Christmas Day at Disney World

Christmas Day at Disney World

Jingle Jungle Parade.

While I had Christmas off, Caroline did not. On Christmas Day, she worked from 7:30am – 6pm, a long shift. The Animal Kingdom has been staying open late for extended hours this holiday week, most nights until 9pm or 10pm. She was hoping for an early release on Christmas Day, but too many people called in sick.

6am Christmas morning:  Waiting to catch the bus to work in the cold & dark!

6am Christmas morning: Waiting to catch the bus to work.

Because of all the sick call-ins this holiday week, she’s been pulled out of the store during parade time to help with crowd control. That’s always exciting duty! Nobody wants to be told they can’t cross over the street during the parade! That Caroline is a toughie!   🙂

Caroline working at Island Merchandise in the Animal Kingdom.

Caroline working at Island Merchandise in the Animal Kingdom.

The cast member exclusive ornament that we got from Disney Program as a thank you!

The cast member exclusive ornament that we got from Disney Program as a thank you!

The Magic Kingdom reached capacity by 10am of Christmas morning. (Theoretically holding 100,000 guests, but because of parking lot restrictions, closer to 60,000 guests.) That meant that overflow guests were directed to the other three theme parks.

Animal Kingdom is the largest park in terms of size, but has the smallest guest capacity. So you really, really notice when it gets crowded. The wait times on the popular rides (Everest, Dinosaur) exceeded 100+ minutes for most of the day.

Park Closures

Disney uses different closure “phases” to gradually restrict the types of guests allowed into a theme park. Closures start at Phase 1 and progress up to Phase 4, where no additional guests of any sort are allowed into the park.

Phased closures do not necessarily last all day: for example, if Magic Kingdom is under a Phase 4 closure at 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, sufficient guests might leave by 7:00 p.m. that all restrictions on park entry are lifted.

Phase 1 Closure
Casual visitors are turned away at the automobile toll plazas. This means that people without tickets, those with one-day, single-park tickets, and those intending to use cast member passes will not be allowed to park.
Other guests that may enter during Phase 1 restriction:
Those with multi-day or multi-park tickets
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day
Those “hopping” from another park.
Those with in-park reservations or appointments.
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 2 Closure
The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day
Those “hopping” from another park
Those with in-park dining reservations or appointments
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 3 Closure
The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those with in-park dining reservations or appointments.

Phase 4 Closure
The park and parking lot are closed to all arriving guests.

 

Christmas tree at Animal Kingdom.

Christmas tree at Animal Kingdom.

 

So many cool ornaments!

So many cool ornaments!

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tal

One thought on “Christmas Day at Disney World

  1. […] (For more on Disney Park Closing levels, see our Christmas Day blog at: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/christmas-day-at-disney-world/) […]

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