There’s a new way to get to the theme parks at Walt Disney World and it’s really an attraction all of its own. Disney World’s new Skyliner system is now open giving some guests another transportation option to get them to the theme parks. Let’s talk about what you’ll need to know about the new Skyliner and how they may change your next Disney World vacation.
The Disney Skyliner is a gondola type car that travels on cables strung up high above roads, fields, water and backstage areas. It features nearly 300 brightly colored capsules, some themed with Disney characters. The Skyliner connects certain Walt Disney World resorts with two of the four Disney parks.
The resorts that have a Skyliner station are:
- Art of Animation
- Pop Century
- Caribbean Beach
- Riviera Resort (opening 12-19
The Skyliner travels to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Take a look at the map to see the layout of the various lines.
There are five Skyliner stations, including the stops at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. All lines lead to Caribbean Beach Resort, where there are also spurs going to Disney’s Riviera Resort (which opens in December) and a shared station for the Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts.
Each leg of your trip is one way. There is no round trip option. When you reach a station you’ll need to get off and then board again for the next leg of your journey. This process may sound complicated but it actually is very easy to do.
The Skyliner uses a continuous loading method of boarding, so the cars need to be empty as they will immediately circle around to pick up the next guests who will be boarding. So each area has an entry line and an exit line. When you disembark, just circle around to the entry area and board to continue on to the next stop.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you need to stay at a Disney hotel to use the Skyliner?
While the Skyliner provides transportation between the resorts and parks, any guest is welcome to hop aboard for a ride. You do not need a park ticket as they don’t enter the parks but just bring you to the entrance.
Is the Disney Skyliner air-conditioned?
The Skyliner uses a cross-ventilation system for airflow through the cabin as you ride. The windows of a capsule are also tinted to reduce direct sunlight and keep it cooler.
When I rode it was 90 degrees that day and it was pretty comfortable inside the Skyliner cabins. I mean, it’s Orlando so if it’s summer and it’s midday you’ll be a little warm, but it wasn’t overly hot with the amount of airflow that comes thru the cabin windows. Similar to outdoor attractions like the PeopleMover at Magic Kingdom, you won’t have air conditioning but the movement makes it comfortable.
Will the Skyliner still operate in bad weather?
Like any outdoor attraction at Disney World, if there is lightning or other severe weather the Skyliner will stop operating until the weather has passed for the safety of the guests. So it’s good to be familiar with other methods of transportation. There are always Disney buses and boats available as a solid plan B.
What if there’s an emergency while you’re riding the Skyliner?
There is an emergency button for you to get help in case of any medical emergency. Keep in mind the rides are relatively short, with most of them being just 5-7 minutes each.
Is the Disney World Skyliner handicap accessible or good for those with mobility issues?
If you need handicap accessibility or have a scooter or any type of issues that would require more time to board you will still be able to ride the new Skyliner. They have a great system set up for anyone that needs additional time to board. Since the Skyliner uses a continually moving boarding car, (similar to Spaceship Earth or the Peoplemover ride) guests that need extra time to board will enter a special entry line. With a simple track shift (like a train track) any Skyliner cabin can be pulled from the main line and to a special stationary loading zone. After the guests board, their car is then added back into the line of cars seamlessly and continues on its way. So there is no delay for other guests to load those that need the extra time.
Can you bring strollers on the Disney Skyliner?
Yes, you can bring a stroller on the Skyliner. In fact, since the cars line up perfectly level with the ground, ad long as your stroller fits, or is within a certain size, it can be rolled right on board the Skyliner without any need to fold it up. Maximum stroller sizes for the Skyliner are 30×48 inches. Note: Disney’s max stroller sizes for the parks are actually 31×52 inches so it’s possible some double strollers would be fine for bringing into the parks, but too large to fit into the Skyliner cabin. If this happens you can still ride, but the stroller would need to be folded up to fit.
Can you ride the Skyliner with an ECV or scooter?
Yes, you can. The scooter can be driven right onto the Skyliner since they are level with the ground when you board. Guest with scooters will want to board the stationary cabins so they can have extra time to drive the ECV into the cabins.
How many people can fit into the Skyliner cabin at one time?
There are two long bench seats on each side of the cabin that hold a total max of 10 people. If there is a wheelchair or ECV needing more space capacity would be reduced. Will we have to ride the Skyliner with other groups or just our party? It depends. As of now, it seems most groups have a cabin to themselves since it’s constantly loading and the cabins move by quickly it’s faster to just load each group in then try to group them up. But we will have to see how it runs after it’s open for a while and if this changes when there is a long line to people waiting.
What hours will Skyliner be running?
Disney Skyliner hours of operation will differ because they are based on park hours. Times will be available on the My Disney Experience app. Operating hours at this point tend to be similar to the other forms of Disney transportation.
What are the travel times to ride the Skyliner?
How long the Skyliner will take depends on your start and endpoint and if there are any pauses in the loading due to guest issues. Basically each leg of the trip is between 5-10 min with the full round trip ride taking about 30 min total. Here are the estimates by location:
- Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 5-6 minutes
- Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort or Disney’s Pop Century Resort: 5-6 minutes
- Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Riviera Resort: 5 minutes
- Caribbean Beach Resort to Epcot’s International Gateway: 15 minutes
- Riviera Resort to Epcot’s International Gateway: 9 minutes
Disney Skyliner Tips and Tricks
● The Skyliner cars with the characters on them are super cute on the outside but the wraps actually make it a little hard to see the views out the windows since they darken them. If you want the best views try to grab a standard non-character car.
● The Epcot Skyliner station is located at the back of Epcot at the International Gateway. This will put you in World Showcase near France. So if you are deciding between riding the Skyliner to Epcot vs other forms of transportation, think about which part of the park you’ll want to start with. If you plan on Future World you may want to ride something that takes you to the front entrance. If you’re visiting one of the Epcot festivals then the Skyliner might be perfect as you’ll be starting in the back where the countries are. Knowing that may help save you some extra walking.
● If you ride the Skyliner into the Epcot station you’ll get some great views of the construction that’s happening for the new Ratatouille attraction in the back of France. If you’ve never gotten a chance to visit Art of Animation resort or Pop Century resort, then the stop at that station might be a great chance to check them out. Plan a little extra time to walk around. Art of Animation is one of my favorite resorts with some great theming and photo ops as well as a great food court.
To see a video of the Disney World Skyliner when you’re riding it and see the views, check out my video here.
I hope you have an amazing time riding the Skyliner on your next trip to Walt Disney World! If you haven’t connected with me before Disney World is my jam. I live right behind the castle in Orlando and have made it my job to help people know everything they need to have an amazing Disney World vacation.
The best place to find me is here and on Instagram where I use my stories to take you with me when I’m in the parks. And if you’re trying to keep up with Disney World there’s no better way to do that than this.
Thanks for reading!