Monday, February 06, 2012

Skyway, May 1961

Oh how I miss the Skyway; the simple pleasure of being transported high above Disneyland, smoothly and quietly.... it can't be beat. Based on this photo, how high up are the buckets at the Matterhorn (which I believe was the highest point)? I'm guessing about 60 feet, which is just about perfect. The Swiss Sky Ride at the New York World's Fair was almost twice as high, which would be impressive, but then you would be so far from the stuff below you. I suppose it just depends on what you want out of your sky ride.

Here's the beautiful view you would see on the Tomorrowland side of the Matterhorn. I wish the photographer hadn't included so much sky, but somehow I'll manage to forgive him (her?).


Connie Moreno said...

I was terrified of those buckets, convinced that I would fall out! I felt much better after the style of buckets changed. I agree with you about the height of the was perfect for viewing the wonder below.

Caspian said...


Has everyone seen the beautiful 1957 footage from The Disney History Institute? Wow!
(via The Disney Blog)


Nancy said...

I am with Connie on those buckets, but in my case its just that i love the 70s style. I never got the chance to try out the first ones :(

as for photo two...BINGO!! look at those lovely monorails...a twofur...woohoo!!

Douglas McEwan said...

60 feet is, I believe, the accurate height for the skyway. For me, the round, 2-person buckets is how The Skyway should look. True, the four-seaters were more practical and loaded a higher capacity, but to me, the round buckets were THE Skyway. I never got used to the 4-seaters.

Major Pepperidge said...

Connie, I'm sure it would have been tough to fall out, but probably FELT scary anyway!

Caspian, I'll have to check it out, thanks!

Nancy, I didn't even notice that there were two Monorails. You are paying way more attention!

Doug, the original buckets look like they were a tight squeeze. I've always assumed that people's knees bonked together. Of course if you happened to be in one with a pretty girl, so much the better.

David said...

I suppose never going to DL until I was an sdult, I look at these pictures and wonder had anyone, anyone at the time, think those things could be dangerous? I know we've become such a litigious society, but it boggles my mind that lawyers at the time did not raise (let alone the Disney) a red flag about how open the gondolas were.

Again, I realize that most would not think about those type of things back then -while they had imagination, Disney people seemed to have lacked an ability to see all potential dangerous scenarios.

Not like today, I guess, where the rides are pretty much safe beyond belief (I think your more or less can get injured standing in line than a ride these days), though they must pay a huge insurance policy.

Still, I would have loved to had rode them once.

Robert vonrollskyway1 said...

Long live the Skyway...The very 1st Vonroll VR101 Skyride in the USA..Always love seeing pics of it... Want to know more about the Skyway,Feel free to join my group on Facebook as we talk Vonroll Skyrides..!/groups/115004863923/

Gojira said...

Great pics major! The THOUGHT of the Skyway scares me, but once I'm up there I'm OK. I seem to remember the Skyway at the San Diego Zoo is a higher one.

Robert vonrollskyway1 said...

The one at the San Diego Zoo was built by vonroll the same manufacture as the great Disneyland Skyway.The San Diego Zoo Skyfari is 190 feet high and was built in 1969..The busiest Vonroll skyride with over 3 million riders per year.

Major Pepperidge said...

David, I often wonder if I would love Disneyland half as much if I hadn't gone until I was an adult. I suspect that I wouldn't! As for the Skyway, I don't think it would have been so easy to fall out. A rider would have to be pretty spastic to be in danger!

Robert vonrollskyway1, I sure love/miss Disneyland's Skyway!

Gojira (King of Monsters!), thank you! I did a post a while ago with photos of the San Diego Zoo Skyfari.

Robert vonrollskyway1, do you have any idea how many skyways survive in the US?

vonrollskyway1 said...

There is only 11 Vonroll Skyrides left..