Several weeks ago we reported that construction work had begun on Walt Disney World’s as-yet unannounced gondolas project, which will connect Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort. And while Disney still hasn’t said anything official about this project, documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel from the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District not only confirm the resort has been planning the project for quite some time, but also include some previously-unavailable details that give us our first real hints about what this new project could look like as well as how it will be structured...
1. There will be six stations split between four different destinations
According to official documents it looks like there will be six individual loading and unloading stations for the gondola system, serving four different destinations: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Caribbean Beach Resort and the lakeside area between Pop Century and the Art of Animation resorts. While we don't know exactly where Disney will double up stations, we'd imagine that the additional stations will serve the two theme parks, as these will undoubtedly serve more guests than the resort stations and will need the additional capacity.
In addition it was also discovered that Disney will be constructing three separate lines that will connect these different areas. While we can only guess what the configuration of this new transportation web will look like, we’d wager that at least one will be a direct line between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with the other two servicing resorts from the two theme parks.
And while we now know more about how Disney will keep capacity high with multiple lines and a total of six stops, we also know a bit about the gondolas themselves now as well....
2. Gondolas will be completely enclosed and carry a maximum of ten guests
During their investigation, the Orlando Sentinel also found confirmation that the gondolas that will be used for this new project will be enclosed (which makes sense given Florida's temperamental weather) and will have a maximum capacity of ten guests per cab. This is of course, quite a bit bigger than the old Skyway cabs, but not as big as those used for other major transportation projects, like the Roosevelt Island gondolas in New York City, and should balance guest comfort with efficiency.
Interestingly, it has also been revealed that European manufacturer Doppelmayr has been contracted to physically construct the gondolas. And while you've probably never heard of this company before, this is actually a pretty interesting development, as this company has also created gondolas before for Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, which, like Walt Disney World houses a number of theme parks including Universal Studios Singapore and the Adventure Cove Waterpark. So while the gondolas will undoubtedly have a Disney touch, they may actually end up looking a lot like those pictured above, which have already proven themselves up to the task of transporting guests at a large resort.