(Last updated: March 22, 2019)
Disney already has fantastic transportation options to help get you and your family around the entire Walt Disney World Resort area.
But soon, in addition to the buses and boats and monorails and Minnie Vans guests will have a brand new transportation option to use: gondolas!
Yep. That's right - gondolas are coming to Disney World, but just where will they go and when will they be available?
News & Updates
Construction continues and if you're lucky, you just might get to see some testing of the Gondolas, too!
The new station at the International Gateway is really taking shape:
Over at Hollywood Studios, you can see lots of testing going on:
The cars slow down significantly when they enter the station giving guests lots of time to load and unload.
Once it exits the station, it picks back up speed and zips along at surprisingly quick pace!
And it is all whisper quiet (and so fun to watch!).
New concept art released for Skyliner station! January 22, 2019
Disney released new concept art for the Skyliner station at the new Disney's Riviera Resort.
New video and a first look! November 17, 2018
At Destination D, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek proudly presented the crowd with a first look at one of the new Disney Skyliner Gondolas!
Disney Skyliner to begin operation in Fall of 2019
Although we don't have an exact date yet, Disney announced on November 14, 2018 that the new Skyliner gondola system would begin operation in the Fall of 2019 - which should be in plenty of time ahead of the opening of Star Wars Land.
New animated video released - October 19, 2018
Disney released a video today highlighting some of the key facts and information about the new system.
Photo update - September 2018
Here are a few photos from September 2018. So much progress!
Shannon looks tiny next to the giant pole!
You can see the construction clearly from the Aruba section of Caribbean Beach.
Construction is pretty far along over at the station in-between Art of Animation and Pop Century.
This is taken from the walkway along the water on the Art of Animation side.
What is the Disney Skyliner?
I'm not ashamed to admit that I am over-the-top excited about this new transportation option. I'm also not embarrassed to admit that when I first heard the term "gondola" in my mind I was thinking of the small 2-3 person versions you'd see at most domestic ski resorts.
It wasn't until Disney released the artwork that I fully understood the size and scope of this project - its major. And it is really cool.
The new gondola system will be named the Disney Skyliner. This new transportation system will link 3 resorts and 2 parks by carrying them high above the treetops for spectacular views of the entire Disney World Resort area.
The Disney Skyliner will have stations at:
- Art of Animation (station shared with Pop Century)
- Pop Century (station shared with Art of Animation)
- Caribbean Beach (station shared with Disney Riviera)
- Disney Riviera (station shared with Caribbean Beach)
- Hollywood Studios
- Epcot (at the International Gateway)
In true Disney fashion, these stations will be well themed and reflect the aesthetics of their location. The gondola cars themselves will also be themed and include artwork of favorite characters and attractions.
Also, latest news reports are saying that the gondolas won't be air conditioned but will just have some ventilation holes, instead.
Now, that isn't confirmed yet but some people are upset at the news.
We're taking a more "wait and see" approach. I mean, I love the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover but it doesn't have air conditioning, either. AND, I'd much rather sit in a moving "vehicle" where there are vents for air flow versus walking over the hot pavement of one of the parking lots (or standing still on one of the paths in Animal kingdom; that park always feels 10 degrees hotter than the others to me!).
At the time of this writing, the gondola construction is well underway with towers popping up all over. But just when will the Disney Skyliner be open and ready to take passengers?
The truth is - all we can do is guess. We still think it will be open in time for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (even with the newly announced August 29 opening) but whether or not it will be sooner than that, it is hard to tell.
Since Disney has never installed a system like this before it is hard to gauge how far along they are and just what all still needs to be done. But, you can rest assured that as soon as we do have a firmer completion date, we will let you know!
Other posts you might find helpful: