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    Skyway--Disneyland History-511


    by Richard

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    The first ride of this kind to be built in the United States.
    The cable was 2,400 feet long with 44 gondolas.
    The Skyway stations were equiped with a large digital meter to gauge wind speed. It usually flutuated between zero and three knots. If the meter hit twelve knots employees shut the ride down.
    For dangerous situations, in the mid-1970s Disneyland installed speakers on the Skyway towers and microphones in the stations. By depressing the "All Ride" switch, operators could give announcements or warnings "from on high." Hosts were to use the device for emergencies only, since upon hearing a deep voice suddenly resounding from the sky, guests typically froze in terror. As such, the device became known as "the God Switch."
    The buckets reached a height of 60 feet.
    The drive mechanism was in the Fantasyland side with a 35 thousand pound ballast on the Tomorrowland side to keep the cable tight.
    Skyway was built by Von Roll Iron Works of Bern Switzerland.
    The first gondolas had fiberglass patio chairs bolted in them.
    During construction of the New Fantasyland in 1984 the Skyway ran roundtrip only.
    Complete video of Disneyland's Skyway at