The Mature Mouse™️ is concerned about the news regarding the lack of air conditioning on these gondolas. A special venting system, along with tinted windows, does not seem enough relief from the intense Florida sun. I hope I am wrong.
Update on the Disney Skyliner Gondola at Walt Disney World Resort
Earlier this week, we shared the exciting update that our new Disney Skyliner gondola system will be operating at the Walt Disney World Resort in fall of 2019. Today, we’ve got more to share –a first look at one of the actual gondolas!
And select gondolas will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favorites from movies, and more.
According to the Disney Parks blog, the construction of the much-anticipated gondola system is “making progress,” but the theme park has yet to announce an opening date.
The Disney Skyliner will connect Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four nearby resort hotels, including the Art of Animation Resort, Pop Century Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort and the upcoming Riviera Resort.
The construction process for the Disney Skyliner includes building loading stations that complement their surroundings, erecting support towers around the resort and laying the groundwork for the gondolas’ reinforced cables.
To provide Disney guests an insight on the Skyliner system, the theme park released a video of artist renderings showing the attraction and facts about the upcoming ride:
My first day in the parks was devoted to Epcot. Crowds at rope drop were greater than expected and increased as the day progressed. While fighting the hoards throughout the day, I experienced some of that Disney Magic.
After slowly making my way through the security line and the admission line, I quickly headed over to Soarin’ Around the World. I was hoping the standby line would not be too long. This is a strategy mentioned in various blogs, on podcasts, and highly recommended on Disney World planning sites. Although the standby monitor read twenty minutes, the line quickly filled all of three show buildings. Disney Magic, or just a good touring strategy? Either way, The Mature MouseTM was about to experience Soarin’ for the first time.
I was fortunate enough to sit in the top row, just right of center. This proved to be the perfect viewing position. The ride experience was incredible, at times emotional. Yes, I realize that many of these images are (SPOILER ALERT) computer generated, but it was still an amazing ride, full of Disney Magic. I kept grabbing the sides on my seat feeling as if I might slide off while gliding downward in several scenes. We visited the Great Wall, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and the list goes on. The Mature MouseTM highly recommends Soarin’.
My next stop was Spaceship Earth, one of my favorite ‘dark’ rides. Despite the fact that the history presented is only generally accurate, the attraction is great edutainment. Remember, if you can read this thank the Phoenicians, sort of.
The Mature MouseTM always takes the time to visit turtle Talk with Crush. The compilation of animation and live interaction with the audience makes each version of the show unique. This same technology (magic) is used in Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor.
Another first for The Mature MouseTM was a Journey into Imagination with Figment. As I understand it, this was once a fun and interesting attraction. However, it is currently outdated and in need of an overhaul. I like the idea suggested by the attraction. However, the Imagineers just need to breathe some new magic into the Imagination Institute.
After enjoying lunch at Sunshine Seasons, a great quick-service restaurant, I headed over to Club Cool to sampleCoca-Cola products from around the world. I have a confession. I do not think the Beverly is as offensive as others. This bitter Coca-Cola product, introduced in Italy in 1969, reminds me of tonic water with citrus flavoring. While perusing merchandise in the store, a cast member noticed my button, wished me a happy birthday, then offered me a free Coca-Cola slush. Disney Magic!
My touring plan for the day focused on the right side of Future World and World Showcase, with one exception. I had a FastPass for Frozen Ever After, which is located in the Norway pavilion. Imagineers did an excellent job repurposingMaelstrom into this dark ride experience based on the extremely popular animated movie, Frozen. There are state-of-the-art animatronics, updated versions of the movie’s popular songs, and a few surprises for guests. Disney magic at its best. However, it is a short ride so I would not spend a lot of my time waiting in the stand-by line. The Mature MouseTM recommends using a FastPass for this attraction.
I finished my day enjoying the scenery around Epcot, including a walk through the Canadian and United Kingdom pavilions. I also grabbed a few snacks along the way, including a Scotch egg from the Rose & Crown Pub. Guests can order food at the pub bar while enjoying a beverage. An ADR is not required to enjoy this delicacy.
Instead of taking the long walk back to my resort bus, which was a distance beyond the front of the park, I exited through the International Gateway to World Showcase. I hopped aboard a Friendship boat and took a ride around Crescent Lake to Hollywood Studios. This affords you a magnificent view of the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Swan, and Dolphin resorts. I even caught a glimpse of the construction of the new Walt Disney World Skyliner in front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
I grabbed my resort bus and headed back to Pop Century. Regardless of the fact that the crowds created more than a few irritating moments, my day at Epcot turned out very well.
My first trip report is not a good one. The Mature Mouse™️ posts take a positive look at a Walt Disney World vacation for adults; this is not just a vacation destination for kids. I have never been a Pollyanna. I realize Disney is not perfect. However, at the end of my first day I was beginning to wonder: Is Disney beginning to lose its magic?
After a very bumpy flight on Southwest, which required some fancy maneuvering by the pilot to land around some serious thunderstorms, The Mature Mouse™️ had returned to Orlando. I, along with a dozen or so other guests, boarded an empty Magical Express bus heading to Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts. We then sat and waited for close to twenty minutes as the bus slowly filled. It was a dreary, rainy drive to the resort.
Check-in went well, and the cast member was very friendly and welcoming. He even gave me a button to wear after I told him I was celebrating my 60th birthday. I easily found my remodeled, preferred room (less walking to the main building).
I headed over to the food court, which was packed. There were long lines at every station. And, there were numerous groups of teens eating, cheering, and playing games in the dining areas. Guests and cast members had trouble talking over the noise level. Ordering required a series of gestures to indicate your preferences. I took my food back to my room to eat in peace.
By 8 o’clock I was wondering about my luggage. Disney promotes delivery of your checked bag three-hours after your arrival. They do not specify if that is three hours from landing or arrival at your resort on Magical Express. So, I waited until 9 p.m., three hours after arrival at Pop, and still no sign of my luggage. I called the luggage desk and was told that it was here, at the resort, but the runners were out making deliveries. As soon as one returned, my bag would be delivered. 9:30 – still nothing. I started calling again at 10; no one was answering and my luggage had still not arrived. I finally went to the luggage desk, located next to the resort entrance. There were a few guests there looking for their luggage, and three people assisting these guests. I finally retrieved my bag and returned to the room to unpack.
It is times like these that I wonder what Walt Disney would say about the quality of guest experiences.
One of the questions The Mature Mouse™ is often asked is: Why stay on property when hotels off property can be cheaper? Although the cost of your non-Disney room can be less expensive, there are other costs and conveniences that you need to consider.
Here are two videos that focus on the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort. The first one is from Touring Plans, and other video is from Disney Parks.
Let me know what you think in the comments section. Do you always stay on property, or do you prefer off property?