Let’s take flight! Where are we off to, Nate? We’re off to talk about a potential Disney Skyliner expansion. With four months in the books, it’s safe to say the Disney Skyliner is an overall success for Walt Disney World. With success comes the big question, what’s next? When looking at Disney’s newest transportation system everyone is wondering, if and when would we see Disney Skyliner expansion. Let’s board our Skyliner gondola and take a look at what we can “see”!
What We Know
Disney World is excited! On January 5, 2020, Walt Disney World announced a change to the bus service to Disney Resorts that have access to the Disney Skyliner, like Pop Century. Resorts with Skyliner stations now have reduced bus service to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, with signs suggesting guests use the Disney Skyliner.
Disney felt comfortable reducing the bus operations for two reasons. The first being the improved operations of the system as a whole. After a few bumps out of the gate, the Disney Skyliner has been operating smoothly since. The second is reported guest satisfaction around the reduced wait times when moving to and fro the parks and their resorts.
Passholder Insights: When staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, you can either board the Disney Skyliner via the Caribbean Beach Station or Disney Riviera Station.
Where To Next?
Westward we go! The rumored next phase of a Disney Skyliner Expansion is west towards the Animal Kingdom. Currently, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the only park without multiple transportation options. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the Disney Skyliner expansion would run from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the Coronado Springs Resort area, and ultimately ending at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Passholder Insights: An alternative to go from Epcot to Hollywood Studios (and vice versa) then Disney Skyliner is either the walkway or a Friendship Boat.
It’s all about speed. When looking at potential routes for the Disney Skyliner expansion there’s one thing we’ll need to keep in mind, and that’s speed. One of the big takeaways from the launch of the Skyliner is the shortest routes do the best. If Disney World were to connect the Animal Kingdom with Hollywood Studios the most logical spot for a midway station would be Coronado Springs Resort. Rumor is if there is a Coronado Springs station it would be a bigger hub.
Disney is talking about including bridges and pathways from a Coronado Springs station that would connect to Blizzard Beach. We would project a potential location for the station would be on the southern side of the resort, near the main entrance.
Passholder Insights: Atop the new Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort is Toledo that has grand views of Walt Disney World.
What Else Could Change?
Wait there’s more! As part of the Disney Skyliner expansion, we could see a change in the cabins. Based on observation it appears guests prefer the cabins without the character wraps, as they have better views. The wraps around the cabins make it more challenging to take in the Disney views. Disney is considering moving away from the wraps when it’s time to purchase/update the cabins in three to five years.
Passholder Insights: For the Skyliner station in Epcot it is located at the International Gateway in the World Showcase between the France and UK Pavilions.
It’s only a matter of when. When the Disney Skyliner was originally announced, Disney World already has phases for a Disney Skyliner expansion. What surprised us the most is how the character wrapped cabins are being received. Originally, we thought this would be a home run and guests would be lined waiting for a specific character. At the moment there is no defined timeline to when the expansion would begin. If we had to guess, we would think an announcement during the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World would make sense. Our cabin is here, it’s time to take flight!