Disney Skyliner Closed Following Partial Evacuation

An in-station collision on the Epcot line of the Disney Skyliner caused a stop that left people stuck in gondolas for more than two hours Saturday night and led to a partial evacuation.

The first tweet about the situation at Walt Disney World Resort appeared at 8:43 pm eastern time, followed by pictures of stacked cabins in one of the outgoing sections of the Riviera Resort angle station.  Riviera is the second of four stations on the longest Skyliner line, which links Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Epcot’s International Gateway.

The unfortunate incident happened just a week after the gondola system opened to the public.  Crews practiced repeatedly in the months prior to launch for such a scenario.  Each cabin is equipped with two way communications, emergency supplies and water.

As of 9:30, Reedy Creek Fire Department trucks and specialized lifts were being used to evacuate people from a few cabins.  The Epcot line passes over a narrow body of water plus multiple roads and buildings, necessitating a variety of rescue equipment.  The shorter Hollywood Studios and Pop Century/Art of Animation lines were unaffected but unloaded as a precaution.

The affected line began moving again around 11:00 pm, more than two hours after the initial stop.  Guests who were not already evacuated by ladder trucks could be seen unloading normally at stations.  They were offered water, gift cards and medical services.

A Disney spokesperson told the Orlando Sentinel in a statement that no injuries were reported as a result of the “unexpected downtime.”  All three Skyliner lines will remain closed pending the outcome of an investigation.  “We apologize for this situation, and we are working with each guest individually regarding impacts to their visit with us,” the company said.


22 thoughts on “Disney Skyliner Closed Following Partial Evacuation

  1. Zev Rosenfield October 5, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    Well shoot, this will bode well for future urban gondolas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andres Crosetto October 5, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    That didn’t take long.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ryan October 5, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    On a system of this complexity, there was bound to be issues arise that would only occur once it got heavy real life usage loads. They’ll get it worked out. Patience.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mark October 7, 2019 / 3:14 am

      Really, at Crystal Mountain? That gondola has insane cabin spacing! But yeah Crystal is in Washington.


  4. Skiz October 5, 2019 / 9:22 pm

    What even causes a collision like that?


  5. Kaden K October 5, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    Wait, what caused the gondolas to collide like that?!!!!


  6. sam October 5, 2019 / 11:06 pm

    not a good look for doppelmayr


    • Ryan October 6, 2019 / 1:11 am

      Actually given that Doppelmayr doesn’t have any badging on anything on the lift, no one will know it’s Doppelmayr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kaden K October 7, 2019 / 3:54 pm

        It’s still not that hard to find out the manufacturer


  7. Kirk October 6, 2019 / 8:22 am

    looks like maybe the launching/holding clutch disengaged and cabins kept coming into the station ?? Have heard of a similar situation on a tight spacing one sided mid station on a Doppelmayr. They ended up running the evacuation engine in reverse to untangle the mess. Unloaded some passengers in reverse and some in forward. Who knows if the anti collision caught the problem and then the lift was restarted and etc??

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeff October 6, 2019 / 9:48 am

    That’s usually what’s happens when the lift operators acknowledge and start again after an automatic stop from the anti-collision system… without any investigation and looking if all gondolas are still moving!

    In this case, they probably re-started the lift at least two times to get such stacking and a high speed collision which break the gondola glass!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Skiz October 6, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    They screwed themselves by not having dopplmayr logos anywhere, so now the blame is squareley on them

    Liked by 2 people

  10. powderforever45 October 6, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    Does anyone know how long it will be closed for?


    • Peter Landsman October 6, 2019 / 8:59 pm

      No but the Epcot line is apparently running tonight without passengers. How long it remains closed will be telling.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Brendan October 10, 2019 / 8:25 am

    Still down and reports came out yesterday of 3 hospitalizations. This is a bad look for Disney AND Doppelmayr. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to sell d-line to other US clients. Also any projected ridership numbers disney hoped for in the first year can be thrown right out the window.


    • Collin Parsons October 10, 2019 / 9:13 am

      This incident has been blown so far out of proportion just because of the media coverage Disney gets. No one knows the nature of the injuries that led to the hospitalizations. They could’ve just been short ER visits for all I know.

      This can happen on any detachable lift. Gondolas with high capacity are far more susceptible to pileups than anything else because there isn’t much space in the terminals between the cabins. They eventually ran the lift to unload guests. I’m not sure how many guests were evacuated by rope, but clearly they didn’t finish by the time the lift could run again.

      I think leaving it closed this long is precautionary.
      I’ve seen ski lifts that had major spacing issues and chair pileups in the morning and were back open within a few hours. How long was it till the Crystal Gondola opened after it’s similar accident?

      And to say that the D-Line is doomed is a real stretch. There are a bunch of these in Europe that have already operated many hours, and we haven’t heard of any similar issues with them.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. powderforever45 October 13, 2019 / 8:33 pm

    The gondola is back up and running. It just said it on the news for me.


    • Peter Landsman October 13, 2019 / 8:56 pm

      Running but not carrying passengers. Still listed as temporarily closed on the resort web site.


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