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High above the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland in WDW
The following report was written by Disneyland Cast Member Ken Pellman immedietely following the closing of Disneyland's Skyway on November 9, 1994. Yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of that closing, November 9, 1999, the Walt Disney World Skyway at the Magic Kingdom tooks its final ride. The Disneyland Skyway was first launched in 1956. The Walt Disney World Skyway had been running since the parks opening day in 1971. The Skyway at Tokyo Disneyland was closed in November of last year. The result: There are no Skyways left in any of the Disney theme parks. In memory of one of Disney's oldest attractions, we present this report on the first Skyway to say a permenent goodbye;
9 November 1994
The weather forecasts say a storm is headed to southern California. For some people, gloomy skies came early. They were the people sad over the fact that tonight, Wednesday November 9, 1994, The Disneyland Skyway made its final run.
For days, Guests who frequent Disneyland have been getting in their last rides of the milestone attraction that Walt Disney himself opened. People were getting emotional tonight - both guests and cast members - because they are going to miss this piece of Disneyland they have grown so fond of and developed memories with.
I suppose I have always taken the Skyway for granted; for some reason it seemed like it was always there and would always be there. I guess my fear of heights (at least while hanging from a cable instead of inside something solid like a 747) always kept me from really noticing and fully enjoying the spectacular and unmatchable view. The view of Fantasyland, Sleeping Beauty Castle, King Arthur Carrousel, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Dumbo, Small World, Mickey's Toontown, parades, tea cups, Submarine Lagoon, Tomorrowland, Rocket Jets, and especially the Matterhorn. The Skyway provided a unique view of the Matterhorn and what is inside of it. I know I'm going to miss these things.
So, I turned out to get my last rides in, along with several friends and a whole lot of other people. Cast members were even being allowed to ride the attraction in costume, and in the Tomorrowland station, where the cabins were stored, cast members were signing a banner, getting pictures, and sharing memories over chips. It seems like almost every group of guests and even cast members had their own still and video cameras to capture the beauty of the attraction while they still could.
I was able to get in five trips, ending on the Tomorrowland side. There were relatively long lines - Disnoids of all sorts were getting in their last rides. Even a top Imagineer, Tony Baxter (a swell guy), was there to get in his last rides and say goodbye. I'm sure it was am emotional thing for him too - he grew up at the park and was a cast member for a few years.
As my friends and I prepared to take our final trip, we waited to be among the last. There were plenty of other people determined to be in the last cabin, so we didn't even try for that. We dispatched from the Fantasyland station and headed towards the Matterhorn for one last time. Shouts of "long live the Skyway!" and other such sentiments could be heard echoing into the night. I could even see the new Team Disney Anaheim building that is under construction.