Guests Left Stranded On Swaying Disney Skyliner Offered “Emergency Box”

It’s one of the Walt Disney World Resort’s newest and most exciting experiences.

Disney Skyliner is the latest transportation system to be added to the Walt Disney World Resort that gives Guests easier access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT theme parks from various Disney Resort hotels. 

The aerial gondola provides a new perspective of the Lake Buena Vista Resort, with each themed chairlift featuring magical Disney touches and iconic characters from Disney Park attractions and movies. But, as with any Disney World transportation system, occasional problems occur, and this breakdown required the opening of an emergency kit.


Credit: Disney

During a Walt Disney World vacation, Guests have the option to take a Disney World bus, boat, Monorail, or Skyliner to get from their destination to a Disney theme park, Disney Springs, or their Disney Resort Hotel.

Disney’s newest mode of transportation debuted at Walt Disney World in September 2019. Disney World Guests can board Disney’s Skyliner — a complementary mode of transport — and soar past one-of-a-kind views of waterways, conservation land, and two Walt Disney World theme parks — Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

The new Skyliner transposition is in constant motion, which means Guests arrive at their destination within minutes. Well, at least they do most of the time!

The Disney Skyliner has faced its fair share of mishaps and breakdowns, and yesterday, April 7 was no different. We at Disney Tips were traveling from Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park across to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort for a dining reservation at Sebastian’s Bistro and found ourselves stuck dangling on the Disney Skyliner for over 30 minutes.


Credit: Disney Tips

With only the last descent into Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station left on our journey, the gondola came to a sharp stop about 30-40 feet in the air.

At first, we assumed it was due to a delayed boarding process down at the station, but after 5 minutes had passed, we started to wonder what was actually happening.

We boarded the Skyliner at 8:15 p.m., so we couldn’t even enjoy the view with it being so dark outside. We shared the gondola with another family with children, and so suddenly the casual ride on Disney Skyliner became an adventure to figure out what issue had arisen.


Credit: Disney Tips

Cast Members did their best to maintain the Disney Park magic and health and safety of Guests during the breakdown, with Disney sharing announcements over the loudspeaker stating, “The Skyliner has been temporarily delayed. We will resume your flight as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience. Please remain seated, as we work with our maintenance team to fix the issue.”

Every 5 minutes, the announcement would note how long we’d be stuck high above the ground. At the 20 minute mark, the Cast Member said, “We do have a convenience kit for you to use. It can be found in the black box under your seat. Open up that box. Also, press the emergency call button by the door of the cabin if you need further assistance.”

We did as instructed, and found the black box under one of the bench seats. Feeling like we were in a Disney Skyliner escape room, we opened the box and found emergency purified drinking water pouches, ice compress packs, a whistle, and Emesis bags for those with motion sickness. The dangling gondola was swinging pretty hard!


Credit: Disney Tips

After 30 mins high above the Disney World Resort, we finally started to move again, traveling the short remaining distance to the Caribbean Beach station.

When asked, Cast Members were unable to tell us what the maintenance issue was that left us stuck for over 30 minutes. There were multiple security and fire department trucks outside the Skyliner station when we exited, but no indication as to what caused the breakdown.

We did manage to make our dinner reservation at the Disney Moderate Resort – with an interesting Disney World story to tell!


Credit: Disney Tips

Back in October 2019, the Disney Skyliner broke down for over 3 hours, necessitating an evacuation by Reedy Creek Fire Department. This process was done via lift on a cabin by cabin basis, and reportedly took hours to complete. Guests were compensated with gift cards, Park tickets, and/or free FastPasses.

There are more than 300 gondolas in the Disney Skyliner fleet and they travel at heights of up to 60 feet. The cruising speed is around 11 m.p.h. with a slowdown to 1 m.p.h. when arriving at the station where Disney Guests are exiting and loading.

Disney recently changed the policy regarding face mask usage on the Skyliner. It is now optional for Guests who are fully vaccinated to wear a face mask while boarding the Disney Skyliner, while those who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a correct face covering while aboard this mode of Disney World Resort transportation. Face masks are still required for those boarding a Disney bus or Monorail, despite vaccination status.

More on Disney Skyliner

Disney Skyliner

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World’s official website describes the new Skyliner below:

Cruise around Walt Disney World Resort in style—riding incredible aerial gondolas!

Glide across the sky and add an extra dash of pixie dust to your day. This grand, state-of-the-art gondola system conveniently connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot to the following Disney Resort hotels:

• Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
• Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
• Disney’s Pop Century Resort
• Disney’s Riviera Resort

Guests will enjoy a fun way to travel to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Plus, the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot is conveniently located just a short stroll away from Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book