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Five Tips for Riding the Disney Skyliner

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The Disney Skyliner is a high-in-the-sky transportation system that has caught the attention of Disney fans and visitors. Its colorful gondolas, some adorned with beloved characters, connect guests to multiple resorts and two theme parks. It had a bumpy start, but now the system is running smoothly. It is a unique system that is even more enjoyable when you’re prepared. Here are our top five tips for riding the Disney Skyliner.

Disney Skyliner Caibbean Beach Station

Remember: (Almost) All Routes Lead to Caribbean Beach

The first thing you need to know about the Disney Skyliner system is that the station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the hub. All routes extend to and from this station. No matter where you start–EPCOT, Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios–your ride will take you to Caribbean Beach Resort. From there you will change to whatever route takes you to your final destination. The one exception to this is if you board at Riviera Resort and are headed to EPCOT. This route does directly head to and from EPCOT.

Disney Skyliner Caibbean Beach Station

Rope Drop and Closing Time Lines

Just like anything else on Disney property, demand for Disney Skyliner is greatest at park opening and park closing. With the theme parks having a staggered operating schedule it can be tricky, but it helps that there is not a mad rush for Disney Transportation across all the resorts and all the parks at the same time.

I personally made the mistake of forgetting about rope drop time at EPCOT. I parked at Disney’s Hollywood Studios so I could use the Skyliner to go over to EPCOT. This method doesn’t really save any time, but since I only intended to visit World Showcase it was nice to enter EPCOT at International Gateway after a scenic ride. We arrived at the Caribbean Beach Station 20 minutes before park opening so there was a substantial line for the Skyliner. It took us about 15 minutes to get through the line.

Disney Skyliner Hollywood Studios Station

Naturally, there is more demand right at closing time, after nighttime shows, so there may be a little wait at the EPCOT Skyliner station.

Be Hydrated

Drinking around the world at EPCOT can be fun, but boarding a Disney Skyliner Gondola on a warm day can make things a little rough. Although the breeze that comes through the vents is nice, sometimes if there’s no wind or you stop, it can get warm. Make sure you’ve had some water, whether you’ve had some adult beverages or not, before you get onboard.

Restroom Beforehand

Another thing to do before boarding is go to the restroom. It’s a good idea to do so, just like before a road trip. Chances are the Skyliner ride will go smoothly without any major delays, but still it would not be fun to be stuck for an extended period of time and wiggling in your seat. Can you tell I’m a mom? There are restrooms near all the stations.

Disney Skyliner Above Caribbean Beach Resort

Little Riders May Get Nervous

The first time I took my toddler son on board Disney Skyliner it did not occur to me that he might get a little scared or nervous. As we approached the station he was fascinated by the moving gondolas. Things went great until we boarded our gondola and it began the quick ascent from the station. The quick motion unsettled him and he immediately asked to go home. I talked him through it, pointing out the sights and assuring him we were okay. Then it occurred to me to point out the different characters on the exterior of many of the passing gondolas. By the time we were on our return trip at the end of the day he excitedly said “I love it!” as our gondola soared into the air.

France Pavilion View Near Disney Skyliner EPCOT Station


Disney Skyliner Above Buena Vista Drive

The Disney Skyliner is similar to other gondola systems used around the world. There can be slowdowns and delays, but it is a very efficient system. It is a great way to get around one of the most popular parts of Walt Disney World, and a welcome addition.

Have you been on the Disney Skyliner system yet?


First published September 4, 2020. Updated September 28, 2021.

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Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

31 thoughts on “Five Tips for Riding the Disney Skyliner

  • I hear that you need to be in line 60-90 minutes before park opening. Is that official park opening or early park opening as well?

  • How many can go in one gondola?

    • 10 people can fit into a gondola

  • Will the skyline accommodate scooters?

    • Yes

  • What is the transfer like exactly? Do you get off and go to the back of the line with everyone cueing from that resort? Or is there a transfer line for people coming from Riviera let’s say?

    • Yes, whenever you have to transfer to another leg of the journey at the CB hub you go to the back of the line.

  • If I’m at Beach Club and want to go to Hollywood Studios for rope drop, is Skyliner faster than the friendship boats? Thanks!

    • Both trips would be about 30 minutes; however, you may need to wait for the boat.

    • No! Actually, the quickest method is walking! made a YT video on the transportation comparison times!

  • Thanks so much! I had totally forgotten about needing to go through the EPCOT turnstiles to get to the Skyliner at international gateway. I knew the timing was an issue but I had totally overlooked that as well! Thanks so much for breaking this down for me. I appreciate your thoughtful and timely response!

  • Can you park at EPCOT and rope drop Hollywood Studios? Will the EPCOT parking lot be open and the Skyliner be running that far in advance of EPCOT park opening time? Thank you!

    • Hey Corinne, that would not work out so well. Currently all theme park parking lots open one hour before that park’s published opening time. So EPCOT’s parking lot would open around 10am. Disney’s Hollywood Studios officially opens at 9am on most days.
      To get to EPCOT’s Skyliner station you have to get to International Gateway at World Showcase, which requires entry into the park. Generally the park gates open around an hour before published opening time to alleviate any crowding at the entrance. So the earliest you could get into EPCOT in order to get to its Skyliner station is 10am. If you want to rope drop Disney’s Hollywood Studios it is best to get to the parking toll by 8am. Hope this helps, thanks for reading!

  • We think at least 75 minutes before official park opening.

  • How long before opening time at Hollywood Studios does the Skyliner start to run?

  • When transferring at CBR, do the people coming from POP/AoA merge in line with those in line at CBR to get to theme parks? Or do they have to go to the end of the line at CBR?

  • Can I park at disneya pop century resort and ride to epcot on skyline…also, is. There a few to park tho…we have reservations and tickets for Sat. March 27, we are at another large resort that is not a disney resort…also, can we get into Epcot from departure point of skyline…Thank you for any info you can give me

    • Michael, you’ll need a reservation to stay at Pop Century in order to park at Pop Century. And yes, you can get into EPCOT from the Skyliner’s International Gateway station at EPCOT.

  • Can anyone ride the Skyliner? I won’t be staying at a Disney Resort?

    How long to go from Epcot to Hollywood studios via the Skyliner?

    • Anyone can ride the Skyliner, however, parking at the resorts on the line can be restricted. It is usually easiest to take the Skyliner from either Epcot to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It takes about 15 minutes from one park to the other. It can take a little longer during peak periods like opening and closing times since you do have to transfer at Caribbean Beach.

    • And this remains true, it’s simply easier post pandemic to get a restaurant reservation at the Boardwalk somewhere-or Riviera/CB so they have to let you park, then you can ride post-meal!

  • Is there any parking near the hub at Carribean Beach? We’re staying at CB, but my husband is partially disabled, I’m worried about the distance he’ll have to walk.

  • This station is in between POP and AOA so all guests coming from either resort join together.

  • How does the line at the Pop/AOA station work? Do the lines merge? Do they alternate taking parties from each resort?

  • It depends on any delays, but the times I have ridden it’s been just about 10 minutes. Lovely views!

    • So if I get on the gondola at art of animation I have to get off at Caribbean Beach and wait in a new line?

      • Yep, unfortunately!

  • Hi,
    how long takes the trip from the Caribbean Beach Resort to Epcot approximately ?
    thx, Georg

    • The ride from Caribbean Beach to International Gateway is about 20 minutes.

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