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A View From Above

Hello, and wlecome back to my thoughts and musings.Today I want to venture into a gone but not forgotten section of Disneyland (and Disney World, as we shall see), by entering into ExtinctAttractionsLand.

skyway_matterhorn

The Disneyland Skyway began operation on June 23, 1956, nearly a year after the park first opened.  Guests of the park could embark on a one way trip from Fantasyland into Tomorrowland, or take a one way journey from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland.

The quarter-mile journey was considered a D-Ticket attraction when it opened.  The gondolas were suspended from cables running between the Fantasyland and Tomorrowland stations and gave guests a few of the park from between 40 and 60  feet in the air, on average.  At the time of operation, this was one of the few attractions giving guests a view of outside of the park and raised berm surrounding Disneyland.

matterhorn

In 1959 The Matterhorn opened in Tomorrowland, in the middle of the Skyway path.  Instead of shuttering the ride at this time, Disneyland instead created two caverns through the mountain for the gondolas to travel through.  By doing so, guests were able to see the bobsleds race through the mountain on their tracks, and also get a view of the abominable snowman “living” in the attraction.

snowman

Disneyland closed the attraction on November 8, 1994, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse being the last to enter the gondolas.  There are many rumors as to why the attraction was shut down, from the cables distracting from the “newly” remodeled Fantasyland (which was completed 1983), to urban legends of guests falling to their death (false).  Safety was a concern, especially when high winds hit the park.  Disney stated the reason of the closure was due to the costs of refurbishing the attraction to retrofit it for earthquake safety.  While this is plausible, it does not explain why the Skyway at Walt Disney World, which had been running since the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, would be shut down on November 9, 1999.

Popular speculation points to the difficulty of monitoring guests while on the attraction.  From the opening of the attraction, some not-so-Disney guests would tend to litter the park from above, aiming for guests down below.  Regardless of the reasoning, the Skyway is a greatly missed attraction in the park.  Yet it is unlikely to have “Submarine Voyage” type return, as the Tomorrowland station has been torn down, and the Matterhorn caverns have been boarded up .  However, the cable pylons and the Fantasyland station do remain in the park.

hiddenfantastylandstation

I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments.  You may contact me directly on Twitter @Quest4VaultDisn, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/questforvaultdisney. Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…

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4 Comments

  1. […] time to leave Tomorrowland via the Skyway to Fantasyland.  We’ll have a quick lunch  at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant […]

  2. RinkyPink says:

    Another more plausible reason the Skyway was discontinued, is that it didn’t meet the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This would also explain why the one in WDW was taken down. It has also been said that the People Mover met the same fate because of the ADA. °o°

  3. […] required little space at all. Carrying park guests between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, the Skyway opened on June 23, 1956. The Tomorrowland entrance to the quarter-mile attraction stood near the […]

  4. […] required little space at all. Carrying park guests between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, the Skyway opened on June 23, 1956. The Tomorrowland entrance to the quarter-mile attraction stood near the […]

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