If there's one thing about Walt Disney World that is slightly less than magical, it's transportation to, from, and around the theme parks. Disney World is so massive that just getting from point A to point B can be a chore. On the plus side, Disney World very much knows this, and the resort has tried a number of different ways to make getting around easier, or at the very least, more fun. Some of these ideas work pretty well, others not so much. And then there's the Disney World Skyliner, a gondola system which is pretty great, but has also been plagued with issues.
Now, we can add one more, as yesterday the Skyliner suffered its second gondola crash in as many years, and this one left broken glass in its wake; though, luckily nobody was hurt. The accident apparently happened at the loading station of Disney's Hollywood Studios. After the guests had exited their gondolas, two of them crashed into each other. Some video of the aftermath was captured by Eat Trade Travel.
The Skyliner connects two of Walt Disney World's theme parks, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, with four of the resort hotels, Disney's Riviera Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, and Disney's Art of Animation Resort. It's certainly a more enjoyable way to get around, when your only other significant option is the bus system, which works fine, but in the era of social distancing can be especially slow, The Skyliner has the benefit of being social distance friendly already, so it's not running at a reduced capacity.
While it's unclear exactly what happened to cause the crash, since the gondolas were empty nobody was hurt. However, the accident did stop the Skyliner in its tracks for some time, leaving some guests hanging, but things were back up and running later that day. This is far from the first time that the Skyliner has had issues. Less than two months ago some sort of malfunction on the Epcot line of the Skyliner stopped it in its tracks for about half an hour.
However, neither of these issues is nearly as bad as the massive malfunction that occurred in October of 2019, just days after the Skyliner was opened to the public. Guests on the way to Epcot in that case were stuck for up to three hours, and while it's still unclear exactly what caused that all to happen, reports at the time indicated some of the gondolas were "smashed up" and the scene looked strikingly similar to what happened in this week's Hollywood Studios gondola crash.
The Disney World Skyliner may be a mode of transportation first but it's got more in common with attractions from a mechanical standpoint, and just like those sometimes break down, one has to expect the Skyliner to have its share of issues. The Skyliner is clearly a hit with guests, so this minor snafu probably won't sour too many on using it in the future.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.