Fantasyland Skyway Station
Here’s a little bonus post for you hard-core Disneyland lovers! A year after Disneyland opened, the Skyway joined the ranks of the park’s attractions. Guests boarded a gondola lift that transported them over the park to either Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Originally, there was a post in the between the stations to provide support, however in 1959, the Matterhorn enveloped the pole and buckets passed through the mountain.
Above are images scanned from my vintage Disneyland postcard collection.
Some of my earliest memories of Disneyland are of riding the Skyway. I love having a bird’s-eye view, and I remember the day I discovered that if you looked at just the right place at just the right moment you could see the abominable snowman who inhabited the Matterhorn.
In 1994 the Skyway closed. The reason is up for debate. Some claims are that the support structure was suffering damage due to continued stress, another attributes it to the costly process it would have taken to make the attraction wheelchair accessible, and another possible reason is that the attraction was a safety hazard, despite only one incident of a man jumping from a bucket, landing into a tree. He attempted to make it appear as an accident, suing Disney, however before the trial, he admitted he jumped of his own accord, and the suit was dropped.
The Tomorrowland station is long since gone, however, the Fantasyland station still exists! You just have to look for it. If you are entering from Frontierland you pass by a group of carts with concessions and souvenirs just prior to coming upon the Casey Junior attraction. It is just behind these carts, obscured by trees that the lone Swiss inspired Skyway station lingers. The stairs leading up to the station are blocked off by a single chain, easy enough to remove or hop over to get a closer look, however, I’m a rule abiding girl (especially at Disneyland) and I stood from afar snapping pictures.
Eventually, a Cast Member approached me, instead of asking what I was doing, he simply said “Would you like me to go up there and take some photos for you?” I was absolutely delighted, and handed my camera over with pleasure as he removed the chain and walked up the steps. I eagerly awaited as he returned and I received these photos…
I find it hard to believe that Disney would let something simply sit and rot away, since they are known for promptness in removing attractions and cleaning up. However, could it be that the building is in a location where removing it would be difficult?
September 2013 Update: The Fatansyland Skyway Station is viewable also from The Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Casey Junior Railroad. Here is one quick snap we got…
June 2016 Update: Sadly, the Fantasyland Skyway Station was demolished in June of 216 to make way for the new Star Wars themed land that is being added to Disneyland. You can view photos that I shot just prior to its demolition here.
To view more photos of the Skyway in its heyday as well as other images of the abandoned Fantasyland station, please visit Daveland’s Skyway page.
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16 comments on “Fantasyland Skyway Station”
That was so nice of the cast member to do that for you! Great post – thanks!
Wow! I love those photos, and the cast member you encountered was awesome to take those photos for you! The customer service at Disneyland is fantastic.
It is a shame that the station is just sitting there unused, especially since it looks like such a neat building. It would be nice if they could repurpose it into part of an entirely new attraction, but since it’s been there unused since 1994, I doubt that’ll ever be the case…
Oh how neat!! What a interesting bit of history. That is so cool that he took those pics for you!
This is so wonderful! I will definitely be on the lookout for this next time I’m in the park..I just love finding out about the hidden gems and history within Disneyland. Thanks so much for the tip & history lesson! It was incredibly sweet of the Disney cast member to do that for you, I would expect nothing less 🙂
So nice of them to do that for you.
Thank you for the terrific history lesson. Having never been to Disneyland, I can’t say as though I’m overly familiar with its layout or precise history, and really enjoy learning more in posts like this for that future day (surely it must come at some point!) when I finally get to see the Magic Kingdom firsthand, too.
I do hope you make it! You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy Disneyland! There is fun for all ages and some respect it could be more fun as an adult! Because you get to enjoy all of the attractions (instead of just some if you’re a youngster under a certain height!) plus you can really appreciate all of the great food some of the restaurants have to offer.
HOW cute is it that your watermark looks like Walt’s signature?! I love that!
It’s eerie to see the Disney equivalent of a ghost town. I really enjoyed this history lesson; I never knew someone intentionally jumped from the Skyway. Scary!
If you are looking for a real Disney equivalent of a ghost town I recommend checking out Nara Dreamland: http://abandonedkansai.wordpress.com/special-nara-dreamland/
It was supposed to be Japan’s official Disneyland, but then things went wrong…
This is awesome, what a fab guy, Disney have the best staff! I’d probably have jumped the chain and sneaked up haha! 🙂
Those are awesome photos – I had no idea that there are abandoned parts even within Disneyland…
It really is hard to imagine an abandoned building inside the park. Space is at such a premium in these places.
I’m really impressed that an employee would do such a nice thing for you.
Unfortunately it was torn down in June of 2016 to make room for the new Star Wars ride. 🙁 I remember reading this blog in the hotel room and then finding the station when visiting with my daughter in January of 2015. It was some cool history and I wish it was still there but it did last 22 years after it closed. You have some great photos of it!
Hi, Ed! Yes, I know, I snapped loads more photos the week before it was demolished. You can view them here: https://atomicredhead.com/2016/06/09/goodbye-to-the-fantasyland-skyway-station/
Also, thank you for the comment, as it reminded me that I should add an update to this post!
Great pics! I remember this attraction with great affection. It was devastating when they took it out, and seeing the old structure and queue area are a huge dose of nostalgia. Still in pretty good shape except being a little more overgrown. Thanks for posting!