There have been rumors going around that Walt Disney World is building a cable car system as a new park-to-park transportation option. Before we dive into that a little bit more, let’s explore Walt Disney World’s other transportation options, in order from my least to most favorite:
- Buses are widely available, but certainly not the most convenient option. If you’re on a tight schedule, you might find yourself wasting too much valuable park time waiting for a bus, waiting in traffic, and waiting at traffic lights.
- Running from park to park is fun, but that’s only a good option if you’re signed up for a runDisney race; and in that case, you’re not going to be able to stay too long at any one park.
- If you happen to be driving your own car (as my husband and I do, since we live a little over an hour away), you can just drive yourself from park to park. There’s no waiting for buses with this option, and you get bonus steps on your pedometer for walking across multiple parking lots in one day. However, most guests to WDW resort are probably not driving their own car.
- We all know and love the monorail, but it only brings you to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom. Adding more tracks would probably be expensive and could have disastrous consequences a la the best episode of the Simpsons ever:
So a gondola system is an excellent way for Disney to help people park-hop (and encourage purchases of those upgraded park hopper passes). However, my husband and I were discussing this and wondering how a gondola would work for guests using a wheelchair.
If you haven’t used a gondola or cable car before, then you might not be aware that these things typically don’t stop. They slow down as they approach the guest pick-up area, but they are continuously in motion. Once the chair leaves the guest pick-up area, it speeds up to get guests to their destination.
It could very well be that Disney is planning to stop the cable car each time a disabled guest needs to board; however, the wheelchair count tends to be pretty high and this could slow down the cable car system tremendously.
The only thing my husband and I could think of to solve this problem would be to have a way to re-route a cable car to a standby disabled passenger area, where it could stop and allow the passengers to board safely, while the rest of the line continued to operate normally. When an opening presented itself, the re-routed car carrying disabled passengers could be moved back to the main operating line.
There are probably engineers who already know and have a solution to this in mind, but I’m just throwing this out there in the very minor chance it has been overlooked. Or maybe there isn’t a planned gondola system after all, as it is still only speculation at this point.