It’s official. Disney’s pocket government in Florida, the Reedy Creek Water District, has filed paperwork confirming plans to build a three lines, six station, Aerial Tramway, also known as a gondola system. The system will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios to EPCOT with additional lines to Caribbean Beach resort and the lake between Pop Century and The Art of Animation resorts.
As we reported in our earlier post on the strong signals that a Gondola system was coming to Walt Disney World, the system is most likely a Doppelmeyer system. It looks like Disney is going with cars that seat up to 10 guests. Depending on various factors, the system could run up to 5,000 guests an hour in each direction.
Unlike the old skyway system, this new one uses three lines going in each direction. That provides for greater stability in high winds, and allows for a car to be returned to station even if there is a power outage. Here’s hoping they’ll be enclosed and air-conditioned too.
Disney likes to assign code names for it’s projects and they picked a funny one for this – The Italian Job. Not after the movie, but after the water gondolas that are used in Venice, Italy and the Italy pavilion at EPCOT.
Despite the documents coming to light, Disney World officials still haven’t officially confirmed the project. Read more about the documents in the Orlando Sentinel.
As the Sentinel points out, there are a number of Gondala projects in various stages of approval right now. That’s because it’s a relatively inexpensive form of mass transportation. It’s mostly point to point, which is perfect for Disney which is just trying to get cars and buses off the road in an efficient matter as it adds more hotel rooms to the already congested property.
Although there was hope that Disney’s monorail system at Disneyland would spur the addition of monorails in cities across the USA. For reasons of cost, that never materialized. But gondolas could be much more affordably built. Who knows, Disney World could become a beacon for urban planners and aerial tramway proponents everywhere.