Walt Disney World Skyliner -- Great testing video!

February 27, 2019, 11:56 AM

The Walt Disney World Skyliner system has been testing the leg between DHS and Trinidad station. And holy guacamole these cabs move out. Take a look at the video below. If these cabs top 25-30 mph that means they are travelling at the same speed as the cars on Space Mountain.

Each cab's windows run the with of the unit on the forward facing and rear sides. With three windows on each side (each about 10 inches tall) the fast moving system is going to create the kind of cross breeze that eliminates the need for air conditioning.

Can't wait to ride!

Replies (41)

February 27, 2019, 11:56 AM

February 27, 2019, 1:13 PM

Plus they have onboard battery power for music and announcements that quick charge at each station.

February 27, 2019, 6:16 PM

If they really are traveling that quick I hope they have seat belts !! 'cause if they stop quick, it's not going to be pretty.

February 27, 2019, 10:10 PM

"Eliminates the need for air conditioning." Hang on there, if there is no air conditioning, I am not getting on any form of transportation in central Florida from May to October. I live in the southern states, so I will get on the air conditioned busses during that time.

February 28, 2019, 11:56 AM

Looks like a good way to move people around, but it is an eyesore!

February 28, 2019, 12:13 PM

Yeah the towers ain't pretty. But I'm interested in seeing how the cabs look at night when they are illuminated.

February 28, 2019, 12:40 PM

Just currious TH, why would you ride this? My understanding is that you live in Orlando, so you're probably not staying at the resorts connected to the Sweatliner. The design of the system doesn't really lend itself to park hoping (EPCOT/DHS) because of the transfer required at CB, and the resorts that are connected don't necessarily have any "destination" restaurants or attractions.

Do you ride the Monorail or buses around WDW just for the fun of it? Just wondering...

February 28, 2019, 1:26 PM

"Do you ride the Monorail or buses around WDW just for the fun of it?"

Guilty as charged.

February 28, 2019, 1:51 PM

There he is, Russell the Joy Killer!

Edited: February 28, 2019, 2:17 PM

Yup, because riding public transportation is so much more joyful than riding attractions inside of theme parks ;)

February 28, 2019, 2:35 PM

The towers are an eyesore .... a blight on the Disney landscape. They'll be better in the dark .... you won't be able to see them :)

The monorail is such a joy to ride .... if you're a sardine .... !!

I can see the pass-holders riding it once for the proverbial S&G's, (and I'll include myself for that 1 off) but it's only really there for the tourists.

February 28, 2019, 3:05 PM

I don't think anyone here is claiming the Skyliner is necessarily "so much more joyful than riding attractions." Not that these are some how mutually exclusive experiences as you can actually do both when you're on property.

But when they were younger, I'd take my kids on monorail adventures or boat rides -- often to Fort Wilderness to play on the playground and have an ice cream.

Also the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (People Mover) is a fairly utility experience. As was the Skyway back in the day.

And also kind of related: The Contemporary Resort is one of my favorite buildings on the planet. A few years ago, one of our DVC friends invited us to join her for a drink at Bay Lake Tower. As we stepped off the elevator we came across these large windows that boasted a striking view of the Contemporary. It was the first time I had seen it from the northeast. It is among my favorite theme park memories. So I would like to experience the Skyliner so I can enjoy seeing a property that I have become so familiar with from a new perspective.

I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

February 28, 2019, 4:03 PM

>>>Yup, because riding public transportation is so much more joyful than riding attractions inside of theme parks

Disneyland/MK parks are famous for painting public transportation as ride expereinces - Alweg Monorail, disneyland and Santa Fe, Peoplemover, the Trollies, Pack Mules.... and we haven't even gotten on to the boats yet.

March 1, 2019, 12:04 AM

I'm glad to see this testing. Still surprised it won't be ready until the fall given how quickly ski areas can get similar lifts up, but once it does I've got a feeling it will become the preferred method for traveling between Epcot and DHS.

Also, for anyone wondering about the speed, gondola systems like this typically run at around 1,200 feet per minute, which translates to around 15 MPH. It's not fast enough to create significant wind, but is fast enough to ensure you'll only be in there for a few minutes.

March 1, 2019, 2:42 AM

I have it on good authority this one travels at more than 2000 FPM.

March 1, 2019, 7:15 AM

I have yet to see any of the gondolas on the move, but it's still hard to believe they will be traveling in excess of 2000fpm (c23mph). That's really fast for that type of ride system, and as I mentioned earlier, the safety of passengers must be considered in the event of a dead-stop.

I agree AJ, people will use it to go from EPCOT to DHS, especially after SWGE has opened. I think it's safe to assume Disney will want it open before that area opens.

March 1, 2019, 7:27 AM

You can see them on the move in the video embedded in this thread.

If the system stops, the cabs will sway -- so they can't come to a "dead stop". The cabs decelerate as they approach the stations.

And my source regarding the speed is solid.

March 1, 2019, 7:27 AM

You can see them on the move in the video embedded in this thread.

If the system stops, the cabs will sway -- so they can't come to a "dead stop". The cabs decelerate as they approach the stations.

And my source regarding the speed is solid.

March 1, 2019, 7:58 AM

I've been to DHS 3 times in the past 2 weeks ..... I see the system for what it is going across the parking lot, and as yet I have not seen any moving gondolas. I'm at DAK and Epcot on Sunday so I'll look out for activity when I'm driving around WDW.

So you don't think it's a possible safety issue if the system fails at 23+ mph, and the gondolas come to a dead-stop (yes, I agree they will sway) Still seems like a scary scenario to me ..... but then again, maybe not as scary as being stuck midpoint on a blazing hot Orlando afternoon in August.

March 1, 2019, 8:50 AM

@Makorider - I think there will be some initial novelty in riding the Sweatliner between DHS and EPCOT, but I don't think it will be a very practical solution for park hopping, even if the system moves at the speeds TH has noted. Even at 23+ MPH, you're looking at a total on-ride time of @5 minutes to cover the distance of the legs between EPCOT and DHS. However, that does not include any slowdown at the vicinity of each of the stations, or the time it takes to wait in lines. It's assumed that guests arriving at the Caribbean Beach hub station will have to get off and then stand in line to transfer to a different leg of the system (I'm guessing guests will be able to "ride through" the Riviera station). The lines might not be so bad in the middle of the day, but if you're trying to hop between the parks in the evening to catch the nighttime shows, guests might be standing in pretty significant lines not only to leave the park they started at, but another lengthy wait at the CB hub. The cabs only hold 10 people, so it could be a slow moving line during the crush of guests leaving DHS after the early Fantasmic! trying to get to EPCOT for Illuminations.

Right now, it takes about 20 minutes to hop between EPCOT and DHS on the Friendship boats (and that includes stops at the Resorts along the canal system), and the walk between the two parks can take about the same amount of time or less if you walk briskly. The bus trip between the 2 parks typically clocks in at less than 15 minutes.

I think the system will be a great alternative for guests staying at the connected resorts, but I just don't see the practicality of using it to simply hop between DHS and EPCOT because of the need to wait in a line twice.

March 1, 2019, 11:05 AM

If it’s mostly for the guests at the connected resorts, then that will eliminate a lot of those buses, which makes the bus system faster overall by cutting down on traffic in general.

Let them do this! If it reduces ground traffic, that’s a positive. If it makes it easier for those hotel guests to get around, that’s a positive. So to park hop, you’d have to do exactly as you’re doing now--still, if it reduces the traffic for THAT, that’s still a positive.

Edited: March 1, 2019, 11:18 AM

I agree Dory. My only issue would be that the presence of the Sweatliner may significantly increase room rates at the connected resorts. My fear is that with a direct, non-bus, connection to both DHS and EPCOT, Disney will now view Caribbean Beach as a Deluxe Resort, and price rooms accordingly. Similarly with POP and AoA, those rates could see an increase that would dramatically reduce the total number of Value-priced rooms on WDW property.

For guests staying at the connected resorts, the Sweatliner will be a great addition, but will Disney start charging guests substantially more and re-categorize the connected resorts based on this new transportation option.

March 1, 2019, 1:13 PM

Every day at Universal Orlando, children of all ages enjoy a wonderful attraction between the parking garages and Citywalk.

I'm talking about the moving walkways.

So sure some of us can be "dissapointed" or "uninterested" in this but I can see tons of people enjoying the Skyliner.

March 1, 2019, 1:14 PM

@Russell - lol! You know I love ya!

Edited: March 1, 2019, 1:26 PM

TH, I'm not going to dismiss the possibility that you have a source that knows something the others don't, but based on what I've heard from a variety of sources (including Disney insiders, people in the ski lift industry, and Doppelmayr themselves), I am highly skeptical of your numbers. On their website, Doppelmayr says the max speed for their monocable gondola system is 7 m/s (slightly under 1,400 fpm), and unless Disney ordered significantly larger terminals than normal and a custom drive system there's no way 2,000+ fpm would be possible. Assuming that video you posted is the full speed, that's also nowhere near 2,000...looks right about 1,200 to me based on my experience with similar gondolas at ski resorts.

Makorider, your concern about it stopping is another reason I seriously doubt TH's numbers. In a normal stop, deceleration is slow enough that the swing is fairly gentle, and that would be the case at any speed. However, in the event of an E-stop, you can get some pretty strong rocking on aerial ropeways, and an E-stop from 20+ mph could potentially produce an unsafe swing angle.

Russell, by my estimate it should be about a 12 minute ride between parks, plus whatever time is spent transferring between the lines. That is still less time than the boats or buses. Additionally, with a capacity close to 4,000 guests per hour (which, in bus terms, would be about a bus every 90 seconds), lines probably won't be much of an issue except at the busiest times, and unless a lot of people are boarding at the transfer point there likely will be minimal waiting there. Perhaps I'll wind up being completely wrong, but my guess is this will become the preferred transit system for most guests that can benefit from it. It's really no different than using the Monorail to get between Magic Kingdom to Epcot.

Edited: March 1, 2019, 2:34 PM

"It's really no different than using the Monorail to get between Magic Kingdom to Epcot."

That's an interesting thought, but I think there are some critical differences.

First, I don't think taking the Monorail between MK and EPCOT is terribly efficient, because you have to transfer at TTC - buses are a far better option because they take you directly from gate to gate.

Secondly, the Monorail can hold up to 360 people per train, which is equivalent to 36 Sweatliner pods. If the Monorail operates at 10 minute headways, the Sweatliner would have to dispatch full pods every 17 seconds (not impossible, but seems pretty tight) to match what the Monorail can do.

Next, unlike the monorail and buses that have larger unit capacities, the 10-person pods will be more difficult to fill consistently to capacity - Getting 55 people on a bus with a capacity of 60 (92%) is better than getting 9 people in a 10-person pod (90%). Unless Disney is going to pre-queue guests (meaning it will take longer to board) to maximize efficiency, it will be very hard for Disney to consistently operate the system at its optimal throughput. I think Disney may struggle a lot here, especially with larger parties trying to figure out how to split up. Most larger families can get on a bus or monorail together, but how will an extended family, particularly one that might have a couple of guests with ECVs, react when trying to board this system and how will Disney accommodate larger groups of guests?

Additionally, the 4,0000 pph estimate is based on the entire system, which includes 3 lines going in both directions. With 3 lines, you could assume that Disney could clear maybe 700 guests out of a park within an hour of closing (@ one sixth of the system's total capacity)- not that great if you think about it, just 2 full monorail trains.

I just don't see any way that there are not extended waits at CB, both in the morning when guests from 4 different resorts are converging on the hub to get to DHS or in the evening, when guests are leaving the parks and/or hopping. The system will keep the lines moving consistently, but there's undoubtedly going to be a backup at the hub station, making it less efficient than the boats or buses between EPCOT and DHS.

March 1, 2019, 3:58 PM

Russell, I'm going to wager a guess that you do not participate in winter sports (or, if you do, have never visited a ski area with a modern gondola), as it sounds like you're not quite understanding how this system functions. This is something I see with a lot of Disney fans who are against the Skyliner, so please let me attempt to educate you.

The Skyliner Gondola is a continuously moving system, not unlike an omnimover, rapids ride, or the PeopleMover. Each cabin holds 10 passengers, and they are sent out at 8-10 second intervals depending on how many are on the line. The video TH linked is an inaccurate example of spacing as there are only a few cabins on the line...normal density will be about twice that. 4,000 guests per hour would require 400 cabins per hour, which would be a spacing of 9 seconds...within the typical range for this sort of system. Now, since cabins are being sent out of each station at that rate, that means each line is capable of moving 4,000 people per hour in each direction...not that the whole system can move 4,000.

Let's take a look at a specific station. While the cabins are dispatched 9 seconds apart, there will be several in the loading zone at one time. They never stop, just move through at a very slow speed (about 2 mph), giving a good 30 seconds to load everyone. Here's how loading will like go:

The first party is a group of 2, and they are directed to cabin 1. The next party has 8, so they are sent to cabin 1 as well to fill it up. Our next party is a large group of 10, so they are sent to cabin 2. Next in line is another group of 8, so they go to cabin 3. Now, a party of 6 comes up. They're too big to fit in cabin 3, so they are asked to step off to the side. The next party is a group of 4, so they join the 6 waiting to form another full cabin. Around this point, cabin 1 exits the loading area and cabin 4 enters it, so this group of 10 can now proceed to cabin 4. The process continues from there. Should the grouper find a party of 2 before cabin 3 exits the load station, they can direct them there, and if not two seats go empty. Not a big deal...very rarely does any attraction operate at 100%.

What about large parties? Same thing as every other attraction...they split up. If you've got a group of fifteen and you want to ride Test Track, you split into groups of five. Same thing here...that group of fifteen splits to 10 and 5, 9 and 6, or 7 and 8, and the remaining seats are filled by smaller parties.

What about ECVs and wheelchairs? Fortunately, Disney has come up with a perfect solution to this. For wheelchair guests, cabins can be pulled off the line and brought to a complete stop on a siding so that the main line isn't affected. Once stopped, the ECV or wheelchair just rolls right inside. The cabin is then reinserted into the main line with a mark from the computer so that it can automatically be removed at the other end.

Lastly, let's look at the Caribbean Beach hub. Here, all three lines converge along with guests entering from the hotel. Without busting out some differential equations, the flow through this station can be modeled thus:

Epcot Line In + AoA Line In + DHS Line In + CB In = Epcot Line Out + AoA Line Out + DHS Line Out + CB Out

A backup is only possible when the rate of guests entering is greater than the rate of guests leaving. Let's look at a few scenarios...

Morning: At this time, we can safely assume that nobody will be entering from the DHS line, nobody will be exiting using the AoA line, and nobody will be leaving directly to Caribbean Beach. Therefore...

Epcot Line In + AoA Line In + CB In = Epcot Line Out + DHS Line Out

In this scenario, a backup is definitely possible, but as long as guests are split fairly equally between DHS and Epcot, it shouldn't be excessive. Now, with Star Wars Land majorly increasing the draw of DHS, it's definitely possible that line could get some sizable queues in the mornings, but anyone should expect all transportation to that park to be slammed regularly through summer 2020.

Afternoon: In the afternoon, we can assume that travel on the AoA line will be minimal, so that cancels out. In addition, we can assume that the number of people leaving to CB and entering from CB will be negligible. Therefore:

Epcot Line In + DHS Line In = Epcot Line Out + DHS Line Out

During the time most people would be doing park hopping, there should be roughly the same number of people traveling into the station as out of it. Assuming about the same number of people are traveling in each direction, no backup should occur. If there's unequal travel, delays are definitely possible, but again it is limited in magnitude unless there's a large influx of CB guests for some reason.

Evening: For the evening, travel out on the DHS line is negligible, as is guests entering the system from the AoA line or CB resort. Therefore:

Epcot Line In + DHS Line In = Epcot Line Out + AoA Line Out + CB Out

In the evenings, there is no potential for a backup as fewer people will be arriving than the capacity out of the station. The only way an issue could occur would be if a large number of people stop at CB for some reason and then need to exit to their cars elsewhere.

In short, mornings may present some crowding on the system, but the rest of the day transfer lines should be minimal (certainly less than the lines to transfer monorail trains).

While the Skyliner may not immediately jump out as a great system, once you examine it closely it's hard to imagine many valid complaints about it. If ski areas can use gondola systems to efficiently move thousands of skiers and their equipment up the slopes, I have no doubt that Disney will be able to do the same. This is not the old Skyway or a novelty attraction...it is a modern form of mass transit that Walt Disney would likely be extremely proud of.

March 1, 2019, 7:25 PM

Great read AJ, and excellent explanation of how it all should run .... but you forgot one very important factor in all your theorizing ..... Galaxy's Edge.

Edited: March 4, 2019, 7:59 AM

For the record, I do ski occasionally and have a bit of engineering and transportation background, so I understand how these systems work. I've seem some modern aerial gondolas in action too (none as complex as this mind you). I also understand that when a manufacturer/company publicizes the capacity of any transportation system, it usually includes a lot of caveats, and is representative of the optimal capacity of a system in a perfect world (completely full pods and 100% efficiency of dispatching for the entire system, not a single line). I also understand that once cabs approach a station, they transition off the primary high-speed drive cable, allowing Disney to stage and load multiple cabs simultaneously as well as pull cabs off to allow for individual loading (ECVs and other guests that need extra time to load).

When you hear the 4,000 people per hour estimates about this system, the first impression is, "hey great, that could clear a crowded park pretty quickly", but the fact of the matter is that estimated capacity is inclusive of 3 independent lines operating in 2 different directions (6 individual segments). If the Sweatliner could move 4,000 people per hour in a single direction on a single line, that would be quite impressive, but the reality is that guests can expect that single-line single-direction capacity to be likely no more of a quarter of that maximum capacity, assuming all the stations have the capability to stage lots of extra cabs at peak times to handle rushes. However, even with that, a system like this probably can't handle more than 1,000 people per hour in a single direction under optimal conditions, which is the equivalent of of 3 Monorail trains or 15 buses (bus every 3-5 minutes).

Clearly, it's going to help things, especially as DHS prepares to absorb insane crowds coming for Galaxy's Edge, but will it really be worth using this system to park hop between DHS and EPCOT? My opinion based on what I've seen and read about this system is that some park hopping guests may be interested in riding this for its novelty, but it won't be the best way to get from park to park. For guests at AoA, POP!, Riviera, and Caribbean Beach, it will be great (and maybe even for the Swolphin, Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club Resorts too) - though I hope guests are not force to pay more for their rooms because of the advantages that this system offers. However, perhaps that's the point - Disney seems to be trying to push more and more WDW guests away from park hopping by offering special deals and ticket packages for non-park hopping admissions. When Disney changed their ticket structure last year, the cost to add park hopping to a ticket increased as an overall percentage of a ticket, so one could surmise that Disney would rather guests visit one park per day.

That would make my point regarding the lines at the hub station pretty moot since fewer and fewer guests would be making that trip, and those serious enough to add park hopping to their tickets would probably know enough about WDW transportation to understand that the best way to get between DHS and EPCOT would be by bus, walking, driving their personal car (depending upon where you parked in the morning and what part of EPCOT you were hopping to/from), or the Friendship boats. I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with Disney adding transportation options to get around WDW, especially in preparation for what very may be the biggest singular draw to Orlando in nearly a decade, but I think the real benefits of this system will be for guests staying at resorts connected to these lines. Perhaps as a carry on, the Sweatliner may allow Disney to shift bus resources to other routes, which will in turn improve the efficiency of their predominant and most efficient transportation system, but guests staying off-site and at resorts not connected to this system probably won't see much of a change, and likely won't be using this system at all, except as a novelty. That's really my only point of contention here, that guests will not (and should not) be using this system to hop between EPCOT and DHS.

March 4, 2019, 9:19 AM

Russell .... I know we've been down this road before ..... but the Epcot to DHS park hop has to be in people's minds when thinking about how they are going to get to GE. It's the "I have to get to DHS at all costs" self preservation human nature in us all. What will be interesting is what Disney decides to do when DHS has reached capacity. Will they still allow the sweatliner to run to DHS from the resorts? If not, then the domino effect back to Epcot has the potential of being an epic failure the likes we may not have ever seen before. 1000pph at that time will seem like a far off dream.

March 4, 2019, 10:15 AM

Mako has hit on its purpose. They need something to help move the crowds away from GE once it opens.

March 4, 2019, 3:57 PM

Russell, I still don't understand why you're so concerned about the capacity of this system. You say it might realistically move 1000 people per hour. Well, 1000 people per hour is less than the typical capacity of a double chair at a ski area (those are usually 1,200). While system capacity is obviously going to be limited if there is reduced capacity on one of the lines, if everything is operating as designed the theoretical capacity will be close to 4,000 per hour per direction, and aerial ropeways often run very close to their design capacity at peak times.

Perhaps a visual might help?

This video shows the system testing at full capacity. It's a little difficult to tell due to the camerawork, but it appears that the cabins are about 10 seconds apart. Assuming 10 guests per cabin, that would give an hourly capacity of 3,600 guests in each direction on that line alone. Since cabins move at the same rate in each direction, capacity is identical in both directions at any time.

This is a very similar system...the Texas Skyway at the State Fair of Texas. As can be seen here, several cabins are in the loading area at one time, which means loading is not restricted to a single cabin at a time. Additionally, it takes about 45 seconds for cabins to completely round the contour, which should give ample time to unload and load 10 guests in each cabin. Should guests need more time to load, cabins can be pulled off and stopped without disrupting the flow of the main line, just like the benches on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Unless I am entirely off base (and I don't think I am), I see no possible world in which this is not the most efficient transportation option around the section of Walt Disney World that it serves. Whether or not it is the quickest remains to be seen, but until proven otherwise by the actual operation of the system I'm sticking to my belief that it will be extremely beneficial and quite popular.

Edited: March 5, 2019, 1:31 PM

The similar Emirates Air Line in London has a capacity, according to Wikipedia, of 2500 per hour*. I understand at peak time they speed up the line increasing capacity further.

I think the idea that Disney would only be able to get 1000 ph out of it is pretty ridiculous IMO. With their decades of Transport and Ride experience I'd be shocked if they couldn't get near maximum yield out of it.

*Of course, the Emirates Air Line doesn't actually do 2500 per hour, but thats because it goes between two places that people don't actually want to go between, and charges a fortune to do it in a city full of transport options. This is what happens when you have people in charge of major decisions who care more about spectacle than practability.

Edited: March 7, 2019, 10:31 AM

Russell, if you are concerned about Disney increasing the cost of the hotels connected to this line then stop referring to it as the "Sweatliner". You may be giving then the idea that they can market it as a 'scenic sauna' and feel even more justified to raise rates.

March 7, 2019, 10:43 AM

LOL! Maybe they'll even start requiring guests to use FP+ reservations to ride too.

March 7, 2019, 3:00 PM

AJ said it best and in a lot more words that I would...This will be a great addition WDW and should increase travel rates and ease traffic for EVERYONE. More people using the Skyliner means less people using the buses and monorails. I can't see, in any way, shape, or form, how this is a bad functional addition to the WDW infrastructure. If you want to argue aesthetics, that's a different story (even still, you don't have a great argument), but from a purely functional perspective, this will be a great addition to the property as a whole.

Edited: March 8, 2019, 9:13 AM

Let me be clear, Disney adding new transportation options is a HUGE plus for guests visiting WDW. Regardless of how efficient this system is, it will represent an alternative to slow, crowded buses and monorails, and give guests more options to get around WDW.

My main critique of the system is towards its viability/efficiency for guests wanting to hop between DHS and EPCCOT (parks that are a 20 minutes apart right now by boat or walking path). I don't think it's happenstance that this system was designed without a leg directly connecting the two parks. This system's main design goal is to improve transportation between the connected resorts and DHS/EPCOT, not to shuttle people between the 2 parks. However, as a result of this improvement, I would not be surprised to see Disney increase the rates of the connected results comparatively to other resorts that are not connected to the Sweatliner. I have no issue with the aesthetics of the system either, just that it's not a silver bullet for park hopping and will make stays at Pop!, AoA, and CB more expensive than they are now.

March 8, 2019, 11:24 AM

Your argument for increasing rates is intriguing, and while I agree with you that this is probably what will happen, we still have no confirmation that it is going to happen. As far as travel time, even if it is slightly longer than bus or boat, you get an aerial view of a LOT of the WDW property...including views of Epcot and DHS. You can bet that there will be quite a number of people trying to get on a gondola right when illuminations or the MK fireworks are going off. And while the exclusion of AC is a pretty big blunder, it's entirely possible that the windows provide sufficient relief from the Florida sun. Sure, it might not be polar cold in those things, but with enough moving air it should at least be a manageable experience.

March 8, 2019, 12:19 PM

Is the view really going to be that good? Most of the cabling is not more than 30-40 feet off the ground (with pods hanging @8-10 below that), and the line from EPCOT's International Gateway is only "backstage" briefly before going over one of the parking lots for the Boardwalk Resort and then paralleling East Buena Vista Drive (@1/4 mile away from the edge of the World Showcase), significantly limiting any views into the park. The rest of the lines traverse over foliage/lakes/swamps, parts of the CB and Riviera Resorts, and the DHS parking lot. None of the lines carry pods over either theme park.

It may seem novel to try to catch glimpses of the parks from the system, but I doubt there will be anything really interesting to see - alligators might be the most interesting sighting from the Sweatliner.

March 8, 2019, 1:01 PM

I suspect the view will be decent enough. Remember, you are in Florida, the most flat state in the union. In terms of gaining sight-lines, the only detriment would be trees (which the gondolas should be mostly above) and other buildings. I suspect that the view going from AoA/PC to CB and then to Epcot would be pretty good for the majority of the ride over. I could be entirely wrong about that, but looking at the projected pathway, the only thing really blocking a decent sight-line might be the Japanese and American Pavilions. Jury is still out on how big the Ratatouille show building may be, so that may have an adverse effect as well.

March 8, 2019, 1:20 PM

"In terms of gaining sight-lines, the only detriment would be trees (which the gondolas should be mostly above) and other buildings."

We'll see, but based on photos and videos of different legs of the system, the pods are not going to be significantly above the treeline, if at all. There are a significant number of trees between East Buena Vista Drive and the World Showcase perimeter service road (where the line turns from the Boardwalk to head towards Riviera), making it virtually impossible to achieve a clear viewing angle into the World Showcase Lagoon. You'll probably be able to see the tops of the World Showcase Buildings and Spaceship Earth from that leg of the Sweatliner, but I doubt you'll be able to see any part of Illuniations happening on the lagoon. Similarly with the AoA/Pop to CB leg, where the line is going to be too far away to see any significant portion of DHS aside from the tops of the structures. The line traversing over the DHS parking lot won't give any noteworthy views either because of its lower height and angle of approach.

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