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While the attractions at the Walt Disney World theme parks are always the things that most people like to focus on, more eyes have been on the park's new Skyliner transportation system over the last week. The system only went online at the end of September, but following a failure on October 5, the system had been completely shut down.
However, there is finally some good news as the Skyliner has been put back into operation. Following testing, the system started back up on Monday, though it is currently working a somewhat limited schedule, as it seems there is still some work to be done to get the Skyliner fully operational.
The Skyliner's standard hours of operation will be from 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM seven days a week. However, according to the Walt Disney World website, the Disney's Hollywood Studios line will be down all day today, October 16, and the other two lines will be down until 1:00 PM. On the 17th and 18th of October, all three lines will down in the morning and will resume operation at 1:00 PM. After that, it looks like things will be back to normal.
The Disney Skyliner is an airborne gondola system which connects Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney's Riviera Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, and Disney's Art of Animation resort.
The Skyliner was going to be an incredibly useful innovation at Walt Disney World because if you've ever been there, you know that simply getting around the massive resort can be a chore. Buses are the primary mode of getting from one place to another and they never seem to arrive at the right time.
While the Skyliner certainly doesn't fix this problem entirely, it's a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse last weekend when the Epcot line of the Skyliner stalled leaving dozens of guests stranded in mid-air for about three hours. This was certainly a worst case scenario for the new Skyliner, so it's little surprise that the system remained down while Walt Disney World tried to figure out what had happened, and, more importantly, tried to make sure it wasn't going to happen again.
Luckily, the system crash had only limited repercussions for the guests. One gondola was evacuated by the Reedy Creek Fire Department, and one guest was treated and released from the hospital, but that appears to have been the worst of it. Beyond that, there was simply the inconvenience of being stuck, and the resort had stated they were working with those guests to attempt to remedy the situation.
After the system updates this week we'll see if the Skyliner goes into a full permanent operation or if occasional shutdowns will be necessary to keep it in otherwise working order. As frustrating as regular stoppages might be, that's certainly preferable to seeing people get stuck.