Walt Disney World (FL)

Skyliner Incident Causes Temporary Closure of System

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Last night, the Disney Skyliner (still in its first official week of operation) suffered an incident that shut down the system. Thankfully, no one was injured, and the damage to the system was minor. According to the Orlando Sentinel, images on social media showed several gondolas that had crashed into each other at the Riviera Station on the Epcot line. All Skyliner lines were shut down. Some guests were evacuated, while others were able to exit to the station as the gondolas resumed operation temporarily to clear the line. Some guests reported being in the gondolas for several hours and were instructed to open the emergency kits as needed for water and other supplies.

Out of an abundance of caution, Disney has temporarily shut down the Skyliners to investigate the cause of the incident. We’ll keep you updated about when the Skyliners will reopen, but for the immediate future, if your plans involve transportation by Skyliner gondola, you’ll need to rearrange your plans.

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Julia Mascardo

Former writer, editor, and social media manager of TouringPlans. Embarking on new adventures with husband, kid, and cats.

8 thoughts on “Skyliner Incident Causes Temporary Closure of System

  • I’m sure they will report what happened WHEN THEY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. It’s obviously a brand new, very complicated ride system controlled by hordes of computers. It could be as simple as a botched line of software code in one board on one gondola…. or a newly-trained cast member pushed a wrong button somewhere, or any of a lot of other possibilities. They have said there was no power failure, but something happened…. it’s entirely possible (or probable) that they just don’t know exactly WHAT happened yet, and I’m sure their lawyers have instructed them to say nothing until they know exactly what to say. They can’t be more “transparent” if they don’t know what happened.

  • The second I found out about the lack of air conditioning and the frequent stops (meaning no cross-breeze from movement), I was out. I don’t love heights to begin with, but I can handle that. Hanging over a Florida swamp in a rapidly heating metal box? No thanks. The buses have worked beautifully for me for years, I’ll stick to those.

  • Biggest concern for me is lack of transparency/info from Disney. Those trapped got all their info from social media; nothing over intercom in gondolas.
    One trapped guest even called Guest Services; they knew nothing. Now Disney is adamant that no gondola cars crashed into each other (look at the Riviera station photos) and they are calling the whole episode ‘unexpected downtime’. I’ll use that line with my insurance company if I’m ever in a car wreck.

    • That’s one of my biggest concerns with the whole thing, too! If they’re truthful and transparent about an incident, maybe you can trust them when they later say the Skyliner works well and has a good safety record. But if incidents like this are going to be hidden and called “unexpected downtime” and riders were literally left hanging for hours without explanation, I definitely won’t trust Disney’s assessment of their safety in the future.

      • For a small upcharge of $49, visitors staying in a Walt Disney World Resort will receive authentic updates on things that will affect their health, safety, and welfare. Blackout dates apply

  • Lucky this didn’t happen in the middle of the afternoon,in August. There could have been serious injury from heat. This has kinda made me rethink a skyliner resort.

  • WOW!!!!!!! I have been pro-Skyliner from the beginning. I sure hope Disney figures this out FAST! I’ll be watching for updates, as will everyone else.

  • Yikes! Maybe we won’t go resort exploring via the gondolas just yet for our upcoming trip! And I must confess, I do not have a fear of heights, but something about dangling in a closed box over Florida swamp waters makes me more than nervous with these “kinks” in the system.

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