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  • Gondolas shut down due to collision at one of the stations

    There is not much information available right now, but the Skyliner system at WDW is shut down right now due to an accident at one of the stations. It does not look like there were any injuries, but people are still stranded and waiting to be evacuated.

    https://www.micechat.com/238850-skyl...-disney-world/

  • #2
    News of the Collision surprised me.
    News of being stranded on the gondolas...did not.

    Comment


    • #3
      What's especially problematic about this accident is that Disney tried to deny that it had happened.

      From the MiceChat update:


      "Disney initially denied that there was an accident at all, calling it unscheduled downtime. However, Reedy Creek Firefighters complained about the incident:
      #disneyskyliner Reedy Creek Firefighters publicly complained about lack of responders & rescue equipment training as Skyliner was built-especially over-water accidents. https://t.co/WKCU0DZW9c

      — RA (@rosieogrady53) October 6, 2019"


      Disney saving money via insufficient training. Disney spinning the truth to make itself look good.

      Now where have we heard that before?

      Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 10-06-2019, 08:49 AM.
      "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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
        What's especially problematic about this accident is that Disney tried to deny that it had happened.

        From the MiceChat update:


        "Disney initially denied that there was an accident at all, calling it unscheduled downtime. However, Reedy Creek Firefighters complained about the incident:
        #disneyskyliner Reedy Creek Firefighters publicly complained about lack of responders & rescue equipment training as Skyliner was built-especially over-water accidents. https://t.co/WKCU0DZW9c

        — RA (@rosieogrady53) October 6, 2019"


        Disney saving money via insufficient training. Disney spinning the truth to make itself look good.

        Now where have we heard that before?
        I never understand companies who try to lie about an incident, especially in this day and age of social media. All the PR rep had to do was search 'skyliner' on Twitter to see the coverage this was getting before drafting the statement. I expect a PR rep to spin - that's literally their jobs - but they should never lie.

        Also interesting to see Doppelmayr getting involved in the response. Curious to see who is at fault.

        Comment


        • #5
          I am glad that early indications are there were no serious/ life threatening injuries! I was looking forward to taking my family on a ride later this Autumn.

          Looking at the still images, it seems that maybe the front Skyliner car/blue car did not engage it's overhead grip/ hook with the cable correctly, to be firmly attached to take off. From Wikipedia:
          In some systems the passenger cabins, which can hold between two and fifteen people,[3] are connected to the cable by means of spring–loaded grips. These grips allow the cabin to be detached from the moving cable and slowed down in the terminals, to allow passengers to board and disembark. Doors are almost always automatic and controlled by a lever on the roof or on the undercarriage that is pushed up or down. Cabins are driven through the terminals either by rotating tires, or by a chain system. To be accelerated to and decelerated from line speed, cabins are driven along by progressively swifter (or slower) rotating tires until they reach line or terminal speed. On older installations, gondolas are accelerated manually by an operator.

          Let's face it: the Skyliner gondola system was probably sold to Disney execs as a cheaper SUBSTITUTE for Monorail access. You have the added bonus that the individual cabins can be easily removed an re-inserted back on line. Towers and cable lines, while expensive, have GOT to be cheaper than running Monorail track over the same distance. I'm willing to bet that ALL of the gondolas were less expensive than a couple of new Monorail trains. The system can easily be expanded by running new cable lines to different resort areas. It's essentially completely automated; no driver or pilot is required. And, with a system that is "just-as-good as" a Monorail, and with the right PR spin, you can can now increase the $$$ room rates at connected resorts.

          Problem: although historically rare, Gondola accidents/mishaps do occur. The biggest issue would be evacuation of suspended Gondola cars.

          So, let's see if we can predict what will happen:
          1) Some Disney executive VP of something-or-other will be fired, to show that WDW management is "doing something" about the incident.
          2) Disney will quickly SUE the Gondola company (Doppelmayr) for faulty equipment and/or inadequate Disney personnel training.
          3) A class action suit will QUICKLY develop, which Disney will fight tooth-and-nail.
          4) Disney will soft-sell the incident as much as possible, immediately touting their overall safety history. WDW management PR will essential say nothing except that: "Disney strives to provide a comfortable, inclusive, and safe experience for all of our guests, and we regret any guest inconvenience."

          Let me say that with the WONDERFUL and AMAZING work routinely done by Fire and Rescue teams, I would think that a "cherry picker" is not a completely safe way to evacuate people from a swinging gondola, but it's the only method available. It has its own risks as well, and let alone you are dealing with frightened and or panicked park guests (some in wheelchairs /ECVs, remember? children / babies / people with physical and mental challenges).




          Last edited by chris2fett; 10-06-2019, 02:15 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
            Disney saving money via insufficient training. Disney spinning the truth to make itself look good.

            Now where have we heard that before?
            Once again ......Disney " just cannot handle the truth..."
            I find it said ......

            Soaring like an EAGLE !

            Comment


            • #7
              https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/06/us/di...rnd/index.html

              I'm surprised that Disney wasn't wise & ambitious enough to do this better. There are hundreds of similar rides like this in the U.S. & Europe on ski hills. There are experts on these systems, and it's evident that the best & brightest gondola people are not working on the system at Walt Disney World.
              Is Disney cheaping out on things like this and the bigger, late-to-open Star Wars attraction? Doesn't Disney have an Admiral Joe Fowler to watch over people they contract work to?

              Until Disney REALLY gets its act together on this attraction, these gondolas should never operate in the day when the temperature outdoors will rise above 80 degrees (or 75 degrees?) in the next five hours. Our cars all have AC--why not these fairly large gondola vehicles in Florida? Are the Bobs' bloated salaries the first consideration in everything?

              In the CNN version (that I linked above), guests were stuck for three hours! If so, Disney should have had ambassadors in plaid waiting for them when escaped this attraction with Mini-vans, ready to take them to the best places to eat and to the parks of their choice. At the Four Seasons hotels (which regularly earn 5 stars--which Disney has never accomplished at an American hotel), they view screw ups as opportunities to more than make up for the faults, and as chances to make there guests MORE loyal.

              I'm disappointed in Disney for this, I hope these gondolas that have the potential to be wonderful don't join Rocket Rods and SuperStar Limo on the list of Disney's worst flops.

              --former Disneyland cast member
              Last edited by jcruise86; 10-06-2019, 08:27 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/06/us/di...rnd/index.html

                I'm surprised that Disney wasn't wise & ambitious enough to do this better. There are hundreds of similar rides like this in the U.S. & Europe on ski hills. There are experts on these systems, and it's evident that the best & brightest gondola people are not working on the system at Walt Disney World.
                Is Disney cheaping out on things like this and the bigger, late-to-open Star Wars attraction? Doesn't Disney have an Admiral Joe Fowler to watch over people they contract work to?

                Until Disney REALLY gets its act together on this attraction, these gondolas should never operate in the day when the temperature outdoors will rise above 80 degrees (or 75 degrees?) in the next five hours. Our cars all have AC--why not these fairly large gondola vehicles in Florida? Are the Bobs' bloated salaries the first consideration in everything?

                In the CNN version (that I linked above), guests were stuck for three hours! If so, Disney should have had ambassadors in plaid waiting for them when escaped this attraction with Mini-vans, ready to take them to the best places to eat and to the parks of their choice. At the Four Seasons hotels (which regularly earn 5 stars--which Disney has never accomplished at an American hotel), they view screw ups as opportunities to more than make up for the faults, and as chances to make there guests MORE loyal.

                I'm disappointed in Disney for this, I hope these gondolas that have the potential to be wonderful don't join Rocket Rods and SuperStar Limo on the list of Disney's worst flops.

                --former Disneyland cast member
                To address the A/C question, it's a technically challenging problem. This is a single cable lift so there is no way to get power directly to the car, so that leaves a some sort of battery. There are only a couple systems like this that have A/C and the use an ultra capacitor which is a battery that charges rapidly but also discharges quickly. The system in London uses this and I have seen reports that it doesn't work well. Having A/C in the cars would require some tradeoffs, obviously it would be more expensive, but it would also add weight to the cars thus reducing capacity. Even if the system did have A/C it's unlikely to be of any help in an outage like this since the battery power would not last that long once the system stopped.

                Comment


                • #9
                  From NBC/Universal:

                  ". . . Aaron Murray, one of the park-goers who was stuck in a gondola with his girlfriend and six other people, said on Sunday that the long wait and lack of communication was the most frustrating part of the incident. 'They didn't really say the reason that was causing the delay. The message that just kept coming over again and again is that they were sorry for the delay,' Murray said. 'We were getting better information off of Twitter.'

                  "The gondola behind them was assisted first possibly because there was a person that needed help, he said. Murray said he saw a woman being placed on a stretcher..."


                  https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/nati...562354051.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One of the first thing I thought of when I saw this yesterday was with 2-3 hours of delay a lot of people are going to need to at the least empty their bladders and then I read there are emergency kits in the cabins that have "packaged water" and "human waste disposal containers". Somebody somewhere I am sure has some really interesting stories to tell. "OK every one look to the south _______ has to pee."

                    There is has to be some sort of power going to these gondolas as there is need to power the speakers, the doors and the unlocking mechanism for the emergency kit. I often wonder if they do not simply run the power through the cable like a street car? I know on some ski resort gondolas they have heaters and running any heating system takes a lot of power so AC is a possibility ( looking at you MonoRail )

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Starcade View Post
                      One of the first thing I thought of when I saw this yesterday was with 2-3 hours of delay a lot of people are going to need to at the least empty their bladders and then I read there are emergency kits in the cabins that have "packaged water" and "human waste disposal containers". Somebody somewhere I am sure has some really interesting stories to tell. "OK every one look to the south _______ has to pee."

                      There is has to be some sort of power going to these gondolas as there is need to power the speakers, the doors and the unlocking mechanism for the emergency kit. I often wonder if they do not simply run the power through the cable like a street car? I know on some ski resort gondolas they have heaters and running any heating system takes a lot of power so AC is a possibility ( looking at you MonoRail )
                      The cars have a battery that is recharged as it passes through the station. There is only single cable, so you cannot pass power to the cars that way. I know some of the heating systems work by heating up the seats while in the station and they hold the heat long enough to get you to the top of the mountain.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A simple quick fix would be putting PA speakers along the route(one on every suspension tower), which would allow CMs to notify the guests a "delay"() had occurred, and evacuations will occur in x time.

                        Why they used the term "delay" instead of "technical difficulties", is more mind boggling. Obviously they cannot say "accident" without causing a panic. But "delay" implies that the system is still running, but slowly. Not stopped in its tracks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                          A simple quick fix would be putting PA speakers along the route(one on every suspension tower), which would allow CMs to notify the guests a "delay"() had occurred, and evacuations will occur in x time.

                          Why they used the term "delay" instead of "technical difficulties", is more mind boggling. Obviously they cannot say "accident" without causing a panic. But "delay" implies that the system is still running, but slowly. Not stopped in its tracks.

                          The cars have a speaker in them that allows them to communicate. It also provides narration when it hits certain points. They charge up when they pass through the stations, but I'm sure they can hold multiple hours of battery life.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by danlb_2000 View Post

                            To address the A/C question, it's a technically challenging problem. This is a single cable lift so there is no way to get power directly to the car, so that leaves a some sort of battery. There are only a couple systems like this that have A/C and the use an ultra capacitor which is a battery that charges rapidly but also discharges quickly. The system in London uses this and I have seen reports that it doesn't work well. Having A/C in the cars would require some tradeoffs, obviously it would be more expensive, but it would also add weight to the cars thus reducing capacity. Even if the system did have A/C it's unlikely to be of any help in an outage like this since the battery power would not last that long once the system stopped.
                            It would also not be very effective as the ride times are so short, and in a failure like this it would be worse than having the ventilation they put in... these are highly reflective windows and tinted, therefore they should be slightly cooler than the outside as long as the windows are open, even if they're not moving.

                            IF the AC unit fails, the unit would have to be much more closed up, and in a failure they'd get hot, really, really quick.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is Disney still charging more for rooms closest to the gondolas?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would think that a "cherry picker" is not a completely safe way to evacuate people from a swinging gondola, but it's the only method available. [/QUOTE]




                                If the 'cherry picker' is what we in the construction trades call a 'zoom boom', then it is a very safe way to rescue trapped people.

                                A zoom boom is basically a 4 wheel self-propelled crane but instead of a hook on the end it has a basket designed for one or more people to stand in. Most of them are rated at 500 lbs in the basket, some can hold quite a bit more.

                                I've spent hundreds of hours in these machines, sometimes at over 100' high.

                                They can be operated either from the basket or from the ground.

                                I've never rescued anyone but I have operated then from the ground to transport workers to high places. Both up and down. As to the swinging gondola, you simply run the basket against the side of it, put a bit of pressure on it and it'll stay still.

                                If there's no room to maneuver it to where it can rescue people, then the basic design of the ground layout needs to be changed. Depending on how high it needs to go and how far it needs to reach out, the smaller ones can be driven into pretty tight spots.

                                One drawback....it'd be a real bear to get a disabled person from the gondola to the basket.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by micromind View Post
                                  If the 'cherry picker' is what we in the construction trades call a 'zoom boom', then it is a very safe way to rescue trapped people.

                                  A zoom boom is basically a 4 wheel self-propelled crane but instead of a hook on the end it has a basket designed for one or more people to stand in. Most of them are rated at 500 lbs in the basket, some can hold quite a bit more.

                                  I've spent hundreds of hours in these machines, sometimes at over 100' high.

                                  They can be operated either from the basket or from the ground.

                                  I've never rescued anyone but I have operated then from the ground to transport workers to high places. Both up and down. As to the swinging gondola, you simply run the basket against the side of it, put a bit of pressure on it and it'll stay still.

                                  If there's no room to maneuver it to where it can rescue people, then the basic design of the ground layout needs to be changed. Depending on how high it needs to go and how far it needs to reach out, the smaller ones can be driven into pretty tight spots.

                                  One drawback....it'd be a real bear to get a disabled person from the gondola to the basket.
                                  Not to mention if they had to do a rescue in bad weather.

                                  Sounds like what they need is a custom-built "zoom boom on steroids" that can safely lower the entire gondola, with maximum-weight occupants aboard, to the ground. They'll need one to function on solid ground, and another for the section of ride that passes over water.

                                  Building and maintaining such a rescue system and an on-call crew to operate it would be insanely expensive, but a drop in the bucket (no pun intended) compared to what Disney will pay if someone gets injured or dies the next time this happens.

                                  And there will be a next time.
                                  "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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                                    And there will be a next time.
                                    You know there will be. So disappointing. There has just been nothing but bad news out of the parks lately.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Reading about this, makes me a little squeamish about riding. Of course, that might be never, or way far into the future.
                                      BarbaraAnn

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        People get stuck on roller coasters, rides, monorails... things happen. It's just unfortunate this incident happened so soon. It's starting off with a bad reputation.

                                        Comment

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