Friday Flashback – The Skyway

The Skyway - a bygone attraction from a bygone age at Disney...

The Skyway – a bygone attraction from a bygone age at Disney…

You know, to be honest with you all — and with myself, I might add — the early visits to Walt Disney World when I was a kid all those years ago are somewhat a fuzzy memory to me.  For example, in my first trip, when I was 11 years old, I remember the feelings I experienced more than the attractions I rode.  However, there is something from those early visits that I really do remember quite well, and today, I’m going to talk about it in Friday Flashback.  That attraction is the old Skyway attraction.

For those that are younger than I and don’t know what the Skyway was, I’ll tell you.  The Skyway was a special one-way transportation attraction that would take you from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland — or from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland.  When you rode to either destination, you couldn’t continue back without getting back in line for a second trip.  The Skyway was a suspended gondola type ride, where you were lifted into the air and suspended from a steel cable as your car was taken from one part of the Magic Kingdom to another.  It was a whole level of freedom that you just didn’t get any other way, because you were able to look at the Magic Kingdom from a whole different dimension than you would normally get, and I LOVED the Skyway.

At it’s least, the Skyway was a nice, relaxing way to journey to another part of the park without tiring your feet any more than they already were.  At it’s best, the Skyway was a way of seeing parts of the Magic Kingdom you never see anymore — a way to be above it all and reflect on the beauty of the park, how blessed you are to be able to experience it — and if you are a kid like I was — perhaps a way to tell your parents or grandparents thanks for taking you there!

The Skyway was an original opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom, and had identical rides at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.  The Magic Kingdom version of the Skyway attraction lasted the longest, being open until November 5, 1999 — over 28 years!  Now, for your enjoyment, here’s a YouTube video of the attraction for you to enjoy!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – A Plethora of Disney History!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!  This weekly series is brought to you by Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from Heidi’s Head, Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, and yours truly!  With today being Tax Day in the United States, we are sharing a lot of Disney Trivia — some of which may include Tax Day…we’ll see!  As always, this day in Disney History information comes from the informative site “This Day in Disney History” so if you want more information, go check them out!

There was a lot of information on April 15th, so I decided to share many things with you.  For starters, in 1983…

Tokyo Disneyland opens!

Tokyo Disneyland 30th Anniversary - Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

1983:

Tokyo Disneyland opens in Japan. It is Disney’s fourth theme park but the first outside the United States. A light rain moves the opening ceremony under the cover of World Bazaar (the park’s equivalent to Main Street USA). Among the attractions featured is Space Mountain – a virtual duplicate of the Anaheim, California version. Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company of Japan, it is the first Space Mountain to open with its park. Located in Urayasu (just outside Tokyo) the park is operated by the Oriental Land Company under licence from Disney and consists of:

ADVENTURELAND:

Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, Western River Railroad, Royal Street Veranda restaurant, Polynesian Terrace Restaurant, Blue Bayou Restaurant, and Cafe Orleans restaurant

FANTASYLAND:

Snow White’s Adventures, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Haunted Mansion, Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo Flying Elephants, It’s a Small World, Mickey Mouse Revue, Skyway to Tomorrowland, Tinker Bell Toy Shop, Disneyana Shop, Troubadour Tavern, Captain Hook’s Galley, and Four Corners Food Faire

TOMORROWLAND:

Starcade video arcade, Star Jets, Skyway to Fantasyland, Grand Circuit Raceway, Meet the World, Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant, Space Place FoodPort, and Space Mountain

WESTERNLAND:

Country Bear Jamboree, Diamond Horseshoe Revue, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes, Plaza Pavilion restaurant, Hungry Bear Restaurant, Tom Sawyer Island, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, Westernland Shootin’ Gallery, Mile Long Bar restaurant, Mark Twain Riverboat, Lucky Nugget Cafe, and Pecos Bill Cafe

WORLD BAZAAR:

Camera Center shop, New Century Clock Shop, Emporium store, Storybook Store, Omnibus vehicle, Fire Truck vehicle, Horseless Carriages, and Main Street Cinema

Back at Walt Disney World…

1964:

Lawyer Robert Foster leaves New York bound for Florida. Representing Disney, he is to begin land purchases in the Orlando area for a new theme park. He uses the name Robert Price to keep his identity secret.

IMG_5680 1971:

On this day, the last of 337 concrete beams completes the 6-mile long monorail transportation system for Walt Disney World (which will open in October). The first Martin Marietta Mark IV monorail is also lowered onto the beam. (Since 1969, 10 monorails have been built by Martin Marietta for WDW with a design developed by Imagineer Bob Gurr.)

Happy Birthday Tokyo Disneyland!  I hope you enjoy many more years of success, and I can’t wait for the day when I might be able to make it out for a visit!

Thank you all for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed our look at history today, now go check out the rest of the entries for this week!  Thanks!



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.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ The Disney Chick
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
3rd Stop ~ Ramblings, Reviews & Reflections
4th Stop ~
Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World
Final Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a $50 Disney Gift Card!

myfreecopyright.com registered & protected

Relaxing on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority!

Oh, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!  This is one of my favorite attractions in all of the Magic Kingdom.  For me, it’s a simple and relaxing way to enjoy the sites of Tomorrowland, and it is especially cool to ride when it is night out.

When it comes to the TTA, as I like to call it, the futuristic mode of transportation only has one flaw — it doesn’t do anything but go in a long loop.  It would be really cool if they would expand the TTA as a way of traveling from one land to another land.  One thing that I really miss and wish they would bring it back — even if it was only for a short period — is the old Skyway.  That was such a cool way of both moving from one land to another and also seeing a side of the Magic Kingdom that you don’t see often.  Expanding the TTA to other lands as a means of travel would be a neat way to bring back some of the aspects of the Skyway, but in a different way.

For now, though, the TTA is exactly the way it always has been, and that isn’t likely to change much.  So, take some time next trip and ride the TTA, and enjoy the relaxing nature of this classic attraction.  “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow.”

For a quick Disney fix, enjoy this YouTube video of the TTA that was recorded at night — and while Space Mountain was being refurbished a few years ago!  Enjoy!