Reflections on Walt Disney World’s Skyway Attraction at the Magic Kingdom

Editor’s Note: This originally published on October 11, 2011, as a spot on the Magical Blogorail Black loop.  Please enjoy this article as we take you back to the days of the Skyway attraction at the Magic Kingdom!

Welcome to those of you joining me from The Disney Chick and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

All my pictures of the Skyway sum up to this one – closed. :(

Today I am sitting in on a special Magical Blogorail Black edition, so thank you to all of my Magical Blogorail Black team members for welcoming me on board!  In this edition of the Magical Blogorail, we are bringing you our thoughts on the one ride that we would like to see Disney bring back.  For me, it’s a no brainer — I miss the Skyway!

For those that aren’t as old as I am, they may not know what the Skyway is.  It was a ride at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park that made two stops, one in Fantasyland, and one in Tomorrowland.  Basically, the Skyway was a transportation gondola that would take you from one part of the Magic Kingdom to the other.  It was strictly one way transportation, if you wanted to go to Tomorrowland you got on the Skyway at Fantasyland, and if you wanted to go to Fantasyland you got on at Tomorrowland.  There was nothing preventing you from getting back in line to make the trek back, but most people didn’t do that.

The reason that the Skyway no longer exists is somewhat murky; depending on who you ask you may get an entirely different answer.  The Skyway closed at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on November 9, 1999 — although I swear it seems like it closed much earlier than that!  There was a tragic, fatal accident involving a Cast Member and the Skyway, and it is likely that this was the reason that it was closed, but I don’t think that Disney ever announced officially why it was closed.

Although the Skyway is no more, the power of the Internet is such that we are able to relive the feeling of the Skyway by looking at YouTube videos.  The nostalgia part of me misses all of the classic attractions, and longs for those simpler days when you could ride them, but the technology side of me understands why they were removed.  I’ve embedded a YouTube video of the ride that I thought was well done.  Look at it and tell me what’s different about Cinderella Castle!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApHpap5cb38

So tell me, what do you miss from Walt Disney World?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Ramblings, Reviews & Reflections.

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1st Stop ~ The Disney Chick
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
3rd Stop ~ Ramblings, Reviews & Reflections
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Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World
Final Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad

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Disney Magic explodes at Cinderella’s Royal Table

On June 13th, our large party of nine was in for quite the Disney Magic Day (DMD) — if I say so for myself!

On that day, our three Princesses, Sophie, Madelyne-Lois, and River, were scheduled to get their hair, makeup, and nails done at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Cinderella Castle!

I don’t know who was more excited — the three Princesses, or the Queen Mums that were doting on them while their daughters were being dolled up!  While the girls did that, Neal, Izaiah and myself went for a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad!  Izaiah, when he first arrived at Disney, thought everything was a train, including the buses and the monorail!  However, by Wednesday, Izaiah was a sophisticated youngster — who knew that the only real train was the WDW Railroad! :)

After a complete loop around the Magic Kingdom, we received word that the girls were done, so we headed off to see all the Pixie Dust that was sprinkled on our girls!  Check out the final results!

River’s Transformation!

Maddy’s Transformation!

Sophie’s Transformation!

Not only were the girls having a grand time at the BBB, but we also were having dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table that night!  I was a little bummed because our dinner wasn’t until 8:40PM that night, which is rather late for dinner.  But with three children who had never been to Walt Disney World before, it was a given that we were going to eat at the Castle if we could, so I took the reservation gladly!

Since there were so many of us, we received three different photo packages, and the picture at the top is one of those photos.  Dinner was absolutely incredible!  Cindy had the stuffed chicken breast with leeks, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.  I had a seafood pasta dish that was absolutely incredible, and finished it off with an almond cheesecake that was the creamiest cheesecake I ever ate!  Cindy had the Chef’s Dessert Trio.  So, being greeted by Cinderella was incredible.  The food was incredible.  Having Belle, Snow White, Ariel, and Princess Aurora come to our table was really great.  But the Pièce de résistance was what happened after we were finishing our dinner.  First, though, a little background information.

Earlier in the day, Kerry, River’s mom, had told me that they wanted to know if there was a place where they could still see the fireworks, but be inside to avoid most of the noise of the fireworks.  I told her at the time that I didn’t think there was such a place.  It was then that Walt looked down on our party and said “Watch this, I’m going to make that happen!”

As we were enjoying our desserts, all of a sudden the lights dimmed a little bit, and the announcer came on the intercom system, and announced that Wishes would be starting in five minutes!  Everyone in the dining hall got really excited, because I don’t think any of us realized that we were going to be in the Castle when Wishes went off!

It was incredible — the show music was played in the dining hall, and all of us looked out the windows from our tables to be able to watch the fireworks go off.  It was Disney Magic in it’s finest hour for me, and I will never, ever forget that special day!


I didn’t take many pictures during the show, I was so caught up in the moment, but the memory is one that I’ll never forget!

What is your favorite example of Disney Magic? Why don’t you share it in the comments, or on the Facebook page, or even by submitting a photo for this week’s Disney In Pictures segment?

Magic Kingdom — Liberty Square

The Liberty Bell replica, located in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom

The Liberty Bell replica, located in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom

Liberty Square is located in the Magic Kingdom, just west of the wheel hub, and just down from Peter Pan’s Flight and “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland.  Liberty Square is one of my favorite lands, not so much because of all of the attractions, but rather because of all of the history that the Disney Imagineers have imparted into the land.

While Liberty Square isn’t home to a whole lot of attractions, it is home to some of the best attractions in the Magic Kingdom.  Here they are in alphabetical order:

As a land, though, Liberty Square is so much more than a pass through to Frontierland or Adventureland.  The Haunted Mansion is so much fun that we ride it multiple times each time we visit.  The Hall of Presidents is a history lesson — but with the fun of all of the Presidential Audio-Animatronics® thrown in for good measure.  The Liberty Square Riverboat is a relaxing ride on the Rivers of America when all you want is a break from all of the walking you have done that day.

In addition to the attractions, you also have some prime restaurants.  Liberty Tree Tavern has a great menu, the only thing I don’t like about it is that they took it off of the “Character Dining” menu.  Columbia Harbour House is a seldom thought of quick service restaurant that often has very little wait, yet serves good food.  And don’t forget about “Ye Old Christmas Shoppe”, one of the best Christmas stores you will ever find!

As is often the case with my writing, pictures say so much more than I can.  Please enjoy some of these pictures!  The next time you visit the Magic Kingdom, take time to look at all of the little details that make Liberty Square a living, breathing history lesson in the middle of Disney Magic!

“Liberty Belle”

 

 

 

 

 

These three pictures are so cool to me, with the lights and fireworks reflected in the Rivers of America!

The Liberty Square is more than The Haunted Mansion®, more than The Hall of Presidents, more than the Liberty Tree Tavern.  Liberty Square is a reminder for all Americans of the blood, sweat, and tears that have been shed to make our country great.

Disney Dining Review: Pinocchio Village Haus

The Pinocchio Village Haus is one of my favorite counter service restaurants. No reservations required, good food, a nice atmosphere, a view of one of our favorite rides in “it’s a small world” and great memories have made Pinocchio Village Haus a restaurant that we try to enjoy every time we visit.

With it’s proximity in Fantasyland, the Village Haus is often a busy restaurant, especially during the summer months.  As such, you might want to plan your eating times to be a little off from the normal lunch or dinner dining times.  Maybe have your afternoon snack at noon or something, and plan on eating your lunch at a different time.

Pinocchio Village Haus has a good assortment of Italian type dishes, including a meatball sub, individual size pizzas (which I think are quite tasty), salads, but also chicken tenders.  Also, they have Sophie’s favorite meal in the world — PB&J!

I highly recommend this restaurant, both for the food and the great atmosphere that you can experience!

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Thanks for the memories – Saying Goodbye to Mickey’s Toontown Fair

As everyone knows, tomorrow is the date that Mickey’s Toontown Fair will be closed to the public, a casualty to the expansion of Fantasyland (although on the Disney World website it says that it is closed as of February 12th).  Gone will be Mickey’s Country House, and Minnie’s Country House; gone will be the Judging Tent; gone will be Donald’s boat, the S.S. Miss Daisy.

While I am excited for the possibilities of what the Fantasyland expansion will bring, still, it saddens me to know that some of the best memories that Sophie had, especially in the early trips, will be just that — memories.

We are traveling to Disney World in June with my brother-in-law, his wife, their six year-old daughter, and his Mother-in-Law, and unfortunately, Anna Jane will not be able to see those things that brought such joy to Sophie when she was that age.  Has Sophie grown up?  Certainly she has.  Does Mickey’s Toontown Fair still hold a prominent place for her when we visit?  No, Sophie doesn’t need to visit the Fair like she used to.  But that’s not the point for me.  What saddens me is that Anna Jane won’t get the opportunity to experience those same things that Sophie did.  She won’t get to jump up and down because she is so excited to see Donald Duck, like Sophie did in this picture.

Sophie started jumping up and down, and that led Donald Duck to start jumping up and down also!

She won’t get to go to the Judges tent to see her favorite characters.

She won’t get to tour Mickey and Minnie’s houses, and press the play button on the answering machine, or try out the microwave, or hear the pots and pans rattle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know what will happen with Mickey’s Country House, and Minnie’s Country House.  Those structures are so big, I just can’t see Disney just getting rid of them.  I am hopeful that a rumor, anything, will crop up that they are going to move them somewhere else, and until I hear that they are officially gone and will never be seen again, I’ll hold onto that hope.  For now, though, here are my best pictures of the houses.  I hope you enjoy them.

Mickey’s Country House

 

Minnie’s Country House

Whatever the future holds in store for the Magic Kingdom, one thing I know is that Mickey’s Toontown Fair, while gone, will not be forgotten.  Thanks for the incredible memories!