Tips For Riding Disney’s Skyliner If You Have A Fear Of Heights

I did it! Many of our readers know that I have a fear of heights, so when faced with the dilemma of reviewing the new Disney Skyliner system I wasn't too excited. Well, I am happy to report that I went on the Skyliner and didn't have a complete breakdown. Yes readers, I faced my fears for you and came out way ahead. Here are a few tips from acrophobic for riding this swank new transportation system at Walt Disney World.

Tips For Riding Disney's Skyliner If You Have A Fear Of HeightsTips For Riding Disney's Skyliner If You Have A Fear Of Heights

I started my Skyliner adventure from Disney's Carribean Beach Resort because the large station here acts as a central hub allowing guests to transfer amongst the three separate lines. As I walked across the bridge towards the terminal, I could feel the tension building in my body. These babies come into the station moving fast and I just wasn't sure if I could handle it. None the less my daughter and I continued our journey to what I was sure would bring my death.

Caribbean Beach Skyliner StationCaribbean Beach Skyliner Station
Skyliner Gondolas ApproachingSkyliner Gondolas Approaching

Much to our delight, we happily found a Joffery's kiosk at the terminal serving up a special Skyliner themed coffee. Not that I needed more sugar or caffeine to hype me up, but it's nice for the folks that aren't afraid of heights.

Caribbean Beach Skyliner Station Joffery'sCaribbean Beach Skyliner Station Joffery's
Skyliner Toffee FlightSkyliner Toffee Flight

Once up inside the station we got in line for the Epcot route so that I could experience going through smaller stations, and the non-exit turn on the line. The queue moved very quickly because these things are constantly in motion. It was now or never, so I held my breath and stepped into a gondola.

Yellow Skyliner GondolasYellow Skyliner Gondolas
Inside A Skyliner GondolaInside A Skyliner Gondola

Tips if you have trouble with heights yet still want to give the Skyliner a try:

Face forward. There are two sets on benches in the gondola cabs, one riding forwards and one riding backwards. I tried them both out and found that I felt more secure riding forwards so that once I opened my eyes I could see what was coming.

Take a seat in the middle of the bench. On our first leg of the journey I was sitting next to the door, which made me extra uneasy. Coming back I thought that I would sit on the opposite side, however there is so much glass that made me uneasy too. To feel your most secure, try sitting in the middle of the bench, ideally with family members on each side of you.

Start off with your eyes closed and focus on the feeling of the ride. There's a gentle sway, and it's quite breezy. Focus on other experiences that you weren't afraid of with similar feelings. For me it was both being on a cruise, and that of riding Soarin' at Epcot.

Onboard The SkylinerOnboard The Skyliner

Once you open your eyes (if you choose to) keep them looking straight ahead, not down. The gondolas are more or less glass boxes with plenty of viewing out the side of the cabs for people who want to look down. Once I opened my eyes I stabilized my mental picture by not looking down through the bottom of the cabs and focusing straight ahead.

Regular Stops In Motion. While we were around the Skyliner (about a total of 45 minutes) we did experience two stops that both lasted about one minute each. I believe that these occurred while gondolas were being removed from the central line and placed into position to load handicap guests. Occasional stop of motion is part of the regular operation of this system, hopefully if you expect it, it won't bother you if it happens.

It Comes In Fast. When you are riding the Skyliner you may have to go through other ground level stations. The gondolas come in fast to these before slowing for boarding. While the transition happens quickly, it occurs fairly smoothly and you are close to the ground when it occurs. Also, if you just can't handle the experience be happy because this is your chance to bolt.

Spaceship Earth From The SkylinerSpaceship Earth From The Skyliner

My daughter and I got off at the Epcot International Gateway Station and boarded right back again to return to the Caribbean Beach Resort. By the end on my second Skyliner flight I was much more confident and decided that I could use this as a primary form of transportation if needed. Overall I'm glad that I faced my fear to be able to report on this new transportation system.

While my fear of heights has been fairly severe in the past, I have been working on it over the past year and feel like I have made extensive progress. If conquering your fear isn't on your list of things to do, I highly recommend just skipping this mode of transportation and taking the bus. If you have any questions about riding the Skyliner with a fear of heights please leave me a message in the comments below!

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