Called the “most magical flight on Earth” by Dean Huspen, a principal architect with Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney gave a construction update and a sneak peek inside the gondolas yesterday. Opening later this fall, the Disney Skyliner, a system of 300 gondolas, will become the ‘monorails of the air’ according to the Orlando Sentinel.
While in testing, the gondolas are wrapped in plastic for protection. Starting in May, they will gradually be unveiling the gondolas to show the 22 Disney character themes and eight colors. Giving guests of Walt Disney World a one-of-a-kind bird’s eye view of Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and a number of the resorts including Caribbean Beach, Riviera, Pop Century, and Art of Animation, as they fly from 15ft to 60ft in the air. The gondolas will travel about 11 mph and the typical ride will last between five to fifteen minutes. They will pull into the stations, constantly moving, for guests to climb on.
The gondolas have fallen victim to some criticism, most notably the lack of air conditioning. Thomas Mazloum, a Disney senior vice president that oversees transportation and resorts stated that the ride is “absolutely comfortable” and the gondolas were “specifically designed with the Florida climate in mind,” with the reflective windows to block out the sun and mesh screens on both sides of the gondola to allow for cross ventilation.
Another concern we have seen regarding the gondolas were the size and ability to transport those in wheelchairs or on scooters. Well, put those concerns to rest. The gondolas will hold up to 10 people comfortably and at the stations, Disney Cast Members will have the ability to pause the gondolas for those that need extra time to board.
We are really excited to hitch a ride and see the views! Let us know what you think of the new Disney Skyliner system!