Walt Disney World’s Skyliner is the newest method of transportation on the property. Opening in 2019, the Disney Skyliner is a gondola system that takes guests high in the sky to various locations around the resort. The gondolas are enclosed carts that have vented windows and bench-like seats with gondola themed after a different Disney character. The Disney Skyliner has quickly become one of the best and easiest transportation options around the Walt Disney World resort.
The Disney Skyliener is extremely family friendly as the doors of the gondolas stay sealed shut throughout the duration of the ride while the windows can be opened or closed. Guests can even listen to periodic sightseeing audio while traveling. The maximum height you will go above ground is sixty feet, where you pass over intersections, hotels, and more.
Riding the Disney Skyliner is super quick and this additional transportation method has been super beneficial for Walt Disney World! Keep reading for the full breakdown of how to use the Disney Skyliner and what resort hotels have the easiest access to this best Disney transportation option.
Disney Skyliner Stations
The Disney Skyliner has five different stations that guests can board from:
- EPCOT – International Gateway
- Outside of the park turnstiles, between the UK and France pavilions. This port is a small walk from the Yacht Club, Beach Club, or Boardwalk Resorts.
- Hollywood Studios – Front Entrance
- Between security and the bus stops.
- Disney’s Riviera Resort – Outside of the Resort
- Between the Aruba section of Caribbean Beach Resort and the front of the Riviera Resort.
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Toward the back end of the Resort
- Across from the Trinidad section, next to the Jamaica section.
- Disney’s POP Century / Art of Animation Resorts – Generation Gap Bridge
- On the bridge connecting both resorts.
Easy access to the Disney Skyliner is available in all the room categories at Walt Disney World. Disney’s Riveria Resort is a deluxe resort for Disney Vacation Club villas while its nearby resort, Caribbean Beach, is a moderate resort. Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts are both considered value resorts.
You will see a bit of a higher price point for the resorts with Skyliner access due to the convenience of this transportation option.
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Disney’s Skyliner Basics
The gondola-style carts of the Skyliner can fit up to ten guests without any mobility aids. With scooters/ECVs, strollers, or wheelchairs, the gondolas can seat six guests. For ECVs and wheelchairs, there is a designated loading area with ramps to comfortably board these guests and their parties. When boarding the Skyliner, guests with single strollers may keep them open. However, guests with double strollers must fold them up for the duration of the ride.
From my personal experience, gondolas are usually only loaded with four to eight people on average. Keep in mind, the odds of your party being solo in a gondola is low, so be prepared to make some new friends! However, if the lines are slow or empty, you will most likely score a private ride!
Another big part of the Skyliner is the height. If anyone in your party has a fear of heights, then the Skyliner will definitely seem a bit off-putting to them. My best advice to guests with acrophobia is to sit on the back side of the gondola. You want your back to be against the window so that you are facing forward. You will still be able to see the height, but it will be much better than sitting backward during the ride. Sitting backward gives guests a better view of the heights, and can also feel more bumpy, especially during landing.
When to Ride Disney’s Skyliner
You do not have to be a Skyliner resort guest to ride! Anyone (whether staying on property or not) can utilize this transportation method! However, if you are staying on (or near) a Skyliner resort, you definitely want to make sure that you are taking full advantage of this.
The Skyliner starts running about 30-60 minutes before the park opens. This means that it will start traveling to Hollywood Studios (and the other Skyliner resort stations) at around 7am, and Epcot around 8am. If you plan on getting to the park for opening or early entry, then you want to try and get in line for the Skyliner a bit early! Depending on what’s going on at the park for the day, arrive 15-20 minutes early to line up for the station. This will ensure less of a wait during peak boarding times. Luckily, even if you cannot make it to the station early, lines tend to move at a steady pace since the carts are constantly running!
At the end of the day, Disney’s Skyliner stops running between 10:30 and 11:30pm. This really just depends on what’s going on at the parks and how busy they are that day. Lines for the Skyliner after park closing can get very packed. To avoid these, try to either leave the park a few minutes early or take your time getting to the park’s exit! After the Skyliner stops running for the night, guests must use an alternate transportation method such as busses, monorails, boats, or Ubers.
Disney Skyliner Weather Delays
Weather can be pretty unpredictable, especially in Florida. Luckily, the cast members running the Skyliner are always prepared for changes!
If it happens to be drizzling, misty, or sun-showering, the Skyliner will usually still run like normal. As long as there is no thunder or lightning in the vicinity, cast members will close the vented windows and assure that you are staying dry throughout your ride. I have personally ridden the Skyliner when it was drizzling, and I didn’t mind! The windows were still able to let a breeze in but kept my party and me dry! It is really neat to be high in the sky in your own bubble while watching the weather around you. If the rain or wind picks up, that is when cast members will start delaying or stopping the gondolas.
If the weather escalates to a full-blown thunderstorm, or a tornado, or if it’s even a sunny day with super high winds, the Skyliner will shut down. Alternate transportation methods can be taken (and are available to all guests) until the bad weather clears up and the Skyliner can run again. On a normal everyday basis, Skyliner resorts might not provide busses for Epcot or Hollywood Studios since guests can use the Skyliner. However, the moment a shutdown happens for any reason, buses will instantly be available. Watch for A-frame signs around the bus stops or Skyliner stations around your resort for updates on any transportation changes.
Disney Skyliner Refurbishments
Walt Disney World is not unfamiliar with refurbishments and the Skyliner is no exception. Refurbishment on the Skyliner can happen at any point but has occurred around the same time for the past few years.
In January of both 2022 and 2023, the Skyliner was closed and under refurbishment from the 22nd to the 29th. Signs get placed around Skyliner resorts and alternate transportation methods are always offered and advertised. That being said, it seems like end-of-January refurbishments will be the new normal for now! Be sure to check out our guide to Walt Disney World refurbishments for any changes or updates to future refurbs.
How to Use Disney’s Skyliner: A Quick Breakdown
Using the Skyliner is so simple! Let’s break down some important tips and tricks to ensure you’ll have a smooth flight in the sky:
- Book a Skyliner Resort. Staying on property already has so many perks, and the Skyliner resorts are truly beautiful. Why not take advantage of an extra perk by booking one?
- Check for any closures or refurbishments before your trip. Before booking that special resort, be sure you can make use of the Skyliner when staying there! Hop onto Disney’s website and check for any closures.
- Keep in check with the weather. Weather can change in a moment, but it’s great to have a head-start on backup plans! Keep your eyes peeled for any thunderstorms or high winds.
- Arrive 15-20 minutes before the Skyliner starts running. Avoid early morning crowd buildups by getting to the station before it opens. Lines will form, so it is best to be there early!
- Know the layout and locations. Familiarize yourself with the stops, the locations of each hub, and the hours of the Skyliner. This will ensure that you make it anywhere you need to go in an efficient amount of time!
- Enjoy the flight! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the newest (and coolest in my opinion) method of transportation!
Understanding the Stations and Stops of the Disney Skyliner
Like earlier mentioned, there are five different stations for Disney’s Skyliner. Let’s break down how to navigate each one!
Disney’s Skyliner: Hollywood Studios to/from Pop Century or Art of Animation:
When boarding the Skyliner to reach Hollywood Studios, you will encounter a transfer at another station. Hop aboard at the Generation Gap Bridge station and it will take you to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Here, you must disembark from your first gondola and then follow the signs to the second one. Hollywood Studios will be the path to your left when getting off of the cart from Pop or AOA. Then, you will have a straight shot to Hollywood Studios! This entire ride (possible lines to board not included) is about five minutes!
To get back from Hollywood Studios, board the Skyliner at the front of the park and ride to the Caribbean Beach Resort. Then hang right and board your second gondola to the Generation Gap Bridge station! After exiting, take a left to visit Pop Century or a right to visit Art of Animation.
Disney’s Skyliner: Epcot to/from Pop Century or Art of Animation:
This is another transfer ride from either direction. To the park, you will board and exit at the same spot as you will for Hollywood Studios. This time, you want to head straight to board the second gondola to Epcot. From here, you will head towards Disney’s Riviera Resort, but do not exit! The gondola doors will open up and cast members will confirm your destination. For Epcot, you must stay onboard. After swinging through the Riviera station, you will have about a 7-10 minute ride, making this entire journey about twelve minutes.
To return, make your way to the International Gateway in between the UK and France pavilions of the World Showcase. Get on your first gondola, do not disembark at the Riviera Resort, and then exit at the Caribbean Beach. Head straight to reach the second ride to the resorts!
Disney’s Skyliner: Caribbean Beach Resort to/from Pop Century or Art of Animation:
This one is quite easy! Board the Skyliner on the bridge for a quick two-minute ride to the resort! I love doing this for any dining or bar-hopping…More on that later!
Coming back, head left and hop on the gondolas to the Generation Gap Bridge station.
Disney’s Skyliner: Riviera Resort to/from Pop Century or Art of Animation:
Another easy ride. You will go from the Generation Gap Bridge station to Caribbean Beach Resort. From there, go to Epcot’s line and board your second gondola. This time, exit when arriving at the Riviera Resort! Let the cast members know that you are not going to Epcot, and you will then be able to exit toward the resort.
To return, follow the Pop Century/Art of Animation signs forward. Board these and exit at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Then, head straight toward the gondolas in front of you. Boarding these will lead you right to the Generation Gap Bridge! Again, be sure to make a left if you want to visit Pop Century or a right if you’d like to see Art of Animation.
Disney’s Skyliner: Hollywood Studios to/from Caribbean Beach Resort:
Depending on what section of the resort you are staying in, the walk to the Skyliner station could be a long one. However, it’s always worth it! When approaching the Skyliner station from the front, you will follow the signs for Hollywood Studios, which will be at the back of the hub. Hop on and enjoy the three(ish) minute ride!
To come back ‘home’ after a long day, hop on the Skyliner at the park’s station and have a quick ride to your destination!
Disney’s Skyliner: Epcot to/from Caribbean Beach Resort:
To get to Epcot, the boarding side for this park will be on your right. Board your gondola, do not exit at the Riviera, and relax for your 10/12 minute ride.
When you are ready to return, board the Skyliner at International Gateway. Enjoy the ride back to Caribbean Beach, and again, be sure not to exit at the Riviera!
Disney’s Skyliner: Riviera Resort to/from Caribbean Beach Resort:
Board the right side station to Epcot/Riviera. This time, let the cast members know that you will be exiting and will not be traveling all the way to Epcot! This ride is about 3-5 minutes.
To get back, follow the signs through the walkway of murals straightforward to reach the gondolas heading to the resort.
Disney’s Skyliner: Hollywood Studios to/from Riviera Resort:
To get to the park, head straight and follow the signs that advertise for Caribbean Beach/Hollywood Studios. Board your first gondola and exit at Disney’s Caribbean Beach! From there, take a right and board your second gondola to get to the park. All together, this is about six minutes!
To return, hop on the first gondola at the front of the park. Take a slight left and get on the gondolas there. Let cast members know that you are not going to Epcot and exit at the Riviera!
Disney’s Skyliner: Epcot to/from Riviera Resort:
To get to Epcot, instead of heading straight after the walkway, make a left at the signs and follow the path to the Epcot gondolas. Here, you might be squeezed in with carts that are already partially occupied, so be sure to be patient while they find a cart to fit your party! The ride from the Riviera Resort to Epcot is about ten minutes.
To get back to the beautiful Riviera Resort, hop on the gondolas at International Gateway and enjoy your ride.
Disney’s Skyliner: Epcot to/from Hollywood Studios:
To get to Epcot, board the Skyliner at the front of the park and ride to the Caribbean Beach Resort. Exit your first gondola at this station and take a slight left to get into the line for Epcot. Do not exit the gondola at the Riviera and enjoy your ride!
To get from Epcot to Hollywood Studios, hop on the gondola at International Gateway and do not exit at the Riviera. Exit at the Caribbean Beach station, then head right to board the Hollywood Studios gondolas.
Resort-Hopping on Disney’s Skyliner
Do you and your party have a free day with nothing to do? Great! Why not have a resort-hopping day on the Skyliner? This requires no park tickets and can be made into a completely customized day based on your party’s interests. Using the amazing four Skyliner resorts, you can have a day full of adventure.
For the Foodies
You can make a fun day out of dining around the resorts on the Skyliner loop. There are so many great offerings that deserve to be recognized. Have a three-course meal out of one dining destination at each of the resorts! Enjoy unique foods while relaxing all day. Whatever you decide to do, make it your own!
All four resorts offer great quick-service dining options. Centertown Market at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Everything POP at Pop Century, Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation, and Primo Piatto at Disney’s Riviera Resort offer quick cuisine options for all palates. You can find breakfast platters, burgers, pizzas, and more at each location. Options vary between resorts but do not stray too far away from each other in similarity.
There are no reservable sit-down dining options at Pop Century or Art of Animation, but guests can definitely find some great restaurants at Caribbean Beach and Riviera! Sebastian’s Bistro at Caribbean Beach Resort is located in the center hub of the resort near the main pool. They serve family-style dinner from 4:30pm to 9:30pm and prices are pretty reasonable at $35 per adult and $19 per child. At the Riviera resort, guests can dine at Topolino’s Terrace, a super popular spot. Breakfast is served from 7:30am to 12:15pm and costs $45 per adult and $29 per child. Dinner is served 5:00pm to 9:30pm and prices are based on what is ordered. Keep in mind, breakfast will feature several characters which is super entertaining for the little ones!
For the Adventurers
Walt Disney World resorts offer great ways to entertain any party! There is always something going on during the day. At the resorts, guests can participate in scavenger hunts, tie-dye clothes, dance parties, and more! Signs are posted around the resorts with what activities are going on and what times they are being held. Some of the activities require an extra fee, which guests can sign up and pay for before the event starts.
The resorts also offer movies under the stars, where guests can bring snacks and blankets and get comfortable in the grass together while a movie is playing. Resorts normally have a sign with that week’s movies near the area they are shown. Guests can ask any cast member when and where the movies are being played; they are always happy to help!
On occasion, the resorts will also offer s’mores making and campfires. The official list of participating resorts does not include Pop Century or Art of Animation, but during my stay at Pop in May of 2022, we did see them holding a little bonfire! All of the campfire activities are complimentary.
Keep in mind…If you are staying at one of the Skyliner resorts, you may only use the pools at that resort. Pool-hopping to other resorts is not permitted!
For Those Over 21
For the bar-goers and the ones who couldn’t wait to turn twenty-one…This is for you! Resort bars are sometimes overlooked and they definitely should not be. There is nothing like lounging in the sun with a drink in your hand on a relaxing day! Luckily, the Skyliner bar-crawl is a legit (and super fun) thing to do!
Petals Pool Bar at Pop Century is a poolside bar that offers fun frozen drinks, mixed drinks, beer, and wine. This bar is not in the pool gates, so you can still visit! For $15.50, my recommendation would be the Piña CoLAVA drink there. This is a frozen drink with Bacardi Raspberry Rum, coconut, and pineapple. It is drizzled with raspberry puree and just embraces the feeling of a tropical getaway.
Right across the bridge, Art of Animation has The Dropoff Pool Bar. This Finding Nemo themed bar offers amazing drinks! The most popular drink is the Big Blue Ocean. Costing $16.50, this drink features Svedka vodka, Bacardi rum, Blue curaçao, and lemonade.
At Caribbean Beach, guests can take a seat at Banana Cabana and enjoy some light bites and great drinks. All of the drinks here are great, but if I had to recommend one, I would say the Caribbean Mai Tai for $15.50! With both a dark and light rum and flavors of orange and slight almond, this drink is not as sweet as others but still packs a punch.
Bar Riva at the Riviera Resort is a great place to lounge, chill out, and enjoy the atmosphere! They offer some unique small dishes and lovely cocktails. This bar is pretty popular and it is definitely hard to narrow it down to one favorite drink. If you enjoy tequila, I would recommend the Golden Haze Margarita for $16.50. With blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, lime, agave, and a hint of smoked chili, this drink is classy and boozy in the perfect way.
You can check out a full list of dining and drinking options here.
Disney’s Skyliner: The Best Transportation Method!
Call me biased here, but with all being said and done…The Skyliner is the best method of transportation. With easy access to two of the parks and many of the resorts, this high-tech ride in the sky is just incredibly impressive. Even without a park ticket, there are so many things to do along the Skyliner loop!
I love how simple it is, especially when staying at a Skyliner resort, to wake up, board the gondolas, and quickly arrive wherever I need to be.
Let’s hope that the future of the Skyliner includes expansions to the other parks and locations around the resort property!
Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation Today
In order to use Disney’s Skyliner, you have to have a trip planned! Why not take advantage of our Free Newsletter to help you out? We offer plenty of the best tips, tricks, and advice to make your trip smooth and get you flying high in the sky with your favorite characters! As an added bonus, we also provide information on the best discounted ticket resellers. Check out our other guides to help plan your trip here:
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