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News New Gondola Transportation - Disney Skyliner - Every Possible What If ....? Has Been Discussed.

Lift Blog

Well-Known Member
While true, I have been on enough chairlifts and gondolas at ski resorts to know that it does happen, and usually not for 'emergencies'.
While mechanically similar, chairlifts and gondolas should be separated when talking about loading issues. Gondola stops fall into the following categories, many of which can be avoided.
-Misloading. Unlike with chairlifts, these can mostly be avoided on level walk-in gondolas and enough well-trained staff.
-Loading and unloading of supplies for restaurants, shops, etc. Can be done outside of operational hours or by other means if the operator so desires.
-Electrical or mechanical faults - rare and downtime can be minimized with maintenance staff at the lift rather than on call. Ski resorts tend not to have a mechanic at every lift.

But on the flip side I would think that at a ski resort you are going to see far fewer people with infants or little kids in tow, or people with mobility problems which are more common at Disney.
I'd argue the summer crowd at ski resorts is surprisingly similar. The bigger resorts that tend to operate gondolas have really transformed into adventure parks with mountain coasters, zip lines, climbing walls, ropes courses, etc. We also get bus load after bus load of retired folks all summer with lifts to 10,000+ feet that require almost no physical ability to ride.
 

jt04

Well-Known Member
But on the flip side I would think that at a ski resort you are going to see far fewer people with infants or little kids in tow, or people with mobility problems which are more common at Disney.

I think they choose this configuration and location because they know they can keep up and guests have other options during any peak demand. Great metrics to study for any possible future expanion.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
While mechanically similar, chairlifts and gondolas should be separated when talking about loading issues. Gondola stops fall into the following categories, many of which can be avoided.
-Misloading. Unlike with chairlifts, these can mostly be avoided on level walk-in gondolas and enough well-trained staff.
-Loading and unloading of supplies for restaurants, shops, etc. Can be done outside of operational hours or by other means if the operator so desires.
-Electrical or mechanical faults - rare and downtime can be minimized with maintenance staff at the lift rather than on call. Ski resorts tend not to have a mechanic at every lift.


I'd argue the summer crowd at ski resorts is surprisingly similar. The bigger resorts that tend to operate gondolas have really transformed into adventure parks with mountain coasters, zip lines, climbing walls, ropes courses, etc. We also get bus load after bus load of retired folks all summer with lifts to 10,000+ feet that require almost no physical ability to ride.

Good point, I didn't think about the summer uses for these resorts.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think they choose this configuration and location because they know they can keep up and guests have other options during any peak demand. Great metrics to study for any possible future expanion.

Not sure what this has to do with what I posted?
 

jt04

Well-Known Member
Not sure what this has to do with what I posted?

I think they are bearing in mind the guests at WDW are different than those at most places you find gondolas so this is a baby step. As opposed to rolling it out at DS or the MK areas which could prove overwhelming. The current plan has less risk it seems to me.
 

creathir

Premium Member
I'd argue the summer crowd at ski resorts is surprisingly similar. The bigger resorts that tend to operate gondolas have really transformed into adventure parks with mountain coasters, zip lines, climbing walls, ropes courses, etc. We also get bus load after bus load of retired folks all summer with lifts to 10,000+ feet that require almost no physical ability to ride.

To be fair, most of those activities are biased towards people who are mobile.

It will be an interesting case study at WDW for sure.
 

HauntedPirate

Sheltered-at-home Park nostalgist
Premium Member
I think they are bearing in mind the guests at WDW are different than those at most places you find gondolas so this is a baby step. As opposed to rolling it out at DS or the MK areas which could prove overwhelming. The current plan has less risk it seems to me.

Rolling out gondolas at either DS or in the MK area would make absolutely no sense. Except to you, maybe.
 

mmascari

Well-Known Member
Maybe if you see it in action you will understand that loading is not an issue

The single largest source of stops is last-second loading at door closing, which can trigger a door fault, access control barrier stop, or both. Adding a second loading area at a single station merely adds another place for these problems to happen.

I'm familiar with how they work, and this is the failure mode I was questioning with an auxiliary load option. Auxiliary, not second, I'll describe later.

Totally not an issue for strollers, most wheel chairs, most other mobility aids, and all walking. It's a slow moving gondola (super slow, just slightly faster than actually stopped) that you transition to from a stopped platform. Probably even easier than getting on and off and escalator, same pattern of a transition from stopped to moving.

But, it's not actually stopped. The gondola platform is moving, say to the right, while the platform is fixed. Loading a wheeled transport that's long requires aiming slightly to the right, not straight in. For someone walking, or pushing a stroller, that the angle changes mid load by a little to a different angle is no big deal. A long mobility device or disability wheelchair, that angle change could cause a problem, that becomes an issue of taking longer or jamming and preventing the door from closing.

When I said auxiliary loading for special use cases, I mean totally auxiliary not a normal load split into two paths. The normal path they're using, and then something that's technically like a maintenance track used for auxiliary loading. Totally disconnected from the normal flow. Pull a car out to an auxiliary path, just like for maintenance. Fully stop it. Take as long as you want to load someone. Swap it back into the main load line already fully loaded with doors closed. The same way they would pull a car and replace it there are interior car issues, say someone pukes in a car. Not a second place to create issues, since it's totally removed from the normal line.

However, it probably is over engineering. I would think reasonable over engineering. But, maybe those maintenance shunts are harder to use or have more issues making it less appealing. Or, maybe cast member assistance is enough to overcome this issue most of the time and easier to maintain than extra track shunts.

I'm looking forward to them, and will make me consider those resorts more that I normally would have given less of a thought about.
 

UpDog71

Active Member
I'm familiar with how they work, and this is the failure mode I was questioning with an auxiliary load option. Auxiliary, not second, I'll describe later.

Totally not an issue for strollers, most wheel chairs, most other mobility aids, and all walking. It's a slow moving gondola (super slow, just slightly faster than actually stopped) that you transition to from a stopped platform. Probably even easier than getting on and off and escalator, same pattern of a transition from stopped to moving.

But, it's not actually stopped. The gondola platform is moving, say to the right, while the platform is fixed. Loading a wheeled transport that's long requires aiming slightly to the right, not straight in. For someone walking, or pushing a stroller, that the angle changes mid load by a little to a different angle is no big deal. A long mobility device or disability wheelchair, that angle change could cause a problem, that becomes an issue of taking longer or jamming and preventing the door from closing.

When I said auxiliary loading for special use cases, I mean totally auxiliary not a normal load split into two paths. The normal path they're using, and then something that's technically like a maintenance track used for auxiliary loading. Totally disconnected from the normal flow. Pull a car out to an auxiliary path, just like for maintenance. Fully stop it. Take as long as you want to load someone. Swap it back into the main load line already fully loaded with doors closed. The same way they would pull a car and replace it there are interior car issues, say someone pukes in a car. Not a second place to create issues, since it's totally removed from the normal line.

However, it probably is over engineering. I would think reasonable over engineering. But, maybe those maintenance shunts are harder to use or have more issues making it less appealing. Or, maybe cast member assistance is enough to overcome this issue most of the time and easier to maintain than extra track shunts.

I'm looking forward to them, and will make me consider those resorts more that I normally would have given less of a thought about.
Maybe they would just ban ECV's, and urge that Guest to go board the buses?
 

raymusiccity

Well-Known Member
Quick question, have you ever seen someone drive an electric wheelchair or an ECV on/off a gondola?

Anticipate the same spastic, clueless operation of the rental scooters that we've all seen loading onto the buses. Bus drivers usually direct the renter to a seat and secures it himself :(
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
Gondola on wheels...

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giphy.gif
 

frankc

Member
They generally do detach anyway.

So far as I know there's no multiple loading. Just one load and one unload per direction per station. The DVC station is undergoing a design review and could potentially double up on load platforms.

What would be the purpose of doubling up on load platforms? To better accommodate gondola traffic or to accommodate traffic from so other mode of transportation?
 

mmascari

Well-Known Member
Maybe they would just ban ECV's, and urge that Guest to go board the buses?

No buses on the same routes, that would defeat the purpose of the investment, as others have stated earlier.

Anticipate the same spastic, clueless operation of the rental scooters that we've all seen loading onto the buses. Bus drivers usually direct the renter to a seat and secures it himself :(

There's no securing it. But, I'm sure there will be cast members to help direct it to board. There's no transfer either, just ride on.
 

kthomas105

Well-Known Member
Well, no, they would just have a gap in the line.
I think he is referring to the back up of gondolas coming into the station from the main line. If a platform detached line has room for 10 gondolas then there is only room for 10 gondolas in the platform. For safety they would probably like to only have 8 or so to give margin for error or, as so many have repeated, slow loaders. That means for every gondola that comes into the station one must leave no matter the time interval. So if there is a back up on the platform then yes they would have to run one or two gondolas out of the platform empty to allow space for normal loading. The only way to get around this is with multiple platforms for one line, as many have suggested, but as of right now it sounds like multiple load platforms per line are not going to be used due to cost.
 

mmascari

Well-Known Member
So if there is a back up on the platform then yes they would have to run one or two gondolas out of the platform empty to allow space for normal loading.

That would only work if you knew you had a slow loader and skipped a few before picking to load. Otherwise, you're loading them into the car in the front already. It's either finish loading, send it half full with nobody in the threshold, or stop because they were still half way in the door by the time they got to the end of the loading zone.

The only way to get around this is with multiple platforms for one line, as many have suggested, but as of right now it sounds like multiple load platforms per line are not going to be used due to cost.

Not just multiple lines. A normal line and a dedicated slow/special load line. The special load line being completely out of the loop and swapping in cars after it's loaded. You would still need to know before picking a line if you needed the special stopped car loading or not.

They'll probably just have a loading zone that's big enough to have a huge capacity of cars detached and cast member help for assistance.

The downside is that this part of the trip, if you load fast, could take just as long as the fast part of the trip then. :)
 

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