Will The New Disney Skyliner Be Able To Handle The Crowds?
In 2019, Disney is set to unveil it’s brand new Skyliner transportation system, the largest upgrade to the Walt Disney World’s iconic transportation network since the 1980’s. With the recent build up for the new transportation system, one question still remains: will it be able to handle the crowds?
The Skyliner is a gondola based transportation network featuring 6 stations. (think ski lift with pods) The system’s central station is at the Caribbean Beach resort, where the 3 lines will transport guests to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, and Epcot, as well as Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts. This new transportation system will carry guests high above the treetops for spectacular views of the entire Disney World Resort. The estimated capacity was frequently cited as 5000 passengers per hour.
The question being asked is can the system be able to handle the crowds? Throughout the mid-day hours, the system would likely be able to handle the crowds going to and from the parks and resorts. But, when the parks close for the night, that’s where potential issues could arise. Given the exclusivity of the Skyliner for the Art of Animation, Pop Century, Riviera, and Caribbean Beach Resorts, it is likely that a majority of the guests booked at those resorts will use the system. If fully booked, the hotels combined would have a capacity of approximately 32,000 guests as seen below:
- Art of Animation (10,640 guests)
- Pop Century (11,520 guests)
- Caribbean Beach (8,448 guests)
- Riviera (1500 guests)
If the guests were to split evenly between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, that would result in 16,000 guests at each park. Since the ridership of a transportation network is a linear function, the estimated final wait time for the last guest in line can be found by dividing 16,000 people by the overall capacity of 5,000 people per hour, which would return a result of 3.2 hours.
There are certain times of the day where guests with easy access to EPCOT, would travel to the park for the nighttime firework spectacular. With EPCOT Forever replacing Illuminations later this year, the large demand to ride the Skyliner will be present from the day it opens.
Since Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts share a station, the line at the central Caribbean station would combine resort guests returning from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Since the total resort capacity exceeds 22,000 guests, the potential time needed to cycle all the resort guests would exceed 4.4 hours.
With that said, we would still be likely to take the constantly-moving line of the gondola’s over the bus line, which can be excruciatingly long – especially during the morning rush.
Take a look at the video below as Disney Chairman Bob Chapek proudly presented a first look at one of the new Disney Skyliner Gondolas!
These concerns could lead to a lengthy soft opening run well before the official Fall 2019 debut of the Skyliner. Tested has already started and can be seen by clicking here, but it’s safe to say Disney is still several months away from the grand opening. It will be very interesting to see how Disney manages the queue for the new iconic transportation network at the Florida resort.
So, we want to know, what’s your thoughts? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts on our socials! For tickets and more information, visit the official Walt Disney World website by clicking here.
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