Disney Skyliner Has Guests Covered in Extreme Heat and Lightning Storms

in Disney, Travel, Walt Disney World

Disney Skyliner view and gondolas

Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

In a special event featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse and many other Disney character friends on Friday, September 27, Walt Disney World officially dedicated its newest transportation system: the Disney Skyliner.

Beginning Sunday, September 29, the gondola system will finally start its operations taking Guests from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort to and from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The new system will take to the skies with Resort Guests on a high-flying adventure that provides scenic and stunning views of Walt Disney World and peace of mind from the system’s extensive safeguards.

The Cabin

First announced in July 2017, the Disney Skyliner gondolas have taken shape. The result is a cozy and cute cabin featuring imagery of everyone’s favorite animated friends and other elements, ensuring a comfortable and safe ride.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

Related: Walt Disney World officially opens new Disney Skyliner

Similar to other non-stop transportation systems, the gondolas are continuously moving. Upon stepping onto the loading platform, the gondola you’ll take flight on will move as you enter. As the cabin approaches the loading area, its doors automatically open, allowing Guests to step on.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

Once stepping on, parties of ten or fewer can sit on two benches. The benches are made of wood but are pretty comfortable for your short trips during each flight.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Disney Skyliner logo
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

On the doors, Guests can find a list of different safety warnings, some of which include remaining seated at all times, not attempting to open the cabin’s doors mid-flight, supervising children, not smoking, holding the hands of young ones, and not try to rock or tip the gondola.

Disney Skyliner doors
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

For the safety of Guests, all gondolas are equipped with an emergency call box, which can be activated easily with the simple touch of a button.

Disney Skyliner speakers
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

Above, Guests will find a loudspeaker that broadcasts alerts and updates on your location during the flight.

Disney Skyliner speakers
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

Temperature

During my trip on the Disney Skyliner, it was around 11:00 a.m., with a temperature closer to about 85 degrees outside. It was warmer standing at the Skyliner’s station than riding in one of the gondolas up in the air.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

While riding, the wind pushes through four vents near the top of the cabins, creating a pleasant breezy environment. This breeziness isn’t very present while at the loading station. Although, fans are strategically located around the loading area to push air inside the gondolas while Guests load.

As some might already know, the gondolas were designed without air conditioning. However, upon speaking to Trevor Ocock, general manager of transportation at Walt Disney World, he discussed that the gondolas were created for the sunshine state without needing an electric cooling system.

Disney Skyliner windows
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Disney Skyliner windows
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

“The gondolas were designed specifically for this environment…we have window openings in the front and the rear which maximizes airflow–so when Guests ride, they’ll notice the breeze that comes through. Even on the days during the Florida heat, the air that comes through really keeps you cool, and it’s enjoyable,” said Ocock.

“The first day I went on it, it was 94 degrees, and the air that came through…The words I heard from others were ‘pleasant,’ ‘comfortable,’ and ‘windy,’” he continued.

Related: Walt Disney World officially opens new Disney Skyliner

Safety

While discussing weather conditions, Ocock also talked about more extreme weather conditions Central Florida faces throughout the year—specifically–severe thunder and lightning storms. Visitors to Orlando, Florida, are familiar with the intense lightning and rain that can come from these weather conditions. But fear not; as Ocock says, Disney is more than prepared.

“It is designed for Florida weather, with an abundance of safety. While they have lightning detection systems on the Skyliner cabins, we will monitor the weather just like we do for any attraction or other transportation modes. So when we have to pause for an afternoon thunderstorm with lightning nearby, just like we would with any mode, Guests will utilize another form of transportation until the storm moves through and we can start back up, including busses,” said Ocock.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

While continuing on the subject, Ocock continued to discuss the many extra steps Walt Disney World has taken to maintain the safety of the new transportation system–including safety practices.

“We have benchmarked worldwide to bring the best and safest practices to this system. Just like any attraction or mode of transportation, we are constantly reviewing and practicing our safety procedures. We work very closely with Reedy Creek Emergency Services to be able to practice and have scenarios for any situation. As our system was designed and built, we kept safety the highest priority, and we are well trained and well prepared should we ever have to utilize those,” said Ocock.

Upon asking, Ocock did not provide specific details of how Guests would be evacuated from the gondolas in the case of an emergency. However, Ocock said: “Because we travel over many different terrains, at any point in the system, we’ve been able to practice how that would operate. Each scenario would be different, so it is something that we have practiced for and are well prepared for.”

Views

Disney Skyliner window
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

While experiencing the system, Guests will be able to take in some breathtaking views of Walt Disney World. These include views of Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Spaceship Earth, a glimpse of the upcoming Ratatouille attraction, and much more.

If you’re journeying to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll get to view the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Disney Skyliner window
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Disney Skyliner view
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

For Guests not staying on the property, the Disney Skyliner is still available for you to ride. Remember that you may have to change cabins to get on different tracks to different locations. The system is accessible to all Walt Disney World Guests.

If you want to book a trip to experience the Disney Skyliner for yourself, we suggest you contact our preferred travel agent partner Academy Travel! They can offer expert advice and a no-obligation quote on a dream vacation. Academy Travel provides its services at no extra cost to you. You can click here for a no-obligation quote and discuss your holiday with a Vacation planner at Academy Travel.

Will you take the Disney Skyliner on your next trip to Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments!

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