When the Disney Skyliner was opened in September 2019 it added yet another excellent option to the Disney World Transportation System.
These Gondolas in the Sky provide an easy way to travel between Epcot and Hollywood Studios and select Disney Skyliner Resorts.
Here we will talk about the Disney Skyliner Route, give you tips about using the Skyliner, and discuss which is the best of the Disney Hotel Resorts that you can easily access by riding this fun mode of transport.
Disney Resorts with Skyliner
Which Disney Resorts have Skyliner?
There are four Disney Resorts that have Skyliner stations:
- Disney’s Riviera Resort Hotel
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Hotel
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Whilst they don’t have an actual Skyliner Station at the Resort, there are also three hotels where you can easily walk (or even take Disney’s Boat Transporation) from the Ecpot Skyliner Station. These are:
- Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Hotel
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort Hotel
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Hotel
All of these Deluxe Disney Hotel Resorts are within easy walking distance from the Epcot Station which is located at the International Gateway Entrance to Epcot.
Where Does the Disney Skyliner Go?
The Disney Skyliner has 5 stations that connect select Disney Resort Hotels to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
The easiest way to see which Disney Resorts have the Skyliner is to look at a map for an overview of the route and where the stations are located.
There are almost 300 Skyliner Gondolas and each has a capacity of 10.
As you can see from the Skyliner Map there are 5 loading stations on the route.
The Epoct Skyliner station is located at the International Gateway Entrance to the Park. This is in World Showcase between The United Kingdom and France.
The Disney Hollywood Studios Skyliner station can be found just before the entrance to the park.
Caribbean Beach is the “hub” of the Skyliner route as all lines ultimately route through that station.
Disney Skyliner Approximate Travel Times
The Skyliner is a very efficient way to travel between Disney parks. The Gondolas are on a continuous loop so waiting time is minimized as much as possible.
The Skyliner does sometimes experience delays, and indeed will sometimes be temporarily closed for unsuitable weather conditions. You do not want to experience the system in high winds!
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: approximately 5 or 6 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disneys Riviera Resort journey time is about 5 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to International Gateway at Epcot is approximately 15 minutes
- Disney’s Riviera Resort to International Gateway at Epcot is approximately 9 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Animation Resort is around 6 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to International Gateway at Epcot is approximately 14 minutes
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach to Pop Century and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is around 5 minutes.
What are the Disney Skyliner Hours?
The Disney Skyliner hours depend upon the theme park’s opening and closing times so they will vary.
However, you can expect the Skyliner to open approximately 60 to 90 minutes before the park opens and to stop around 60 to 90 minutes after the park closes.
What this means is that Disney’s Skyliner will usually open between 7.30 to 8.00 am and continue until around 11 pm.
Disney Skyliner Resorts Compared
As we have seen, there are a total of 7 Disney resorts that have easy access to the Skyliner.
Of these, 4 have a Skyliner Station at the hotel.
The other 3 are a close walk from the Epcot Resorts.
Let’s take a look at each one of them in turn:
Disney’s Riviera Resort Hotel
This is the newest of all the Disney Skyliner Resort Hotels. This is a Disney Vacation Club Resort but stays are open to non-DVC members.
The theme of the Riviera Hotel was inspired by Walt Disney’s tour of the European Riviera in the 1930s.
The design of the outside of the Riviera Hotel seems to me to be a bit of a missed opportunity. The inspiration is the great hotels of Italy, France, and Monaco on the Mediterranean Riviera.
However, for me, the exterior just isn’t quite great enough to be a Deluxe Disney Resort.
However, the interior and the rooms at Disney’s Riviera Resort more than make up for this.
The stylish Disney resort features lavish guest rooms and exquisite dining, including the rooftop restaurant Topolino’s which offers sweeping views of the Epcot resort area.
The room options at Disney’s Riviera Resort largely follow those at other DVC Resorts – studios, one, two, and some three-bedroom villas.
A unique option at the Riviera Resort is the Tower Studio Suites which are for 2 guests. They make very efficient use of the space with a pull-down Murphy Bed.
The Riviera is very much a grown-up hotel. Families with children may be a bit disappointed by the lack of obvious Disney theming in the Riviera.
However, for anyone looking for a stylish resort, with great rooms and some of the best places to eat on Disney property this is a great choice.
You can take a direct Skyliner Gondola to Disney’s Epcot from the Riviera Hotels Station.
However, if you want to go to Hollywood Studios you would go first to the Caribbean Beach station and then change to the Hollywood Studios Line.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Hotel
If you are looking for a moderate Disney Skyliner Resort then the Caribbean Beach Club is your one option.
The Caribbean Beach Skyliner Station is the central “hub” of this Disney transport system. Each of the Skyliner lines meets at the Caribbean Beach station.
This means that the Caribbean Beach Resort is the most efficient location to stay as you will not have to change Gondolas to get to either Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot.
However, if you are staying at the Art of Animation, Pop Century or the Riviera you will have to get off at the Caribbean Beach station to transfer to a different line.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach is often described as a “sprawling property”. With 1,536 rooms this is the largest Disney Moderate Hotel Resort.
What this means, in reality, is that depending upon where your room is located, you may have a long walk or a bus ride to other areas of the property including the Skyliner. There are 7 bus stops in the resort with access to the Disney Bus Transportation System. There is also an internal shuttle that just goes around the resort.
Caribbean Beach Resort has 6 villages: Barbados, Martinique, Aruba, Jamaica, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South. There is a main building, Old Port Royale, which houses the lobby, store and restaurant.
Each of the buildings houses standard rooms with an outdoor corridor and motel-style access. Note that all of the buildings are 2 stories with no elevators.
Most of the rooms accommodate up to 4 guests and have 2 Queen beds. Some of the rooms sleep 5 and have a fold-down bed. This is a bed which folds down from the wall – it is small and only really suitable for a child.
The Pirate Themed rooms are being discontinued in 2023 and will be replaced with new themed rooms.
In order to explain which areas of Disney’s Caribbean Resort are best for the Skyliner Stations it is so much easier if you look at the map!
You can see here that Building 41 in Jamaica is the closest to the Skyliner Station at Caribbean Beach.
If you are staying in the Martinique or Aruba village you can walk to the Riviera Resort Hotel and use that Skyliner Station as well as it is just a short walk away. It is probably quicker to use that station rather than walk or wait for the resort bus to transport you to the Caribbean Beach Station.
The addition of the Skyliner really has made Caribbean Beach a wise choice for those guests looking to stay in a Disney Moderate Hotel Resort.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
This is one of the two Disney Value Resorts which is on the Skyliner route.
Since opening over a decade ago, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has proved to be incredibly popular with families, particularly those with young children.
Part of the reason for its success is that in addition to offering Standard Rooms which sleep 4 guests, it also has Art of Animation Family Suites which sleep up to 6 guests. This makes it unique amongst Disney Value Resorts.
The theme is, of course, animated movies. There are four distinct areas within the resort: Cars, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Lion King.
The Little Mermaid section has standard rooms, and the others offer Family Suites.
If you are looking for a standard room you can probably pick a better option than the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation. They are not that large or particularly well-themed.
However, if you want to have larger accommodation for up to 6 then the Family Suites may be the way to go.
Always look at pricing though.
The Family Suites are popular and can be priced higher than 2 rooms at other Value Resorts. Always price out 2 rooms at Pop Century before booking a Family Suite at Art of Animation Resort.
The Family Suites are 565 square feet – and this space is very well utilized.
Each Family Suite has a Queen Bed, a double-size table bed, and a sofa bed. There is also a full bathroom and kitchenette.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has one of the Best Disney World Resort Pools. Certainly, for a Value Resort, the Finding Nemo Pool is a big bonus.
There are three pools in the resort, but the one that people talk about most is the large Finding Nemo Pool.
Like all of the Disney Value Resorts, Art of Animation has one large food court for quick-service dining. It does not have a full-service restaurant. The food court is called Landscape of Flavors and has many different options.
As well as being on the Skyliner which is great to get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, the resort bus transportation system is also good.
Art of Animation has its own exclusive use bus system – meaning it doesn’t share with other resorts. This makes it much more efficient and journey times to the other parks, resorts, and Disney Springs are pretty good.
Both Art of Animation and Disney’s Pop Century share a Skyliner Station.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
This is another very popular choice of Disney Value Resort.
Pop Century has an animation feel to it but, instead of more recent classic Disney favorites, you get to go back in time from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Just like all the Value Resorts, the theming is definitely obvious and subtlety is definitely not a design feature! It’s just a lot of fun to see the giant Rubik’s cubes and huge roller skates.
Subtle no. But fun yes.
The newly refurbished Pop Century Resort is a great choice if you are staying here with toddlers and young children.
It is also rated in our picks of Disney World Hotels for Adults. Pop Century definitely appeals to all ages.
The Resort offers Standard Rooms which sleep up to 4 guests. You can add one additional child under 3 as well.
Rooms are adequate at 260 square feet but don’t expect a huge amount of space here.
There are 3 swimming pools at Pop Century. The Hippy Dippy pool is a lot of fun. The Bowling Pool is shaped like, yes you guessed it, a bowling pin. The Computer Pool is shaped like a 90s computer complete with a keyboard and floppy disk.
Everything Pop Shopping and Dining offers a huge food court and a general store. It’s a good quick service meal place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even just a snack. It’s loud and it’s often busy, but it’s convenient and offers lots of choices.
For a discussion of which Disney Value Resort to choose here is a guide:
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Hotel
For no reason in particular, the Boardwalk is rarely top of my list of Deluxe Hotels at Disney World. Possibly as I enjoy the Beach Club so much and the location is slightly better and the pool is hands down better I don’t usually think about the Boardwalk Resort.
However, there are many things that are appealing about the Boardwalk Resort Hotel.
Visually it is a beautiful design and blends in so well with the Boardwalk theme and restaurants. Inspired by the boardwalks of Atlantic City and Coney Island it is particularly stunning at night.
The Resort has the Boardwalk Inn and the Boardwalk Villas. There are many different types of rooms available from standard rooms up to 3-bedroom villas.
Disney’s Boardwalk does not have any restaurants on property – just a lounge and a pool bar. However, you are within very easy walking distance of all the Boardwalk Restaurants and Bars:
- Boardwalk Deli
- Boardwalk Ice Cream
- Belle Vue Lounge
- Carousel Coffee
- Pizza Window
- The To-Go Cart
- Funnel Cake Cart
- Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas
- Leaping Horse Libations
- Big River Grille and Brewing Works
- Trattoria al Forno
- Flying Fish
- The Cake Bake Shop
All of the Disney Skyliner Resorts that are also the Epcot hotels have a huge range of restaurants and bars within very easy walking distance. Of course, if you have a park ticket to Epcot your choices are even more extensive.
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort has the Luna Park Pool. This is a fabulously themed area inspired by a 1920s carnival and boardwalk design. It’s a lot of fun and features a 200-foot-long water slide that looks like a traditional wooden roller coaster like those you would have seen in an original boardwalk theme park.
There are also two quieter pools with a hot tub if you prefer to be away from the livelier amusement-themed area.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort Hotel
This Epcot Hotel is well known for its relaxing ambiance, close proximity to the park, and the fact that guests have access to what is probably the best Disney Resort swimming pool
Located just 5 minute’s walk from Epcot’s International Gateway Entrance, Disney’s Beach Club Hotel Resort has a mid 19th Century New England Victorian beach town elegant feel about it.
The standard rooms at Disneys Beach Club are 380 square feet and have 2 Queen Beds. They are very comfortable and are brightly furnished and decorated.
The Beach Club shares Stormalong Bay with the neighboring Yacht Club. This large swimming pool has a lazy river and water slides – and the reputation as being the best Disney World Hotel swimming pool.
The Beach Club has an incredibly convenient location and is within walking distance of many of Disney Worlds’ best and most popular restaurants.
Inside The Beach Club, you will find the very lively character restaurant Cape May Cafe. Offering a character breakfast and a seafood buffet dinner, this is one to book well ahead as it is very popular.
This Deluxe Disney Hotel also has the popular Beaches and Cream restaurant.
This 50s-style dinner and ice cream parlor offers the famous Kitchen Sink Sundae. If you are up to the challenge this enormous $36 ice cream sundae serves 4 people.
You are within very easy walking distance of a large selection of restaurants including those on the Boardwalk and the Epcot Restaurants are a short stroll away.
You aren’t going to go hungry in this location.
You certainly know that you are at a Disney hotel, but this is very much a grown-up Disney hotel.
Since the addition of the Skyliner, this hotel has become even more attractive. You have easy access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios via the boat transportation system or the Skyliner.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Hotel
This Deluxe Disney Resort is the sister hotel to the Beach Club. They are very similar in many ways, but the Yacht Club has a slightly more formal ambiance and more sophisticated decor.
The Yacht Club rooms are pretty much identical in size to the Beach Club Resort rooms. Which one you prefer will largely come down to which style is more appealing to you.
The restaurants are more upscale in the Yacht Club than in the Beach Club.
If you are looking for one of the best steaks in Disney World then look no further than Yachtsman’s Steakhouse. This Signature Dining Restaurant should be on everyone’s “must-do list” for exceptional dining venues in Disney World.
Ale & Compass serves an excellent menu of New England comfort food and classic seafood dishes. With a relaxed ambiance, the inspiration for the design is a cozy lighthouse.
Really the choice between the Yacht and Beach Club is a difficult one. The room rates are usually pretty similar and both offer an excellent location and of course, share the very popular Stormalong Bay swimming pool.
If I am choosing then I usually book the Beach Club. I prefer the more relaxed feel and slightly closer proximity to Epcot and the Skyliner.
It saves you about 5 minutes at the end of your day, and after you have walked around Epcot this is a pretty important factor!
More Fun Facts About the Disney Skyliner
Each of the Skyliners can accommodate up to 10 guests.
The Gondolas are brightly colored and most are “wrapped” with a Disney character or movie theme. Here are some you may see:
- Beauty & the Beast
- Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Huey, Duey, and Louie
- Finding Dory
- Goofy, Pete, Horace Horsecollar, and Clarabelle Cow
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Haunted Mansion
- Lilo & Stitch
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Chip & Dale
- Monsters, Inc.
- Peter Pan
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Princess and the Frog
- Ralph Breaks the Internet
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Star Wars
- Toy Story
- Winnie the Pooh & Friends
- Wreck-It Ralph
You can still see out of the window of the Gondola.
I know that some people are concerned about actually boarding the Skyliner. You really don’t need to be as the Gondolas move very slowly and allow you plenty of time to board.
Wheelchair users and those with mobility issues will be assisted by a Cast Member.
When the Skyliner was first introduced many people were concerned that the Gondolas do not have air conditioning. Surprisingly, even in the summer Florida heat, this is not an issue as they are ventilated so well.
If you have a fear of heights the Skyliner is not for you. For the rest of us though the Disney Skyliner is such a great way to travel.
Even if you are not staying at one of the Disney Skyliner Resorts you should use this for of transport at least once for the experience and the excellent views.