Skyliner gondola - riding just for fun, how to do it?

I think my kids will really enjoy the gondola ride. They love the monorail! We are staying off property, and will spend four days hitting the four parks and plan to go home for nap.

How would you suggest we fit in a skyliner ride? We have Sunday and Friday until afternoon without park plans, I would prefer not to do it on a park day because we’ll be so busy.


Maybe go to one of the resorts on the skyliner route for breakfast, lunch, or a snack and ride before or after?


Park for free at Disney Springs and take the bus to one of the gondola resorts. I would chose AOA or Pop. Both resorts have fabulous theming, should you want to explore. You could get off the gondola at Epcot and walk the Boardwalk. You could have lunch at the Boardwalk Bakery followed by dessert at Ample Creamery.


This is what I did a couple of weeks ago when I was there. I drove to Art of Animation Resort (AoA). You have to walk through the lobby, pool area, and play area to get to the Hourglass Lake bridge where the Skyliner station is. It was fun for my kids to see the Finding Nemo characters and to play at the play area. After that, we walked to the Skyliner and rode it to the hub at Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR). Once there, we rode the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios then got on the Skyliner back to CBR. We hopped on the Skyliner to head back to AoA. We let the kids run around at each stop. They enjoyed the Skyliner, and all the fun at each stop as well as going through AoA.


That’s too much work and time wasted waiting on the busses if you’re going to park at Disney Springs. You can park for free at AoA or Pop as long as you’re not staying there overnight.


Good to know they have changed. I read here awhile back that they weren’t letting people park in the morning if they weren’t staying at these resorts. It was to stop people from parking for free and taking the gondola to the parks.

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I’m trying to recall if there is much to see at the entrance to Hollywood Studios, especially if they’re visiting that park another time?

The same plan but going to the Epcot station instead of HS would allow them to walk along the boardwalk, which might be a more interesting destination? And then they could walk along to Boardwalk Inn for a snack at either the bakery or ice cream?

I’ve heard the ice cream is better at Boardwalk, but there is also an ice cream place at Beach Club. It has a service window you can just walk up to, but the real draw is to get a reservation for the TS area and order the Kitchen Sink. My husband is an ice cream fiend, so that was a bucket list item for us. Just throwing that out there is case it’s applicable.

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I read something on these forums a little while back about such an event that we are not supposed to speak of. A diligent reader of the forums will be able to find it. I’ve already said too much.


If you are at HS or EPCOT, set aside some time to exit the park and hop on the Skyliner for a bit and then take it back.

That is what we did as well (we were there opening weekend.) We took the Skyliner from HS to Carribean, and back. :slight_smile:

@heidelj I don’t even know what to search for… and I have read a lot of the forum! can you give me another hint? Not sure what this refers to.

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The first rule of Character Palooza is that we don’t talk about Character Palooza, nor suggest that you search for Character Palooza.


Are there ever Villain meet and greets at CP? My son is obsessed with disney villains right now and unfortunately he isn’t old enough (and I will have his younger brother with us) to stay up for the villains after dark (plus there aren’t greets there). Any secret ways to meet villains?

Does the Evil Queen, Snow White’s stepmother, count as a villain? If so, Story Book Dining.

Thanks, this sounds perfect for us. We went to Chef Mickey last year and you definitely needed an ADR to park at Contemporary… you didn’t have any reservation at AoA right?

CP is a spontaneous showcase of some characters that you would see in that evening’s Fantasmic show (the ones who are all dancing on the boat). The Evil Queen can be one of the characters, but I haven’t heard of any other villains being there
Tyler Durden’s coming… I’ve already said too much.



I had dinner at the back of Epcot scheduled one evening. I parked at Hollywood Studios and rode the Gondolas to the back of Epcot. On the way home you can reverse the process. It was not only fun but my back was grateful to not have the long Epcot walk.


Now I want to watch that movie again. :smirk:

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FWIW, I recall seeing signs at AoA and Pop saying guest parking only. I imagine if you could park at one of those resorts for free there might be some people doing that and using the Skyliner to get to HS or Epcot

I think you’re best bet is to take a mid-day trip to AoA from HS. It’s a quick trip and during the middle of day when the lines are long you’re not missing much.

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@etrull77 said they parked at AoA no problem. Did you have to check in at security gate at all? What did you say?