The Disney Skyliner at Walt Disney World offers up skyline views with a smooth journey to and from resorts and parks on the Skyliner line. We love to stay at Pop Century, which is one of the resorts on the Skyliner route so we got to experience it firsthand. So, what did we think of this new transportation system at Walt Disney World? Get ready for everything we loved and didn’t, and other things you need to know.
First of all, let’s get a few things out of the way here. The Walt Disney World Skyliner cannot take you everywhere. If you’re looking to go to the Parks, you can only take the Skyliner to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and you can also visit the other Disney Skyliner Resorts. So make sure you plan accordingly. To catch you up to speed read our Disney Skyliner Quick Guide to see where it goes and to glimpse the Disney Skyliner Map.
Which resorts are on the Skyliner route at Walt Disney World?
There are four resorts and two Parks on the Skyliner route. Art of Animation and Pop Century share a station. The hub is located at Caribbean Beach Resort. And Disney’s Riviera Resort has its own station.
You can check out our Disney Skyliner guide here.
Riding on the Skyliner at Walt Disney World
The Skyliner is operated similar to the rides at Walt Disney World. You stand in a line, a Cast Member greets you, asks your party size, and directs you to your gondola. The gondola never actually stops, so you will board it while it is moving, again similar to the rides.
Disney World Skyliner Accessibility
If you are traveling with a wheelchair or ECV, there is a separate lane for those guests, and there are signs to direct you to the right place. So be rest assured you too can ride the Disney Skyliner.
Do you Get your Own Gondola at Disney?
One difference you will see between the Skyliner and the rides at Walt Disney World is that you won’t necessarily just get your own gondola for your party as you would on a ride. You can request to be in a gondola with only your party, but unless the lines are low, you will likely be seated with another party unless you ask for your own. Note, that as a result of the pandemic, the default has been to seat separate parties, separately. That said, we have still seen smaller groups put together by default. So, if this makes you uncomfortable, just ask the cast member if you can have your own. It’s a common request. Not a guaranteed one, but you can still try.
What is it like to Ride the Disney Skyliner?
It feels like a ride! The gondolas aren’t air-conditioned, but between being higher up in the sky and the breeze flowing through the vents, the gondola stays at a pretty comfortable temperature for us every time we have been on it. There is also a speaker system that will give you updates about where you are and what the next stop will be. At this point, we have ridden the Skyliner countless times. And during all type of weather. We have never felt uncomfortable temperature wise, so that’s a plus! One thing to note is that if there are higher than usual winds, or rainy conditions, you’ll feel it while in your gondola. If Disney feels it’s unsafe to be in the gondolas, such as times when there is lightning or very high winds, the Skyliner will no longer run until the weather has passed.
Navigating The Skyliner at Walt Disney World
It is important to note that the Skyliner doesn’t run in one straight line. Unless you are staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you will have to change routes at some point. The Caribbean Beach Resort Station is considered the “hub” for the Skyliner, with a line to Hollywood Studios and a line to EPCOT. It is here that you will disembark and make your way to your final destination unless, of course, that is your final destination. We were afraid that it would be difficult to figure out, but there are signs everywhere and cast members to answer your questions if you get lost. There are also restrooms at this stop, so feel free to take a small break if needed.
How long does the Skyliner Take?
Realistically, you should give yourself half an hour to get anywhere on the Skyliner; but as we all know by now, this time can change depending on crowds and whether or not there are any issues with the Skyliner itself. The longest trip we took from Pop Century to Hollywood Studios was about 20 minutes total, which includes how much time we spent in line as well. Overall, it is much faster than the buses, which is always a nice change! That being said, during the day, our lines have always been pretty low. And we’ve never had to wait very long to board. Keep in mind though, anything can happen that could cause delays in transportation at Walt Disney World. We always recommend allowing for an extra time no matter what type of transportation you’re using.
One thing to keep in mind if you are staying at a Skyliner resort, is that at the end of the night, the lines at Epcot and Hollywood Studios are LONG. Like really long. Almost shockingly so. At Hollywood Studios, there is also the option of taking the ferry to the Boardwalk area. But just allow that extra time. Because you could be waiting a long time. One way to avoid this is to leave before the Park closes. Or take advantage of the extended evening hours at EPCOT if you’re staying at a deluxe resort.
Review of the Skyliner at Walt Disney World
Ok, so now that we have that out of the way, what did we actually think of the Skyliner? It’s great. We love that it’s easier to get to than the buses. There are basically no lines to wait in. You get a relatively drama-free ride since your party is typically the only one in the gondola. And on days when you’ve been rushing around with your Disney Checklist, it’s nice to just sit and take a minute to see the views.
Walt Disney World Skyliner CONS
While we do love the Skyliner, we want to point out just a couple of cons to know before you go. This transportation system may not be for everyone and that’s ok! But be aware that if you’re staying at a Skyliner Resort, there is generally not another way to get the EPCOT or Hollywood Studios. So, choose your resort wisely!
Riding with Others on the Disney Skyliner
First of all, when you are riding with another party, well the word that comes to mind is awkward. It’s not like riding a bus with a bunch of other strangers. You’re confined in a smaller space with only a few other guests and, yea it’s just awkward. And think if you got stuck in the gondolas for any period of time with those strangers? Not really appealing for us. Now, this isn’t to say that everyone will feel this way; who knows, maybe you could make a new friend on your way to Hollywood Studios! But if you’re unsure, just know that, as of right now, you can request your own. We never had an issue getting one to ourselves and the entire experience is just a lot better. During busier times though, it is unlikely you’ll be able to get your own unless you have a larger party that would fill the gondola.
Fear of Heights on the Disney Skyliner
Also consider that if you have a fear of heights, don’t do great in tight spaces, or have anxiety in general we wouldn’t recommend riding the Skyliner. With the windows being quite large, you can definitely see all the way down to the ground, which makes it feel more open. And also gives you a very real feeling of exactly how high up you are. And unfortunately, once you’re inside the gondola, you can’t get out until you get to the next stop. So that could be scary.
Walt Disney World Skyliner PROS
We think the Disney Skyliner has more good than bad to it though. So here are the things we love about this form of transportation.
The Disney Skyliner is fast and easy
The ride is smooth and surprisingly went faster than we had originally anticipated. There are a few areas when the gondola slows down, especially if it has to turn at all. But for the most part, it is a continuous ride. And only stopping at other stops along your route. It is much faster than buses. And even though we don’t necessarily love sharing a gondola with strangers (introvert problems), it’s still better than being crammed in bus with way too many people.
Lines are generally short for Disney’s Skyliner
Aside from the very end of the day, the waits for the Skyliner generally tend to be quite low. Even when the line looks long, it still doesn’t take much time to get everyone boarded and on their way. And we love that we are able to get to where we are going faster than with the buses. Since it’s a continuously moving system, there’s also not a lot of waiting. Which we really appreciated for days when those Florida temps were high.
The Disney Skyliner is better than the busses
We know some people love Disney busses. We are not those people. The Disney busses have been a source of a lot of uncomfortable moments and frustration for us over the years. So truthfully most things are better than busses for us. We know some people will disagree. And that’s ok! But we think this form of transportation is just better.
We also loved that the gondola stations were spacious, comfortable, and covered since you never really know what kind of weather to expect in Florida. The whole system is super easy to navigate and if you get confused or lost, there are plenty of people to help you at each station.
The Views from Walt Disney World Skyliner
You can’t discount the views from up there! It’s pretty cool if you can handle heights. We even were able to see the fireworks show one night on our way back to the resort!
Walt Disney World Skyliner Review
As with all things, there are good and bad points to the Skyliner at Walt Disney World. And we know this form of transportation isn’t for everyone. But hopefully, this post has given you a little bit of insight on the pros and cons so you can decide if it’s right for you and your family! Have you ridden the Skyliner yet? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .