Five-Year-Old Disney Ride Closes During Storm, Guests Abandoned on Board

in Walt Disney World

A man sitting on a broken Disney skyliner gondola.

Credit: @viewfromthepark via TikTok

Walt Disney World Resort guests recently spoke up online after getting trapped on a Disney Skyliner gondola. The nearly-five-year-old transportation system shut down with Disney Park guests on board during a Central Florida thunderstorm.

The Disney Skyliner system opened in September 2019. It joins the Monorail, buses, private Minnie Van service, and watercraft as the newest unique method of travel between the Disney parks and Disney Resort hotels. Disney Skyliner Resort hotels include Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. The gondola system services EPCOT International Gateway and the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Exterior of Pop Century hotel at nighttime
Credit: Disney

Because the Disney Skyliner gondolas are suspended mid-air, they can’t operate safely when thunderstorms are in the area. Ahead of inclement weather, Disney cast members typically shut down the transportation system and direct guests to shuttle buses. However, dozens of unlucky guests were recently forced to weather a storm inside a Disney Skyliner gondola 60 feet above the ground.

TikTok user @viewfromthepark shared this video of the windy rainstorm shaking their Disney Skyliner gondola. “New fear unlocked,” the theme park guest wrote.

@viewfromthepark

Stuck on the Skyliner when a massive thunder storm hits Disney World! ⛈️⚡️New fear unlocked! 💀 #Disney #DisneyTikTok #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #DisneyHolidays #DisneySkyliner #Storm #Lightning #Skyliner #CableCar

♬ Storm Coming – Once Monsters

“We made the mistake of trying to ‘beat the storm’, and then it hit pretty soon after we got on!” they explained.

Raindrops pounded the Disney Skyliner gondola as it slowly approached Disney’s Riviera Resort hotel. The guest said high-speed winds were passing through the gondola’s air vents, making the experience more frightening: “Boy was the air flowing on this ride!”

Water also infiltrated the air vents.

Disney's Skyliner System
Credit: D23

“One side wasn’t really getting anything, and the other was getting a bit splashed, but not too much!” the guest recalled.

Though the gondolas eventually started moving, the guest joked that it “mainly [moved from] side to side!” Disney cast members eventually evacuated all riders and sent them on shuttle buses to their destinations.

The storm cleared after about 30 minutes, at which point Disney cast members re-opened the transportation system. If the Disney Skyliner, Monorail, or watercraft temporarily closes during your Walt Disney World Resort vacation, ask a Disney cast member about alternate transportation options.

Have you ever gotten stuck on an attraction at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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