Skip the bus ride and fly around Disney World on new Skyliner gondolas

Sep 30, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Lots of rides at Disney World mimic the feeling of flight. But, the brand-new Disney Skyliner gondolas are the real deal. One of the most anticipated additions to Walt Disney World in 2019 was absolutely the Skyliner gondolas that began carrying guests high above Disney World over the weekend for the very first time. These gondolas connect four Disney resort hotels with two of the theme parks: Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Serving as an alternative free transportation option to the buses, flying in a gondola is actually pretty cool even if you have nowhere in particular to go — much like riding Disney’s monorail or boats between resorts or parks.

Based on social media reports, the first full day of operation of the Disney Skyliners, Monday, seems to have gone pretty well overall. There were some boarding lines, but most moved quickly even if they looked long.

There were also a few reported pauses in service where riders were suspended in place in the air for a few extra minutes but nothing major. While the gondolas are not air-conditioned, the vents seemed to keep things cool enough.

Related: Ultimate guide to visiting Disney World

Here are three things to know about the new Disney Skyliners before your next trip:

Skyliners stop at four resorts

If you are staying at Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or the yet-to-open Disney’s Riviera Resort (opening in December), then the new Skyliners can serve as a legitimate transportation option for you when heading to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Of course, the Epcot station is also easily reachable from a number of other resorts, including the Disney Swan and Dolphin and Disney’s Boardwalk. This means lots of folks could use the Skyliners not just to head to the park and back, but even to head to a meal or activity at another resort on the line.

Related: Best restaurants at Disney World

Disney
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

You may have to transfer lines

The Skyliners are not all one big connected loop. The main hub where the lines connect is at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. From there, you can head south on a Skyliner to the Disney’s Art of Animation / Pop Century station at Hourglass Lake. You can head north to the Riviera Resort and on to Epcot. Or, you can head west to Hollywood Studios.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Skyliner station at Hollywood Studios (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

You don’t need a ticket to ride

While I don’t recommend you do this for a “once in a lifetime trip,” it is very possible to have fun at Disney World without spending lots of money on tickets to go into the parks. Or, at a minimum, you can have a bunch of fun without going into the parks every single day. Since I’m walking away (for now) from my Disney World annual pass, I’m actively planning a non-park day for our December visit and riding the Skyliners for fun is 100% on my list of planned activities with my 4-year old.

(Photo courtesy of Disney Parks / Kent Phillips, Photographer) 
(Photo courtesy of Kent Phillips/Disney Parks)

Bottom line

More (free) ways to get around Disney World is a good thing. The Minnie Vans are great, but can be pricey. While it’ll be a couple more months until I have a firsthand experience to share, the Skyliners look like a really fun way to get from a few Disney resorts to the parks and back again, or just to take a nice ride and enjoy the unique aerial views.

Featured image by David Roark

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.