Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek this morning announced a new opening window for the Disney Skyliner gondola system and shared a first glimpse at the ride vehicles for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster at Walt Disney World. Chapek was speaking at the GM and Owners' Breakfast at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, to which Chapek brought 800 cupcakes to celebrate the 90th birthday of Disney icon Mickey Mouse.
The Disney Skyliner gondola system will connect the Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot theme parks with the Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort as well as the upcoming Disney's Riviera Resort.
"We believe that getting around the Disney resort should be a uniquely magical experience," Chapek said, before revealing that the system will open sometime in the fall of next year.
"Riding the Disney Skyliner system will provide guest a whole new way to experience Walt Disney World, with unique vistas only available from the sky."
Chapek said that the final support tower for the system is now in place, and contractors are beginning to thread the gondola's support cables across the system.
Disney's contractor Doppelmayr is displaying on the IAAPA show floor this year, and has two of its gondola units on display. They are not decorated in Skyliner trim, but they can give more of an idea of what the Disney Skyliner gondolas will look like.
Chapek also displayed an artist's concept for the ride vehicles for the new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster, which is going into a massive new show building behind the old Universe of Energy pavilion at Epcot.
The show building can fit four Spaceship Earths, Chapek said. The Guardians coaster ride vehicles will rotate to direct guests' attention to the coaster's narrative elements, Chapek said.
Chapek also announced that the new 15-story Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will open in July 2019.
Chapek said that Disney is concerned that demand for its new attractions around the world will outstrip its ability its "supply," even with those expansions.
"We are taking a multi-pronged approach aimed at incenting guests to visit during non-peak periods," Chapek said. Though he did not cite specific examples, those include the move to park-specific blockout calendars for annual passholders at the Disneyland Resort and variable ticket pricing on multi-date tickets at Walt Disney World.
Chapek also will speak Saturday morning at the Destination D event at Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort, so look for more news then.Tweet
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