The Skyway is simultaneously a mild sightseeing ride and a bit of a thrill ride.
The park looks great from this height, but some guests find it scary to be dangling from a slender cable high in the sky.
And the bucket sways back and forth whenever the cable goes over a support tower, causing occasional gasps from guests.
To return from Tomorrowland, you may want to take the
Skyway to Fantasylandbut it will cost
you another “D” Ticket.
The Skyway opened in Disneyland in June 1956 as two attractions: the
Skyway to Tomorrowland
and the Skyway to Fantasyland.
According to Disney A to Z by Dave Smith, “In the early days of Disneyland, guests could purchase either a one-way or round-trip ticket.
Later it was one-way only.”
Matterhorn opened in 1959directly
in the path of the Skywaythe Skyway passed through two large
openings on each side of the Matterhorn.
The Matterhorn also served to hide the support tower for the cables between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
In 1965, rectangular buckets replaced the original round buckets.
The rectangular buckets were a familiar sight in the skies of Disneyland for almost 30 years.
On November 5, 1994, Orange County Register writer Jerry Hirsch reported,
“After ferrying 150 million passengers between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland over the past 38 years, Disneylands Skyway will make its last trip Wednesday.”
Fans of the Skyway rushed to Disneyland for one last ride.
On November 7, 1994, Los Angeles Times writer Ken Ellingwood wrote about the reason for the closure:
A former Disney employee visiting the park Sunday to take pictures from the Skyway speculated that the park was closing the ride to prevent accidents such as one in April, when a man was injured after falling from a Skyway gondola onto a tree 20 feet below.
But Disney officials said the Skyway’s safety has never been a problem, and its closure was simply a matter of popularity and work force needs.
Demand for the ride has fallen off and the 10 workers who staff it will be needed to tend an “Indiana Jones” ride scheduled to open in February. The closing of the Skyway mirrors the closing of “Mission to Mars” and the “Motorboat Cruise” last year following the opening of “Mickey’s Toontown,” said Scott Swan, a park spokesman.
“It’s an evolving change. You look at one attraction and say, ‘Its time has come,’” Swan said. “As people have grown up and have memories of the Skyway, there will be a new generation that will grow up and have memories of Indiana Jones.”
On November 9, 1994, the ride closed permanently.
Workers removed towers and cables soon after.
Its hard to believe that “demand for the ride” had really fallen off, considering that the Skyway consistently had a line at both stations, even on Disneylands lightest days.
Perhaps the total guest count was down, but only because of reduced staffing at the stations.
The other explanation is the real reason: Disney management kept operating costs under control by closing older attractions whenever new attractions opened.
It wasnt a matter of needing the specific cast members from the Skyway to operate Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
It was a matter of keeping overall attraction labor costs from growing, even if it meant eliminating popular attractions and limiting guest capacity.