In addition to becoming one of the most-ridden gondola systems when it opens this fall, we now know the Disney Skyliner will also be among the most colorful. After nearly two years of construction, cabins are finally out and about on all three new gondola lines spanning Walt Disney World Resort.
The cabins crisscross between the world’s seventh and ninth most-visited theme parks plus four resort hotels. Last week, Disney and Doppelmayr removed protective covers from 55 cabins that will service Hollywood Studios, revealing a cornucopia of colors and characters.
There are eight core colors including multiple shades of blue and red. Some cabins are monotone while others feature Disney icons from across nine decades. Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, Toy Story and Winnie the Pooh are just some of the storied franchises highlighted on gondolas.
The first of Walt Disney World’s three Skyliner lines is looking a lot like a gondola these days with cabins moving along at a brisk clip during test runs. Line speed appears to be at least 5 m/s with cabin interval around 10 seconds, translating to a 3,600 per hour capacity. We’ll have to wait and see what the final spacing and speeds are but it’s clear these gondolas are going to move a ton of people.
One of the many cabins now flying between Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Hollywood Studios was recently uncovered, providing some clues to how the system will look when completed. The landing below the cabin doors is wider and squarer than normal for easy loading and unloading. There are three windows that open out on the front of the cabin, one on the tower side and two at the rear. Additional vents at the bottom ensure there will be plenty of air flow. While gondola number 251 is a simple yellow with glazed windows, many other cabins will feature Disney character graphics.
The Epcot line, which stretches some 8,200 linear feet with two angle changes, is not far behind on its way to completion.
At the first angle station, landscaping is underway and stairs are being erected for worker access to the terminal.
A rainbow shipment of CWA cabins is now stateside, earmarked for the skies above Central Florida. Construction continues on the three line Disney Skyliner system, which is set to open this fall and sure to become a showcase for high capacity lift technology.
In addition to the row of cabins now staged at the Caribbean Beach hub, cabins have also been spotted in the Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Pop Century and Art of Animation stations. While the gondolas are covered in protective wraps, you can see they come in a variety of colors with Disney character art on the windows.
There are interesting looking electrical boxes on the cabin roofs. I’m curious to see what sort of infotainment the Skyliner carriers feature, if any. It does not appear that power is derived from solar panels, as is the case with some other urban gondolas.