Now things are really starting to get exciting at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Recently the Disney Skyliner began its initial testing phase as gondolas slowly began to appear between Disney’s Caribbean Beach and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The first phase was simply to run two passenger gondolas along with a service gondola. A device was fastened to the haul rope to determine that it was centered in the sheaves (the wheel tracks on the towers).
The second phase was certainly a breathtaking moment as we saw multiple gondolas running back and forth between the two stations. This was a simple distance space test to gauge the distance and speed of the gondolas running in and out of the stations. We can see one gondola passing between each tower heading in both directions.
Today we are finally beginning to see the Skyliner running closer to capacity. This was not a full load test. The engineers are again testing the speed and distance between gondolas and how the gondolas will flow through the stations. Disney is going to make every effort to maximize the amount of gondolas and passengers that the system will allow. We now see two gondolas passing between each tower, which is very impressive.
Inside the station was even more impressive with an average of 10-12 gondolas in the load zones. The front loading area is used for passengers walking onto the system. Each gondola is capable of transporting up to 10 passengers. The rear track is used to load guests with scooters or wheelchairs. Crews were testing the rear track and the transfer back to the haul rope.
The Doppelmyer D Line Monocable system is capable of handling 4,500 to 5,000 passengers per hour. The gondolas have the ability to move at 7MPS (meters per second), which is about 15.5MPH. It really does look fast zipping through the air.
Disney may try to push forward and close the gap between gondolas even more. This will greatly increase the ability to transport more passengers, which would be a huge benefit when Galaxy’s Edge opens at the end of this year.
Once the gondola spacing and speed has been determined, the gondolas will be loaded to maximum capacity with water weights. This will put stress on the haul rope, towers and sheaves. Engineers will be looking for movement, fractures, vibrations and any fluctuation that may damage the system. Once everything is clear, then passengers will begin to board. Initially cast members and crews will have the privilege of riding. Fingers crossed we will get some soft openings by the end of summer.
Disney states that the Disney Skyliner will open sometime this fall. Be sure to follow PASSPORT TO THE PARKS for all your first hand information about the Disney Skyliner.