Disney decided to let a little sunshine out through the clouds by unwrapping a Disney Skyliner Gondola. This beautiful yellow cabin looked absolutely stunning as it pierced against the bright blue Florida sky. It looked like the sun floating among all the other white clouds.
Testing has been underway for some time as Doppelmayr continues to test the line spacing in between each gondola, along with speed and velocity. They are also applying a hard brake test to each gondola to ensure that the grips do not slip along the haul rope.
The yellow gondola will be used for ventilation testing. The louvered windows provide much needed air flow through the cabins to help keep passengers cool. The reflective tint on the windows will also keep the bright Florida sunshine from overheating the interior. Sensory equipment is used to help determine temperature and air velocity while the gondola is in motion and at rest.
Some gondolas had weights applied, while others remained empty. Weighted gondolas create a sag in the haul rope. During the full load test, each gondola will receive the maximum weight, which will cause about a five to seven feet of sag in the haul rope.
Although the unwrapped yellow gondola was a beautiful sight to see, it’s the character wraps that remain the highlight for a grand unveiling. This incredible red gondola, although difficult to see under the white wrapping, has a wonderful “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme.
Scrooge McDuck and Clarabelle Cow are some other Disney classics recently spotted overhead. Fingers crossed that Disney will keep the character gondolas covered until the Skyliner’s grand opening.
Initially it was estimated that Disney would have around 150 gondolas within their fleet. That number has grown dramatically to around 350 gondolas. New gondolas have been arriving on property on flatbed trucks. They are sent to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort for processing and storage.
The Disney Skyliner was originally scheduled for opening this fall, but with the announcement of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening on August 29th, Disney may very well have the Skyliner operating for opening day. We may see the line between the Caribbean Beach and Hollywood Studios open, along with Pop Century and Art of Animation. The Riviera and Epcot line could open at a later date.
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