The Disney Skyliner gondola system adds a new transportation option for Walt Disney World next year, but it will lack a key feature from the resort’s buses and monorail cars: air conditioning.
Confirming a long-standing rumor circulating on theme park blogs and message boards, a Disney World spokesperson told the Orlando Sentinel Tuesday that the Skyliner capsules won’t have AC. She said the cabins were “specifically tailored to provide a comfortable ride for our guests in the Florida climate,” using cross ventilation to provide air flow and reflective windows to block direct sunlight from passengers.
Relying on only natural ventilation to cool down passengers will save money Disney World for construction and maintenance on the new system, already considered the economical choice compared to expanding the monorail system. But it’s not a feature that’s universally absent from similar systems — London’s Emirates Air Line, a cable car system built before the 2012 Summer Olympics, has AC units on its individual gondolas.
Disney did not immediately respond to questions about what motivated the decision and what procedures will be in place if the system breaks down and guests are stuck in motionless gondolas during hot Central Florida days.
The new system will connect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with four Disney resorts: Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation and Pop Century and the under-construction Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property.
Disney’s chairman of Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, Bob Chapek, recently announced that the system would come online in fall 2019, ahead of the highly-anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
“Riding the Disney Skyliner will offer guests a whole new way to experience Walt Disney World with unique vistas only available from the sky,” Chapek said at this month’s International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo. “You’ll definitely want to have your cameras out.”