Though it has only been open just over a week, guests who were on the Skyliner gondola transportation system late Saturday evening were stranded for several hours after an unspecified malfunction. Though they did not provide any details, Walt Disney World released an official statement saying that the Skyliner was having technical difficulties and was experiencing “unexpected downtime”. Disney has also confirmed that there were no guest injuries as a result of the problems the Skyliner experienced Saturday night.
Guests stranded on the gondola system were directed to use special emergency kits that were hidden under the gondola cab benches, and contained water, glowsticks, waste bags, and a paper and pencil.
Though Disney didn't say as much, social media posts show several gondolas crushed together at the Disney's Riviera Resort station, which many believe to be what led to the stoppage across the system.
Many guests were evacuated by emergency personnel, who evecuated guests in the air using cherry pickers and fire trucks. First responders from Reedy Creek were joined by fire trucks from Orange and Osceola counties, who also came to assist with the emergency.
After around 3 hours, it was reported that the gondolas started moving again very slowly in order to help evacuate the remaining guests faster.
It is currently unknown what caused this issue, and it seems unlikely that Disney will release much information on this stoppage. However, based on social media reports, it looks like guests who were trapped and had to deal with this harrowing experience were given Disney park hopper tickets as well as Disney gift cards as compensation.
After all guests were evacuated, Disney reopened the Skyliner system, saying in a statement to Attractions Magazine that, "Two gondolas bumped each other due to a delay. No guests were involved. The Skyliner has resumed operation.”
However, shortly after this statement, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney released an additional press release saying “One of the three Disney Skyliner routes experienced an unexpected downtime Saturday evening. As a result, the Skyliner will be closed while we look into the details surrounding the downtime.”