Nightmare experience on Skyliner

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puckdog47

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
I just wanted to share an experience my wife and I had on the Skyliner on November 9. It was our second time riding it ( the first time went smoothly ) and full disclaimer, I have a fear of heights. It was the first leg of our trip from Pop Century to Epcot, from where we would walk to Swan and Dolphin for their food and wine festival. We usually stay at other resorts, but decided to stay at Pop for the easy transport to the festival. Well, we were on the Pop to Caribbean lline when the Skyliner stopped for over 30 minutes It was just my wife and me in the gondola . As experienced Disney travelers ( annual pass holders), we expected a message over the speaker informing us our journey would resume shortly, much like you get on the monorail. However, we got nothing except silence. After about 5 minutes, I was struggling to not have a panic attack, so my wife hit the emergency button a few times, but there was no response. Eventually, I hit it several more times, but we got no response, not even static. The gondola started a few times, but it abruptly stopped each time. My wife, who doesn’t have a problem with heights, started to get nauseous from the abrupt stopping, which left the cart swaying to the point where we felt like we were going to be upside down. It was generally a very windy day, so the car was already swaying before the abrupt stopping and starting. After about 10 minutes of no communication or message, my wife called the hotel and she was told there was a technical issue and that she needed to speak to the manager when we got off. After over 45 minutes the gondola started to move and after stopping about 5 times with prolonged delays (5-10 ) minutes, we arrived at the station. A woman in the car in front of us was in hysterics because she only got muffled static on her comm; meanwhile we got nothing. We told the people at the station we couldn’t get back on, so they ended up calling a cab for us, and they said our hotel would reimburse us for travel expenses. The man who called the cab was the manager of Caribbean Beach and he was more sympathetic than the first person we spoke with when we got off who just took our information but didn’t offer any kind of assistance while I stood there shaking, nor did she offer any assistance to the people in the car in front of us with the woman in hysterics. When we returned to our hotel, the management of the hotel reimbursed us for the rides and they said they’d look into the issue. I just wanted to share my story. I already had trepidation about traveling via the Skyliner given the previous issues, but like so many others I put my blind faith in Disney that they prioritize guests’ safety and concern. I just don’t know how the comm system isn’t working in brand new gondolas—- how is that even possible. It makes me wonder what else is going to malfunction with this system. I know I will never be riding the Skyliner ever again, which is sad because I was really looking forward to enjoying it despite my fears. I’m just thankful my kids ( 4 and 6) were not with us to have to go through this experience.
 
  • Disneylover99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2012
    I just wanted to share an experience my wife and I had on the Skyliner on November 9. It was our second time riding it ( the first time went smoothly ) and full disclaimer, I have a fear of heights. It was the first leg of our trip from Pop Century to Epcot, from where we would walk to Swan and Dolphin for their food and wine festival. We usually stay at other resorts, but decided to stay at Pop for the easy transport to the festival. Well, we were on the Pop to Caribbean lline when the Skyliner stopped for over 30 minutes It was just my wife and me in the gondola . As experienced Disney travelers ( annual pass holders), we expected a message over the speaker informing us our journey would resume shortly, much like you get on the monorail. However, we got nothing except silence. After about 5 minutes, I was struggling to not have a panic attack, so my wife hit the emergency button a few times, but there was no response. Eventually, I hit it several more times, but we got no response, not even static. The gondola started a few times, but it abruptly stopped each time. My wife, who doesn’t have a problem with heights, started to get nauseous from the abrupt stopping, which left the cart swaying to the point where we felt like we were going to be upside down. It was generally a very windy day, so the car was already swaying before the abrupt stopping and starting. After about 10 minutes of no communication or message, my wife called the hotel and she was told there was a technical issue and that she needed to speak to the manager when we got off. After over 45 minutes the gondola started to move and after stopping about 5 times with prolonged delays (5-10 ) minutes, we arrived at the station. A woman in the car in front of us was in hysterics because she only got muffled static on her comm; meanwhile we got nothing. We told the people at the station we couldn’t get back on, so they ended up calling a cab for us, and they said our hotel would reimburse us for travel expenses. The man who called the cab was the manager of Caribbean Beach and he was more sympathetic than the first person we spoke with when we got off who just took our information but didn’t offer any kind of assistance while I stood there shaking, nor did she offer any assistance to the people in the car in front of us with the woman in hysterics. When we returned to our hotel, the management of the hotel reimbursed us for the rides and they said they’d look into the issue. I just wanted to share my story. I already had trepidation about traveling via the Skyliner given the previous issues, but like so many others I put my blind faith in Disney that they prioritize guests’ safety and concern. I just don’t know how the comm system isn’t working in brand new gondolas—- how is that even possible. It makes me wonder what else is going to malfunction with this system. I know I will never be riding the Skyliner ever again, which is sad because I was really looking forward to enjoying it despite my fears. I’m just thankful my kids ( 4 and 6) were not with us to have to go through this experience.
    I’d also be freaked out by a long stop and no communication. Glad you’re okay.
     

    Brett Wyman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2018
    I wouldn’t personally have anxiety from a 30 minute stop, but of course every person is different. I will say after just riding the Skyliner a few times this week we were “stopped”/“stuck” twice, once for 10 minutes and once for 5 or so. I noticed it stopped several times while I was near it but not riding it. Something is definitely not 100% with the Skyliner yet. I think the short pauses are just ADA loads, but the longer pauses have me concerned. Airflow varies based on height and location, so the stop can range from miserable to comfortable depending on air flow.
     
  • iheartglaciers

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 1, 2014
    I’m so sorry to hear that you had to go through that! I can’t believe they’re still having problems with the gondola. I wonder why... I ski almost every weekend in the winter and for years I’ve ridden different gondolas at ski resorts throughout the US and around the world. I’ve never had a gondola stop for more than a few minutes while I was on it.
     

    Rafikisstaff

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2019
    I have heard the issue is with the ada load feature. As I understand it, the gondolas enter the station and detach from the line. They then are moved through the station on a track which splits allowing a single gondola to be removed from the conveyer system which moves the gondolas through the station. The problem is occurring when the Ada gondola attempts to re-enter the conveyer of moving gondolas. This requires the precise timing of a series of machinic triggers to properly space the gondolas which stay in motion through the station and the Ada one is weaved back into the line. From what I understand of gondolas in the past Ada loading has always required a full line stop until the skyliner was built. Most ski resorts dont see a great deal of ada guest and the ones that are there are generally more physically ready. Also few at ski resorts complain about it to the world or expect compensation over a 30 min line stop.
     
  • Mainsail Minnie

    Momketeer
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2019
    I’m so sorry to hear that you had to go through that! I can’t believe they’re still having problems with the gondola. I wonder why... I ski almost every weekend in the winter and for years I’ve ridden different gondolas at ski resorts throughout the US and around the world. I’ve never had a gondola stop for more than a few minutes while I was on it.
    The overwhelming majority of ski resort patrons are physically fit and mobile. Disney World caters to a much more physically diverse population. That slows things down.
     

    jo-jo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2011
    I wouldn't have a problem with a 5 min stop, I'd be thinking someone with a EVC or wheelchair. But the no contact would freak me out a bit after more than a few mins. And the lack of concern from the CM after getting off is awful. And what would have happen if someone had a medical emergency and you can't get a response.
     

    Hopefully

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 3, 1999
    I just wanted to share an experience my wife and I had on the Skyliner on November 9. It was our second time riding it ( the first time went smoothly ) and full disclaimer, I have a fear of heights. It was the first leg of our trip from Pop Century to Epcot, from where we would walk to Swan and Dolphin for their food and wine festival. We usually stay at other resorts, but decided to stay at Pop for the easy transport to the festival. Well, we were on the Pop to Caribbean lline when the Skyliner stopped for over 30 minutes It was just my wife and me in the gondola . As experienced Disney travelers ( annual pass holders), we expected a message over the speaker informing us our journey would resume shortly, much like you get on the monorail. However, we got nothing except silence. After about 5 minutes, I was struggling to not have a panic attack, so my wife hit the emergency button a few times, but there was no response. Eventually, I hit it several more times, but we got no response, not even static. The gondola started a few times, but it abruptly stopped each time. My wife, who doesn’t have a problem with heights, started to get nauseous from the abrupt stopping, which left the cart swaying to the point where we felt like we were going to be upside down. It was generally a very windy day, so the car was already swaying before the abrupt stopping and starting. After about 10 minutes of no communication or message, my wife called the hotel and she was told there was a technical issue and that she needed to speak to the manager when we got off. After over 45 minutes the gondola started to move and after stopping about 5 times with prolonged delays (5-10 ) minutes, we arrived at the station. A woman in the car in front of us was in hysterics because she only got muffled static on her comm; meanwhile we got nothing. We told the people at the station we couldn’t get back on, so they ended up calling a cab for us, and they said our hotel would reimburse us for travel expenses. The man who called the cab was the manager of Caribbean Beach and he was more sympathetic than the first person we spoke with when we got off who just took our information but didn’t offer any kind of assistance while I stood there shaking, nor did she offer any assistance to the people in the car in front of us with the woman in hysterics. When we returned to our hotel, the management of the hotel reimbursed us for the rides and they said they’d look into the issue. I just wanted to share my story. I already had trepidation about traveling via the Skyliner given the previous issues, but like so many others I put my blind faith in Disney that they prioritize guests’ safety and concern. I just don’t know how the comm system isn’t working in brand new gondolas—- how is that even possible. It makes me wonder what else is going to malfunction with this system. I know I will never be riding the Skyliner ever again, which is sad because I was really looking forward to enjoying it despite my fears. I’m just thankful my kids ( 4 and 6) were not with us to have to go through this experience.
    This is more appropriate for the Transportation Forum, than here on the Resorts Forum.
     

    gottalovepluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2014
    I’m glad Disney reimbursed you for the cab!

    Folks, please please please don’t get in the Skyliner with a fear of heights. OP’s awful experience (and awful it was as anyone with anxiety issues knows) would have been even worse if they’d been on that night it was stuck for 3 hours.
     

    WiWe

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 19, 2016
    We used the ADA cars on Nov 3rd then again on Nov 7th, there was a HUGE difference in experience. Not sure the cause. Nov 3rd we all were white knuckled , Nov 7th we were relaxed. On the 3rd when the car we were in was put in line to be readded the main car was still in its turn on the line when ours was coming onto the main line so extremely close. The front left corner of our car was at the point of the back right corner of the car we were to be behind. On the 7th the main car had completely made the turn on the line before our car came back onto the main line . Nov 3rd was fast coming into the stations , Nov 7th not as much or maybe didnt seem as fast since there was a larger gap between the cars versus Nov 3rd
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    This is more appropriate for the Transportation Forum, than here on the Resorts Forum.
    I am actually glad this was posted on one of the boards I frequent. I am going in a month and as someone who loves all of Disney's transportation methods I have considered this one just for fun. Now, with a sister who cannot stand drops, thrill rides, etc, and two teens who probebaly would just be bored and use thier phones until the batteries dies, and my own fear of heights.....I know we are avoiding the Gondola at all costs.

    I really want this to succeed, but I have decided I do not want to participate int he live testing.
     

    BridgetBordeaux

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 27, 2008
    During my brief 4 or 5 day visits where I want every possible minute I choose in the parks, I am not willing to put up with an unexpected 10 minute to 30 minute delay during occasions when time is of the essence.

    I may ride it for fun when I have nothing else to do.

    The lack of comms is completely unacceptable.

    OP- please write or email Disney.
    They need to hear the voice of the consumer.......that is how we got the 4th FP option.
     
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