Disney Skyliner (Gondola Transportation System) Read Post 1 Now Open!

BC1836

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Put me down for November 15th



According to two people on the board that were involved, the system was down for a good 10 minutes, before the incident occurred. Not exactly a "brief moment."

And, this incident aside, there have been many reports in the days prior, of many down times - some as long as 30+ minutes. So why so much downtime for a brand new system? A minute or two here and there as people have loading issues, sure. But multiple downtimes lasting 10-30+ minutes shouldnt be happening in the first week, let alone a crash. So to me it seems like there's a bigger picture to be looked at than this one incident.
We rode it on Monday, the day after guests were allowed to ride, and we had two "downtimes." One lasted about ten minutes (departing from the Epcot station) and the other about two minutes.
 
  • fla4fun

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 12, 2006
    False analogy.
    Warning : Titanic nerd ahead . . .

    While I understand the point the poster was making, they have a few facts wrong. The designer of the Titanic, Harland and Wolff, designed the ship with adequate life boats for all passengers. However, the laws in force at the time required fewer boats, because the law based lifeboat requirements on the tonnage of the ship, rather than the number of people on board. White Star decided to split the difference. They put more lifeboats on the ship than required, but fewer than needed to hold everyone at once. White Star thought they were doing the right thing, as there had never been a situation where an entire ship had to be evacuated without a nearby ship to ferry passengers to. Compound that with the fact that many of the crew manning the lifeboats didn’t have the training they needed, so they were sending the lifeboats out with less than maximum capacity, and even having enough boats wouldn’t have prevented mass casualties. There were also huge breakdowns in communication that night between the crew, and between the crew and the passengers.

    How does this relate to the gondola situation? First, I have serious doubts that Disney would have rejected any safety systems Dopplemayr suggested, and I am sure they questioned thoroughly whether the systems presented would be adequate for what they needed. I would guess that Disney went above and beyond as far as the system itself in regards to safety and reliability. That doesn’t mean it’s foolproof though, because nothing is. Where I see a clearer tie between the Titanic and the Skyliner is in the training aspect and communication. I am sure the CM were trained well in the daily operation, but were they trained fully for when things go wrong? Was there a procedure in place for what to do if there is a gondola that is stuck like the teal one, or training for what happens if there is a medical emergency in a flying gondola, with or without the system moving? If a guest starts having chest pains during a stop situation where they believe the stop will last a specific period of time, what is the procedure? Do you attempt to evac the ill person, or do you attempt to get the system moving and have an ambulance at the next station? These are questions that I am sure will be reviewed in detail and procedures adjusted accordingly, and further training will ensue. Communication was a big issue Saturday, in all aspects. Lack of communication from Disney made the situation worse for people waiting, and caused the situation to snowball as people started contacting the real world to try to get help and answers. Better communication from Disney to the guests, even if it wasn’t explicit, would have made a huge difference in how people perceived the situation. I also believe there were communication issues between the people working on the blockage in the station and the rescuers performing the evac. Perhaps the situation could have been resolved more quickly than it was if the procedures of both sides were better coordinated. Just a guess on that though. I do think the inability to identify specific gondolas will be one of the first things addressed, and one of the easiest to fix.

    And just because this point bugs me, neither the builder or owner of the Titanic ever said it was unsinkable. A person writing an article about the ship before it sailed praised the watertight doors and said they made the ship “practically unsinkable”. The practically passed into history and the unsinkable became a myth.
     

    BaymaxFan78

    Childless Millennial
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2019
    Anyone want to start a pool for when the Skyliner re-opens? Pick a date, closest to the actual date wins Internet bragging points.

    I'm going with Jan 15th, 2020
    I'm going with October 11th, 2019. I feel like whatever is happening doesn't require too much downtime. And even if I'm wrong, I wouldn't say any longer than October.
     

    BaymaxFan78

    Childless Millennial
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2019
    Besides all of the opening speculation, does anybody know if they can actually prevent what happened from happening again?
     
  • BaymaxFan78

    Childless Millennial
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2019
    I am sure that depends on what the actual cause is. Only Disney and Dopplemayr would have that answer. I am sure they will do everything possible to prevent it.
    My guess from all of the stories I've heard is that the gondola just didn't grab the cable leading out of the station and got stuck. I'm not sure if there is a way to prevent this without changing how they're hung.
     

    STLstone

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2016
    My guess from all of the stories I've heard is that the gondola just didn't grab the cable leading out of the station and got stuck. I'm not sure if there is a way to prevent this without changing how they're hung.
    Even if it's not possible keep a gondola from ever getting stuck, there has to be a way to prevent the rest of the gondolas from crashing into the stuck one.
     
  • fla4fun

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 12, 2006
    You would think they would have sensors that could tell the teal car hadn't left the station and that should have triggered a fail safe shutting down the system.
    Is it possible that the teal car had juuuuuuust barely passed that sensor before getting stuck, so the system thought all was well? I have no idea where the sensor would be located, or whether there might be two, one just before and one just after the critical point where the gondola rejoins the cable. To me, it would make sense to have two, so that if it passes one point, but not the other within x number of seconds, everything shuts down. But I have No idea how it’s set up.

    Does anyone remember, with the MK Skyway, did they have any CM monitoring the cars as they came in and out of the station to make sure they didn’t collide or fail to launch?
     

    Tigger's ally

    Segway test dummy
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2010
    My guess from all of the stories I've heard is that the gondola just didn't grab the cable leading out of the station and got stuck. I'm not sure if there is a way to prevent this without changing how they're hung.
    They don't just "didn't grab the cable". That has to be a 100%, no if's no buts. These systems are all over the world. They also tested for over 5 months running. There had to be some other technical difficulty. Power outage has been suggested. And that may have been the culprit because the sensors need power. Wondering to myself whether the haul cable motors still had elec and the Riv station didn't? I would think that software would verify power to all locations at all times.
     

    NotUrsula

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2002
    In re: getting under them to place the number stickers ...
    This gallery shows cabins parked at Trinidad Station (CBR) while they were working on unwrapping them. https://www.wdwmagic.com/transportation/walt-disney-world-gondola-system/news/09may2019-photos-and-video---disney-skyliner-gondolas-unwrapped.htm

    It's hard to tell exactly, but from the position of the worker's leg, I'd guess that is about 7-10 inches off the ground in the shot where it is over the concrete apron; it is higher off the ground in the parking slots, but that has a gravel bed underneath, so not really suitable as a good surface for a worker to lie on.

    There is easily enough space for a worker who is lying on his/her back to reach overhead and place the stickers near the edge of the bottom of the cabin; no tilting or lifting necessary. If they set it up as an assembly line with a couple of workers calling out & pulling the numbers as they come up, then handing them to the worker(s) on the ground, it can probably even be done with the gondolas in (VERY slow) motion.

    -------------------------------------------

    With regard to the possibility that the culprit was a momentary loss of power: if that was the case, and the others stacked up behind it for that reason, then part of the solution has to come from cabin spacing. If the momentary loss of power while the backup battery kicks in is long enough for the momentum of the cabin behind to push it into touch proximity without any power being supplied, then they need to space the cars further apart at all times. I suppose it also would be possible to use gravity-driven bumpers (held in place by electromagnets above them) that would drop below the drive tires to block the arm if the power cut out -- trick is, that would add another step to re-starting (and another possible mechanical system that could fail), because those would have to be retracted before movement could recommence.
     
    Last edited:

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    Anyone want to start a pool for when the Skyliner re-opens? Pick a date, closest to the actual date wins Internet bragging points.

    I'm going with Jan 15th, 2020

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gtitan21: October 13, 2019
    Lewisc: October 15th, 2019
    Mome Rath: October 23rd, 2019
    NWOhiogal: October 31st, 2019
    Spridell: November 1st
    Marionnette: November 15th
    SgtTibbs: January 15th, 2020
    Evita_W: June 1st, 2020
    I'm going with next Monday 10/14.
     

    SoarinSC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2010
    ok, anyone other than me wishing it breaks down while I’m over tha canal and I get to zip line Disney!?
    I mean! if i HAD to get evaced, that'd be the way to go. Just don't want the three hour wait beforehand..straight to the zipline!
     

    hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    Agreed and they have new systems with battery backup that prevent any outage whatsoever. I would hope on a system like this where they really require it to run to get people off I would hope they are using a battery backup. This is what Australia worked on with Tesla to handle their power issues.
    You are correct. A battery backup system can stay connected real-time and monitor power fluctuations and instantly recover from a load dip which this system would hardly notice (if at all).

    While I'm sure WDW has a backup system to power the gondola stations, that can be different than a real-time transfer/buffer via batteries.

    I've banged this drum for years here as relating to the monorails; now I think that same logic might play into another mode of transportation known as the Skyliner.

    But, there would need to be gobs of testing and the costs would be fairly substantial.
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top