BUENA VISTA, FL — Forget Space Mountain – the biggest thrills at Walt Disney World come courtesy of its new cable car system.
Debuting this past Sunday, the Disney Skyliner, which comprises nearly 300 enclosed cable cars, whisks visitors from hotels to theme parks three stories above the ground while going 11 mph. It’s the latest addition to one of the largest private transportation systems in the U.S., which also includes 423 buses, 61 ‘Minnie Vans’, 30 parking lot trams, 29 watercraft and 12 monorail trains.
With the Skyliner air gondolas, visitors get neon-colored cars painted with the images of almost two-dozen Disney characters taking them on the three lines to five stations where they can access nine resorts and two parks. Disney World has four theme parks and more than two dozen resorts.
“Most organizations around the world look at transportation as something that is just necessary but we … simply try to create memories of a lifetime,” said Thomas Mazloum, a Disney senior vice-president. “And this mode of transportation will absolutely create memories of a lifetime.”
In any given 24 hours, 350,000 people – the size of a medium-sized city – can be on Disney World property, which is the physical size of San Francisco. Disney transportation workers need to move them efficiently from parks to hotels to Disney World’s shopping and restaurant districts with as little friction as possible.
In a given year, Disney World visitors take 100 million rides on its transit system, said Mazloum.
With file from The Associated Press