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.