Over the past five months, the rumor that gondolas would be arriving at Walt Disney World Resort has been making the rounds, and doing so quite extensively, thanks to the presence of permits and actual construction on the ground. Today, Disney has finally gone ahead and made it official.
During the Parks and Resorts panel at the biennial D23 Expo, Bob Chapek, the chairman of the Disney Parks and Resorts division, confirmed that the brand-new transportation system, called Disney Skyliner, will link the Epcot and Hollywood Studios theme parks with three hotels: Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, and Art of Animation resort (the latter two will be sharing their skyway stop). Even better, there will be several different gondola cars that will each feature its own iconic Disney character, ranging from the expected (Mickey and Minnie mouse) to the more unusual (the Haunted Mansion ghouls).
While this is certainly a big deal just in terms of alleviating the traffic congestion that plagues the 13,000-acre resort, it’s also a major acknowledgment of all the future work that is already ongoing or will shortly start at the two parks. Hollywood Studios will see its Toy Story Land open next year, with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge following the year after; Epcot, meanwhile, was just confirmed to be getting a whole slew of its own changes, including a renovated Future World and new attractions in World Showcase (and a Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster, of course!). Both sets of projects are expected to be wrapped up by the 50th anniversary celebration that will be held in 2021.
But the Skyliner wasn’t the only transportation-related announcement made today: Disney World guests can also now expect to use an Uber-like service, called Minnie Vans, to get quickly around the resort.