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Credit: Disney

NEWS: Disney Releases Opening Dates/Details for Skyliner and New Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

While construction at Disney World seems to be forever ongoing, there is an end in sight for two projects on Disney World property. Disney has announced the opening dates for its Disney Skyliner and Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort along with some additional details. Catch all the details below:


Here are all the details on the Disney Skyliner from Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith:

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, has announced that Disney Skyliner will be ready to begin transporting guests at the Walt Disney World Resort beginning fall of 2019!

As many of you know, this new state-of-the-art gondola system will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort.

And next fall, Disney Skyliner will not only efficiently move you to your location, but it’ll also offer a whole new way to experience Walt Disney World with amazing views only available from the sky – with great photo opportunities! For example, guests arriving at the International Gateway station will travel through the trees and be welcomed into Epcot with remarkable, never-before-seen views across World Showcase.

The innovative transportation system is quickly coming to life! Workers just installed the last support tower at the Resort and are beginning to thread the series of reinforced cables to carry guests in stylish themed gondolas.

Credit: Disney

Here are all the details on the Gran Destino Tower from Disney Cast Member Jennifer Fickley-Baker:

Earlier this fall, we shared renderings of the exciting expansion that’s currently underway at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek has unveiled more about the reimagining, including the name of the new 15-story centerpiece of the resort, the Gran Destino Tower.

The tower, which will be completed in July 2019, will serve as the new main entrance point for guests visiting the resort and will add a total of 545 new guest rooms (including 50 suites) to the resort, as well as feature a gorgeous two-story lobby. A themed table-service restaurant is also planned for the top of Gran Destino Tower, which will serve up delicious food and incredible views of the Walt Disney World Resort.

An oasis set on the shore of Lago Dorado, the reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort celebrates the daring spirit of the great Spanish explorers, artists, writers, and architects. Throughout the resort, guests will discover a blend of classic Spanish influences, imaginative Disney touches and modern comforts both inside and out. The resort’s more than 1,800 existing rooms have also been fully updated with new fixtures, furnishings, and lighting. A second new restaurant is planned to open on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado, with new walkways stretching across the water, making it convenient no matter where guests stay at the resort. And a fresh color palette will tie the entire resort experience together, blending the new and the newly reimagined.

Guests will soon be able to make reservations for Gran Destino Tower for stays beginning in July 2019.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Disney Skyliner – What We Know So Far

by Mike and Jamie Sylvester

Just when we think Disney has thought of it all – they go and surprise us with some new, ingenious plan! Disney is well aware that as the crowds increase with new attractions, lands, and resorts on the horizon, they must prepare for the getting guests to and from the parks. So, here we introduce another form of Disney transportation – the Disney Skyliner! While we wait for the Disney Skyliner to officially take to the sky, we anticipate transportation that is convenient, all while offering picturesque views of the Walt Disney World Resort. Let’s chat about what we know so far about the Disney Skyliner!


1 – Newest form of Transportation

Disney’s transportation has always been a favorite of ours. Not only is it super convenient, but most forms of Disney transportation are free! Currently, Disney offers bus, boat, Monorail, and the newer Minnie Van Service (which does have a fee). Well, now we are thrilled with the great anticipation of the Disney Skyliner – a point-to-point gondola transportation system. The gondola system allows guests to board an enclosed cabin where they will glide through the sky on a steel cable from one station to another. You may remember the days of the “Skyway” at Magic Kingdom? While the Skyway transferred guests across Magic Kingdom until it closed in 1999, the Skyliner is the same idea – just in a much more modern and expansive way!

2 – When It All Began

The rumors about a gondola-style travel system coming to Walt Disney World first began in February 2017 when Disney filed a building permit for “V”- shaped structures that were rumored to look like gondola stations. When the D23 Expo rolled around in July 2017, Disney Parks Chairman, Bob Chapek confirmed the Walt Disney World Resort was, in fact, getting a gondola form of transportation, to be called the Disney Skyliner. No time was wasted after that, as construction began in late 2017. The anticipation and excitement continue to grow as we regularly check out the incredible progress being made!

3 – Where It’ll Stretch

The Disney Skyliner is rather impressive in the three-mile distance it will travel. It will connect Hollywood Studios and Epcot to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, and Art of Animation Resort. And while this may not be beneficial just yet – it will also connect with the new Disney Riviera Resort located between Hollywood Studios and Epcot.


4 – Five (well, kind of six) Stations

By checking out the Disney Skyliner layout, we’ve learned there are a total of six stations for the gondola system with five of them being stations to load and unload, and one being a turn station. If starting off at Disney’s Epcot, the mapped out path the gondola system is proposed to take is as follows:

  1. Epcot’s International Gateway Station: If you’re used to easily getting into Epcot via the side entrance (International Gateway), well, the crowd traffic will be picking up at this location once the Skyliner opens! The International Gateway Station is said to be inspired by Epcot’s European Pavilions close by, to include metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals, and steel structures that are themed from the early 19th century Art Nouveau style. We are looking forward to seeing great views of the Epcot World Showcase!
  2. Turn Station: While this isn’t a station for loading or unloading guests, it will be a neat experience to see some of the mechanics behind the Skyliner. Here the cabins will slow down for a turn along Buena Vista Drive.
  3. New Rivera Resort Station: A new resort is on its way into Disney World called Disney’s Rivera Resort! As mentioned above, Rivera is located between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Set to open in Fall 2019, the Disney Skyliner will make a stop at this resort. Details on the station theming have yet to be released.
  4. Caribbean Beach Resort Station: This station seems like it will be the largest and the primary hub of the Skyliner with an open-air village marketplace theme to match the Caribbean in architecture and color scheme. This will be a transfer station which means guests can easily load and unload here to set off for a different direction – to the Hollywood Studios station perhaps!
  5. Hollywood Studios Station: We’re so excited to check out an aerial view of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! The Hollywood Studios Station will fit in well with the park’s main entrance and bus loading area.
  6. Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation Resort Station: This will be a shared station between the two beloved Value Resorts. Both resort themes will be pulled into this colorful station! Enjoy views of Hourglass Lake that separates Pop Century and Art of Animation.

5 – Cabins with Character

The Skyliner cabins will feature all our favorite Disney characters designed on the outside of the cabin. Characters Disney has mentioned or shown in art renderings include the “Fab Five” characters, Beast and Belle, and Hitchhiking Ghosts. The cabins are expected to seat 8 guests per cabins. While this doesn’t seem like many people, it is still suspected this form of gondola system can transport 3,000+ people in one hour! It has been confirmed that the Skyliner will not have air-conditioning. With the Florida heat, this sounds like it will be painfully uncomfortable but are sure Disney will have proper ventilation that will help the breeze benefit the air in the cabin! We also know the cabins will have an audio system allowing for announcements and safety information, much like the Monorail.

6 – Opening Fall 2019

Disney has announced that the Skyliner will open in fall 2019. We suspect it will open prior to the late 2019 opening of the new Hollywood Studios land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Skyliner will also be open before the new Ratatouille ride debuts at Epcot. The latest rumor is Spring 2019!

We’ll be sure to bring you Skyliner news as Disney releases it. In the meantime, we’ll just have to keep daydreaming about the beautiful views we can expect to see from our gliding cabin!

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About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!