bus Station and down the road!
Time-wise, we waited about 30 minutes one day and about 40 minutes another day just to get to our gondola! Some of our readers have reported waiting upwards of an HOUR.
Those 30-40 minutes are VALUABLE park time, and there are few more frustrating ways to start your day than with an unanticipated, lengthy line.
This isn’t just a problem at Caribbean Beach, though. We’ve also experienced some long lines to get on the Skyliner at Disney’s Riviera Resort, too. The line may not look as long here (since this station only serves one resort, instead of the three-plus resorts and two theme parks served at the hub over at Caribbean Beach), but there can be fewer gondolas available (especially on the way to EPCOT), so you may have to wait a WHILE to get on the Skyliner here.
Most of the time, you will just watch as gondolas full of people pass you by since they have already been loaded at other Skyliner stations.
We’ve also waited in LONG lines to get on the Skyliner from EPCOT at the end of the night.
What Can You Do?
So, what can you do to alleviate the pain of these LONG lines? As with most things at Disney World, the secret is to plan ahead. If you know you want to arrive at EPCOT or Hollywood Studios when the gates open (or before!) from one of the Skyliner-area resorts, get on the Skyliner as SOON as you can!
According to a Cast Member we spoke with, the Skyliner generally starts running one hour prior to the earliest park opening. So, be sure to check those park hours constantly and see if there have been any changes in the Skyliner operating hours during your trip. AND be sure to set your alarm!
If you’re less concerned about getting to the parks first thing in the morning and more concerned about avoiding crowds, then you might want to wait a couple of hours before heading to the Skyliner to travel to the park of your choosing. The lines for the Skyliner tend to be significantly shorter in the middle of the day.
As we noted before, lines for the Skyliner can also get quite LONG at the end of the day. But don’t sweat it too much — from what we’ve seen and based on our conversation with a Cast Member recently, the Skyliner generally runs for an hour AFTER park closing. So, you have some time there. But, if you’d rather avoid those longer lines, then consider leaving the parks a bit earlier. You could also consider using other kinds of transportation, like arranging for a ride share service.
Long lines are usually not the most fun part of your Disney trip (unless they’re interactive, in which case a long line might be SUUUPER fun). But if you know what to expect, it can help to alleviate the pain of it all. Just be sure to plan ahead.
If you know or expect that you’ll be heading to a Skyliner station when the line will be long, then just be sure to bring some mobile games or think of other ways you can your family can spend that time and still have fun. Soon, you’ll be up in the sky and on your way to a magical adventure!
As we continue to experience the parks and things continue to change all around Disney World, we’ll work on developing more tips and tricks and we’ll share them all with you.
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Do you stay at a Skyliner resort at Disney World? Let us know your experience with lines in the comments!