Op-Ed: Don’t Lose Faith in Disney World Transportation After Skyliner Crash

in Technology, Walt Disney World

Disney Skyliner

Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

With every new technology comes new problems, and the Walt Disney World transportation system is no exception to that rule. Over the past few days, the Walt Disney World Skyway Gondola service was opened, only to then crash and be shut down.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

The image of the cars squished together in the station is ominous enough, and it should pain any Disney fan to see something be built up so much to have such a messy start. And this event is bound to inspire countless people to reminisce about other accidents. But, it is important to remember that we should not let this destroy our faith in Walt Disney World’s transportation systems.

Walt Disney World Transportation Has An Amazing Safety Record

While it has suffered technical issues–and negligent guests opening the doors mid journey–the Walt Disney World Monorail System has suffered one fatal crash since its launch in 1971. The only fatality was a monorail pilot, and there were no guests on or near the trains. So, statistically speaking, this is the safest way to travel around the property.

Monorail near the Polynesian Resort
source: ITM

The fleet of Walt Disney World ferry boats has dealt with rare injuries from some necessary hard docking but otherwise has a near-flawless safety record.

The buses also have a relatively fantastic safety record. While they do carry the bulk of the accidents and guest injuries, it’s important to remember that the buses are still the most exposed to risks. Every bus has to share busy roads with other cars driven by other guests with every attention level and every mood on the spectrum.

Walt Disney World Bus
(Photo courtesy of Vacation Club Loans)

It is because of this slightly heightened risks and natural inefficiencies (aka traffic), as well as the high cost of extending the monorail (I mean, they won’t even give us the Mark VIIIs yet. So how can we expect them to extend the Highway in the Sky?) that we have the new Skyliner gondola system.

Disney’s Focus on Safety Has Continued to Improve

I’m sure there are several fans reading this article that remember the days where the parking lot trams had no doors on their cars, a time when the Walt Disney World Railroad didn’t have that barrier on the far side of each coach, and a time when there was no safety bar on Splash Mountain. Change for safety has been noticed and deserves recognition. Disney Transportation Employees also undergo immense levels of training, especially the Bus Drivers, Boat Captains and Mates, and Monorail Pilots.

Also, we have to give credit where credit is due! This is a company which, on its own private land, operates a fleet of ships, three of the few monorail lines in the U.S., and a full Bus fleet. The relative safety record they have is astounding, and whether we can see it or not (*cough cough* Mark VIIIs *cough cough*) that level of safety is in a constant stage of improvement. I’m positive that the programs will be fixed, and the Skyliner will reopen very soon.

But, if you really have lost all faith in Walt Disney World’s public transportation systems, remember that you can always download Lyft and call a Minnie Van to take you anywhere you want.


What is your favorite WDW transportation system? Have you ever had a harrowing first-hand experience? What changes do you want to be seen made? Let us know in the comments below.

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