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Everything you need to know about the Disney Skyliner

Everything you need to know about the Disney Skyliner

We are in love with the new Disney Skyliner – and after you check out what we have to say below, we think you’ll fall in love with it, too.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

What is the Disney Skyliner?

Cute, practical, and free, the Skyliner is a gondola system used for transportation at Walt Disney World.

With bright colors (and even favorite Disney characters!), the gondola cars soar above the trees to connect 4 Disney resort hotels and 2 parks together, making access across the Walt Disney World Resort easier than ever.

Where does the Disney Skyliner go?

The Skyliner connects 4 resorts (Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation, Riviera) and 2 parks (Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

Disney Skyliner Map

You can see how all the resorts, stations, and parks fit together on this Skyliner map.

Notice how Caribbean Beach Resort serves as a hub for all 3 lines?

map of disney skyliner

That is important to know because depending on where you are going and coming from, you’ll likely have to transfer there.

But, although that may sound complicated, it truly isn’t. We go over it in more detail in the video below.

Disney Skyliner Stations

There are 5 gondola stations, 3 at Disney resort hotels and 2 at theme parks:

  • Resorts
    • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (station shared with Pop Century)
    • Disney’s Pop Century Resort (station shared with Art of Animation)
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (this station is the “hub” where all the lines meet. This is where you transfer to go to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios)
    • Disney’s Riviera Resort (this station is also close to the Aruba section of Caribbean Beach)
Disney World Skyliner
  • Parks
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios (front of the park)
    • Epcot (at the International Gateway, which provides easy access to the World Showcase)

In addition, the Epcot station puts you within a short walk to the Boardwalk entertainment district where you’ll find lots of restaurants and things to do.

Important note: You can’t get to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs from the Disney Skyliner. If those are your destinations, you’ll need to use another mode of Disney transportation.

Epcot International Gateway Skyliner station

In true Disney fashion, these stations are very well themed and reflect the aesthetics of their location.

Disney Skyliner

They fit right in and look fantastic!

What are the closest hotel rooms to the Walt Disney World Skyliner gondolas?

If you are staying at a resort with a station and want to have a room close to the Skyliner, make these requests:

Caribbean Beach
Note: Caribbean Beach does have an internal bus system so even though these rooms are further away from the main building, you’ll have easy access back to the front when you need it.

  • Jamaica
  • Barbados
  • Trinidad (Pirate Rooms)
  • Aruba (access via the Riviera station)
Disney Skyliner

Pop Century
Note: There is no internal bus system here so the downside will be that you’ll be further away from the main building and bus stop.

  • Request a Water View 
Art of Animation and Pop Century Skyliner Station

Art of Animation
Note: There is no internal bus system here so the downside will be that you’ll be further away from the main building and bus stop.

  • Book a Cars or Finding Nemo Suite and Request a Water View

Skyliner cars

The gondola cars themselves are also well-themed with about half being wrapped in artwork of favorite characters and attractions. They are adorable!

Each one can hold up to 10 guests, or up to 6 if there is a wheelchair or stroller.

Guests sit on twin, inward-facing, wooden benches.

Disney Skyliner Cars

Strollers up to 30″ x 48″ can remain open (much like they can on the monorail). Strollers larger than that will need to be folded up before boarding.

Disney characters, films, and attractions you might see

Look up! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Belle and Beast!

In addition to the bright, solid colors (like red, yellow, blue, green, and purple), here’s a list of the different characters, movies, and attractions you may see:

Note: even though the cars are wrapped, you can still see out the windows. However, for the clearest view (for things like photographs), consider asking the Cast Member if you can wait for a plain colored car.

  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Coco
  • Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Huey, Duey, & Louie
  • Finding Dory
  • Frozen
  • Goofy, Pete, Horace Horsecollar, & Clarabelle Cow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, & Chip & Dale
  • Moana
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Peter Pan
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Ratatouille
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Star Wars
  • Toy Story
  • Winnie the Pooh & Friends
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Zootopia

50th Anniversary wrap

For the 50th Anniversary, Disney has added special wraps to some of the buses, monorail cars, and Skyliner gondolas:

disney skyliner gondola 50th wrap

How do you ride the Disney Skyliner?

Anyone can ride the Skyliner; you don’t have to be staying at a Disney Resort.

Probably the easiest way to catch a ride on the Skyliner (if you aren’t staying at a resort with a station or if you are staying offsite) is to board at either Hollywood Studios or Epcot.


If you do not have a stroller or wheelchair, you’ll board a gondola that is moving very s-l-o-w-l-y, like you do for Haunted Mansion or The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

Guests using wheelchairs or strollers will be directed to a separate loading area where they board a stationary gondola car.

What about air conditioning?

One thing that is interesting is that the Walt Disney World Skyliner gondolas don’t have air conditioning.

Instead they use a “passive ventilation system” (aka window vents) which allows the breeze to move through the cabins.

Walt Disney World Skyliner Gondolas

As long as the gondola is moving, the temperature inside remains quite comfortable. But, if the gondola stops for any reason, the temps inside the cabin do rise quickly.

We think it’s important to note here that there are attractions at Disney World (like the Tomorrowland Transit Authority – PeopleMover) that are outdoors and don’t have air conditioning, either – and it works just fine.

But, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry a folding fan that you can use if the car stops temporarily for any reason.

Gondola construction Caribbean Beach September 2018

Motion Sickness

From our own personal experience, we haven’t had much of an issue with motion sickness on the gondolas. There is some slight swaying but overall they are very smooth.

Of course, if you are prone to motion sickness you’ll want to choose a seat that faces forward. Want more tips? We have an entire post about dealing with motion sickness at Disney World.

How long does the Skyliner take?

Travel times for the Skyliner can vary by a few minutes, but here’s what you can expect:

  • From the Caribbean Beach station to Hollywood Studios: about 5 minutes
  • From the Caribbean Beach station to International Gateway at Epcot: about 12 minutes
  • From Caribbean Beach to Pop Century/Art of Animation: about 3-5 minutes

How early does the Skyliner open?

The operating hours for the gondolas tends to vary depending on what time the parks are opening and closing, but you can typically find them starting from around 7:30 am to 8:30 a.m. and going until 10 or 11 p.m.

Note: Disney does expand the hours during busy times of the year.

Unfortunately, as of right now, the only place the schedule is published is on signs outside the stations.

Skyliner schedule


If you plan to go to Hollywood Studios or Epcot for Rope Drop, we recommend getting in line for the Skyliner 90 minutes before the park opens.

Skyliner Closures and Refurbishments

While the Skyliner is generally a very reliable system, there are a few times it will be closed.

First, weather may impact operations of the gondola system. High winds and rain will temporarily suspend travel.

And, of course, there have been a few “crashes” of gondola cars at the stations. Thankfully, only minor injuries were reported with those, but the crashes did result in the entire line being down for repairs and safety checks/maintenance.

Routine Maintenance

Finally, the Skyler does require routine maintenance. This has been scheduled in mid to late January for the past several years (typically right after the busy MLK holiday weekend).

Make sure you check out the refurbishment info below for any known interruptions to service.

Disney Transportation Refurbishments

What happens if the Skyliner is closed?

Disney won’t leave you stranded. If the Skyliner is down for any reason, there will be bus service provided to get you back to your resort.

What about the buses?

When the Skyliner is in operation, guests at Pop Century, Riviera, and Caribbean Beach will all be advised to use the Skyliner when going to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Buses will not be available for Hollywood Studios or Epcot.

Art of Animation, however, typically does have buses.

Art of Animation skyliner sign

Quick Tip: If you are staying at Pop Century and wish to exit out the front of Epcot, you can take the Art of Animation bus and walk to Pop from there.

When the gondolas are closed or not running, buses will be dispatched to transport guests between Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the above-mentioned resorts.

Disney Skyliner weather sign

Can I use the Skyliner to get to Topolino’s Terrace before Epcot opens ?

Yes, you can. Even if the Epcot line isn’t boarding, guests wishing to go to Topolino’s Terrace for the character breakfast can still use the Skyliner to get there.

You’ll likely board on the opposite side from where you typically board to go to Epcot, though. Ask a Cast Member at the Caribbean Beach station where to go.

How the Skyliner gondolas work at Disney World (video)

My Disney Experience 

Want to see the exact path these beauties take?

Disney has added the Skyliner to the My Disney Experience app.

Here’s the Pop Century/Art of Animation station:

Pop Century Gondola Station

And, here’s the station at the International Gateway at Epcot (it is at the top of the screen). As you can see, you fly over a lot of Disney parking lot space and enter Epcot between the France and United Kingdom pavilions:

Disney Skyliner path over Epcot

Dining on the Disney Skyliner

Not only does the Skyliner make it easier to get between some resorts and parks, it also makes visiting nearby resorts for dining a lot easier, too.

Disney Skyliner

In particular, we’re a fan of taking the Epcot line over to Disney’s Boardwalk area which used to be so difficult to get to from other resorts.

Read all about everywhere you can Dine on the Disney Skyliner.

Tips for the Disney Skyliner

  • Anybody can ride the Skyliner; you don’t have to be staying at a resort that has a station to ride it.
  • The Skyliner station at the Epcot International Gateway provides convenient access to the Boardwalk area, including the popular Bon Voyage character meal at Trattoria al Forno.
  • If you are prone to motion sickness, choose a seat that faces forwards.
  • Carry a fan with you (we prefer the folding kind) in case the gondola car stops temporarily.
  • Food and drinks are allowed.
  • Inclement weather may cause the temporary suspension of gondola service.
  • In the case of an emergency, emergency call boxes are located in each of the gondola cabins. If you have a question or need non-emergency help while on the Skyliner, you can call Skyliner Guest Services at (407) 827-2515.

Disney World Transportation Links

Want to learn more about Disney World buses, boats, monorail, and more?

Check out these handy posts for even more information on how to get around Walt Disney World.