'That was a nightmare': Disney guest describes gondola mishap

Firefighters called to rescue parkgoers from Skyliner capsules

Passengers say firefighters are using ladder trucks to rescue them from the stuck gondolas.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A guest stranded for more than three hours aboard the new gondola transportation system at Walt Disney World described the ordeal to News 6.

Disney Skyliner cable cars became stuck in the air around 8 p.m. and didn't start moving until after 11 p.m.

Firefighters were called to the Orlando-area theme park, and several guests posted to social media, saying rescues were underway.

Lindsey Nassir and her family said they were stuck on the gondola for almost four hours. She said they left Epcot around 8 p.m. and wanted to ride the new attraction. But minutes after boarding the cable car, the ride stopped.

"That was a nightmare. That was awful," she said.

She said there were eight people in the gondola, including her children, ages 8 and 11, and six adults.

Nassir said a message played repeatedly over the speakers telling riders there was a temporary delay, but there was no explanation as to what was happening.

She said there isn't any air conditioning in the gondolas and it got hot quickly.

"That's a sweat box. That up there, had it been in the middle of the day, health problems, children, I can't even imagine what would have happened had it been 100 degrees outside that day and then in a box with eight people," Nassir said.

Nassir said they were eventually told about an emergency kit that had some water, ice packs and vomit bags.

She said the people in her gondola were scared and nervous. She added her 8-year-old daughter, Tennyson Nassir, wasn't feeling well.

"I was feeling sick. My dad had to keep getting me ice packs for my neck. I felt like I was about to throw up," Tennyson said.

Lindsey Nassir said at one point, firefighters were halfway up to the gondola when the ride started moving without warning.

She said the ride started and stopped several times, adding to the frustration. She said they got off the ride around midnight.

"We can't believe this happened. We're still in shock this happened," Nassir

Prior to her near-rescue, Nassir said she watched a woman from another gondola be rescued by firefighters. She said the woman was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.

"We're trying to get off of this thing," Nassir said.

Disney said one line of the new system was affected by an "extended outage," but it's not known exactly how many people were stranded.

Disney said there were no reports of injuries. It's not known what caused the incident.

Disney later released a statement about the mishap.

"One of the three Disney Skyliner routes experienced an unexpected downtime Saturday evening. As a result, the Skyliner will be closed while we look into the details surrounding this downtime. We apologize for this situation, and we are working with each guest individually regarding impacts to their visit with us," Disney said.

Nassir said her family will never ride the gondolas again. She adds Disney needs to make some changes to the attraction.

"They need air conditioning. They need a better plan for emergency purposes. They need more items in their emergency kits or to shut it down," she said.

The Skyliner air gondolas opened to visitors last week. The cable cars whisk visitors from hotels to theme parks three stories above the ground while going 11 mph. No more than 10 people are allowed in each cable car.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.