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Disney Skyliner shutdown and evacuation - October 6 2019

SpoiledBlueMilk

Well-Known Member
If the ambient temperature is 89 degrees above, below, and around the gondola, you can expect the outside air entering the gondola to cool the cabin to 89 degrees if the air is moving. Now add 8 humans and potentially sunlight as well. I'm not saying it's a dire situation or anything, but it's going to be pretty uncomfortable..and probably smelly too.

The Gondolas have a good amount of shade. I noticed that when trying to take pictures aboard. You need to use your flash if you want to make sure you don't have a lot of shadow in your photo.
 

monothingie

I once was a ferret for a day.
Premium Member
Yes there is still a difference. The gondolas are much higher up off the ground with less physical objects surrounding them, allowing for more airflow and wind to reach the gondola even when motionless. Then you also count in the floor and ceiling vents which allows hotter air to be pushed upwards and out by cooler air moving through the bottom.

It is definitely not the same as just sitting in your car.

Which is wonderful if there is an ambient breeze available. Having been stopped on the TIG line for 10 minutes on a 90 degree day the cab does become uncomfortable quick. The passive cooling features just don’t work well when stopped.
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
To expand on that - is there an emergency callbox in each cabin? How would you even let someone know there IS an emergency, let alone car number - is that on the inside as well?
Yes, each cabin has a callbox. I do not know if the car number is inside, but many of the youtube riders have shown the callbox.
 

s8film40

Well-Known Member
If the ambient temperature is 89 degrees above, below, and around the gondola, you can expect the outside air entering the gondola to cool the cabin to 89 degrees if the air is moving. Now add 8 humans and potentially sunlight as well. I'm not saying it's a dire situation or anything, but it's going to be pretty uncomfortable..and probably smelly too.
I rode these a few days ago and even though during my rides the gondolas never stopped just the portions in the stations where it slowed down began to get uncomfortable very quickly. I would not want to be stuck in one of these stopped in the sun.

There’s a good reason why Disney waited till the end of September to open this. If it had opened in the summer the complaints and negative PR would’ve been huge. Now by the time next summer comes around it won’t be big news anymore and will be more likely to be dismissed.
 

Movielover

Well-Known Member
Which is wonderful if there is an ambient breeze available. Having been stopped on the TIG line for 10 minutes on a 90 degree day the cab does become uncomfortable quick. The passive cooling features just don’t work well when stopped.

But they are still working unlike the monorail and boat's AC and their complete lack of airflow and ventilation when they breakdown.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Yes, each cabin has a callbox. I do not know if the car number is inside, but many of the youtube riders have shown the callbox.

Yes, the number is inside the car...

416682
 

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RustySpork

Oscar Mayer Memer
I rode these a few days ago and even though during my rides the gondolas never stopped just the portions in the stations where it slowed down began to get uncomfortable very quickly. I would not want to be stuck in one of these stopped in the sun.

There’s a good reason why Disney waited till the end of September to open this. If it had opened in the summer the complaints and negative PR would’ve been huge. Now by the time next summer comes around it won’t be big news anymore and will be more likely to be dismissed.

During the cast previews, we stopped and started quite often. Several times for more than two minutes. I haven't been on them since, probably won't for a while after the accident. Need to give them time for the guest testing to help get the kinks out.
 
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Incomudro

Well-Known Member
That's pretty vague. Full stay? One night? Weekend? Full package or just room?
(Not saying that your account was vague...just the "offer.")

I can't imagine Disney shelling out multiple "full-week" vacation packages because people had a 3-hour delay. I'd imagine it was a free night if anything (no tickets).

"Three hour delay" is certainly not how the people who were stuck would be likely to describe their experience.
 

Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
There are multiple reports on youtube that the cabin temp. Immediately goes up when it stops. No doubt about that. Under normal operation the stoppages seem to be short enough to be tolerable.

The big problem is when something unexpected happens like what just happen this past weekend. It was lucky it was at night! Could you imagine if you were stuck for three hours not moving during the day, in the sun, in the 95 degree heat?

I don’t want to even think about it.....
 

natatomic

Well-Known Member
Here’s what I can confirm after speaking with a close source:

Shortly after the Skyliner stopped due to the incident at the station, a guest or someone else onboard with them in one of the vehicles called 911. The guest was patched through to Reedy Creek as they were claustrophobic, hyperventilating, and had a history of seizures in the past. The maintenance team that was dispatched to assess what happened was stopped from doing any work until the guest was emergency evacuated as a result of emergency services in the ride path. Reedy Creek had major challenges locating the specific Guest since the vehicle identification number is only printed on the side of each cabin - not on the bottom. The vehicle itself was in a position that obstructed the view of the number as well as the low light conditions. Reportedly the operators also do not have a system in place to determine how many guests are onboard or if the vehicle is occupied at all.

As a result of the delayed evacuation, other guests on board were overloading the emergency call button as well as the 911 operator if they had cell phones. My source is unsure how many other vehicles were evacuated by Reedy Creek, but I’m sure that each minute they were up there and seen doing so elicited more responses from other guests that may not have necessarily required it. People who were in no physical danger - just the many who were exhausted, hot, scared, hungry, needed a restroom, and some who did not speak English.

Once the maintenance team resolved the issue and deemed it safe to do so, they slowly cycled out the Skyliner as this is the most efficient way to get people off any ride.

From my source, it’s been a shared that the emergency kits on board some of the vehicles were previously opened or taken by guests earlier in the day who knew of their existence. Disney would have no way of knowing as It would be an operational nightmare to continuously check the contents of each vehicle throughout the day. They also would have had to come up with some way of locking them that did not impede proper usage. If the kits were not tampered with, they often did not have enough to supply the entire cabin.

- - - - - - -
The following is completely speculatory:

I’m not aware of the failures that happened when the gondola transitions from the station at Rivera back to the main line which resulted in a “trains ahead” collision that caused the Skyliner to emergency stop. I would very much like to know if this was something that the ride system monitors with sensors.

I will say that it’s concerning how fast, to me, the vehicles enter into the station echoing some concerns expressed earlier. If for some reason a group of unaccompanied teenagers or heavy drinkers from one of Epcot’s many festivals decided to forcibly rock the vehicle they were riding in as it enters the station, I fear it would be up to the Cast Members recognize the danger to the vehicles in between and to e-stop it. I’m sure that this has been thought of, but I’m concerned that they are relying too much on the operators in the station or control tower to stop the Skyliner given that there was nothing that preemptively stopped the collision of the vehicle last night.

I would also like to throw my hat into the ring regarding the heat discussion. If you’ve ever been stopped on the PeopleMover in one of the interior tunnels, excluding Space Mountain, it’s completely shielded from the outside elements. However it is not air conditioned and there is absolutely no breeze unless the vehicles are moving. It’s super hot, even in cooler days. Getting evacuated from there takes much less time than being cherry picked or zip lined down by Reedy Creek up in the sky.

The Skyliner is not the Monorail. Both traverse high-in-the-sky above roadways, parking lots, and buildings. While the monorail’s vehicles are condensed into separate trains, the Skyliner’s vehicles are stretched out over a vast space. There’s no towing option either. Logistically it’s a much bigger beast to evacuate the Skyliner.

Time and time again Disney likes to do things on the cheap, but put a fancy dress on it. They are more concerned on appearances and how it goes into the story versus the comfort of the people who actually utilize it. In many cases too, the designers are building with California in mind instead of super intolerable Florida weather. Hell, they even screwed up with Disneyland’s most recent monorail makeover and their lack of cabin ventilation.

Choosing a gondola based transit system that spans long distances in Florida weather, in my opinion, shows how out of touch the powers that control expenditures are at Disney. During normal operation it’s semi-practical, but once it stops for any long period of time it’s logistically going to be a huge problem like we saw.
I honestly was thinking that the delay in evacuations was due to an incompetent manager making a bad call, but this actually makes sense. A few years back, there was a monorail incident where a train stopped at the contemporary, half inside and half outside. Half the train was next to the platform - though not the loading area - and the other half wasn’t. I can’t remember what the hold up was in getting the train moved, but the people stuck next to the platform were agitated that no one would open the doors to just let them out. So some impatient guests decided to take matters into their own hands and pull open the emergency windows and evacuate themselves. The problem is that, if one of those windows was opened, the monorail team could no longer do their “Plan A” solution to the problem and instead had to do a different, more time-consuming method of getting people off the train, which ****ed off everyone in the half sticking outside because they had no choice but to wait longer because of the few impatient people who didn’t want to wait 15 minutes to get off the train. (forgive me that i don’t remember the finer details anymore, this was a long time ago and heard second hand from my then SO who was working there that night).
Til;dr - impatient guests wanted off the monorail NOW, found a way, but the result delayed the evacuation for everyone else significantly. Sounds exactly like what happened here.

What I’m confused about is remember when people were calling 911 when the Forbidden Journey at Universal got stuck? I don’t think anyone ever came to rescue them. Universal was able to go about their standard downtime procedures as far as I remember. I wonder how the decision was made that it would be faster for reedy creek to find this one family with the emergency rather than remove that blue gondola off the track and get the line moving again, which is what they ended up doing at the end. Of course, maybe had there not been difficulties in locating the cabin, perhaps a single cabin evacuation wouldn’t have been so time-consuming. Maybe it was just a perfect storm of things going wrong and causing delays, which in turn caused more people to “need” rescues.
 
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Incomudro

Well-Known Member
Yes there is still a difference. The gondolas are much higher up off the ground with less physical objects surrounding them, allowing for more airflow and wind to reach the gondola even when motionless. Then you also count in the floor and ceiling vents which allows hotter air to be pushed upwards and out by cooler air moving through the bottom.

It is definitely not the same as just sitting in your car.

Ok, let's go with the idea that the cabins are suspended above the heat of the pavement and that brings some degree of relief.
In an automobile - one can roll all four windows fully down, and open the sunroof all the way - that's
more ventilation than the Gondolas offer.(We'll go with the assumption that the sun is not directly overhead beating down on the vehicle's interior.
Point is, a vented box up on a wire does not have some miracle cooling effect when it is stopped, particularly if the air is still.
Plus, there is the psychological factor that one can not step out of it, or move around in it.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Honest question, so I can interpret some of the replies (or at least, stop misinterpreting them). I have read references to "blue" and "yellow". Were these simply and literally the colors of the gondolas that collided, or are they code for certain lines, such as handicapped access?

Just quick slang to refer to the photo of the incident. A single blue cabin (#108) was in the area to advance up to the haul rope, and several yellow cabins in the loading area stacked up into it. The significance of the color is simply to refer to the state as seen in the photo.
 

Clyde Birdbrain

Unknown Member
During the cast previews, we stopped and started quite often. Several times for more than two minutes.

It was doing this a lot on Saturday. I rode it a few times on Saturday in the afternoon and 2 hours before the incident, and it was stopping for 1 minute or so regularly. I watched it for a while at all stations and saw it stop quite a few times. I wondered why this was happening. CBR to HS we were stopped for at least 5 minutes at one time. It was a bit windy that day and even standing still it was quite breezy inside when we were stopped, which was nice.
 

Movielover

Well-Known Member
Point is, a vented box up on a wire does not have some miracle cooling effect when it is stopped, particularly if the air is still.
Plus, there is the psychological factor that one can not step out of it, or move around in it.

Point is it will still be cooler and more manageable than a parked car in a parking lot.

As for the psychological factor that's all on you. I know I can get a grasp on reality and not loose my mind about gondolas...
 

natatomic

Well-Known Member
Point is it will still be cooler and more manageable than a parked car in a parking lot.

As for the psychological factor that's all on you. I know I can get a grasp on reality and not loose my mind about gondolas...

This is some big talk coming from someone who wasn’t personally stuck in a gondola for 3 hours (at night OR during the day in July) and can’t speak first hand of what it ACTUALLY felt like. Not about the “grasp on reality” part necessarily, but that you’re SO confident the gondolas are manageable for that long in the sun.
I was stuck on one for a few minutes at 4 a clock in the afternoon, and trust me - it would be anything but had it been July at 1pm.

I LIKE the gondolas. I think they’re unique and fun and i’m glad Disney has them. However, pretending there’s not a single issue with being stuck in those cabins for any length of time in direct sunlight in the summer is asinine.
 

Movielover

Well-Known Member
This is some big talk coming from someone who wasn’t personally stuck in a gondola for 3 hours (at night OR during the day in July) and can’t speak first hand of what it ACTUALLY felt like. Not about the “grasp on reality” part necessarily, but that you’re SO confident the gondolas are manageable for that long in the sun.
I was stuck on one for a few minutes at 4 a clock in the afternoon, and trust me - it would be anything but had it been July at 1pm.

Yet still more manageable than sitting in the monorails or boats...
 

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