July 2019: Some photos of Reedy Creek Fire Dept. practicing zip line rescues over water last night from the new gondola system ahead of grand opening in fall.
April 16, 2019: Disney Parks gave a construction update Tuesday on the new gondola system, which is in testing stage. All but one gondola is currently covered in plastic. They will gradually be unveiled starting in mid-May to show off eight bright colors and 22 Disney characters themes.
Watch Video Update: Disney Skyliner Gondolas in Testing Mode
Running on more than six miles of cable, the gondolas will travel at about 11 mph, giving guests a bird’s eye view of Walt Disney World Resort’s lakes, roads, woods, and Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks.
The typical ride will last between five to 15 minutes as gondolas travel from 15 feet up to about 60 feet in the air.
“There are fabulous property views from above,” said Thomas Mazloum, a Disney senior vice president who oversees transportation and resorts.
The Disney Skyliner gondola system consists of 300 gondolas and will open to the public later this fall. The gondolas will carry enough Disney guests to roughly match the capacity of its monorail trains, company officials said.
Inside a gondola, twin wooden benches can carry up to 10 people. The interior is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
On social media, some theme park followers have criticized the lack of air conditioning in the gondolas. But Mazloum argued the ride is “absolutely comfortable.”
“We have specifically designed them with the Florida climate in mind,” he said, pointing to reflective windows that block out the sunlight and the mesh screens on both sides to bring in a breeze. The gondolas will run at a brisk 11 mph.
Some gondola cabins will be decorated in plain colors, like a vibrant teal or purple, while the other gondolas will feature characters from Disney movies and attractions.
When we were there last month, we got to see the progress on the new Disney Skyliner gondola system, especially at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Recently, Disney was giving out new Skyliner pins to resort guests. 🙂
The map below shows how the two theme parks (Epcot and DHS) and four resorts (Caribbean Beach, Boardwalk Resort, and Pop Century/Art of Animation Resorts) will be connected.
The yellow squares on the map feature the gondola stations/stops while the blue squares signify the L-turns to change direction. The orange lines detail the cable routes the gondola cars will travel.
The high speed (11 mph) gondolas will connect:
Epcot France to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The Boardwalk Resort is just to the right on this photo.
We’re most excited about the possibility of the Epcot France gondola connecting to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort!
The new high speed gondola Skyliner transportation system will transport guests a good distance across the vast WDW property in under 15 minutes, a huge improvement over the current bus transportation system, which takes 45 minutes to over an hour during peak times to get between the four points.
We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.
Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.
If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/
Have a magical day!