PDA

View Full Version : Skyway



Pages : [1] 2

furbE95
04-14-2003, 11:17 PM
Does anyone know disney's reasons for closing the skyway?

HBTiggerFan
04-14-2003, 11:19 PM
I heard someone was decipated. :eek: ;)


Seriously I *think* they were closed because they needed a major refurb to make them wheelchair accessable. There are rumors that someone fell out, however the truth (as told in MouseTails or More Mouse Tails...forget which one) was that someone was able to open the door and "fall" into the only large tree along the entire route.

Ghoulish Delight
04-14-2003, 11:42 PM
There have been many many rumors about why. To be honest, I'd bet it's the sum total of all of the. Plausible reasons for closure:


Wheelchair accessability (lack thereof)
Upkeep was becoming more costly and more frequent
Increased fear of people falling (or rather increased legal responsiblity placed on Disney)
The fact that there were no security cameras on the gondolas, meaning it was a good place to get away with certain things


I'm sure that all of those have some truth to them, and taking them all into consideration, the perceived cost of keeping them open was too high.

merlinjones
04-15-2003, 12:16 AM
But none of it had to do with ridership. They were always popular!

Mary Jo
04-15-2003, 07:20 AM
My understanding is that it needed some major refurbishment, and Disney couldn't justify the cost for a C ticket ride.

(and it was one of my favorite rides in the park)

A coworker friend of mine has a daughter who used to be a CM there at the time, and they were one of the last riders when it closed down. He said he rode it twice that night.

The worker who fell off of the skyway fell off of the one at the WDW Magic Kingdom in 1999, I believe.

justagrrl
04-15-2003, 08:31 AM
I loved that ride. Not only was the view great, but it was a quick and easy way to get from one side of the park to the other pretty quickly. *wistful sigh*

Morrigoon
04-15-2003, 08:36 AM
Not to mention the eye-candy factor

LifelongAngelsFan
04-15-2003, 08:41 AM
I remember reading a thread on MP (http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12128&highlight=skyway) that stated the catalyst for closing it was the 1994 earthquake that caused structural damage to its supports. Further, it had to become ADA compliant. The cost of repairing it was considered too high given its perceived value. The other reasons stated on this thread also contributed to the decision.

merlinjones
04-15-2003, 09:03 AM
>>Further, it had to become ADA compliant. <<

I don't think rides opened before a certain year have to be ADA compliant unless the vehicles are significantly changed. Skyway was certainly old enough to be exempt.

Morrigoon
04-15-2003, 09:06 AM
The thing is, they're PERFECTLY capable of making a wheelchair-accessible gondola. (Though the stations would require some major changes... like elevators)

Ghoulish Delight
04-15-2003, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Morrigoon
The thing is, they're PERFECTLY capable of making a wheelchair-accessible gondola. (Though the stations would require some major changes... like elevators) Yes, exactly. No one said it wasn't possible, just costly.


Originally posted by justagrrl
but it was a quick and easy way to get from one side of the park to the other pretty quickly.hrmm, not really. It doesn't take more than 10 minutes to walk the entire length of the park. The walk from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland is only a few minutes at most. Once you factor in the line (rarely under 10 minutes) and the length of the trip (a few minutes itself), plus the time to get to that out of the way corner of Tomorrowland (which was always a traffic jam with the queue for the skyway and Autopia hanging out past their entrances), you don't really save any time, and it probably (no, definitely) took longer.

BUT, what it was was a way to get from one side of the park to the other on your butt! :D That's the real advantage.

tod
04-15-2003, 10:10 AM
A friend of mine who worked there (and may still, he never returns my calls any more) told me that one of the problems was the Swiss company that manufactured the cablecar machinery had gone out of business and it was tough to get replacement parts machined on-site without the tech specs.

I haven't independently verified this, I just pass it along.

--T

Mickeyslittlehelper
04-15-2003, 10:27 AM
Tommorowland needs some attractions for the next few years, why not do something like the Skyway for Tommorowland??

Morrigoon
04-15-2003, 11:12 AM
Since they COMPLETELY removed the old one, they could easily choose some company currently in business, like the one that did the gondolas up the mountain from Lucerne, Switzerland.

innerSpaceman
04-15-2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by merlinjones
I don't think rides opened before a certain year have to be ADA compliant unless the vehicles are significantly changed. Skyway was certainly old enough to be exempt.
My source may not be the absolute definitive, but I believe it's as definitive as we're ever likely to get. Told to me personally by Imagineer Extraordinare Tony Baxter was that it was indeed ADA compliance issues that were the deciding factor in the elimination of the Skyway. There were indeed structural and other maintenance repairs that needed to be made, but these were of such extent that they also triggered ADA compliance. Not only new gondolas, but an elevator system at both stations would be required - and a method of operation that would allow for the cumbersome and time-consuming loading of certain SAP guests. The actual repairs necessary were indeed a factor, but the ADA stuff was the nail in the Skyway's coffin.


I will always remember the day I was in Fantasyland with a weird feeling, only to suddenly realize with total shock and dismay that the Skyway was gone - support pylons and all - a mere 3 days after I had last seen it in its full operational glory.

Nor will I ever forget my final Skyway ride a couple of weeks earlier. After years and years of hopes, our gondola finally got stopped in a fun location - just outside the Tomorrowland Matterhorn opening. And I mean just outside - - we were able to swing our gondola by reaching out and pushing away from Matterhorn mountain. We were stuck there for a fabulous 15 minutes - bobsleds and their waving riders rushing by beneath us, my friend and I wildly swinging back and forth.

Ok, I'm gonna cry now.

Toady The Eighth
04-15-2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Ghoulish Delight
Plausible reasons for closure:

The fact that there were no security cameras on the gondolas, meaning it was a good place to get away with certain things

*wistful sigh of my own*

Too bad. :D

MKY4ME
04-15-2003, 12:26 PM
the guest who "fell" out of the skyway sued the park because he said the door "flew open" and he fell out and landed in a tree and broke his leg, i think. however, what he did not count on was the security camera in the very tree he landed in, showing him opening the door and jumping conveniently into the only tree close enough to the gondolas to land in. From what I remember, he dropped his lawsuit. but the gondolas left soon after that.

Tref
04-15-2003, 01:51 PM
Well, MY sources say it was shut down due to the 'spit factor.' I can even re-call the recorded message that would play during the course of the Skyway ride, "Please refrain from clearing out the chest and lungs by coughing up and spitting out matter during your magical ride across Walt Disney's Fantasyland." And then it would repeat in Spanish and German.

There is an issue of Murder is Fun that details all the Disney park deaths. I don't re-call the Skyway being one of them (in DL or WDW.)

I always thought they should keep the ride, despite people's propensity to spill soda, spit, & drop popcorn on unsuspecting heads, by re-naming the path directly below the ride, Disney's Expectorate Experience! Even Pressler could appreciate the low maintenance costs of this type of ride. Pretty much just a bucket and mop would be required. Plus, you could create plush toys, like Spitty and Soda-head. Truth be told: kids love to spit and being spat on.

I say bring it back!

I remain

furbE95
04-15-2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by Mary Jo
The worker who fell off of the skyway fell off of the one at the WDW Magic Kingdom in 1999, I believe.
Is the WDW skyway still operational?

merlinjones
04-15-2003, 02:24 PM
>>My source may not be the absolute definitive, but I believe it's as definitive as we're ever likely
to get. Told to me personally by Imagineer Extraordinare Tony Baxter was that it was indeed
ADA compliance issues that were the deciding factor in the elimination of the Skyway. <<

This source I accept.


>>There were indeed structural and other maintenance repairs that needed to be made, but these were of such extent that they also triggered ADA compliance. Not only new gondolas, but an elevator system at both stations would be required - and a method of operation that would allow for the cumbersome and time-consuming loading of certain SAP guests. The actual repairs necessary were indeed a factor, but the ADA stuff was the nail in the Skyway's coffin.<<

I still think it would have been worth the reinvestment. This was a primal part of our Disneyland experience, as I'm sure it was for others.


>>I will always remember the day I was in Fantasyland with a weird feeling, only to suddenly
realize with total shock and dismay that the Skyway was gone - support pylons and all - a mere 3 days after I had last seen it in its full operational glory.<<

It was indeed swift and depressing - - I had argued with a friend who told me the Skyway had closed and I didn't believe him. I thought he was pulling my leg. I bet him $100 that it couldn't be true. (I wasn't reading the net at that time). It simply seemed like an impossible idea to close the Skyway - - and no reason or announcement! After all, since 1967, we had "lost" the Pirate Ship, Mine Train, Golden Horseshoe and Inner Space (all with great sadness) - - but those had been with "reasons" and replacements attached. I couldn't grasp that they would simply close a classic like that with nothing else there.

I was so upset when I found out it was true that my pal didn't even want to collect the bet.

Little did I know that this was just the beginning of a long and unbelievable slide to come. The closure of the Skyway was a major turning point in DL management.


>>Nor will I ever forget my final Skyway ride a couple of weeks earlier. <<

Unfortunately, I never even got to say goodbye.


>>Ok, I'm gonna cry now.<<

I'll join you.

I never went to DL with out going on it. It made me feel like Peter Pan.

The sight of the deserted Chalet still fills me with ennui at the Happiest Place on Earth - - and I always look to the skies for those buckets where they go no more... my mind filling in the missing space with gondolas.

Accountants took away my power of flight.

mousketeer
04-15-2003, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by Morrigoon
Since they COMPLETELY removed the old one, they could easily choose some company currently in business, like the one that did the gondolas up the mountain from Lucerne, Switzerland.

This is true, but it will never happen unfortunately. Actaully, the new Skyways no longer have to go in a straight line, and care make as many curves as needed!

Morrigoon
04-15-2003, 06:32 PM
True, unfortunately, half their coolness factor was going through the mountain. Okay, not quite half, but let's say it was significant. (think about it: swiss mountain, gondolas... it all worked)

AVP
04-15-2003, 07:13 PM
I'm not going to dispute the Great Tony Baxter. But I am *so* amazingly sick and tired of hearing how "people in wheelchairs caused Disneyland to have to close (fill in the attraction name here)"

I have recently heard Monorail CMs tell guests that the subs were closed because of "people in wheelchairs." The ADA calls for "reasonable" accomodation. Making the existing subs wheelchair accessible was not reasonable - no more so than making the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse wheelchair accessible would have been reasonable.

The subs were closed because they were falling apart. As was the Treehouse. The biggest difference between the two is that Disneyland got synergy money to rebuild the Treehouse, provided they re-themed it to Tarzan. We all heard the rumors - had Atlantis been a box-office smash, Disneyland could probably gotten the same deal to create an Atlantis ride.

ADA compliance is also the reason generally given for closing the skyway - despite the fact that WDW's skyway WAS wheelchair accessible, and it closed shortly after Disneyland's did.

We know that there were other concerns about the Skyway. You mean to tell me that Disneyland was willing to spend the thousands of dollars needed to rerofit the ride after the 1994 earthquake - but wouldn't pay the hundreds of dollars needed to install an elevator in one station?

Other closures blamed on the ADA:

WDW's Mr. Toad ride
Adventures through Inner Space (which closed before the ADA took effect, and would have also necessitated the closure of the Haunted Mansion)
Plaza Pavillion restaurant.
Peoplemover
There are more - I just don't feel like dredging them up. You know - this would make a good TAG column....

AVP

innerSpaceman
04-15-2003, 08:40 PM
Well, I certainly hope no one equates the ADA requirements with a blame game on the disabled.

Treehouse and Submarines aside, I guess someone in gov't thought that it would be "reasonable" to retrofit the Skyway for improved handicap access. Mr. Baxter did not give me all the details, but perhaps it was insisted upon that wheelchairs be able to load directly into the gondolas. Who knows?

I do know that my good friend Tony (that's Mr. Baxter to you) would never lie to me.

AVP
04-15-2003, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by innerSpaceman
Well, I certainly hope no one equates the ADA requirements with a blame game on the disabled.
I don't see it as a blame game, I see it as a way for Disney to explain away an extremely involved decision to someone that someone who doesn't know better will willingly accept - and CMs who don't know better will willingly repeat.

(And I am not accusing any of the people in this conversation, and especially not Mr. Baxter-to-me, of being either of these things.)

As someone who is married to someone who uses a wheelchair, and as someone who is *very* familiar with the ADA and how it applies to theme parks, I am constantly amazed when someone tells me that "such and such" happened "because of people in wheelchairs."

It's become an accepted answer, and something that front-line Disney managers and CMs have latched onto by way of answering guest complaints. Cosmic Waves is closed? - oh, it wasn't wheelchair-friendly. (Yep, I've been told that)

And yes, I do dispute that ADA-compliance was the deciding factor in favor of the shuttering of the Skyway. It may be an easy answer, it may be the fast answer, it may even be partially true - but it isn't the complete answer.

AVP