Magic Kingdom experiences two partial closures in the last week of the year for capacity

Posted Friday, January 1, 2016 2:06 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney World partially closed Magic Kingdom on Thursday morning to some guests because the park had reached capacity during what is typically one of the most crowded weeks of the year. The Phase A closing was underway as of 9:30 a.m., according to WDWMagic.com, meaning guests with single-day Magic Kingdom tickets were not being admitted.

Read more from WKMG/Orlando.

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Friday, January 1, 2016 3:00 PM

I am looking forward to Monday when I can go run errands without it taking an hour due to tourist traffic. That said, it's nice to see accurate headlines use words such as partial closure, rather than the dramatic "DISNEY WORLD IS CLOSED!!!" that gets thrown around so much this time of year.

I screenshotted two wait times yesterday on the WDW app - 240 minutes for Soarin' and 220 for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I just can't even fathom getting in those lines.

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Friday, January 1, 2016 3:07 PM
Jeff's avatar

You know, I've lived here two and a half years and have never had an issue with tourist traffic. I suppose it depends on where you choose to live.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, January 1, 2016 3:17 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Or have to travel.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Friday, January 1, 2016 6:32 PM

This is where having the ability to pre-book fast pass reservations with MyMagic+ ahead of time has a huge advantage over the old paper FP system. Especially if you book early enough and can grab some of the headliner attractions.

Last year, my wife and I took a WDW trip over new years (with NYE at Epcot). Because we have been to WDW a bazillion times, the trip was more about taking a quick winter trip to warm sunny Florida as opposed to "doing Disney" (during the most crowded time of the year).

We mostly spent our afternoon's at the resort pool and only shooting into a park for a few hours each evening to hit up the FP+ (and meal) reservations we booked well before arrival; so we were able to hedge for the crowd situation. We even had Soarin FP+ reservations on NYE, which was pretty cool considering the 220 minute standby wait if I recall correctly.

For someone not necessarily looking to marathon a park for an entire day, the FP+ program works very well with some planning.

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 12:49 AM
CoasterFreak225's avatar

BrettV said:

I screenshotted two wait times yesterday on the WDW app - 240 minutes for Soarin' and 220 for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I just can't even fathom getting in those lines.

My longest wait for a ride was TTD during its opening year for 3 hours... I... can't imagine 4 hours...

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 2:36 AM
Vater's avatar

It's pretty much like 3 hours, but just add an hour.

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 8:21 AM

I saw an ad for Disney that said something about people being able to get on rides twice and getting to do everything they wanted to do because "knowledge is power at Disney". To me, if you have to book all your stuff months ahead of time and base your vacation around this, it's no longer a vacation. Similarly, if you want to just be spontaneous and ride rides whenever, it's no longer a vacation when all you do is stand in line and fight ridiculous crowds and get to ride about three things. If you're lucky.

Obviously Disney is still raking it in, but I've gotta wonder if we're going to see a point where it starts to slow down just because they can't handle this size crowd and still give everyone a good experience that even somewhat resembles a vacation.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 8:36 AM

No one goes there anymore. Its too crowded.

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 9:18 AM
Jeff's avatar

bunky666 said:

To me, if you have to book all your stuff months ahead of time and base your vacation around this, it's no longer a vacation. Similarly, if you want to just be spontaneous and ride rides whenever, it's no longer a vacation when all you do is stand in line and fight ridiculous crowds and get to ride about three things.

This isn't what happens. Ever.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 9:42 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Key words here being "to me". Some people like to nail down every last detail well in advance. Others find it reassuring to know, well in advance, they will get to enjoy specific rides and meals. And others happily spend the day in a WDW park without meal reservations and never using Fastpass* regardless of how long they may wait for a ride.

*and they're damn fools for not using Fastpass, if you ask me, but as long as they're happy...


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 11:18 AM

bunky666 said:
I saw an ad for Disney that said something about people being able to get on rides twice and getting to do everything they wanted to do because "knowledge is power at Disney". To me, if you have to book all your stuff months ahead of time and base your vacation around this, it's no longer a vacation.

You don't have to book everything months in advance. You only have to book sit down meals six months out (for the really popular places.) it's not hard to do, and I don't get the problem people have with picking what parks they are going to visit ahead of time. When I go I have some goals in mind (I like all the night shows, on a normal 7 day trip I like to spend 2 days at MK and Epcot, 1 day at DHS, 0.5 days at AK and each water park, I enjoy evening EMH at MK and Epcot, morning EMH at AK and try to avoid other EMH) usually their is only one way to incorporate all those plans in the trip. From there choosing dining is easy. I do one sit down meal a day either as a late lunch or early dinner.

As for the fastpasses, if you rope drop and "know how to do a theme park" like most coaster enthusiasts do then you should have no problem doing every ride most days at any of these parks. The only thing those guides give you a leg up on is in identifying the non coaster rides that you should prioritize first because unlike the regional parks up north, for the most part the coasters are not the stars of the parks.

The three fastpasses were for the most part "bonus laps" on my favorite E tickets.

Last edited by Touchdown, Saturday, January 2, 2016 11:19 AM

2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 3:20 PM

I find it amusing that, 2 years ago before anyone knew about My Magic or Fast Pass +, making a plan to game the system and run around getting as many Fast Passes you could in one day was just part of a day at the mouse. Now that they give you opportunity to get 3 (Three, again just 3) of them in advance of your visit, they're killing puppies, taking away spontaneity, and making you plan everything from a stop at a water fountain to a diaper change down to the very minute while stacking everyone in 4 hour queue lines.


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Saturday, January 2, 2016 4:16 PM
Jeff's avatar

In practice, the old system was really just a cycle of getting a paper FP, riding something else and waiting in line, getting a pass, waiting in line for something else... repeat. By the time you did three FP's, five hours had passed. The new system be default tries to distribute your times (I don't think people understand you can mess with it until you get something vaguely the way you want it), and results in pretty much the same pattern. As a local, the new system is actually better, because that morning or the day before, I can stack three things within three hours, get in and get out. We did Epcot this way yesterday, getting our last ride in on Soarin' before the rehab, and between 9 and 11:30 we knocked out Soarin', The Land, Imagination, the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, Nemo and Spaceship Earth. On New Year's Day, no less. The system is not hard, does not require retirement planning and works just fine with a little basic awareness.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 4:22 PM
rollergator's avatar

"Magic Kingdom experiences two partial closures in the last week of the year for capacity"

Some variant of this headline could be on the rollback for any year in the last decade at least...


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Saturday, January 2, 2016 6:50 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Jeff said:

...works just fine with a little basic awareness.

Which is sadly lacking for some folks.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Sunday, January 3, 2016 1:29 PM
OhioStater's avatar

I'm not a "planner", per se, by any stretch of the imagination. Having just nailed down all of our FP + passes for our upcoming trip in early March, I certainly don't feel like I have nailed down every little detail. As was mentioned above, our sit-down meals are planned (how is that not a good thing if you actually know you want to eat at a place you would never get in otherwise, like Be our Guest or Cinderella's Royal Table?). And with regards to the rides, you are only choosing three per day within an hour window, so if you know there is something you know you want to ride now you know you can.

The bottom line? It's actually minimal planning, and more of a "you are guaranteed to be able to do this experience while you are here" system. We have no itinerary outside of those and I don't feel restricted in any way.

I'm going to miss Soarin' on this trip.

For those of you in the know, the International Flower and Garden Festival starts on Wednesday, March 2nd, which is our last day at Epcot. Do you think that will have a huge impact on crowds? It's typically a very, very light crowd-time at Epcot.

Last edited by OhioStater, Sunday, January 3, 2016 1:38 PM
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Sunday, January 3, 2016 1:50 PM

I seriously thought you had to book the rides months in advance. Was NOT understanding that part of things, so that's part of my issue solved right there.

The food thing? I guess if you have kids and you think they'll enjoy the experience, it's important, but unless they do something incredibly magical and Disney, I cannot imagine caring if I eat there. I've almost never had food at Disney that was so good that I felt the need to book a repeat six months away. I really, truly like to (for the most part) fly by the seat of my pants and not care about a schedule, and perhaps that's why I always feel kind of "meh" about Disney anymore. I'm just surprised more people aren't frustrated as well and have stopped bothering.

Of course, we're also talking the holiday season. Star Wars land is coming soon. Perhaps we're not going to see a damn thing in terms of decline in sales. *laugh* and if that's the case, Disney doesn't care about my spontaneous ass or anyone with a similar attitude. And I quite frankly might change my tune with this new land coming. Stranger things have happened.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Sunday, January 3, 2016 2:25 PM
Jeff's avatar

OhioStater said:
For those of you in the know, the International Flower and Garden Festival starts on Wednesday, March 2nd, which is our last day at Epcot. Do you think that will have a huge impact on crowds? It's typically a very, very light crowd-time at Epcot.

That isn't spring break, is it? If not, you'll see some local after-work action, but it should be fine the rest of the day. F&G is kind of F&W lite, and while it might get a little crowded, it's mostly people eating and drinking.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, January 3, 2016 2:40 PM

From what I have seen, spring breaks seem to be running sometime in the last two weeks of March and the first week of April with Easter the last weekend of March. I would expect Disney would schedule events like the Flower and Garden Festival during times that are otherwise slow times in the parks?

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