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

mmascari

Well-Known Member
When weather issues shut down the Friendship Boats, the bus is at the main gate. No buses at the IG for people wanting to get to the Swan.

So... if the gondola's down... front gate for everyone.
So, walk when the boats are down. I knew there aren't any busses back there today. But, I couldn't remember if there was anything else they might drag out. Honestly, just walking is fine.

That exists now... for those who don't want to walk in the rain/lightning/high-winds to any of the Crescent Lake Resorts when the boats are down.
Which isn't really a choice. I'm surprised they ever run a bus from the front to a Crescent Lake Resort even in lightning when the boats are down. Even my poor Google map skills say the walk from "Friendship Launch - Epcot International Gateway, International Gateway" to "Boat Launch Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel" is .6 miles vs from "Friendship Launch - Epcot International Gateway, International Gateway" to "Epcot Bus Station" is .8 and the other resorts are all closer. After seeing the boat is closed, walking to the front to catch a bus back to any Crescent Lake Resort would be a poor decision. You would have to walk through more rain/lightning/high-winds to get to the bus than just walking directly to the resort.

The math is different trying to get to a skyliner resort. Having the backup weather bus leave from the Boardwalk or Beach club only when the Skyliner is shutdown would only be .4 miles from the Friendship launch. Which feels like a pain, but isn't too bad. And, you're outside the park the entire time.

We always get the park hoppers, but do all park tickets include reentry to the same park on the same day? What about at park close, once you leave IG would they let you back in to traverse to the front of the park? (The rare lightning storm at park close.)

I'm picturing not learning that the Skyliner is closed until after you're already outside the park. A temporary closure, that occurs during the day. If it's closed for the entire day, that's different, you would go both ways by bus. The operations team is going to need to deal with this. I'm sure they'll have a placard up at the closed entrance announcing the closure and telling you where to go instead. Which, if it's back into the park, then park operations and guest services is going to need to deal with the disgruntled guest that needs to walk almost a mile to the bus (especially irate, since 50% of them probably came from future world walking the wrong way).
 

lee.moles.disney

Well-Known Member
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I don't trust anything Jim Hill says as turn but they did talk recently how the Skyliner is likely to get expanded over time across resort when you look at where the current turns are on the line.

Do we think that's the case? Surely running it to Disney springs is a given?
 

MickeyMinnieMom

Well-Known Member
What I really want to know is this — hope someone here has a sense, because I have no idea:

Do other similar gondola systems around the world SHUT DOWN every times there is Disney’s definition of “LIGHTNING IN THE AREA”??

I ask because the express transportation was utterly USELESS in the summer — was shut down every time we tried to use it. At least here, I won’t have paid ahead for the service!!

It just strikes me as nearly impossible that other places are as twitchy as Disney is with this.

For summer trips, where we frequently park hop and ARE traveling during those non-peak “lightning in the area” times, I would never bother with the gondolas if they’re going to go out of service with that low a threshold.

Good grief.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
That exists now... for those who don't want to walk in the rain/lightning/high-winds to any of the Crescent Lake Resorts when the boats are down.
Yeah, but this is a far bigger impacted audience. And really the only people really hit hard by the existing situation is the swan/dolphin guests that come via boat. YC/BW/BC people can still walk to their resort faster than probably walking to the front of the park.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
I don't trust anything Jim Hill says as turn but they did talk recently how the Skyliner is likely to get expanded over time across resort when you look at where the current turns are on the line.

Do we think that's the case? Surely running it to Disney springs is a given?
No, it is not the case. @marni1971 has said multiple times that WDW is not interested in more gondola lines, but an alternate mass transport system (of course, WDW can always change its mind, but, its mind right now is "no more gondolas.").

Also, Jim Hill is surmising the turn station at the BWI parking lot can be turned into a loading station so that it can be a new hub. But it can't. The turning station is not equipped at all to be a loading station. It'd have to be replaced with a hub like that at CBR.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I don't like using the boats as comparison for anything because honestly they suck.. slow and incredibly low volume. The only ones I think that even should still be around are the baylake ones.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There is a discussion bioreconstruct's twitter about Jim Hill's extension, and they are proposing the idea that the turn station could be converted into a normal station where people could transfer to a second line. I highly doubt this will happen, if for no other reason it would require an extended shutdown of the Epcot line. With that said, I can't think of a reason why this modification would not be possible.

 

P_Radden

Well-Known Member
There is a discussion bioreconstruct's twitter about Jim Hill's extension, and they are proposing the idea that the turn station could be converted into a normal station where people could transfer to a second line. I highly doubt this will happen, if for no other reason it would require an extended shutdown of the Epcot line. With that said, I can't think of a reason why this modification would not be possible.

They're on to something. We discussed this long ago actually, October 2017. Not another gondola line... But the new connection would tie in Coronado Springs Resort, Blizzard Beach and Animal Kingdom (AKL?) to the gondola system.

Another note, there's room in the canal/Swan parking lot area for a Friendship Boat dock. Could be Express to IG or DHS. Not a necessary addition, but an optional supplement to the gondola system if it's down.

This turn station is very interesting as it sits in the core of the entire resort's transportation system. Could eventually be considered a mini transportation center.
355387
 

P_Radden

Well-Known Member
Quickly drawn, but you get the idea:
355395

Granted, Fantasia Gardens would have to be sacrificed in this scenario. Replacement Swan parking could be added on that side of the street along the road. A re-worked pond and tennis courts could remain.

The existing turn station would have to be heavily modified or rebuilt for this addition.
 
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mandstaft

Well-Known Member
"Amused to Death said:
With family members who have worked in the parks, and experienced these things first hand, I can tell you that couples have gone at it just about everywhere you can imagine. CMs have had to do everything from make PA announcements on Pirates of the Caribbean ("You know we can see you?!") to remove used condoms from the Swiss Family Treehouse (listening to bands wasn't the only things kids were doing on Grad Nights/Nights of Joy)!"

During the first few months of DCA, you could probably have had sex in the open street at the back of Hollywood Pictures Backlot! The whole park was a ghost town!
 
Quickly drawn, but you get the idea:
View attachment 355395

Granted, Fantasia Gardens would have to be sacrificed in this scenario. Replacement Swan parking could be added on that side of the street along the road. A re-worked pond and tennis courts could remain.

The existing turn station would have to be heavily modified or rebuilt for this addition.
That probably wouldn't work as it'd run right thru the parking for the Swan\Dolphin addition...
 

creathir

Monorail and PeopleMover Fanatic
Premium Member
Quickly drawn, but you get the idea:
View attachment 355395

Granted, Fantasia Gardens would have to be sacrificed in this scenario. Replacement Swan parking could be added on that side of the street along the road. A re-worked pond and tennis courts could remain.

The existing turn station would have to be heavily modified or rebuilt for this addition.
The only thing that gives this any credence in my mind (once again, our extremely reliable insider has stated there are zero plans for expansion at this time) is the height of the station.

If the turn station was indeed to ever be converted, it being raised as high as it is would allow for safely passing under the station without a tunnel.

I believe the most likely scenario would be if it were ever used, it would be for an interface with whatever the rumored East/West transport method is. (Lightrail etc)
 

Magic Feather

Well-Known Member
Also, Jim Hill is surmising the turn station at the BWI parking lot can be turned into a loading station so that it can be a new hub. But it can't. The turning station is not equipped at all to be a loading station. It'd have to be replaced with a hub like that at CBR.
The turning station was made with the possibility of becoming a load and unload point in the future. Not to connect with a new gondola. Maybe not even to connect with a new transportation system. But, that still would not happen in the near future.
 

SirWillow

Well-Known Member
What I really want to know is this — hope someone here has a sense, because I have no idea:

Do other similar gondola systems around the world SHUT DOWN every times there is Disney’s definition of “LIGHTNING IN THE AREA”??

I ask because the express transportation was utterly USELESS in the summer — was shut down every time we tried to use it. At least here, I won’t have paid ahead for the service!!

It just strikes me as nearly impossible that other places are as twitchy as Disney is with this.
Twitchy? The vast majority of parks have rules that outside attractions that could attract a lightning strike shut down when there is lightning within 10 miles. That's not twitchy, that's safety- because lightning has, can, and will strike at times like that. At Silver Dollar City, the other park I've worked at, we had a couple of guys in park that were struck by lightning when the closest "storm" was over 8 miles away and couldn't be seen in the park.

And yes, other systems in other parts of the world do shut down for similar reasons. When you're in a metal framed cabin hanging off of a metal carbiner and wheel system attached to a metal cable which runs through metal towers, the lightning can strike anywhere in that line and run the risk of causing injury. Are there preventatives and insulations in place to help make sure that doesn't happen? Sure. But I don't want to be the guinea pig that finds out there's a failure missed, and Disney sure doesn't want to have one either.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
When you're in a metal framed cabin hanging off of a metal carbiner and wheel system attached to a metal cable which runs through metal towers, the lightning can strike anywhere in that line and run the risk of causing injury. Are there preventatives and insulations in place to help make sure that doesn't happen? Sure. But I don't want to be the guinea pig that finds out there's a failure missed, and Disney sure doesn't want to have one either.
Electricity takes the path of least resistance to ground.. The cabin isn't the path to ground when out on the line. It's possible (but unlikely) that a bolt would hit the cabin itself or very near causing immediate burn or material failure issues.. but getting electrocuted isn't the real concern. It's more about a holistic approach to safety. No one in cabins means no risk of stranding if power fails... no risk of cabins+guests out on the line if a strike damaged something or fouled the line itself.. no concerns about where cabins are relative to other paths to ground, etc. Basically a cleared system doesn't risk guests being out on a system that could be harmed/fouled before the system has passed its checks again.
 

SirWillow

Well-Known Member
Electricity takes the path of least resistance to ground.. The cabin isn't the path to ground when out on the line. It's possible (but unlikely) that a bolt would hit the cabin itself or very near causing immediate burn or material failure issues.. but getting electrocuted isn't the real concern. It's more about a holistic approach to safety. No one in cabins means no risk of stranding if power fails... no risk of cabins+guests out on the line if a strike damaged something or fouled the line itself.. no concerns about where cabins are relative to other paths to ground, etc. Basically a cleared system doesn't risk guests being out on a system that could be harmed/fouled before the system has passed its checks again.
yes, there's also the entire mechanical side that I left out. :) I won't argue with you there. Between all of that, I'm honestly surprised that it's taken this long for the, "whoops, oh, uh, maybe we can't run these things if there is lightning in the area after all" reaction, when so many of us were saying all along that wouldn't be a smart or practical idea.

and then the whole idea that Disney is "twitchy" about lightning that the other poster said really got under my skin. the guy I knew who got struck is genuinely twitchy if he even hears of a possibility of thunderstorms because he management wasn't "twitchy" enough about them and safety.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Between all of that, I'm honestly surprised that it's taken this long for the, "whoops, oh, uh, maybe we can't run these things if there is lightning in the area after all" reaction, when so many of us were saying all along that wouldn't be a smart or practical idea.
I don't think it's a matter of awareness - but likely something like other stakeholders finally get their shot at calling out their budget needs and operational needs in the post-skyline era and making conclusions that may not mesh with prior conclusions. I'm sure everyone fully discussed the weather... but maybe some people felt it was 'ok to do nothing' or that the dynamic flex in the system could take the load.. while other voices now say 'doing nothing is not acceptable and we need more dedicated resources for this contingency'

TL: DR - probably not new ideas, but maybe new acceptance of what the commitments should be

Honestly... transportation options are so dynamic and Disney can change their operational mode so easily since all this infrastructure already exists.. I don't think its a big topic either way. If Disney gets caught with their pants down... they'll change their ops model to tidy it up. If they overcommit, they'll realize it soon enough and redeploy or reduce the wasted resources.
 
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