This news item originally appeared on Episode 21 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.
Also at the D23 convention a few weeks back Disney announced a new transportation system coming to the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando. The new system, called the Disney Skyliner, is a gondola system, similar to a ski lift with an enclosed car, attached to a cable.
Now the concept is not new for this resort. The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World used to have the “Skyway” ride which was an opening day attraction. It connected Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. It was a great way to skip over the crowds in between. It closed in 1999.
This new version won’t be in a park exactly. Rather it will connect the Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach,Pop Century and new Disney Riviera resorts with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Of course some may be concerned about the safety of the Disney Skyliner? For instance if a thunderstorm suddenly blows in, will they be able to get everyone off the ride in time? And with numerous gondolas filled with guests on a line that stretches on for miles,, if it were to break down or the power goes out for a while, you are talking a massive evacuation spread over miles and miles of the resort.
Well ENN has learned that Disney has come up with a potential plan to deal with the evacuations. They are considering equipping each of the gondolas with an inflatable slide, similar to the ones used on commercial airplanes. Should a stoppage occur, guests will be instructed to pull a handle, deploy the slide and self-evacuate to the ground.
Now I see two potential unintended consequences with this. First, the allure of a thrilling slide to the ground could lead to guests wishing for. Or even causing ridestops. But more importantly , depending on where your gondola stops along the route, it could be less of an evacuation and more like air delivery of gator food.