Is the Walt Disney World Gondola System about to become a reality?

Feb 15, 2017 in "Disney Skyliner"

Posted: Wednesday February 15, 2017 7:30am EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

Recently filed permitting plans suggest that Walt Disney World may be about to get its own gondola transportation system.

The plans show several structures at key locations around property, with some exhibiting quite distinctive proportions - L Shapes, that are typically used to change direction on overhead cable-based gondolas. (Thanks to danlb_2000 and P_Radden on the WDWMAGIC Forums for interpreting the plans)

The plans appear to show the new gondola transportation system linking Disney's Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort and Epcot.

Timing is especially interesting, as major changes are coming to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney's Hollywood Studios, which would make integration of a new transport system much easier.

The Magic Kingdom of course had its own Skyway, which served as an attraction inside the park for many years. But the use of gondolas as mass transport is gaining popularity. A new system is proposed for New York City, and London already operates a version in the east of the city.

Disney has not yet announced any new transportation plan, but it is well known that expansion of the monorail is unlikely, and roadways for bus use are becoming increasingly congested.

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dark53011 days ago

I wonder if the new automated bag check would have affected that calculus. Personally, I'm just happy the Germany expansion pad is still available for park expansion, not transportation.

UNCgolf11 days ago

I think having to either build a new entrance at EPCOT or having to have every single person boarding the Skyliner go through a ticket check and security were bigger factors.

Brad Bishop11 days ago

I bet 8b was a non-starter because: Customers would have had to travel through Epcot to get to spending and dining over at the Epcot resorts.

trainplane312 days ago

Thanks for confirming. It's interesting to see how the system and solution changed throughout its life.

GoofGoof12 days ago

Interesting information :) After seeing the Skyliner in action and using it on a stay at BC I don’t think the Germany station would be very practical and would be a major step down for anyone staying in the Crescent Lake area or trying to get to BC or BW for meals or entertainment. If the station was in the German pavilion you would need a park ticket to get into EPCOT and any guest who wanted to get from BC to DHS would need a park hopper ticket and also would need to wait until park Hopping started to use the system. You would also be limited by the closing time of EPCOT. So if DHS stayed open later than EPCOT that line would either close early or you would have to keep the area of WS between Germany and the Intl gateway open after park close. If it wasn’t for Riviera I think the best approach would have been to make the hub at DHS then have a line to CBR, a line to AoA and a line to EPCOT gateway. Then anyone going from AoA or CBR to EPCOT would just need to transfer at DHS. With Riviera in the mix the current layout is probably the most efficient.

marni197113 days ago

Yep.

mikejs7813 days ago

I like option 8 - what we have today plus a direct line from DHS to Epcot. That would be ideal if they ever decided to add that.

castlecake2.013 days ago

That was apparently one proposal but was abandoned because of cost(both construction and staffing) from what I remember him saying.

trainplane313 days ago

I'm trying to remember, but @marni1971, I remember you talking about them considering a large boat system with canals instead of the Skyliner. Weren't one of the plans to have the Epcot dock for that be Germany? Interesting it was considered for the Skyliner.

lazyboy97o13 days ago

But would it have? The stations they did built are rather industrial with stuff like tube steel painted green trying to somehow masquerade as wrought iron.

GimpYancIent13 days ago

Too bad an extension to an AK station is not included.

UNCgolf13 days ago

Seems like it would have required even more staff. They would have had to have people checking tickets etc. at multiple locations.

Robbiem13 days ago

A German entrance would have given the opportunity to build a fantasyland style Bavarian station

castlecake2.013 days ago

They could have, but still would have required the same amount of staff as building the Germany entrance, which is what I heard killed that option.