Skyliner vs Bus: Which is Faster at Disney World?

  • By: pdstamp
  • Date: May 18, 2023

The Disney Skyliner was one of the most exciting additions to Walt Disney World in the past few years.

The Disney Skyliner offers a new way to get between multiple resorts, including Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios plus others we will discuss later in this guide.

Many guests find the Skyliner to be a fun and exciting way to get around the resort, but one of the most common questions we receive is whether this is a faster solution than other transportation options.

Keep reading as we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Disney Skyliner.

Disney Skyliner Testing May 2019

Is the Disney Skyliner Faster Than The Bus?

The Disney Skyliner is almost always faster than getting one of the Disney buses. Unless there is an unusually long queue or the Skyliner has broken down, you’ll find that the loading and the journey are both far quicker than waiting for the bus.

The Skyliner offers a much more direct route to anywhere you need to get to, so there’s pretty much no route where it would be quicker to wait for the bus and then travel to the park that way.

Is the Disney Skyliner Faster Than Taking a Car?

Similar to the bus, we find that the Disney Skyliner is usually quicker than taking a car.

This is particularly true when you take into account the time that it takes to park and then walk to the entrance of Epcot or Hollywood Studios.

The only exception we can think of to this is if your car is parked directly outside your resort room and you have a long walk to the Skyliner station at a resort such as Caribbean Beach.

In this case, you may find it more convenient to take your car, but it’s still unlikely to be quicker.

Is an Uber Faster Than the Disney Skyliner?

The time it takes for you to walk to your hotel lobby and call an Uber will usually be much longer than just getting on the Skyliner.

While Uber might be able to drop you a little nearer to the park entrance than driving yourself, we generally find that the convenience of the Skyliner makes it a better option for everyone.

What’s more, the Skyliner is also free to ride, so you’ll save money on every journey.

Onboard the Disney Skyliner August 2022

Is it Quicker to Walk Instead of Getting the Skyliner?

Some of the resorts that the Skyliner services don’t offer the opportunity to walk to the parks.

However, if you are considering walking between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, you may find walking between these two parks quicker.

Depending on your walking pace, you may beat the Skyliner, which travels to Caribbean Beach first, where you have to change over to the other line.

Of course, if you are tired of walking all day around the parks, the Skyliner will give your feet a break before you start exploring the next park or resort.

Check out our article that discusses walking from Disney Springs to the Old Key West resort area. You can read it here.

Does The Skyliner Run In The Rain?

The Disney Skyliner was constructed to operate in the wind and rain.

However, there will be occasions when they stop operating due to heavy winds or when lightning is within a certain radius of this transportation option.

Safety is always the top priority for Disney, so during a storm, you may need to get the bus or drive instead.

Does the Skyliner Cost Money To Ride?

One of the best things about the Skyliner is that it doesn’t cost anything to ride.

In fact, we feel it’s one of the best free attractions that’s been added to the resort. You don’t even have to be staying at one of the resorts on the Skyliner line to benefit from this transportation option (or have a park entry ticket).

The Skyliner has helped open up more dining options to park visitors and is well worth a ride just for the experience alone!

Check out this YouTube video that shows some every route of the Disney Skyliner

Does the Skyliner Go to and From Pop Century?

Pop Century is one of the resorts which sits on the Skyliner line.

Pop Century and Art of Animation share a Skyliner stop, which is situated in the middle of the bridge between these two resorts.

  • The other resorts which are directly on the Skyliner route include the Riviera Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort. If you are staying at any of the Epcot area resorts, you could also benefit from using this option to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or the other resorts. It’s one of the best additions in many years to Pop Century and Art of Animation, which both fall in the value resort category.

Compared to the All-Star Resorts, it adds another convenient way to get around and cut down your time waiting in the busy bus lines.

Is the Skyliner Scary?

This is one of the most common concerns we hear from visitors to the parks, who are worried about whether the Skyliner will be too scary for someone in their travel party to ride.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Skyliner operates at a good height.

The Disney Skyliner runs at 60 ft above the ground, which for some people is just too high to be enjoyable.

If anyone in your family is scared of heights, they may find this to be quite a daunting experience.

We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to heights and cable cars, so you’ll need to think carefully about this.

The Skyliner does stop from time to time during the journey, so make sure you are prepared for this possibility before boarding.

It can be quite a scary experience to be left hanging for a few minutes, and there have been a few incidents involving the Skyliner since its launch.

However, it’s a very safe form of transportation that offers a fun sightseeing experience over the resort, which for most people is more important than a slightly scary ride.

View from the Disney Skyliner

Can You Take a Wheelchair on the Skyliner?

The Skyliner is a fully accessible mode of transportation at Walt Disney World.

At every station, with the exception of the Riviera Resort, you’ll find there’s a separate line for wheelchair loading.

This allows the rider to stop completely and offer safe boarding for wheelchairs, strollers, and ECVs.

While the gondolas usually accommodate ten people, when a wheelchair or stroller is added, this reduces to six people in each gondola.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how spacious the Skyliner gondolas are, and you’ll feel secure remaining in your wheelchair or ECV during the journey.

Disney Skyliner Epcot
Disney Skyliner Leaving Epcot

General Wait Times for the Skyliner

The busiest times for the Skyliner are during park opening and closing each day.

If you board as soon as the Skyliner opens, you’ll find that you can walk straight on. Usually, you’ll wait just five to ten minutes to ride the Skyliner, but this may go up to 20 minutes at peak times.

Of course, if there are any delays anywhere on the line, this can increase the wait time significantly.

  • The great thing about the Disney Skyliner is that it continuously loads. Unlike standing around for the bus, you’ll constantly feel like you are making progress in the queue.

What Speed Does The Disney Skyliner Travel At?

The Disney Skyliner’s cruising speed is up to 11 mph. As long as there are no delays during your journey, your ride will typically last anywhere from three to 15 minutes, depending on where you are on the route.

The Skyliner has over 300 gondolas on the line, so it is continually loading and moving guests between their destinations.

  • The Skyliner does slow down to 1 mph at each of the stations, and you’ll find that it offers you enough time to get on and off the gondola.

The shorter journey on the route is between Caribbean Beach Resort and the Riviera Resort, which lasts just two or three minutes.

The longest ride will be between Caribbean Beach to Epcot’s International Gateway and is one of the best routes for sightseeing.

You can hop between each of the routes as much as you like to experience them all and to enjoy seeing the resort from a new perspective. It’s a really fun (and free) way to see what’s new in the area and to watch people exploring Walt Disney World from above.

If you are in a rush to make it to a dining reservation or park opening, make sure you add on 10 to 15 minutes to your journey for any delays. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a reservation just because you were stuck on your journey.

Check out this article on being charged by Disney for missing certain dining reservations.

The Disney Skyliner is one of the best transportation options for anyone staying at the resorts that it services.

We find it to be much more efficient and enjoyable than getting on a crowded bus after a long day at the parks.

While it does get busier at the start and end of each day, you’ll still find it’s better than waiting in long bus lines.

If you haven’t already been on the Disney Skyliner, make sure you add it to your next Walt Disney World trip itinerary. It’s a fun new experience for visitors and will allow you to see the resort from a new perspective.


What are the Disney Skyliner Hours?

The Disney Skyliner starts running around 60-90 minutes before park open (around 7:30-9:00 AM) and stops operating about 60-90 minutes after park close (around 10:00-11:00 PM)