June 1956- November 1994
The Skyway was one of the first major rides to debut in Disneyland after Opening Day, with an official opening date of June 23rd, 1956. Before the addition of now famous landmarks in the park (the lagoon, the Matterhorn, and the Monorail), the Skyway dominated the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland landscape. As the park expanded, Imagineers built the mountains and rails around the track, so that riders actually traveled through the snowy mountain. During its lifetime, the Skyway was one of the most famous rides in Disneyland, and was a favorite among visitors of all ages.
Riders boarding from either of the two stops took a trip through the skies of Disneyland. The four-minute journey showcased some of the park’s best scenery, including a peek inside the icy caverns of the Matterhorn. After passing the teacups, the lagoon, and the Monorail, the Skyway returned riders to the other side of the Tomorrowland/Fantasyland track.
In spite of the Skyway’s iconic status in the park, its long run became a problem, especially for the Matterhorn. The roller battery supports inside the Matterhorn developed stress cracks from years of cars passing through trips, and given the mountain’s location right in the middle of the Skyway path, rerouting the track would have been extremely difficult. So in 1994, the Skyway closed, and the Matterhorn’s opening was permanently sealed.
Though it’s tucked away in the trees and greenery, if you look closely you can still see the abandoned Fantasyland Skyway building beside the Casey Jr. Circus Train loading area.
This attraction was the first type 101 aerial ropeway built by Von Roll, Ltd. in the United States.
During the major Fantasyland refurbishment in the 1980’s, the Skyway remained open. However, guests had to make round trips to/from the Tomorrowland station.