Walt Disney World's Skyliner Gets Stuck Again, Leaving Guests Hanging

At the end of September of 2019 Walt Disney World opened the Skyliner, an aerial tram service that connected two theme parks, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, with several resort hotels. It was a great way to get around the park, and a lot more fun than a bus. At least it was for about a week, as the Skyliner had a major malfunction in October that stranded passengers for hours and left the new transportation/attraction out of commission for sometime. Things have run pretty smoothly since then, but yesterday there was another, though significantly less chaotic, snafu.

Yesterday the Epcot line of the Skyliner stopped in mid-air for a period of about 30 minutes or so. It was long enough that those onboard were able to tweet out pictures of their predicament, and reach out to Disney for word of what was happening.

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Based on the reports, the downtime of the Skyliner was about 30 minutes, which is probably just long enough for people to get nervous or frustrated, but certainly not long enough to become a serious issue. The Skyliner functioned normally for the rest of the day and there were no further reported incidents. Exactly what happened here is not clear.

As it happened, CinemaBlend was at Epcot yesterday for the first day of the International Flower and Garden Festival. We were actually planning on jumping on the Skyliner for a brief loop but found it inoperable. However, we were apparently arriving just as the issue was being resolved, but we did get some footage of the Skyliner moving again and getting the stranded guests back on solid ground. Check out the video, shot from the France Pavilion near where the new Ratatouille attraction is set to open.

I myself rode the Skyliner to the Riviera hotel and back later that evening without incident, and apparently the line for the Skyliner at one point last night was 30 minutes long and ran all the way back to the Beach Club Resort, so clearly nobody was nervous about using it.

One assumes Walt Disney World learned a lot with that major shutdown of the Skyliner just after opening. While Disney is known for attention to detail, something was clearly missed the first time around. However, those lessons have been learned and integrated into the system now. Minor shutdowns like this will still happen from time to time, but Guests can likely be confident that if the carriage they are in stops moving, it won't be for very long.

Still, of all the ways to get around Walt Disney World, the Skyliner is clearly one of the most enjoyable. It's better than a standard bus and there's no need to wait for the next monorail. It's only limiting factor is the fact that it doesn't go everywhere. But if it goes where you need, there's no better way to travel at Disney World.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

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