Walt Dated World
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | Dumbo, The Flying Elephant (First and Second Versions) | Legend of the Lion King | Mad Tea Party (Uncovered) | Mickey Mouse Revue | Mr. Toad's Wild Ride | Fantasyland Shops and Restaurants | Skyway To Tomorrowland From Fantasyland | Snow White's Scary Adventures: First Version (1971-1994) | Snow White's Scary Adventures: Second Version (1994-2012) Photo and Video Gallery
Skyway To Tomorrowland From Fantasyland
Skyway to Tomorrowland From Fantasyland
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The Skyway was an Opening Day attraction. When coupon books were still in place it required a D Ticket. Disneyland had been operating a Skyway since 1956. Both the California and Florida Skyways (as well as the one in Tokyo Disneyland) were built by the Swiss company Von Roll, Ltd. The Skyway was a one-way ride either way from Fantasyland or Tomorrowland. Guests would board in Fantasyland by entering a Swiss chalet. Riders would get some spectacular views along the way of the main Fantasyland thoroughfare, including Dumbo, The Flying Elephant and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. There were also bland views of the show buildings for some of the rides. It would have been cool if Disney painted designs on the roof that mirrored the attraction inside but the company probably did not want to call attention to the show buildings. The Walt Disney World Skyway was notable for having a 90-degree turn near the Grand Prix Raceway as the gondolas entered Tomorrowland.
Accidents and Closure
Wind and weather conditions were carefully monitored, which often led to the Skyway being temporarily closed down. Such was the case in May of 1982. The ride had been closed due to rain but when the weather cleared up, Cast Members restarted the ride. A 20 year old Cast Member named Jo Miranda was standing at the end of the load station platform when a gondola moved toward her. She grabbed on to it but ended up hanging from the car in the air. Someone hit the emergency stop and park guests scrambled up on the roof of a nearby building to try and save her. Miranda fell 15 feet, hit the roof and then fell another 20 feet to the ground. She survived but injured her back.
On February 14th, 1999, a 65 year old custodian named Raymond Barlow was sweeping the platform while the ride started up for the day. He grabbed a gondola and as it traveled out of the station and up on the cable, he tried to pull himself up into the car. He was not successful and fell 40 feet to his death. The accident most likely led to the closing of the ride later that year on November 10. It was the last Skyway to operate, as Disneyland's closed in 1994 and Tokyo Disneyland's closed in 1998.
(Photo courtesy of Jason Rubin.)
Legacy of the Skyway
The Skyway cables and pylons were removed fairly quickly after the ride closed but both the Fantasyland and Tomorrowland stations stood vacant for many years. The photo below shows the station in 2001. The site of the former Fantasyland Skyway station is now a restroom area themed to the film Tangled. (The area was originally designed to be a Rapunzel Meet and Greet area). A tribute to the Skyway can be found in Adventureland. The book shelves at the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen contain a book called A View from Above by "S.W. Buckets".
In September of 2019, Walt Disney World opened a new transportation system called the Skyliner. Unlike the Skyway, the gondolas are fully enclosed and it is not a theme park ride. They provide transport from Epcot and Hollywood Studios to the Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort and Riviera Resort.
This is an unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks. All copyrights acknowledged. Please respect the work I put into compiling both existing and my own information on this site by not linking to any text or pictures without crediting that they were located on this site.
See ya real soon!