The Disney Resort Family Skyliner Crawl

Are you looking for fun and family-friendly ways to explore the Walt Disney World resorts? Try a Disney World Family Skyliner Resort Crawl! This captivating adventure tours the top Disney World Resorts while riding the convenient and picturesque Skyliner transportation system.

We decided to spend a resort day on our recent stay at the Riviera Resort doing a Skyliner crawl. However, my husband doesn’t drink, and we had children in tow, so we chose to do a family version!

What is a Disney World Family Skyliner Resort Crawl?

The Disney World Skyliner family resort crawl is where guests get a snack and a cocktail at each resort along the Skyliner. A Disney Skyliner transportation hub is at Caribbean Beach and connects to separate routes through this hub. Disney’s Skyliner stops at Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts, Hollywood Studios, and Rivera Resort en route to Epcot.

The Disney World Family Skyliner Resort Crawl Locations

Family in front of Disney's Art of Animation and Pop Century Skyliner Station
Skyliner @ Pop Century/AoA in the Sunshine State!

Top Walt Disney World Resorts to Visit on Your Crawl

The Disney Skyliner bar crawl can take you through the following areas:

  • Hollywood Studios (we didn’t have passes, so we skipped it, but this station is gorgeous!)
  • Art of Animation or Pop Century (or both!)
  • Caribbean Beach
  • Riviera Resort
  • Epcot International Gateway, including Boardwalk, Yacht & Beach Club, or Swan & Dolphin
The Walt Disney World skyliner map

Art of Animation Resort Skyliner Stop

First, we prefer to start at the Art of Animation or Pop Century resort. The Art of Animation (AoA) is a family suite resort with prominent, vibrant character theming throughout. AoA shares a Skyliner station with the Pop Century resort. This Skyliner station is super cool because it sits on stilts in Hourglass Lake.

First, stop at the gorgeous main building and the incredible chandelier overhead. It houses Landscape of Flavors, the gift shop, and check-in.

The chandelier in the lobby of Art of Animation resort featuring drawings from Disney animated movies

AoA resort is so fun to explore with four movie areas:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Cars
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Lion King

Each area features statues of animals or characters, themed walking paths, murals, and a themed pool. There is a large Finding Nemo playground with slides, the elephant graveyard in the Lion King area, a lifesize Cozy Cone motel from Cars, and photo ops with larger-than-life characters from all four movies.

Children underneath Pumba, Timon, and child Simba walking on a log at Art of Animation resort

The Drop Off Pool Bar

The outside Drop Off pool bar is open from 11 am to 11 pm, but this varies depending on the season and weather. The cocktail menu describes cocktails, light bites, snacks, and frozen treats. The food menu covers sandwiches (ham & cheddar or turkey & provolone), a Greek salad, chips, and hot soft pretzels. You can also snag a Mickey head bar or ice cream sandwich here if you don’t want to venture inside to check out the bakery case!

The Drop Off Pool bar menu at Art of Animation resort

However, there are lots of frozen drinks like the Frose, Pina CoLAVA, or frozen Coke Zero slushies, to which you can add some rum!

Glass with slushy pinkish gold drink inside, the frozen champagne cocktail from the Drop off pool bar.

I selected the Frozen Champagne cocktail at The Drop Off Pool bar at the Art of Animation hotel. The slushy beverage features Ruffino Prosecco blended with fruity-flavored vodka. It was delightful, and you could not taste the alcohol- a dangerous way to start the day!

Art of Animation Resort frozen champagne cocktail sign

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors

Our kids chose two bakery treats from Art of Animation at the quick service Landscape of Flavors. The first is a purple and turquoise 50th-anniversary macaron stamped with a 50th-anniversary icon. It was tasty but tasted like a traditional Disney macaron. They are considered gluten-free and were in a separate box, isolating them from the rest of the sweets.

Turquoise macaron with a printed Disney World castle and number 50

The second treat was the Mickey cookies and cream cupcakes. Two mickey ears adorn the top with rainbow sprinkles. The chocolate cupcake was covered with a vanilla frosting blended with chocolate cookies. It was sweet and huge, and we split it four ways among our kids.

Cookies and cream Mickey ears cupcake with rainbow sprinkles from Landscape of Flavors
  • Frozen champagne (14.50 )
  • Macaron ($4.49) 
  • Cookies and cream mickey cupcake ($5.99)

Total cost with tax at the AoA resort ($11.16 + $16.44)= $27.60

Next, continue on Disney’s Skyliner tour to head back to the central Skyliner hub at the Caribbean Beach Resort.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Next, head to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which boasts a colorful and lively island-themed atmosphere. Caribbean Beach Resort is the hub of the Skyliner and features several restaurants, including Sebastian’s Bistro (that is only open for dinner), Centertown Market quick service, and the neighboring pool bar Banana Cabana is open from 11 am to 10 pm.

A sign with the map of the Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney’s Banana Cabana

After exploring the Art of Animation resort and snacking, you may wonder how you’ll be hungry again at the Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR). However, it is not a quick walk to get to the Banana Cabana from the Disney resort Skyliner stop at Caribbean Beach.

The Banana Cabana is closer to the Riviera Resort- but to keep it honest, we decided to get off at CBR and explore. There are many white sandy beaches with hammocks to relax if you or your kids need a break during the long walk. But it’s Disney World- we’re used to walking, right?

Loaded fries with Caribbean style chili, Cotija cheese, pico de gallo

We ordered the Loaded Fries, which come with Caribbean-style chili, Cotija cheese, and fresh Pico de Gallo. Our kids were NOT interested in trying this (except for my four-year-old, who eats anything). We ordered two sides of french fries for them to eat.

Goombay Smash with ice in a plastic cup at Banana Cabana
Goombay Smash

I ordered the Goombay Smash. It used to come with Disney’s rum, but they no longer serve it. The Goombay Smash now comes with Plantation Original Dark Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Blend Rum, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, sour mix, and pineapple juice.

  • Coke $4.29
  • Two sides of fries for $10
  • Gluten-free Caribbean Chili + Cotija cheese fries $12
  • Goombay Smash $14.50

Total cost at Caribbean Beach Resort with tax and tip= $52.85

What’s the best way to get to the Riviera Resort from the Caribbean Beach Resort?

Next, you can walk directly to Riviera Resort by heading towards the lake from Banana Cabana and heading right (you can’t miss the Riviera!) If you prefer to take the Skyliner between each resort, take the Disney World Skyliner to Epcot. You will get off at the ONLY stop, which is Riviera Resort, on the way to Epcot.

Riviera Resort

The Riviera Resort is the newest resort on Disney property. This stunning resort features Mediterranean-inspired architecture and luxurious amenities, including a rooftop restaurant, a fantastic pool area, and an extravagant splash area for children. 

Riviera Resort features beautiful fountains and mosaic murals as you walk through the archway that takes you to the Riviera Skyliner. These intricate masterpieces include murals of:

  • The Tangled lantern scene
  • Peter Pan taking flight

The resort features entertaining lawn games like bocce ball, giant Connect Four, and grand-scale chess boards.

The Riviera resort features restaurants like Primo Piatto, Le Petit Cafe, and Bar Riva. The top floor features a signature restaurant called Toppolino’s Terrace that is hard to get into!

The pasty case at Le Petit Cafe at Riviera Resort featuring hazelnut caramel profiteroles, fruit tart, a 50th anniversary cupcake, 
 lemon cheesecake, and chocolate ganache tart with marshmallow

Check out the pastry case at Le Petit Cafe, and you won’t be able to pass it up! Le Petit Cafe features five different delectable pastries at all times.

We chose lemon cheesecake, hazelnut caramel profiteroles, and chocolate ganache tart with marshmallows (clockwise from upper left). You can have coffee drinks in the morning and cocktails in the evening at Le Petit Cafe.

While there are a few tables in the cafe itself, they fill up quickly. Consider heading next door to the library, particularly if you need to get any work done in Disney World.

Le Petit Cafe at Riviera Resort desserts and pastries (from upper left) featuring lemon cheesecake, hazelnut profiteroles, and chocolate ganache tart

Since the outdoor pool bar has an upscale vibe, we decided that the cocktail would come from Bar Riva. I chose the signature Provence Frosé featuring Ciroc Vodka and Provence Rosé wine.

While the Provence Frosé was beautiful, it was dryer than expected. I loved this because I am not a fan of sweet drinks. If you’re choosing between frozen slushy drinks and sweet cocktail averse, choose this over the champagne cocktail at the Drop Off.

  • Provence Frosé $16.50
  • Lemon cheesecake $6.99
  • Hazelnut caramel profiteroles $5.99
  • Milk chocolate ganache tart (with marshmallow) $6.99

Total Cost of Rivera Resort with tax and tip: $39.85

We will cover this in more detail in another post, but there are also Skyliner and resort scavenger hunts and art searches if you’re a guest!

Disney’s Boardwalk Resort

Children on the beach at Disney's Yacht & Beach club Resort

The Disney Skyliner drops you near the Boardwalk Resort on Crescent Lake. The Boardwalk Deli and Leaping Horse Libations are quick service restaurants, while there are food trucks like Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas, the pizza window, and the funnel cake cart. There’s also an Ice Cream Shop (which doesn’t impress us much).

Full-service sit-down restaurants include Flying Fish (open for dinner) and Trattoria al Forno (open for breakfast and dinner).

The bar Acradabar is only open in the evenings between 4 pm to 12 am. The lounge is small and provides direct access to Flying Fish and Trattoria al Forno.

Boardwalk Deli Food

We chose the Boardwalk Deli for pastries and a sandwich. We started with a Cinnamon Yummy, but it was not yummy. It was an awkward texture, and the glaze was sickly sweet.

A cinnamon yummy from Disney's Boardwalk Deli

The Mickey Brownie was iced, covered in 50th-anniversary sprinkles, and tasted like a delicious and overpriced brownie.

A chocolate Mickey brownie with icing and purple and blue mickey sprinkles from Disney's Boardwalk Deli

Since I am gluten-free (and we were hungry), we got the gluten-free Italian sandwich with your choice of chips or tomato soup. The Italian sandwich comes with capicola, soppressata, pepperoni, provolone, arugula, tomato, pesto, and mayonnaise. Instead of being served as a sub with ciabatta bread, the gluten-free sandwich comes with two slices of gluten-free white bread.

The gluten-free Italian Sandwich form Disney's Boardwalk Deli

The best part about choosing the Boardwalk as one of your snacks or drinks Disney Skyliner pub crawl is the entertainment. If you come in the evening, there are jugglers, acrobats, and other performers. The Boardwalk also features 2, 4, or 6-person surrey bike rentals.

  • Mickey brownie $5.79
  • Cinnamon yummy $4.49
  • Gluten-free Italian sandwich and chips or tomato soup $11.49

Total cost at Boardwalk Deli with tax= $23.29

The Boardwalk Deli menu and drink case

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort

Finally, we headed to the Yacht & Beach Club, a resort on Crescent Lake with one of the best pools I’ve ever seen. There are gorgeous views of the lighthouse and Epcot from here. The Beach Club has a reservation-only restaurant called Beaches and Cream- featuring ice cream and diner-style food.

However, we opted to head towards Stormalong Bay, featuring a lazy river, sand bottom pool, and pirate ship water slide. Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill is a poolside restaurant and bar with some pretty exciting cocktail or food options, including appetizers, sandwiches, and salads. However, it’s the tropical cocktails that piqued my interest.

I chose the Category 5 cocktail because it packs a powerful punch. The cocktail is packed with crème de banana, Captain Morgan Original spiced rum, peach Schnapps, orange juice, pineapple juice, a splash of grenadine, and a KILLER floater of Gosling’s 151 rum.

  • Category 5 cocktail $14.50

Total cost at Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar & Grill with tax and tip= $16.50

The Category 5 cocktail from Disney World's Hurricane Hanna's Waterside Bar and Grill at the Yacht & Beach Club.

Tips for Planning Your Disney World Family Skyliner Resort Crawl

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When doing the Disney World Family Skyliner resort crawl at the Walt Disney World resort, decide if you want to make every possible stop along the Skyliner or visit one destination per stop. We decided to get at least one snack and one beverage at each Skyliner stop on the crawl.

But take a look at your Disney theme park tickets. Do you have a park hopper? If you want to take the Disney World Skyliner to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, you will need park tickets- preferably a park hopper.

Accordingly, where theme parks are concerned, you have options. Besides, if you visit Epcot, drinking around the world is key. Grab a margarita at La Cava del Tequila or the Rose and Crown Pub in the United Kingdom in World Showcase. Likewise, if you venture to Hollywood Studios, get a craft beer and charcuterie at Baseline Taphouse or visit Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

Disney World Family Skyliner Resort Crawl FAQs

While our children are all old enough to walk to the Disney Skyliner stations, we have spent a lot of time on the Skyliner with a double stroller and wrote about what to expect with strollers on the Skyliner.

What is the Disney Skyliner?

These closed gondolas transport you from the Skyliner resorts to Epcot and Hollywood studios. While each gondola can seat up to 8 people, you can always ask for your own! Since it’s in the sky between major resorts and theme parks, if you time it right, you can get the perfect view of the fireworks show or illuminated Spaceship Earth.

Where should you park for a Disney Skyliner Crawl?

Plan to take a ride service or park at a Disney World resort to get to the Disney Skyliner crawl. However, parking at Walt Disney World resorts is currently reserved for guests staying at the resort or dining at one. I recommend making a dining reservation or letting security know which restaurant you are coming to eat at (and perhaps showing your mobile order screen!) If this doesn’t work for you, consider taking a bus to Hollywood Studios and getting to the station.

Which Disney Resorts are on the Skyliner?

The Disney World Skyliner resorts are Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, Boardwalk, Yacht & Beach Club, and the Swan and Dolphin. There are Skyliner hubs at the value resorts (the AoA or Pop Century), moderate resorts (Caribbean Beach), and deluxe Disney Vacation Club villas (Riviera Resort). I highly recommend touring all resorts and theme parks, if possible.

How do you ride the Disney Skyliner for free?

There is no charge for the Disney Skyliner, and you do not need to prove that you are staying at a Disney Skyliner resort to board.

How long is the wait for the Disney Skyliner?

Because the Skyliner constantly moves and loads large groups of people, even a long line can be cleared out within 10 to 15 minutes. There are always two different lines that they take riders from, so make sure to fill both lines. Don’t let a long line discourage you from riding the Skyliner.

What are the travel times for each Disney Skyliner route?

The estimated Disney Skyliner travel times for each of the different routes are as follows:

  • Caribbean Beach Resort to Hollywood Studios: 5 minutes
  • Caribbean Beach Resort to Riviera Resort: 3 minutes
  • Riviera Resort to Epcot: 9-10 minutes
  • Caribbean Beach Resort to Epcot: 12 minutes
  • Hollywood Studios to Pop Century/AoA Resort: 15 minutes
  • Caribbean Beach Resort to Hollywood Studios: 20 minutes
  • Pop Century/AoA Resort to Epcot: 20 minutes

The Skyliner estimated travel times vary depending on crowd levels, maintenance problems, and weather. Try to allow extra time for transportation if you have a reservation or other scheduled activity like a tour or recreation rental.

What are the Disney Skyliner operating hours?

Disney World posts the Skyliner hours on signs outside of each station. However, unless there is lightning, the Skyliners are open when the parks are open. They typically open about 60-90 minutes before the park opens and about 60-90 minutes after the park closure. However, check for the annual refurbishment that typically occurs in January because they close the entire Skyliner.

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