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Disney World Skyliner Guide: Hours, Tips, Resorts

The Disney Skyliner is a gondola themed transportation system for Walt Disney World resort guests. We had the opportunity to stay in one of the Skyliner resorts and we are thrilled to be able to share this guide! We will share the Disney Skyliner route, hotels, and what to expect. 

The Disney Skyliner

Disney World Skyliner Guide

The Disney Skyliner is a gondola transportation system that opened September 29, 2019. It has become one of the most popular forms of transportation in the Disney parks! Many people will only stay at resorts that have access to the Disney Skyliner.

The Skyliner gives you incredible views from the sky. You will even go over certain hotels! It is a “magical” way of getting around the parks. The Skyliner is absolutely free and anyone can use it.

Disney skyliner gondolas give easy access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Disney World Skyliner does not provide transportation to Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney Skyliner Hours

The Disney Skyliner starts running approximately 60-90 minutes before the Disney theme parks open and stop running 60-90 minutes after they close. You can find the daily hours at signs at the Skyliner stations.

skyliner hours

Disney Skyliner Route and Skyliner Map

The Skyliner gondola system conveniently connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at EPCOT to the following Disney Resorts: 

In addition to direct access to the four resorts listed above, the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at EPCOT is conveniently located just a short walk away from the following Disney locations:

Disney Skyliner Map

This is the most helpful Skyliner map out there! You can clearly see each route that the gondola’s take.

Disney Skyliner Map

Disney Skyliner Stations

There are five gondola stations – three are at Disney resort hotels and two are at Disney theme parks:

  1. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort share a station
  2. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  3. Disney’s Riviera Resort
  4. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (located at the front of the park)
  5. EPCOT (located at the International Gateway. You will enter at the World Showcase)
disney's skyliner cars

The main hub of the Skyliner is at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. At the Caribbean Beach Station you can transfer gondolas to EPCOT, to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or the resorts at the Caribbean Beach Station.

The Art of Animation station and the Pop Century station are the same. The Skyliner station for these hotels is on a bridge over Hourglass Lake that connects the two. We stayed at Pop Century and had a very easy walk to the station each day that we went!

disney's skyliner sign

If you are using the Skyliner from Art of Animation or Pop Century you will need to get off the Skyliner and get on a different Skyliner route to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Route for the Disney Skyliner from Disney Resorts

If you are staying at one of the Disney resort hotels that access the Skyliner you will want to know how to get to your destination using the Skyliner system. Signs are everywhere and cast members are very helpful to make sure you get to your correct destination!

disney's skyliner

Guests Staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort:

  • To Get To Hollywood Studios: Take the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach. From Caribbean Beach take the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios. You will have to transfer gondolas.
  • To Get To Epcot: Take the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach. From Caribbean Beach take the Skyliner to the Epcot station. You will have to transfer gondolas.
Skyliner over water
Pop Century is on the left, Art of Animation is on the right

Guests Staying at Riviera Resort:

  • To Get To Hollywood Studios: Take the Skyliner or Walk to Caribbean Beach Station. From Caribbean Beach take Skyliner to Hollywood Studios.
  • To Get To Epcot: Take the Skyliner from Riviera Station to Epcot. 

Guests Staying at Caribbean Beach Resort:

  • To Get To Hollywood Studios: Take the Skyliner from Caribbean Beach Station to Hollywood Studios.
  • To Get To Epcot: Take the Skyliner from Caribbean Beach Station to Epcot or Walk to Riviera Station to board to Epcot. Guests do not have to get off the Skyliner at the Riviera Station to continue on to Epcot.
disney's skyliner

What To Expect On The Disney Skyliner

The Disney Skyliner is your typical gondola transportation system. The vehicles are rectangular shaped with wooden benches – one on both sides. Each bench will comfortably seat 4-5.

If you are a small party and it is busy be prepared to be seated with other people. If it is not busy you may be in a vehicle with just your party. We have been on the skyliner many times with just two of us!

Inside the Disney Skyliner

Many of the Skyliner cars are wrapped in familiar Disney characters. You will find cars themed to Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney. Its fun to watch the cars pass you on the opposite direction to see all the different types of wraps!

When you are in a vehicle that is wrapped you will still be able to see out the window, however, the view will not be as clear. If you prefer a clear view, simply ask the cast member if you can wait for an unwarapped gondola.

The gondolas do not have air conditioning. They are designed that you will have a comfortable breeze through window vents. When the skyliner is moving the temperature is great.

Window vents create a cooling breeze

If the Skyliner stops it is possible for the gondola cabins to get warm pretty quickly. Luckily you are rarely stopped for more than a couple minutes, but we do think this is something to be aware of. 

At night there are no overhead lights in the gondolas, just some light lighting by your feet. 

disney's skyliner

Boarding the Disney Skyliner

When the Skyliner comes into the station the vehicles slow WAY down. The Disney gondolas go very slowly with the doors open in the station – think along the lines of Haunted Mansion or The Seas With Nemo and Friends. They are very easy to board.

Disney Skyliner

If you are in a wheelchair the cast members will direct you to a separate line where you can board a stationary car. 

Can strollers go on the Disney Skyliner?

Yes, strollers and wheelchairs can fit on the Disney Skyliner. You do not have to fold down a single stroller. Strollers that are larger than 30″ x 48″ will need to be folded down before boarding.

How many people fit on the Disney Skyliner?

The Disney Skyliner fits up to 10 guests. If you have a wheelchair or stroller you will have fewer people on your car.

Is the Disney Skyliner Faster than the Bus?

Yes, the Skyliner is faster than the bus. Travel times are around 10-15 minutes to get from your hotel to your destination (or vice versa). As with all Disney transportation, aways allot extra time for time to board, wait in a long line, or any unexpected stops. If you are wanting to get to the park for early entry make sure the Skyliner is running when you want to go. 

disney's skyliner

We have never had long wait times to get on the gondolas, however, we never ran into bad weather when wanting to use the Disney skyliner transportation system. Be aware that in inclement weather or high winds the Skyliner will not run.

Travel times for the Skyliner can vary but here’s what you can expect:

  • From the Caribbean Beach station to Hollywood Studios: about 5 minutes
  • From the Caribbean Beach station to International Gateway at Epcot: about 12 minutes
  • From Caribbean Beach to Pop Century/Art of Animation: about 3-5 minutes
disney's skyliner

Is the Disney Skyliner Scary?

The first time we rode the Skyliner it was a little nerve wracking. It was a windy day and the gondolas were swaying quite a bit when we made a temporary stop. The Skyliner also went much faster than we thought it would. By the end of our trip we rode the Skyliner several times and it was much more relaxing the more we rode it. 

If you are afraid of heights you might feel nervous. You can distract yourself by chatting with your traveling companions or checking out the map for the park you are going to on your phone. 

People in our family experience motion sickness and had no problems using the Disney skyliner gondola system. 

disney's skyliner

Disney Skyliner FAQ

What hours does the Disney Skyliner run?

Typically, Skyliner gondolas start running around 60-90 minutes before park open and continue operating until about 60-90 minutes after the park close. Signs will be posted at the Skyliner stations with the daily hours.

How early do you have to be on the Skyliner?

During high traffic times you can wait up to 20 minutes to get on the Skyliner when it is running normally.

Can you ride Disney Skyliner without a park ticket?

You can ride the Skyliner without a park ticket – is is absolutely free!

Can non resort guests use Skyliner?

Anyone can ride the Disney Skyliner! You do not have to be a resort guest to use it.

If you are trying to decide if a Skyliner hotel is right for you, this post may help. It will give you detailed information about the different tiers of the Disney hotels.