Disney Skyliner is a high-end transportation system that has caught the attention of Disney fans and visitors. Its colorful gondolas, some adorned with beloved characters, connect guests with various resorts and two theme parks. It had a bumpy start, but now the system is working properly. It is a unique system that is even more enjoyable when prepared. Here are our top five tips for driving the Disney Skyliner.
Remember: (almost) all routes lead to the Caribbean beach
The first thing you need to know about the Disney Skyliner system is that Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the hub. All routes extend to and from this station. Regardless of where you start (EPCOT, Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts or Disney’s Hollywood Studios), the trip will take you to Caribbean Beach Resort. From there it will change to any route that takes you to your final destination. The only exception to this is if you go up to Riviera Resort and head to EPCOT. This route goes directly to and from EPCOT.
Rope chain and closing timelines
Like anything else on Disney property, the demand for Disney Skyliner is greater when opening and closing parks. Because theme parks have a staggered operating schedule, it can be tricky, but it helps to make sure there isn’t a rush driven by Disney Transportation at all the resorts and all the parks at once.
Personally, I made the mistake of forgetting the rope drop time at EPCOT. I parked at Disney’s Hollywood Studios so I could use the Skyliner to go to EPCOT. This method really doesn’t save time, but since I only intended to visit World Showcase it was good to enter the EPCOT at International Gateway after a scenic walk. We arrived at the Caribbean Beach station 20 minutes before the park opened, so there was a major line for the Skyliner. It took us about 15 minutes to cross the line.
Naturally, there is more demand at closing time, after nightly shows, so there may be a bit of a wait at the EPCOT Skyliner station.
Drinking around the world at EPCOT can be fun, but getting on a Disney Skyliner gondola on a hot day can make things a little difficult. While the breeze coming in through the respirators is nice, sometimes if there is no wind or it stops, it can get hot. Make sure you have had some water, whether you have adult drinks or not, before boarding.
Another thing to do before boarding is to go to the bathroom. It’s a good idea to do this, like before a road trip. Chances are the Skyliner trip will go smoothly, but it wouldn’t be fun to be stuck for an extended period of time and move around in the seat. Can you say I’m a mother? There are toilets close to all stations.
Little riders can get nervous
The first time I brought my little son aboard Disney Skyliner I didn’t think he could be a little scared or nervous. As we approached the station, he was fascinated by the moving gondolas. Things went really well until we got on the gondola and started the quick climb from the station. The quick movement unsettled him and he immediately asked to return home. I talked to him, pointing out the views and assuring him we were fine. It then occurred to me to point out the different characters on the outside of many of the passing gondolas. When we were traveling at the end of the day, he said excitedly, “I love it!” while our gondola fired into the air.
The Disney Skyliner is similar to other gondola systems used around the world. There may be slowdowns and delays, but it is a very efficient system. It’s a great way to get around one of the most popular parts of Walt Disney World and is a welcome addition.
Have you been to the Disney Skyliner system yet?
First published on September 4, 2020. Updated on September 28, 2021.