Gondola System Officially Announced for Walt Disney World Resort

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This is a version of a gondola system in use in New Mexico. ©Rikki Niblett

According to The Orlando Sentinel, it’s official. The Walt Disney World Resort is getting a gondola transportation system. The gondola idea had been floating around the rumor mill for the past few months, but documents from the Reedy Creek Improvement District confirm that the project is actually going forward.

This gondola system appears to connect both resort hotels and theme parks. According to the article, there will be six stations and three different lines that will link Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The plans also seem to indicate that each cab would hold 10 Guests. It is also theorized that the gondolas would be enclosed to protect Guests from the elements.

Gondola systems are gaining in popularity around the globe and many mountain resort areas use similar means to transport Guests up their mountains. (For example, when I lived in New Mexico, my husband and I took a gondola system up to the top of the Sandia mountains, known as the Sandia Peak Tramway.)

The gondola system will be manufactured by the Doppelmayr Group, which is the world’s leading manufacturer of ropeways, cable cars, and ski lifts.

Examples of Doppelmayr products can be found here (including lending a hand in the creation of the Hogwarts Express at Universal):

 

I know I’m excited to learn more about this upcoming new transportation system, and I cannot wait to see all the awesome views we are now going to get to see of the Walt Disney World Resort. Stay tuned to the blog as this is most definitely a breaking story.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rikkinibs

16 thoughts on “Gondola System Officially Announced for Walt Disney World Resort

  • April 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm
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    The first thing I thought was that would be a good way to enter ‘star wars’ land with screens instead of windows. As if you’re on a transport to the ‘planet’….and then I see this company did the hogwarts express.

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  • April 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm
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    Will this be shut down when lightning is in the area like the old Skyway?

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  • April 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm
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    At 10 people/car, that’s pretty low capacity compared to a bus. The lines are going to be pretty epic in the morning and evening.

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    • April 19, 2017 at 8:24 am
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      The Sentinel article says, “As ridership increases, additional cabins can be added. Capacities range from 800 to 3,000 people per hour, per direction.”

      Not sure how that compares to how many riders the buses transport during the busiest hours…? At 10 per, yeah, it’s going to be a matter of how many gondolas they’re willing to put in service. And I wonder how fast it will be compared to the buses?

      But at the quoted 800-3,000 per hour, it sounds like this system could potentially handle more riders overall, be more flexible than buses to handle peak ridership, and offer a more comfortable ride than jam-packed buses. Perhaps they’re going to set it up where guests tap their Magic Band at the gondola station, alerting the system of current demand, which would let them know how many gondolas to deploy.

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    • April 19, 2017 at 1:54 pm
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      Like the Omnimover rides in the park, throughput will be more important than individual pod capacity.
      At 10 per pod they’d need to depart a station about 6 times as often as a bus to keep the capacity up I suspect. That doesn’t seem too tough if the loading platforms allow for roughly continuous movement. Then once you have begun your ride you’ll also benefit from less traffic and a more direct route.

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  • April 18, 2017 at 11:52 pm
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    I don’t see how this could possibly be efficient. Seems more like a not so well thought out idea by the bowler hat guy from Meet the Robinsons.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 12:05 am
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    I’m excited for this!! My only question is the article says ‘Officially Annoucned’. I’m confused.. The Orlando Sentinal reported the story, isn’t that still 2nd hand?

    I’m a huge fan of touring plans!!! You’re a site of action, clickbair does not become us.

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    • April 19, 2017 at 8:15 pm
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      Correct. The OS stated that the documents are very unlikely to be pulled, but Disney itself has not confirmed this. Disney can still change their mind or go with something else because nothing is certain until Disney announces it.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 12:52 am
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    In worried they’ll charge extra, like the new backstage buses.

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    • April 19, 2017 at 9:24 am
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      I don’t expect a direct charge. Prices at the resorts the gondola serves will go up.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 12:34 pm
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    Hello from Albuquerque, New Mexico!! I didn’t know you used to live here, Rikki. We love our tram up to the Sandia Crest. 🙂

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    • April 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm
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      Hey Amanda!

      Yeah…I lived in Albuquerque about four years ago! Lived there for a year and a half actually! The tram was so fun to take, though my husband frequently decided to hike the mountain…I did not! 😉

      Reply
  • April 19, 2017 at 1:20 pm
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    The post says six stations, but only mentions 5 destinations (not to mention that AoA and Pop are effectively the same place).

    Should Coronado Springs also be on that list?

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    • April 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm
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      Knowing geography, it’s a VERY SHORT as the crow flies route from the 3 resorts which all touch each other, cbr, pop, aoa. To dhs. That’s 4. If the thing goes to epcot, then out would likely hit board walk. That’s 6.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm
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    The confusion here is partly coming from the picture next to the headline of this blog post. The picture is a picture of a “tram” not a “gondola”. Gondolas have many “cars” or “cabins” that are continuously running right next to each other. Ski resorts are all very worried about “uphill capacity” just like Disney worries about moving guests from one place to the next. As for loading, think of them loading as quickly as an “omnimover” (haunted mansion) or the people movers.
    I think these gondolas will move people much faster and much more efficiently than buses.

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    • April 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm
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      My only question is, what will they do with strollers?

      Reply

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