All systems go? Soon, very soon, the Walt Disney Skyliner will be soarin’ through the skies and changing the landscape of Walt Disney World as we know it. Did you say “soarin’?” Isn’t that around the world in Epcot? Yes, you got us there. However, over the past month news around the Walt Disney Skyliner has been popping up everywhere. You know what that means, it’s time for a DVC Duo Walt Disney Skyliner update! Cue the music, confetti, noise makers and of course, the dancing animals! Let’s bring this party to the sky!
High In The Sky
You can’t soar, unless you go up! In a recent article from the Orlando Sentinel we learned the Walt Disney Skyliner would reach heights of 60 feet and as low as 15 feet from the ground. To put that into perspective, it’s equivalent to a 6 story building. This should be plenty of height to get epic views and pictures of Epcot’s World Showcase as you float past the new Ratatouille attraction going into the France Pavilion.
The Walt Disney Skyliner will raise and lower as it enters and leaves the different Skyliner stations. One of the coolest stations will be located between the Art of Animation and Pop Century, where the gondola will lower over Hourglass Lake, as the station is situated between the two resorts.
Covering A Distance Quickly
We learned in our previous article that the Walt Disney Skyliner can reach speeds up to 16 mph. Recently, we’ve learned that Disney will look to operate the transportation system at 11 mph. With over 6 miles of total track (that’s equal to the monorail) when it opens, we should expect ride times between 5 to 15 minutes depending on the destination.
Passholder Insights: Once open the Walt Disney Skyliner will give us easy access to one of the hidden gem restaurants on Disney property, Sebastian’s Bistro.
Riding In Style
At opening, the Skyliner will have a total of 300 gondolas and will be able to handle the same guest capacity on a per hour bases as the monorail. With 8 different colors and 22 character decal options, the combinations are endless. From classic characters like Mickey and Pluto, to recent favorites like Coco, there’s something for everyone. Please note that not all gondolas will have character decals, some will be plain colors, making it extra special when you get ride with your favorite character. We’re waiting for you Starlord!
Beyond the styling, the gondolas are designed to be eco-friendly, while keeping guests comfortable in the heat. Behind the decoration decals the windows will be coated in a reflective material to lower the direct heat caused by the sun. Additionally, a cool breeze will be created by vents under the seats, and mesh doors.
Our cooling doesn’t end with the exterior design of the gondolas, even the seats were designed with cooling in mind. In what may be a viewed as simple park benches, the seating in the gondolas is more than that. The wood design does two things, allow air flow throughout the cabin while not absorbing heat themselves. It’s imperative that Disney continue to employ eco-friendly ways to cool vehicles.
Passholder Insights: The Walt Disney Skyliner will be ADA compliant and be able to hold wheelchairs and ECVs. Gondolas will be slowed or stopped when entering a station for entry.
Let’s Get Testing
For the past month the Walt Disney Skyliner has been undergoing testing. The cables have been strung and the cars are moving, and while the teams work to finish the stations, testing is underway. Disney is stating guests will be able to take to the skies this fall with testing planned to continue through the summer months. Cast members will be the first guests to ride beginning in August.
The big question is will the Walt Disney Skyliner be open in time for Star Wars Galaxy Edge? (Opening August 29, 2019) From where we’re typing, we’re saying more than likely no. With any new transportation system we should expect continuous testing for months on end before any guests enjoy the ride. With cast members planned to take a test ride in August, our thinking is the Skyliner would open sometime in September or early October. The only question left to ask, are you ready to ride?