The Disney Skyliner – Walt Disney World’s newest form of transportation – is open, connecting restaurants and lounges at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and a bunch of resorts into a whole web of magical dining possibilities. So, we decided to dig into all the delicious options (see what we did there?). Keep reading as we round up all the dining (and drinking) options along the Disney Skyliner route and even share some ideas for creating your own customized Disney Skyliner food tour.
IT ALL STARTED WITH A TRAIN
Walt Disney was always fond of trains. Well, fond might be putting it mildly – this was more like what you’d call a love affair. From a young age, Walt would watch the steam engines as they chugged by, spewing smoke all the way. And thus began a lifelong passion.
After that, trains cropped up throughout his life: a brief stint selling concessions on a local route, a little guy we all know as Mickey Mouse being created on a cross-country journey from New York to Los Angeles, even an 1/8th-scale version he built in his backyard called the Carolwood Pacific. Trains even became an integral component at the Disney parks, with trains of some sort (like Walt Disney World’s monorail) showing up at every Disney park throughout the world. You can even see a car from Walt’s Carolwood Pacific at the villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Now, with the Disney Skyliner open, yet another iteration of one of Walt’s favorite things can be found at Walt Disney World
When it came to food, however, Walt preferred the simpler things, chili being his personal favorite. Those tastes then influenced the food offered then at Disneyland. Disney parks have come quite a long way since then. From Disney dim sum at Hong Kong Disneyland to an interactive and highly themed bar inspired by a beloved attraction, Disney has truly taken both food and dining experiences to a creative new level.
Which makes us wonder, what would Walt think about all this? We don’t know about you, but considering how important he felt it was to give guests an immersive experience that takes them out of their everyday reality, we’d tend to think that he’d be really pleased with how Disney’s food scene has grown.
Fortunately, there’s now no better way to experience some of Disney World’s best restaurants than on Disney’s new train through the sky: the Skyliner.
To illustrate, let’s just do some quick math. There are four resorts that sit directly along a Skyliner route. Those resorts are connected to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Plus, since you’ll touch down near Epcot International Gateway, you’re also connect to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, as well as Disney’s BoardWalk. And if you want to get technical, you can also throw the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin into the mix. That’s over 100 different dining options when you add in food and drink carts, but not including any festival food booths, Joffrey’s stands, or anything at the Swan and Dolphin.
That’s a ton of food. We hope you’ve brought your appetite.
DISNEY SKYLINER: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
As the Skyliner will be your transportation throughout your magical culinary adventure, we figured we should give you a quick rundown on what it’s all about for those of you who haven’t had the chance to experience it yet.
Disney’s Skyliner is an aerial gondola ride that is *free* to ride, and anyone is welcome whether you have a park ticket or dining or resort reservation or not. Once you reach a station, you and your group will hop into an enclosed gondola at one of the various stops, then you’ll sit back and enjoy a bird’s-eye view as you swoop to your destination. Sounds lovely, right? It truly is a relaxing, picturesque way to get around Walt Disney World. You’ll even get a chance to see the parks from a new perspective as you’re both taking off and coming in for a landing.
One of our favorite features of the Skyliner is all the different Disney character-themed gondolas. While not all ride vehicles are themed, most of them are, and there are many different designs to see as you wait in line to get on. Each of these themed designs feature plenty of unique details that are tons of fun to spot.
For those who have never ridden on an aerial gondola before, there are a few things you should know. Unless you require a wheelchair-accessible ride vehicle, the gondola will be moving slowly as you step in and out. When it comes to speed, the Skyliner moves at decent yet leisurely clip. However, it can sometimes feel like you’re coming in a bit hot as you enter one of the turns or when coming in to land. Overall, it’s a smooth trip and a nice departure from your car or the bus.
Additionally, one final thing to keep in mind when planning to ride the Skyliner is weather. While it an run in wind and rain, things can get bumpy real fast. And as you can imagine, given that you’re in a ride vehicle floating through the air on a cable, the Disney Skyliner isn’t exactly the place you want to be in the event of a storm or really heavy winds. Fortunately, the safety of you and your family is Disney’s number one priority, and if the wind gets too rough or if there’s lightning in the area, the Skyliner will temporarily shut down. So, be sure to have a backup mode of transportation or be prepared to wait around until things are up and running again.
DISNEY SKYLINER RESORTS
The following theme parks and resorts are direct Disney Skyliner destinations:
- Hollywood Studios
- Art of Animation Resort
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Pop Century Resort
- Riviera Resort
Since the Skyliner’s Epcot stop is located at International Gateway, it also indirectly connects guests to the Yacht Club Resort, Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment area and BoardWalk Inn, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. These are just a short walk away once you get off at International Gateway.
DISNEY SKYLINER ROUTES
One of the best things about Disney’s Monorail is its simplicity. There are only two routes – the Magic Kingdom loop and the Epcot loop. Well, technically there are three if you count the Magic Kingdom express and resort loops separately. Of those routes, two of them have just two stops while the other simply tacks on a few resorts, and the only time you’ll ever need to transfer is if you decide to travel between Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Circular, straightforward, easy to remember, it’s great.
The Skyliner, in contrast, likes to keep things interesting. Although there are technically only six stops along the entire Skyliner route, those stops are connected by a network of basically three different routes with Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as the hub. That means that depending on where you want to go, you may need to transfer a couple times to get where you want to go. So, whether you’re planning your food journey or simply going to get dinner, it’s important to know the lay of the land to make getting where you want to be as easy as possible.
Disney’s Skyliner runs between:
- Caribbean Beach Resort and Hollywood Studios Park
- Caribbean Beach Resort and Pop Century Resort/Art of Animation Resort
- Caribbean Beach Resort and Epcot’s International Gateway with a stop at the Riviera Resort
As you’ll notice, Caribbean Beach is the connecting point for everything. Keep in mind, however, that you typically aren’t allowed to park there unless you are a resort guest or have a dining reservation.
DISNEY SKYLINER RESTAURANTS, BARS AND LOUNGES
Before we get you daydreaming about all the Skyliner foodie tour possibilities, let’s do a quick break down of all the dining and drinking options near Disney Skyliner stations.
To keep things simple, we’re only including quick-service and table-service restaurants, pool bars, and lounges located at Disney resorts. That means no food or drink carts or stands, or anything from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels as they aren’t owned by Disney.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation is directly on the Skyliner route. There are two dining outlets available at Art of Animation, Disney World’s newest value resort.
Landscape of Flavors | American
A quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; think breakfast sandwiches, Mickey waffles, pizza, pasta, burgers, and salads
The Drop Off Pool Bar | American
A pool bar serving a few snacks with plenty of cocktails, wine, beer, and other non-alcoholic beverages
Our Verdict: Best for dessert or drinks
Recommended Items: A pineapple-filled Mermaid Tale Cupcake (Landscape of Flavors) topped with coconut buttercream, glitter, and, of course, a mermaid tale made from white chocolate; the Captain’s Pineapple (The Drop Off Pool Bar), made with spiced rum blended with pineapple Dole Whip 😍
Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas
There is no Skyliner station at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, but it is just a short walk away. There are five dining outlets available.
Beach Club Marketplace | American
A quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; mostly breakfast sandwiches and Mickey waffles, baked pastas, sandwiches, salads, and soup
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop | American
Table-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; specializes in American classics like burgers and grilled cheese with tomato soup, as well as shakes, ice cream sodas, and sundaes
Cape May Café (Temporarily Closed) | American & Seafood
A table-service restaurant with the Minnie’s Beach Bash character breakfast – starring Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy – and a seafood buffet for dinner
Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill | American
A pool bar overlooking Stormalong Bay Pool serving drinks and light entrées including a seafood roll
Martha’s Vineyard | American
Lounge serving appetizers, wine, beer, specialty cocktails, and ciders
Best for: Minnie’s character breakfast or dessert
Recommended Items: Anything involving ice cream from Beaches & Cream. Be sure to see our Best Ice Cream Shops at Disney World Guide for even more delicious options!
Disney’s BoardWalk Area
No Skyliner station is located at Disney’s BoardWalk, however there is one just a brief walk away. There are seven dining outlets available.
AbracadaBar | American
A lounge offering American bar snacks with an Italian twist, crafted cocktails, wine, and beer
Big River Grille & Brewing Works (Temporarily Closed) | American
Family-friendly table-service restaurant and microbrewery serving a selection of American pub favorites
BoardWalk Bakery | American & Bakery
Quick-service café serving an array of sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as assorted treats and pastries
ESPN Club (Temporarily Closed) | American
A table-service restaurant meets sports bar offering classic American bar food for lunch and dinner, along with sports-themed merchandise
Flying Fish Café (Temporarily Closed) | American & Seafood
A signature restaurant serving lunch and dinner; featuring sustainable seafood, prime steaks, and artsy desserts in a chic setting
Trattoria al Forno | Italian
A quick-service pizza window outside and a table-service restaurant inside offering Italian classics for dinner and the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast starring Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled
Best for: Sweets, drinks, and dinner at Flying Fish Café or Trattoria al Forno
Recommended Items: Peppers Ghost (AbracadaBar), a handcrafted cocktail with pineapple vodka and habanero lime; something sweet from BoardWalk Bakery like the Cookies ‘n Cream Cupcake or Brioche Boston Cream Doughnut; anything seafood or a dessert that’s almost too pretty to eat from Flying Fish Café like Blueberries, Limes, and Sea Shells; Oak-grilled Strip Steak or anything with Sunday Gravy at Trattoria al Forno
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas
There is no Skyliner stop at the BoardWalk Inn, however there is one just a short walk away. Only two dining options are available directly in the hotel.
Belle Vue Lounge (Temporarily Closed) | American
A lounge offering grab-and-go breakfast options as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
Leaping Horse Libations | American
Pool bar next to Luna Park Pool serving sandwiches, salads, snacks, and assorted drinks
Best for: Something quick to eat or a cocktail
Recommended Items: The frozen Piña CoLAVA cocktail from Leaping Horse Libations featuring raspberry rum and raspberry puree
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
This is the main hub for Disney’s Skyliner. There are four dining outlets available here.
Banana Cabana | American
A pool bar with all the island vibes serving up Caribbean-inspired bar food, specialty drinks, sangria, beer, wine, and seltzer
Centertown Market | American & Latin
Quick-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner; a selection of mostly American favorites like burgers, pizza, and sandwiches, along with Latin-inspired fish tacos and a Cuban sandwich
Sebastian’s Bistro (Temporarily Closed) | Latin & Seafood
A table-service restaurant featuring surf and turf with Caribbean and Latin flair for dinner
Spyglass Grill (Temporarily Closed) | American & Latin
Quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner options inspired by the islands, from to a Chorizo Burger
Best for: Breakfast, drinks, and dinner at Sebastian’s Bistro
Recommended Items: The Banana Cabana’s namesake cocktail of the same name with mango and coconut rum, orange and pineapple juices, crème de banana, and grenadine; Classic Mile-High Key Lime Pie from Sebastian’s Bistro; breakfast with an island twist, such as the Cream Cheese Guava-Stuffed French Toast, at Spyglass Grill
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Pop Century Resort is located directly on the Skyliner route. There are two dining options available here.
Everything POP | American
Quick-service restaurant and shopping outlet offering classic American favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Petals Pool Bar | American
A pool bar next to the Hippy Dippy Pool serving cocktails, beer, wine, sangria, and non-alcoholic beverages
Best for: Colorful desserts
Recommended Items: The swirly, twirly, and infinitely ‘grammable Tie-Dye Cheesecake (Everything POP)
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Disney’s Riviera is a direct stop along the Skyliner route. There are four dining outlets available at the Riviera, Disney World’s newest resort.
Bar Riva | American
A sophisticated, open-air pool bar offering lunch, dinner, and drinks inspired by the Mediterranean; mostly light bar food along with cocktails, sangria, wine, beer, cider, and seltzer
Le Petit Café | American
Lounge serving coffee, pastries, light appetizers, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Primo Piatto | American
Quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; featuring a selection of American favorites with French and Italian flavors
Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera | French & Italian
A signature rooftop restaurant offering the Breakfast à La Art character breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy and Riviera-inspired cuisine for dinner – all with an incredible view
Best for: A meal with a view at Topolino’s Terrace
Recommended Items: Gnocchi starter with duck confit, Herb Fettuccine with seafood, or the Tomahawk Veal Chop with potato-torpedo onion (all from Topolino’s Terrace); you also won’t want to pass up the tableside cheese service if you get a chance
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Villas
There is no Skyliner station at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, but it is just a short walk away. There are five dining outlets available.
Ale & Compass Lounge | American
Lounge serving bar food, wine, beer, cocktails, mocktails, cider, and fine spirits
Ale & Compass | American
A table-service restaurant serving breakfast and dinner; specializing in seafood and New England-inspired comfort food
The Market at Ale & Compass | American
Quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; mostly breakfast bowls and sandwiches, Mickey waffles, hot and cold sandwiches, and salads
Crew’s Cup Lounge (Temporarily Closed) | American
Lounge serving beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as an extensive bourbon menu
Yachtsman Steakhouse (Temporarily Closed) | American Steakhouse
A signature restaurant with a New England-style steakhouse menu
Best for: Dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse
Recommended Items: Anything meat or seafood-related from Yachtsman Steakhouse, such as the Prime Rib-Eye or Captain’s Tower (a pile of shrimp, mussels, oysters, scallop ceviche, and octopus salad)
CREATE YOUR OWN DISNEY SKYLINER ADVENTURE
Now that you know all the great resort dining options that are available along Disney’s Skyliner route, it’s time for the fun part: thinking about all the ways you can mix and match everything that’s available to create the Disney Skyliner food tour of your dreams. Just think of all the possibilities! Similar to Disney’s own Highway in the Sky Dine Around visiting the Magic Kingdom resort along the Monorail, a Skyliner sip-and-stroll (or eat-and-stroll) is the perfect way to see resorts that you may have never visited before.
Of course, we aren’t the first people to think about this and we certainly won’t be the last. In fact, there are already quite a few Skyliner dine-around suggestions to be found on the interwebs if you’d prefer to have someone else do all the planning for you. Rather than pigeonholing you into a particular route or certain restaurants, we wanted to help get your creative juices flowing so you can come up with a Disney Skyliner foodie tour perfectly suited to your own tastes and interests.
Depending on what you and your group are into, you could…
- DIY a bar crawl with a built-in designated driver
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with a dessert-focused tour
- Try a little bit of everything with an appetizer dine-around
- Theme your day around a certain cuisine
- Resort hop as you work your way from drinks and hors d’oeuvres all the way to desserts with a progressive dinner
- Expand your Skyliner food tour to include Epcot or Hollywood Studios (or both, if you’re extra ambitious) for an all-day dine-around extravaganza.
Whatever you do, we highly recommend that you take some time to plot out what you’d like to eat and drink, then figure out where everything sits along the Skyliner route so you can make your plan of attack. Getting around on the Disney’s Skyliner takes time, as does walking to each restaurant, and, of course, enjoying everything you buy. So, the more planning you can put in upfront, the more time you’ll have to explore – and eat.
That’s all for our guide to Disney Skyliner dining. We hope you’ve got a few delicious ideas going for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
To maximize your time (more time for food!), be sure to check out our one-day plans for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. To maximize your cash (more money for food!), don’t miss out on our discounted Disney World tickets.
Have you DIYed your own Disney food tour? Where’d you go? How’d you get there? And most importantly, what did you eat and drink? We’d love to hear about your own experiences and add any tips and tricks we might have missed.
Amber is a proud former Walt Disney World Cast Member, an unabashed travel addict, and a hospitality and tourism specialist with over 10 years in the industry. She likes getting her wanderlust fix by sharing her favorite park tips and tricks with other Disney fans. When she isn’t working, you can usually catch her in a hot power yoga class or spending way too much money at Disney Springs.