Skyway (Disney)

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Skyway
Matterhorn Skyway straight on.jpg
The Skyway passing through the Matterhorn Bobsleds
Disneyland
Area Fantasyland, Tomorrowland
Status Closed
Soft opening date June 10, 1956
Opening date June 23, 1956
Closing date November 9, 1994
Magic Kingdom
Area Fantasyland, Tomorrowland
Status Closed
Opening date October 1, 1971
Closing date November 10, 1999
Tokyo Disneyland
Area Fantasyland, Tomorrowland
Status Closed
Opening date April 15, 1983
Closing date November 3, 1998
Replaced by Pooh's Hunny Hunt (Fantasyland station)
Stellar Sweets (Tomorrowland station)
General statistics
Attraction type Gondola lift
Manufacturer Von Roll Holding
Designer WED Enterprises
Model Vonroll Type 101 detachable monocable gondola lift
Height 60 ft (18 m)
Length 1,200 ft (370 m)
Speed 4 mph (6.4 km/h)
Vehicle type Gondola
Vehicles 42
Riders per vehicle 4
Duration 3:36
Required Ticket D (Disneyland)
D (Magic Kingdom)

The Skyway was a gondola lift attraction at Disneyland, at the Magic Kingdom, and at Tokyo Disneyland. Since all versions of this attraction took riders back and forth between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, the route from Tomorrowland was called Skyway to Fantasyland, and the route from Fantasyland was called Skyway to Tomorrowland.

History[edit]

The Skyway at Disneyland opened on June 23, 1956.[1] It was built by Von Roll, Ltd. based in Bern, Switzerland. It was the first Von Roll Type 101 aerial ropeway in the United States. Walt Disney Imagineering bought the ride from Switzerland. It was a 1947 Vonroll sidechair model. In 1959, a major renovation added The Submarine Voyage, the Disneyland Monorail, the Matterhorn (now a Fantasyland Attraction), and the Motor Boat Cruise, but when the Matterhorn was planned it was designed to be built right in the path of the Skyway. The Skyway closed in late 1957, it tallest tower of 60 feet tall was demolished and Matterhorn Bobsleds was built in its spot. The attraction later reopened in 1959 with the expanded Tomorrowland Complex.

During the Fantasyland renovation at Disneyland in the early 1980s, the Skyway made only roundtrips from Tomorrowland.

The Skyway closed on November 9, 1994. The reason for closure was attributed to metal fatigue. Stress cracks inside the Matterhorn tower battery supports, and the only way to do Maintenance was to open up the Matterhorn to do work on it. ADA had no bearing on the Skyway's closure as the ride was grandfathered into ANSI code B77.1. If that was the case then the remaining Von Roll VR 101 Ropeways would be closed... The Skyway's operating budget was transferred to Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. The holes in the Matterhorn were partially filled in and the Skyway's cable and supports were dismantled within weeks. While the Tomorrowland Skyway station at Disneyland was removed soon after the attraction's closure, the Fantasyland Skyway station remained intact until mid-2016, when it was removed to make room for Star Wars Land.[2] The sidewalks up to the station were simply chained off from guests, and the chalet remained empty, eventually hidden from view due to overgrown trees.

In 1998, Tokyo Disneyland closed its Skyway. The Fantasyland station was removed to make room for Pooh's Hunny Hunt, while the Tomorrowland station was remodeled into a candy store.

At the Magic Kingdom, the Skyway was removed in 1999. The Tomorrowland station was demolished in the summer of 2009, while the Fantasyland station was used for stroller parking, but was demolished for a Tangled themed restroom area in 2012.[3]

A tribute to the Skyway was added to the Matterhorn Bobsleds after an extensive refurbishment in 2015. Several wrecked Skyway buckets and Matterhorn Bobsled vehicles from the park's history appear just past the top of the lift hill, torn to shreds and abandoned by the attraction's Abominable Snowman.

On May 11, 2016, the City of Anaheim approved a permit to the Walt Disney World Company for the "demolition of 5,132 sq.ft for Skyway Building #7301",[4] signaling the likely demolition of the chalet as land clearing for construction of Star Wars Land has reached the chalet's western side. After 22 years, the abandoned chalet was demolished after park closing on June 14, 2016, nearly 60 years after the attraction's opening day.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1956 Photo: Walt Disney at Opening of Skyway to Fantasyland at Disneyland Park". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  2. ^ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneyland-716111-skyway-ride.html
  3. ^ "Skyway to Fantasyland". Disney Park History. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Permit Number: BLD2016-02303". City of Anaheim. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 

External links[edit]