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Disneyland Article
Disneyland Skyway Station To Be Demolished To Make Way For Star Wars Land

Skyway
ID:
TMS-3375
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Joseph Pimentel
Dateline:
May 16, 2016
Posted:
May 30, 2016
Status:
Current
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As Disneyland heads into the future with "Star Wars" land, the park is letting go of some of its past.

Disneyland officials have filed a permit with the city to demolish the Skyway Chalet in Fantasyland, once one of two endpoints for open-air gondolas that floated via cables over the park beginning in 1956.

Visitors hopped aboard the ride, affectionately called the Buckets by guests, and slowly cruised along 40 feet above Disneyland and, beginning in 1959, through an opening in the Matterhorn mountain. The ride linked Fantasyland and Tomorrowland until it closed in 1994.

Now, the Skyway Chalet station will be removed to make way for the upcoming "Star Wars" land, said Betsy Sanchez, a Disney spokeswoman.

According to paperwork filed at City Hall last week, the cost to demolish the 5,100-square-foot building will cost an estimated $67,000.

News that the station was coming down upset some on social media, while others had a more nostalgic take.

"I remember as a kid how exciting the Skyway Buckets were and my love for the look of that building has only grown over the years," said Kim Keeline, 47, of San Diego. "Disneyland keeps changing. That has its good points, and its bad points."

Jeff Gordon, 35, of Santa Monica, said change is in Disneyland's DNA.

"I love the history of Disneyland as much as anyone, but people forget how much Walt Disney tore down and rebuilt parts of the park while he was alive for the sake of better experiences," Gordon said. " "Star Wars' land is a much better experience than a rotting chalet."

The Skyway was a prominent ride at Disneyland when it opened a year after the park's debut.

For nearly four decades, the attraction ferried an estimated 150 million passengers. In 1994, a man admitted to jumping out of one of the gondola cabins and landing in a tree near the "Alice in Wonderland" ride.

Soon, Disney shut down the ride, citing its lack of popularity and the number of workers required to operate it. Staffers also had had to deal with riders in the cabins dropping food and spitting on people below.

At times, Disneyland would put lights in the chalet to make it appear as if a dragon lived there during Halloween seasons.

The cables and three towers were removed, but the two stations remained. The Tomorrowland station, sealed off, will apparently be left alone for now.

"Star Wars" land will be 14 acres in the northwestern part of the park, where earth-movers since January have been busy. Disney has not announced when the land will open.
 
Attractions Referenced

Alice In Wonderland

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Skyway

 
Lands Referenced

Fantasyland

Tomorrowland

 
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