I’m officially back from our family’s DADventure to Walt Disney World and have SO much to share with you over the upcoming days, weeks, months… SO very very much to share. The resort. The food. The shows. Traveling with the kids – all of it.
The first thing I want to share with you is the biggest difference I experienced since my last time in the park – the Disney Skyliner.
When I first heard about the Skyliners, I was excited, mostly for the feel and views. I was already booked to stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort and knowing it’s on the Skyliner line made me excited.
In my Skyliner story on October 2 [read it here], I wrote:
It’s less that 50 days till my crew arrives at Walt Disney World for our 2019 DADventure. One of the new experiences I’m most excited to try is the new Skyliner transportation system.
The Disney Skyliner opened this past weekend and it may totally change the way guests in certain Disney resorts ‘do Disney’ – and I’m totally looking forward to that.
I was right – it totally changed the way we ‘did’ Disney.
If you’ve been to the WDW resorts you know the sadness and euphoria of the Disney Bus System. I’ll talk more about the buses in a different post coming up. But, you know they take a bit of time to arrive, you may have to walk a LOT to and from the parks and parking lots, you have to wait in a queue or at the bus stop, then you all JAM on to the bus – most of the time standing on the way to the park or back to your resort. This part is especially rough when it’s the end of the day and your kids are ‘beyond’.
Staying at Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation or Pop Century? Forget the bus!
From the Caribbean Beach hub it’s only FIFTEEN minutes to Epcot’s International Gateway. It’s only FIVE minutes to Hollywood Studios (a quick walk from the entrance gate).
Seriously – FIVE minutes and I was walking into Hollywood Studios. 15 minutes later I was standing below the Millennium Falcon! Yeah, in about 20 total minutes, I was in my own personal nirvana. More on this in a future post, too!
With my kids in toe, it was just as easy. They hopped right on the slow moving cars as they pulled up to the platform. Even right after Fantasmic, the line kept moving to load the Skyliners from Hollywood Studios – we never felt like we were stuck in a big line, like we would have been waiting for the bus.
You sit in a car, with no more than 6 – 8 people, and it’s open space with amazing views. No crush of the bus. No standing. No white knuckle holding on to your stroller and kids and packages and backpack on a sardine can bus – you are sitting with your things down beside you.
With a family of 5 and a double stroller, we more often than not had our own Skyliner cabin all to ourselves. My first night, riding at night to Hollywood Studios, I had the cabin to myself both times and it – was – amazing.
One night we wanted dinner with the whole family before I was going to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law who SURPRISED me and showed up in Orlando! (More on this later, too.) So, we all hopped on the Skyliner – ate our way around the Epcot Food & Wine – jumped back on Skyliner to CBR hub, my amazing wife took the kids back to the hotel to sleep and my brother, sister-in-law, and I all hopped on the Hollywood Studios line and went to fly the Falcon together.
Our last night at the parks, we were wondering what fireworks show to go see. We saw Fantasmic and we saw the fireworks at Magic Kingdom – that left us with Epcot Forever. We hopped on the Skyliner at 8:15pm for the 9:00pm show. 15 minutes later we were at the International Gateway. We walked up to the bridge, right to a spot to watch, and as soon as the final notes played on the sound system, we about-faced, walked right back on to the Skyliner and were back in our resort room by 9:45pm.
People worry about the temps – even during the 85 degree sun – the cabins were cool and breezy. People worry about stoppages – we paused a few times, but those wrinkles have really been ironed out and it was never a problem. High winds? We went back a forth a TINY bit on the windiest day, but never felt uneasy. People worry about them being loud at the resort – nope, you forget they’re above you!
When I checked in to Caribbean Beach Resort, I mentioned how excited I was for the Skyliners. They moved me to a room in the Jamaica portion of the resort. Why? It was a TWO minute walk to the hub. If you’re going to stay at CBR, and plan to visit Hollywood Studios or Epcot frequently, request a room in Jamaica. My biggest fear is that, with the addition of the Skyliner, CBR is going to go from ‘relatively’ affordable to a deluxe resort. Let’s hope not.
My one drawback is when you ride in a car with a character wrap on it. It’s like looking out through a dirty screen window. The clear cars are wonderful to watch the world around you. When I left Hollywood Studios the first night I was in a clear cabin and I was in the air seeing fireworks from both the Studios and Epcot as I silently flew back to my bed.
I honestly can’t thank Disney enough for the re-invention of this Skyliner. It truly is a game changer in the parks.
DADventure is out there!