You may have to wait a bit longer if you’re hoping to ride a bus to Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Pop Century resort. Signs posted at Pop Century indicate that buses will only run once per hour to the two theme parks beginning January 5, 2020. Guests are encouraged to use the Disney Skyliner for convenient transportation.
While we’ve only seen this sign posted at Pop Century so far, we believe this change could be rolled out to all of the resorts served by the Disney Skyliner (Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, Riviera). Thanks to @deeevo over at WDWMagic for posting this photo.
Prior to the opening of the Disney Skyliner, it was always believed that Disney would reduce or even eliminate bus transportation to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios from these resorts. It’s comparable to how bus transportation isn’t available to either theme park from around Crescent Lake as guests are encouraged to ride a boat or walk to their destination. Disney wants the Disney Skyliner to be seen and used as a primary method of transportation rather than an optional or quirky addition.
Despite a change in bus transportation being expected following the opening of the Disney Skyliner, we are a bit surprised by the timing of this change. The rush to secure a virtual boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance forces guests to arrive quite early at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and be in the park ahead of when boarding passes go live. Arriving early is one of our five tips to secure a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. The current operating hours for the Disney Skyliner can make that extremely difficult – if not impossible – as it doesn’t start running until right before the park opens.
There’s also the topic of reliability. The Disney Skyliner has had its fair share of hiccups and will occasionally experience delays or even full line closures. The line that brings guests to Epcot has seemingly been the most troublesome, with the entire line going down for undetermined amounts of time. That’s a big deal as is, but it’s a huge problem if Disney is going to reduce bus transportation at the Disney Skyliner resorts. Hopefully this change indicates there’s more confidence in the system’s overall reliability. We’d fully expect bus transportation to be increased in the event the Disney Skyliner suffers extended downtime.
We’ve also heard complaints from guests who are scared of heights and don’t want to use the Disney Skyliner. Disney is still providing an alternative for these guests, but these guests will need to plan for lengthy waits if they want to use complimentary bus service.