A new Gondola transportation system has been confirmed to be in development at Walt Disney World. The system will connect Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot (via the International Gateway), Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, and the lakeside area between Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
The system will have six stations with three separate lines and each vehicle will hold 10 guests.
Permits filed with the South Florida Water Management district point to new construction near the entrance to Hollywood Studios that may be used for a new elevated transportation system.
The photo above (click to enlarge) shows several areas dotted in yellow, these are new work areas for the Water permit. WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has modified this image to highlight certain features. The areas circled in blue will likely be for construction staging.
The item circled in red is at the edge of the Boardwalk Resort parking area while the item circled in green is near the entrance to Hollywood Studios. Other new buildings being put up near the Caribbean Beach resort provide a general layout of the system.
Additional permits point to a possible pathway that would connect Hollywood Studios, Epcot (via the International Gateway), Caribbean Beach, and Pop Century / Art of Animation. The construction of appropriately shaped buildings has been confirmed, and reports have been that a Gondola system would connect the buildings as a new form of transportation to this area of the resort.
It appears the goal is to have this system in place prior to the opening of Star Wars Land. The gondolas themselves are expected to be open air and manufactured by Austrian company Doppelmayr.
April 18, 2017: Sandra Pedicini of the Orlando Sentinel posted an e-mail exchange with Reedy Creek on Twitter confirming the Gondola project. A follow up article on the Orlando Sentinel website mentions the following details:
- 6 stations with three lines that link Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, and the lakeside area between Disney's Pop Century and Disney's Art of Animation Resorts
- Each gondola will hold 10 guests
April 2, 2017: TheDisneyBlog.com is reporting that Disney is likely working with the Doppelmayr group out of Austria for the gondola system. The speculation is that Disney will use Doppelmayr's 3S model. A video of Doppelmayr's gondolas can be found here.
March 10, 2017: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that the Gondola system is very likely to be an open air system without air conditioning.
March 6, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 reported that Disney has filed a permit for a new structure on hourglass lake at the Art of Animation resort. The angle of the building makes it appear like this is a station that will connect to the southern most station at the Caribbean Beach Resort.
February 18, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the Gondola system should come on line a few months before Star Wars Land
February 15, 2017: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that while the speculated details aren't exactly correct, there is a gondola system in the works.
February 15, 2017: The Orlando Sentinel has picked up the story about the Gondola system as a possibility for Walt Disney World. Writer Sandra Pedicini reached out to Disney who would not confirm the report.
February 15, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that a Gondola system is being planned.
February 13, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has posted photos from modified permits that Disney filed with the South Florida Water Management district. The photos show changes to construction staging areas as well as modifications to bodies of water and constructions of new buildings. One particular building location is along the water next to the entrance to Hollywood Studios.
It is unknown what this building will be, whether or not it will be a fully enclosed structure or be something that will change the guest experience in any way. Speculation is that it could be related to the construction at the Caribbean Beach Resort and would potentially be a transportation station.