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Why did they close the Skyway to Tomorrowland?

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  • Why did they close the Skyway to Tomorrowland?

    I tell my kids that it was probably because of liability, people throwing things out of the gondolas. What is the real reason? And when did they shut down, I can't remember off the top of my head.

  • #2
    It was closed in 1994. Werner Weiss has a great writeup on it on his Yesterland site: https://www.yesterland.com/skywayfant.html

    According to that article, Disney CLAIMED it was low-demand and that they could use the cast members for the new Indiana Jones ride. But yeah, I doubt that was it

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wlc View Post
      It was closed in 1994. Werner Weiss has a great writeup on it on his Yesterland site: https://www.yesterland.com/skywayfant.html

      According to that article, Disney CLAIMED it was low-demand and that they could use the cast members for the new Indiana Jones ride. But yeah, I doubt that was it
      There more to it , than low-demand-IMO more to do with operating costs!
      I know there few time,the gondolas have gotten stuck, and took hours to get the people down.
      Soaring like an EAGLE !

      Comment


      • #4

        Disney has floated many reasons for closing the Skyway, all of them specious: too expensive to staff, too expensive to repair, too expensive to upgrade for handicapped guests, too slow to load, too low an hourly guest capacity, too little guest demand, too many incidents with misbehaving guests.

        The reality is that the Skyway was a victim of the Eisner regime's demand that Disneyland deliver double-digit profits. It was closed on November 9, 1994 -- two days after Paul Pressler became Disneyland's president and began his disastrous reign of cutbacks in rides, restaurants, maintenance and employee training.

        "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
        it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
        together with every variety of recreation and fun,
        designed to appeal to everyone."

        - Walt Disney

        "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
        - Michael Eisner

        "It's very symbiotic."
        - Bob Chapek

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
          Disney has floated many reasons for closing the Skyway, all of them specious: too expensive to staff, too expensive to repair, too expensive to upgrade for handicapped guests, too slow to load, too low an hourly guest capacity, too little guest demand, too many incidents with misbehaving guests.

          The reality is that the Skyway was a victim of the Eisner regime's demand that Disneyland deliver double-digit profits. It was closed on November 9, 1994 -- two days after Paul Pressler became Disneyland's president and began his disastrous reign of cutbacks in rides, restaurants, maintenance and employee training.
          On November 9, 1999, exactly five years after the grounding of Disneyland’s Skyway, the Florida version carried its last guest.
          I sure for the same reason!
          Soaring like an EAGLE !

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Eagleman View Post
            On November 9, 1999, exactly five years after the grounding of Disneyland’s Skyway, the Florida version carried its last guest.
            I sure for the same reason!
            Yep. Pressler was promoted to head of Walt Disney Attractions in 1998. WDA became Disney Parks & Resorts in 2000, with (guess who) Pressler as chairman.

            "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
            it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
            together with every variety of recreation and fun,
            designed to appeal to everyone."

            - Walt Disney

            "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
            - Michael Eisner

            "It's very symbiotic."
            - Bob Chapek

            Comment


            • #7
              I kinda always took the concerns about people throwing things or spitting or even just aesthetics at face value.

              I can't imagine this type of ride being built in any modern park. I mostly just remember it at the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld and maybe a Pier?
              "We all have sparks, imagination! it's how our minds... create creations!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh how I loved flying high over Disneyland - Walt knew people wanted to soar like Peter Pan and Skyway fulfilled the dream.

                Oh those warm starry nights of flying above the Electrical Parade where you could see the whole spectacle twinkling down the way. To fly through the Matterhorn ice caverns and over Tomorrowland, the subway lagoon, Alice in Wonderland and Storybook Land. And when Fantasyland was under reconstruction, we could watch the whole process like a documentarian in a helicopter.

                So kids would spit on you as you waited for Mr. Toad, it was worth it.

                Walt seemed to know he could help guests break away from the real world by providing experiences on land, below land, on the water, below the sea, and above ground, into the sky, and beyond - Disneyland 59 turned the park into a multileveled parfait of transcendent points-of-view.

                Then came executives with their feet planted solidly on the ground.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jspider View Post
                  I kinda always took the concerns about people throwing things or spitting or even just aesthetics at face value.

                  I can't imagine this type of ride being built in any modern park. I mostly just remember it at the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld and maybe a Pier?
                  Those of us 'of a certain age' remember the skyway 'bubbles' at Pacific Ocean Park (POP) in Santa Monica/Venice Beach.

                  "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jspider View Post
                    I kinda always took the concerns about people throwing things or spitting or even just aesthetics at face value.

                    I can't imagine this type of ride being built in any modern park. I mostly just remember it at the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld and maybe a Pier?
                    There's one at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Three, actually.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      According to the Von Roll family, the Tower Battery Supports, within the Matterhorn, had stress cracks that could not be replaced without cutting large holes in the Matterhorn for crane access. The tower battery supports were literally built into the Matterhorn frame.
                      The supports on the outside towers were replaced in the mid 60's, when the square gondolas were installed, but the Matterhorn didn't get upgraded.
                      Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My Mo-In- Law's boyfriend worked the Gondolas in 55'-57' he said often back then they had enlisted men working part time as CM's and there was in particular that was quite the ladies man that worked the gondolas with him. he then went on to explain that guy found a lot of willing guests that were open to taking a stroll around the back of the loading area and having a "romantic interlude" during his shift. I guess even during year one there were some guests joining the Mickey High Club. This was back before the entire park was under surveillance but it goes to show lewd behavior has always been happening at the parks.
                        Disneyland Fan since the 70's

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Stormy View Post

                          Those of us 'of a certain age' remember the skyway 'bubbles' at Pacific Ocean Park (POP) in Santa Monica/Venice Beach.
                          I DONE THAT !......skyway 'bubbles' took you over the Ocean!
                          Pacific Ocean Park (POP)
                          That the place I had my first roller coaster with my Dad......
                          Geeeee that was trust !
                          Last edited by Eagleman; 11-16-2021, 08:07 PM.
                          Soaring like an EAGLE !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jspider View Post
                            I mostly just remember it at the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld

                            Sure glad they still have there Skyways.......they Enjoyable

                            Soaring like an EAGLE !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This ride was wonderful and Merlin explained it the best.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Also, Robbie Von Roll is a frequent contributor to the various Facebook groups about vintage Disneyland, whenever the subject of the Skyway comes up. His family built it. He builds models of it. He could answer just about any question regarding it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                  Disney has floated many reasons for closing the Skyway, all of them specious: too expensive to staff, too expensive to repair, too expensive to upgrade for handicapped guests, too slow to load, too low an hourly guest capacity, too little guest demand, too many incidents with misbehaving guests.

                                  The reality is that the Skyway was a victim of the Eisner regime's demand that Disneyland deliver double-digit profits. It was closed on November 9, 1994 -- two days after Paul Pressler became Disneyland's president and began his disastrous reign of cutbacks in rides, restaurants, maintenance and employee training.
                                  All the arguments seem odd to me after they built the one in Florida.....to me it was all about the gimmick (loved it), and the thing in FL is the gimmick as well. Just seems random. The only difference in that they are fully enclosed in FL. The cost of building that new thing when a tram, monorail, some other kind of truly efficient people mover system seems necessary for all those giant resorts in FL. And they build a Skyway?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    [QUOTE=Jspider;n8649945]I kinda always took the concerns about people throwing things or spitting or even just aesthetics at face value.

                                    I can't imagine this type of ride being built in any modern park. I mostly just remember it at the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld and maybe a Pier?[/

                                    San Diego Zoo still has theirs, don't they? I was there in '16 (to me seems like 2 summers ago), and we rode it. Beautiful views! And much higher, I actually get a little woozy in the head on the one at the Zoo.

                                    Riding through the Matterhorn and having that special view of the Yeti was just amazing. I wish I could have seen the pirate ship from it...we're so lucky to have movies.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MRaymond View Post
                                      According to the Von Roll family, the Tower Battery Supports, within the Matterhorn, had stress cracks that could not be replaced without cutting large holes in the Matterhorn for crane access. The tower battery supports were literally built into the Matterhorn frame.
                                      The supports on the outside towers were replaced in the mid 60's, when the square gondolas were installed, but the Matterhorn didn't get upgraded.
                                      Is there a curse of the Yeti? "No repairs can be made"...like in Expedition Everest. But you know, nobody's perfect. Joe Rohde was a visionary, and I would rather have this little mistake in Everest than for Animal Kingdom to have been axed by bean counters. It's a lovely park for exploring the nooks and crannies. I hope the never close up that hidden little path.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by nostalgic View Post

                                        All the arguments seem odd to me after they built the one in Florida.....to me it was all about the gimmick (loved it), and the thing in FL is the gimmick as well. Just seems random. The only difference in that they are fully enclosed in FL. The cost of building that new thing when a tram, monorail, some other kind of truly efficient people mover system seems necessary for all those giant resorts in FL. And they build a Skyway?
                                        Skyway being as seeing view is OK
                                        IMO- building new enclose Skyway.....as TRANSPORTION at a Resort like Walt Disney World...was being cheap
                                        on Disney Part.......
                                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                        Comment

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