After being open for barely a month, the brand new Skyliner has already carried its 1 millionth guest across the skies of Walt Disney World. Clearly, the new transportation system is a success. Of course, what makes this number all the more impressive is that the Skyliner spent a week closed down following a serious problem that left several gondolas frozen in mid air.
The Skyliner connects two Walt Disney World theme parks, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, with four resort hotels, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort, the last of which is set to open in mid-December.
The fact that 1 million people have ridden the Skyliner certainly shows that the new gondola system is quite popular with guests, despite the fact that about week after opening the system gave everybody a scare when the Epcot line shut down mid-service. Several of the ride vehicles were stuck in mid-air for several hours. One of them had to be evacuated by the Reedy Creek Fire Department.
Following the shutdown the Skyliner was kept inoperable for about a week while Walt Disney World investigated the failure. After a few days the system was brought back online.
Clearly, there is no fear from guests of another failure if more than 1 million people have used the service, as the Disney Parks Blog has reported. One can just imagine how much faster the Skyliner would have hit that milestone if there hadn't been an interruption of service of 8 days.
Due to the fact that there hasn't been another major problem with the Skyliner it would appear things are back to normal. And it's a good thing, because if there's one area that Walt Disney World has always needed help, it's in moving guests around the resort. Getting from one park to another or to a hotel for a dinner reservation has always been more than a little rough.
While there are always buses, they never seem to be arriving or leaving when you need. And there are often crowds of people trying to take the same bus. Any new additions to transportation that helps reduce crowds elsewhere is a good thing. The Skyliner is clearly possible, and since it's a continuous moving gondola, it can move through a lot of people quickly. It's little surprise 1 million people were able to use it so quickly.
The question is, do people really like the Skyliner as a mode of transportation, or were people simply using it for the novelty of the new experience? Time and traffic will tell that tale. Although, since most visitors to Walt Disney World aren't regulars, the Skyliner will always be a novel mode of transportation to somebody.