View Full Version : Swiss chalet skyway station

09-13-2003, 07:23 PM
I just read another post regarding the fantasyland stop for the skyway ride. I seem to recall talk of converting that station to a restaurant after the skyway closed. Of course, the economy tanked and 9 11 happened and a lot of things were put on hold. Anyone recall hearing about that particular rumor?

09-14-2003, 01:11 PM
Would love to hear some info on this. That Swiss Chalet looks so cute and could make something very nice. I wish they would do something with it!

09-14-2003, 04:27 PM
It has not been converted into a restaurant. The front of it has carts with soda, ice cream, and merchandise related to I.A.S.W. (writing paper, pens, paper, etc.)

It is also used as a meet and greet for Snow White.

09-14-2003, 04:46 PM
What what I've heard, it's too small to put much else in there. Apparently it is right up against the show building for Haunted Mansion so there's not much room.

09-14-2003, 04:48 PM
No, I know it hasn't been changed to a restaurant. My question actually was does anyone remember them {Disney} talking about changing it. That particular bit of information was going around just before they closed the ride down.

09-14-2003, 04:53 PM
As I understand it, there is a storage area where they kept the spare ride vehicles as well as a small maintenence area behind the facade. I know they also stored some of the ride vehicles at the tomorrowland end of the ride {above the restrooms}

09-14-2003, 05:06 PM
My question actually was does anyone remember them {Disney} talking about changing it. No. Heard alot of rumors but never this particular one.

09-14-2003, 07:51 PM
When I was there last week, I noticed that the Chalet is in need of some serious repair. The gutters are falling off the building, the paint is old and chipping, the roof has shingles missing. It is a mess.

09-14-2003, 10:54 PM
I noticed that the Fantasyland station looks pretty ragged. What about the other station in Tomorrowland? I've been wondering about it.

09-15-2003, 04:52 PM
Last time we were there we were waiting in line for Peter Pan and saw the meet and greet. We were amazed that WDW would let the chalet get into that shape of disrepair. I have been hoping secretly that the ride would come back, but I guess not. Does anybody remember why it was closed? I seem to recall that there was a ride like the sky ride that the wire broke on at a marginal park. Does anybody recall?


09-15-2003, 05:02 PM
Perhaps they are not fixing it because they have other plans, like to change it to something else? Maybe my initial question has some bearing?

09-15-2003, 05:11 PM
I recall that a CM was killed doing some maintenance on it (or something like that) the day it closed permanently...I have no idea if the closure was planned or not....but it seemed as if it wasn't.

Otherwise I don't really know the story.....it closed the day before we arrived for our vacation in 1999.

09-15-2003, 05:29 PM
A CM told me that they were having a lot of problems with people throwing/spilling/spitting on purpose and/or dropping by accident items onto the guests below. Another poster also mentioned a handicapped teenager who panic'd either getting on or off that was killed somehow and that was sorta the last straw that sealed its fate. Fact or fiction....I don't know.

09-15-2003, 05:31 PM
Thanks KNWVIKING, maybe Scoop, Voice or Baron remembers the details.....


09-15-2003, 05:40 PM
The only death on the Skyway was in February 1999 when a 65 year-old maintenance worker was sweeping one of the station platforms and CMs began operating the ride, which caused the man to grab onto one of the buckets. He couldn't hold on and fell 40 feet to his death. OSHA fined Disney for a serious violation of safety standards, and Disney made some safety modifications to the ride. It later closed on November 9, 1999, exactly five years after Disneyland's Skyway closed.

09-15-2003, 05:40 PM
If I remeber correctly an older maintenance worker was doing something up there at the fantasyland end , a car came around , he ended up grabbing onto the car from the outside. The car continued with him on the outside until he fell off and died from the injuries. I don't think he actually got very far along the route.

Sorry if I remember incorrectly and also for the runon sentence.

09-15-2003, 06:35 PM
I had no idea that the CM accident was so long before the closing. But I also don't recall there being any warning that the ride was to be closed.....usually we know what will be closed before we go to WDW.

09-16-2003, 01:05 PM
Thats strange, because the only time I remember it being open was in 1995 when I was there. I don't recall it being open in 1997 or 1999. I always try to get a good photo of the Fantasyland station because it is so beautiful. It's a shame if they are letting that site go, with the waterfall flowing and landscaping, even if they hadn't ever made it into anything, the scene itself is worth it for me.

All Aboard
09-16-2003, 01:39 PM
From the Miami Herald...

Story #1, published Feb 16, 1999:

With the Disney Skyway cable car coming at him, Raymond Barlow had two choices: Jump 10 feet to the ground, or grab the outside railing of the oncoming cable car and hang on.

Barlow, 65, a part-time Disney custodian since September, was cleaning a section of the Fantasyland boarding platform closest to the path of the cable car when the ride started up unexpectedly Sunday morning. Barlow grabbed the metal rail and tried to hang on to the empty four-person car, investigators said Monday.

``He decided to try to pull himself into the bucket,'' said Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Larson. The Skyway car started to climb. By the time Barlow let go, it was 40 feet in the air. He plunged through the trees, breaking off several limbs, and landed in a flower bed. He died later at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Larson said Barlow called to co-workers that he was to be working on the outer platform. How and why the car began to move has yet to be determined, he said.

Why Barlow jumped for the car instead of jumping down is ``a mystery to all of us,'' Larson said.

Barlow's death was ruled accidental, Larson said.

Disney spokeswoman Rena Callahan refused to say whether the ride has a safety warning horn that sounds before a ride is initially started each day for its journey from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland and back. Nor would she say whether Barlow had ever worked on or cleaned that area of the platform before. Disney employs 53,000 people at its Orlando complex.

The accident happened 50 minutes after the park opened but before the Skyway was in operation, Callahan said. There were no guests anywhere on the cable-car system when the accident happened, she said.

An Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigator was at the scene Sunday and will be back Wednesday, Callahan said.

It was the first fatality for the Orlando park since October 1989, when a woman riding in a tiny speedboat collided with a ferry and was killed.

Sunday's accident was the second accidental death at a Disney theme park in less than two months. At California's Disneyland on Christmas Eve, a metal cleat ripped loose from an 84-foot-long ship and fatally struck a tourist in the head.

Story # 2, published Nov 11, 1999:

Walt Disney World is closing one of its oldest rides, the Magic Kingdom Skyway, which has given visitors a bird's-eye view of the park since it opened in 1971.

The Skyway will be replaced by another attraction, but Disney officials wouldn't say what it is. The ride connected guests from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland.

Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., closed its Skyway ride in 1994.

``It's part of our ongoing efforts to phase out some of the older attractions and introduce new things to keep our parks exciting for our new and repeat visitors,'' Disney spokeswoman Diane Ledder said Tuesday. ``It's just something whose time has come.''

In February, a part-time employee who had been working in the loading area of the ride fell to his death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration later fined Walt Disney World $4,500 for what it called a ``serious'' violation of safety standards.

Two days later, Disney installed safety signs and enhanced safety procedures around the Skyway.

Ledder said the ride's closing is not a result of any concerns about its safety.

09-16-2003, 02:23 PM
"The Skyway will be replaced by another attraction, but Disney officials wouldn't say what it is."

To no one's surprise, they never did get around to "saying what it is".

09-16-2003, 03:14 PM
My thoughts exactly WDWHound!

Thank you so much GCURLING for the info!!!!!

09-17-2003, 12:10 AM
Maybe the restaurant that I heard about and asked about in my original question was what they were talking about as a replacement.

09-18-2003, 02:52 PM
It sounds to me like a standard answer is "we plan on replacing it with something better!" I guess this is better than the truth, which would force them to say "We're going to let it sit for more than a decade without doing anything to it, allowing it to slowly decay in the Florida sun to become an eye-sore for our paying guests."

09-18-2003, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by mitros
Maybe the restaurant that I heard about and asked about in my original question was what they were talking about as a replacement.
Perhaps, but I never considered a restaurant to be an "attraction".

09-18-2003, 05:26 PM
I don't think the Chalet is big enough to make into any kind of real attraction. Maybe there is massive space behind it hidden from view, but someone mentioned the HH being there.

09-18-2003, 05:34 PM
There isn't, but they could make it into a permanent garden,walking path. They could also make it into a gazwwbo area for corporate meeting (kind of like what they turned the international pavillion into at EPCOT)

Heck, I think that there is enough space that they could even move the Aladdin ride there... Serously, you could put a nice gift shop there as well.


09-18-2003, 05:48 PM
Wouldn't this location be just about the right size for some sort of cable-car or chairlift ride? :D :D :D

In fact, the building almost looks like that is what it was made for...

09-18-2003, 05:50 PM
.... maybe even connect it somehow with Tomorrow Land. Can you make a cable go that far ?????

09-18-2003, 06:22 PM
WOW, do you think that WDW could build such an original attraction?


09-18-2003, 09:32 PM
OK, now you guys are getting silly.:rolleyes:

09-19-2003, 10:21 AM
they replaced it with aladins magic carpet ride. 20kluts they haven't replaced. time keeper and cop they should open. At first I wished they would put a pinochio like disneyland in the fantasyland station, because it sort of looks like it, but on one side you have the show bldg for haunted mansion, on the other side the bldg for small world. I wish they would put in a pinochio puppet show or something.

09-19-2003, 04:50 PM
They could even use the space for a story teller, similar to what they do over by the castle. Decorate it for Christmas, use it for MVMCP nites.

09-19-2003, 04:54 PM
That is a great idea!!!

A permanent Story Telling Pavilion.

How is the view of the fireworks from there; maybe they could replace the rose garden by the castle with it (for proposals)


colleen costello
09-19-2003, 07:01 PM
For whatever reason, these "skyway" rides seem to be gone at lots of amusement parks. I couldn't care less -- I am terrified of heights -- but maybe the liability is too great. We went to Hershey Park a few summers back and they still have one. Your feet hang out on that one and they warn you about flip-flop shoes.

Does anyone know of any major amusement park that still has one of these? Great Adventure in central New Jersey used to have one.

09-19-2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by colleen costello
Does anyone know of any major amusement park that still has one of these? Great Adventure in central New Jersey used to have one.
Cedar Point still has one. It runs right down the midway and can save a whole lot of walking.

09-19-2003, 09:01 PM
It's not an amusement park -- but San Diego Zoo still has their Skyfari, as far as I am aware. It's not a sky lift, but more like a gondola.

Adventureland :p in Des Moines IA still has their lift.

09-19-2003, 09:05 PM
Doesn't Blizzard Beach still have this kind of ride to get up to some of it's water slides???


All Aboard
09-19-2003, 11:29 PM
Busch Gardens Williamsburg still operates their three station skyway.

09-23-2003, 12:01 AM
Two in place at the Minnesota State Fair I believe. The newest one was just constructed in 2002 or 2001. Not square baskets, but face forward - 2 or 3 to a unit - open feet ride.

09-24-2003, 05:03 PM
Yes, Great Adventure in Jackson NJ still has the sky ride. It was closed more than it was open this year. It is not my favorite ride, hate the feel of when you go over the wheels at the posts, but it is one of my kids favorite rides.

exDS vet
09-27-2003, 06:45 PM
Some great points have been covered here, except for the big one. Disneyland closed the Skyway attraction in 1994 not as a reaction to "accidents" or because of potential liability. It was closed becuase it was a low capacity ride that required more staffing than other attractions. Up to eight CM's had to operate this attraction during peak periods. Closing the ride allowed them to save on labor.

The ride appeared to be popular because it always had long lines. But they had a maximum of 42 cabins in operation. More often than not, they operated 32 cabins to avoid adding additional staff. So the long lines were because of the low capacity.

Of course there was also the guy who "fell" from his cabin and survived the "accident" only to sue the park later. Witnesses saw the guy playing with the door lock and staging the fall.

At DL, the official replacement for the Skyway (out with the old and in with the new) was the Indiana Jones Adventure. I'd assume that WDW's replacement was probably the Winnie the Pooh ride. In any case, I miss the Skyway, especially the one at the MK. It was one of the very best ways to take pictures at the park.

09-27-2003, 07:40 PM
I'd assume that WDW's replacement was probably the Winnie the Pooh ride.

Winnie the Pooh replaced Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Alladin did not directly replace a previous attraction, but if anyone wants to argue this was (unofficially) a Skyway replacement, it wasn't a fair trade!

Point is, any way you look at it we've lost attractions with no replacement. Remember 20,000 Leagues, Walt Disney Story, or the Mike Fink Keel Boats? The attractions roster is simply shorter than it used to be.

There is no doubt this is all due to $$.

10-05-2003, 07:24 PM
Doesn't Blizzard Beach still have this kind of ride to get up to some of it's water slides???

Ya, and last trip I was scared to death on it. It just didn't seem very safe, especially with my 2 1/2 year old. At leats with the buckets you had soem kind of feeling of enclosure. Thsi your feet are just dangling. When I got off my Mom who was in front of me in another seat and had my 5 year old with her just said we woudln't be doing that again!

colleen costello
10-05-2003, 10:52 PM
Don't forget the Canoes and the Swan Boats. I have great memories of both... Can anyone remember the canoes? You got on them near the Keel Boats and paddled your way around the river. It was fun! The Swan Boats were also a nice "low key" atraction -- why get rid of them?

10-05-2003, 10:57 PM
swan boats? I don't remember them. Ya know, I've only gone over to sawyer's Island liek once or twice ever! And we went to MK a lot as a kid always staying at good ole' Holiday Inn. A matter of fact, my Mom went with me and my girls thsi past July and on the drive back home she lit up and asked out of the blue why do we never go over to the island?!? And I was liek I don't know!!!

10-06-2003, 02:05 PM
Funny how far from my original post this thread has gone. :eek: :confused: :teeth:

colleen costello
10-07-2003, 08:45 AM
The Swan Boats were in the water near the castle,toward the front and toward Tommorrowland, if I recall correctly. Can someone help here? I don't know if you paddled them or what. I am not sure we ever really went ON them, but they were very pretty. They were not there that long, but I swear I am not dreaming them -- they really did exist! (Isn't it scary when we approch 40 and everything gets fuzzy?)

10-07-2003, 09:28 AM
I do not remember sawn baots at all, especially near the castle. Coudl they have been at DL instead? Anyoen know about this? I'm now interested!

All Aboard
10-07-2003, 09:43 AM
The Swan boats operated from 1973-1983 (only in the summer, for the most part if I remember correctly.) They loaded at the docks that still exist in the area in front of the Plaza restaurant's outdoor seating area. They followed a path that the hub waterway makes, over into adventureland, around by the Treehouse, and back to the dock. It was a nice slow ride that took about 20 minutes.

colleen costello
10-07-2003, 11:07 AM
Thank goodness I wan't hallucinating! I have never been to Disneyland so if no one else recalled the Swan Boats I was going to have to see my doctor...

I actually have a cool old souvenir map of WDW and they are shown on it. Mom found it last year and I had it framed. It must be from one of our very first family trips to WDW as there is no Space Mountain! Also no Carousel of Progress...

10-07-2003, 09:31 PM
Wow, I totally don't remember this. I'll have to see if my paresnt do. Thansk for giving us the scoop!

10-09-2003, 03:42 PM
Link I found on the swan boats

10-09-2003, 05:00 PM
Wow, thanks for the link. I still don't remember thsi, though!