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Another Disney Attraction Is Reducing Operating Hours, But It Makes Sense

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Walt Disney World began operating with reduced hours this week, a side effect of the fact that, while the resort is open for business, even with its reduced capacity, the park largely isn't seeing the number of guests it had hoped. This has forced the park to reduce hours, and reduced hours in the park ultimately means reduced hours everyplace else in the resort, including the brand new Disney Skyliner. The attraction/transportation option, which connects two of the Walt Disney World theme parks with four hotel resorts is also now working on a reduced schedule.

Of course, with the parks closing early there's little reason for the Skyliner to operate during its original schedule as there would be no place for it to go. The Skyliner runs for 90 minutes after a park's closure, which should be more than enough time to move everybody off to their resort hotel. Of course, with parks like Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios now closing as early as 7pm, that means you'll be on the Skyliner no later than 8:30pm, as confirmed by WDWNT, which is likely a lot earlier than most people are planning to call it a night when on vacation at Disney World.

While Walt Disney World is open for business, Disney has been open about the fact that the majority of vacationers simply aren't returning to the resort quite yet. While things seem to be going well at Walt Disney World from a safety perspective, since the majority of guests, and the most profitable ones for Disney, travel from elsewhere, a potential guest needs to be willing to not only visit the theme parks but also visit airports or drive long distances, which they might not feel quite as comfortable doing.

The result has been that the majority of guests actually visiting the parks are locals and/or Annual Pass holders, but these guests tend to spend less money inside the park, which means that whatever financial expectations Disney had for the park opening to limited guests simply aren't being met, resulting in the reduced hours to save money.

Of course, then one has to wonder if the decision to shrink hours then has the effect of keeping guests away. Now knowing that the parks won't be open for as many hours, especially with so many events and attractions already on hold, you have to ask the question, how many people are staying away from Walt Disney World because they might not feel safe, and how many are staying away because they're simply waiting for things to return to normal so that when they do visit the resort, they can get the full experience?

Still, because the theme parks aren't hitting capacity most days, even with the reduced hours there's the possibility that a guest could do more than on a normal traffic day, so maybe there is an upside to it all.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.