News New Gondola Transportation - Disney Skyliner -

CastAStone

5th gate? Just build a new resort Bob.
Premium Member
Skyliner was bankrolled by the extra money Disney could get by raising the room rates of Pop, AoA, and CBR as "Skyliner resorts" and so that Riviera could be considered a 'deluxe.'

Other routes dreamed up by guests are imagined for their benefit, not for Disney's ROI. And if it turns out that the Skyliner hasn't been profitable... no more gondolas, ever!!

While Disney has considered other Skyliner routes according to insiders, they certainly ain't moving on them. Dedicated lanes for buses or light rail is more likely.
Disney raised the rates for CBR. Pop, and AoA in the low teens % the year the Skyliner opened and again the year after vs 4-5% for most of the rest of WDW the year they opened. I tracked the changes. Those resorts have about 6500 rooms? Call it a $50 average nightly price increase premium (it’s probably more)? That’s $118M per year in increased revenue at 100% occupancy. Not sure what the Skyliner cost and what cannibalization from other resorts is but I gotta think they have done OK with it.
 

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
There’s also logistics, the skyway lines at park close at both Epcot and DHS are very long and can snake out very far (at Epcot, I’ve seen it snake all the way to the Beach Club) so I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want to add onto that line as there would be too much demand. The only place it would make sense would be at AK where you could have AKL, CS and maybe BB and All Stars connected to AK as an entirely separate line with a hub (like CBR) at AK.
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
They really need transportation from the AKL to DAK, and they need a link other than buses to Disney Springs.
Imagine if back in the 90s they had actually bit the bullet and linked the monorail from EPCOT station to Epcot Resorts , Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs and Disney Springs... It would have cost a fraction of what it would be now, and the premiums they could have charged for those rooms would have been an annual uptick in the hundreds of millions...certainly well covering the cost to expand the line, and adding a lot of guest satisfaction...cuz no one likes taking busses...
 
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Touchdown

Well-Known Member
Hooking up DS creates issues as those parking garages are free. In order to avoid people parking there and going to the parks something would need to block that. Either:

1. Setting up gates to prevent non hotel guests from using transportation (or charge them the same fee as parking per person) if their origin is DS.

2. Not running those routes until we’ll after park opening
 

dreday3

Well-Known Member
The really need transportation from the AKL to DAK, and they need a link other than buses to Disney Springs.
Imagine if back in the 90s they had actually bit the bullet and linked the monorail from EPCOT station to Epcot Resorts , Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs and Disney Springs... It would have cost a fraction of what it would be now, and the premiums they could have charged for those rooms would have been an annual uptick in the hundreds of millions...certainly well covering the cost to expand the line, and adding a lot of guest satisfaction...cuz no one likes taking busses...

Wouldn't be great if they did a train (like the train to Conservation Station) from AKL to AK? I always thought that would be perfect. Heck,
I'd be happy if they could construct a walking path between AKL and AK.
 

LSLS

Well-Known Member
Hooking up DS creates issues as those parking garages are free. In order to avoid people parking there and going to the parks something would need to block that. Either:

1. Setting up gates to prevent non hotel guests from using transportation (or charge them the same fee as parking per person) if their origin is DS.

2. Not running those routes until we’ll after park opening

Would it really create that much more of an issue than the busses already do?
 

DisneyFanatic12

Well-Known Member
The buses do not run directly to the parks, you have to connect through a resort
I think the idea was that the two lines would be separate, as to not create a burden on the existing, already busy skyliner line. And thus, one would have to Skyliner to a resort and bus to a park. Might be a little faster, but there would still be a negligible amount of guests going it.
 

ToTBellHop

Well-Known Member
Disney raised the rates for CBR. Pop, and AoA in the low teens % the year the Skyliner opened and again the year after vs 4-5% for most of the rest of WDW the year they opened. I tracked the changes. Those resorts have about 6500 rooms? Call it a $50 average nightly price increase premium (it’s probably more)? That’s $118M per year in increased revenue at 100% occupancy. Not sure what the Skyliner cost and what cannibalization from other resorts is but I gotta think they have done OK with it.
Thought I read that it cost about $100m. If so, it was a worthwhile investment.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
The real question I have is when will they expand the skyliner service across the property? With resorts like Port Orleans having entire buildings vacant per @lentesta, it just makes too much ”cents” to add an extension here.

It had to help Pop/AoA and Caribbean Beach immensely.

Is it a question of when and not if IMO.

It will never happen; it's nowhere near fast/efficient enough to be expanded across property. Some of the potential Skyliner trips could easily take 30+ minutes (and some might be 45+) if it was intended as property wide transit. It also has too many operational concerns -- it has to shut down regularly during storm season, e.g. -- so they couldn't replace buses. That means they'd have to keep the same bus fleet and drivers on standby for whenever they might be needed, which would just increase their costs.

They could add a few small additional spurs around the existing lines, but anywhere they expand also causes problems for potential future development.

EDIT: As for POR -- I'm pretty sure it costs more than CBR (which makes sense because it's much better; I'd be willing to pay t least $30 more a night to stay at POR over CBR), so that's likely the biggest factor there. People are choosing the cheaper option.
 
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Bocabear

Well-Known Member
It will never happen; it's nowhere near fast/efficient enough to be expanded across property. Some of the potential Skyliner trips could easily take 30+ minutes (and some might be 45+) if it was intended as property wide transit. It also has too many operational concerns -- it has to shut down regularly during storm season, e.g. -- so they couldn't replace buses. That means they'd have to keep the same bus fleet and drivers on standby for whenever they might be needed, which would just increase their costs.

They could add a few small additional spurs around the existing lines, but anywhere they expand also causes problems for potential future development.

EDIT: As for POR -- I'm pretty sure it costs more than CBR (which makes sense because it's much better; I'd be willing to pay t least $30 more a night to stay at POR over CBR), so that's likely the biggest factor there. People are choosing the cheaper option.
Even with the Skyliner? I always thought Port Orleans was a step down from the CBR...though the CBR was WDW's first Value Resort...they seemed to get less themed as they continued to build...
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Even with the Skyliner? I always thought Port Orleans was a step down from the CBR...though the CBR was WDW's first Value Resort...they seemed to get less themed as they continued to build...

Yep, rack rates at POR are generally higher than CBR even with the Skyliner. I think the Skyliner made it closer but POR is still $15-20 more, at least for parts of the year.

I couldn't disagree more about POR vs. CBR, though -- I think POR is the best resort at Disney from an overall value perspective. It's significantly better than the other moderates IMO. Obviously some of the deluxes are better (although not all; I'd definitely rather stay at POR than Riviera, for one), but they also cost 2x as much (or more).
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
We stayed at Riviera and we were all underwhelmed by it... It did not feel like a Disney resort at all...The amenities are not that interesting or nice. There is no thematic integrity at all...I can say on the positive side that the 3 Br Villa there is really beautiful...and spacious. WAY nicer than Saratoga Springs and larger than Bay Lake Tower.
We would not book that property again based on location and amenities alone.
 

DisneyFanatic12

Well-Known Member
It will never happen; it's nowhere near fast/efficient enough to be expanded across property. Some of the potential Skyliner trips could easily take 30+ minutes (and some might be 45+) if it was intended as property wide transit. It also has too many operational concerns -- it has to shut down regularly during storm season, e.g. -- so they couldn't replace buses. That means they'd have to keep the same bus fleet and drivers on standby for whenever they might be needed, which would just increase their costs.

They could add a few small additional spurs around the existing lines, but anywhere they expand also causes problems for potential future development.

EDIT: As for POR -- I'm pretty sure it costs more than CBR (which makes sense because it's much better; I'd be willing to pay t least $30 more a night to stay at POR over CBR), so that's likely the biggest factor there. People are choosing the cheaper option.
That’s true, they couldn’t do any “through” stations like at Riviera, because that causes the line to slow down a lot (at the other stations, the stationary boarding area allows the line to almost never have to slow down). Even if the line never slowed down, though, Coronado Springs to Disney Springs would take a crazy long time. I do think something like a loop to AK and it’s surrounding resorts could be doable, but it would be hard to make a line without having one for every resort (not laid out as well for a Skyliner line). I wish we could walk to AK from AKL, because it’s just silly how close it is to have a lack of direct access… at this point I don’t even need a pretty trail in the trees, just a sidewalk along the road would work!
 

mattpeto

Well-Known Member
Yep, rack rates at POR are generally higher than CBR even with the Skyliner. I think the Skyliner made it closer but POR is still $15-20 more, at least for parts of the year.

I couldn't disagree more about POR vs. CBR, though -- I think POR is the best resort at Disney from an overall value perspective. It's significantly better than the other moderates IMO. Obviously some of the deluxes are better (although not all; I'd definitely rather stay at POR than Riviera, for one), but they also cost 2x as much (or more).
I don’t believe that’s accurate.

CB has been more expensive since the skyliner.
 

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UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I don’t believe that’s accurate.

CB has been more expensive since the skyliner.

It's strange. I just looked at Disney's site and for some dates CBR is more and other dates POR is more. In October, e.g., the CBR rooms are about $10 more than the POR rooms, but in January 2024 every room at POR is $15-30 more than the counterpart at CBR -- except the preferred rooms, which are still $10 more at CBR even though everything else is cheaper.
 

CastAStone

5th gate? Just build a new resort Bob.
Premium Member
It will never happen; it's nowhere near fast/efficient enough to be expanded across property. Some of the potential Skyliner trips could easily take 30+ minutes (and some might be 45+) if it was intended as property wide transit. It also has too many operational concerns -- it has to shut down regularly during storm season, e.g. -- so they couldn't replace buses. That means they'd have to keep the same bus fleet and drivers on standby for whenever they might be needed, which would just increase their costs.
IMO the big issue (as has been noted dozens of times in this thread) with expansion is that the CBR main station is already at/over capacity at peak hours and the park stations are past capacity at park close.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
IMO the big issue (as has been noted dozens of times in this thread) with expansion is that the CBR main station is already at/over capacity at peak hours and the park stations are past capacity at park close.

That is definitely another big issue, although it ties in with the speed/efficiency issue and that's far from the only problem along those lines.
 

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