Disney Park Closures by Phases

Phase 2 crowd (yes, it can be worst than this!)

Dec 23:  Phase 2 crowd level at the Magic Kingdom (yes, it can be MUCH worse than this!)  Look at all those smiling, happy guests….But, it can be much more crowded than this!!

New park closure phases were recently added to the Phase 1 – 4 WDW closures:  Phase A and Phase B Closures.

Note that a park may be at a Phase 3 or Phase 4 closure earlier in the day, then may drop back down to Phase 1 in the late afternoon or evening when enough people leave and the parking lots open back up.

Always check with the WDW Crowd Forecast when planning your day.  The parks are open 365 days a year, but that doesn’t guarantee you admission!

2016 Crowd Forecast for Disney World

Phase A Closing (new)

No admission of guests with Magic Kingdom one day tickets and no admission of guests with Magic Kingdom FastPass+ reservations, unless they have one of the following:

* WDW Resort Guests, including The Four Seasons Resort, Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green, Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus (Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, The Buena Vista Palace, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, B Resort, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, Hilton), Golden Oak residents and guests.
* WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders
* Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another WDW Theme Park
* Guests with Memory Maker
* Guests with dining reservations
* Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop or The Pirates League.

Crowd estimate >30,000

Phase B:  Same as Phase A, except no entry for Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another WDW Theme Park.

Crowd estimate >35,000

Phase 1 Park Closing

Guests with ‘Magic Your Way’ base tickets, or a ‘1-Day 1-Park Ticket’, Guests without an admission ticket, and Cast Members using Main Gate & Silver Passes will be turned around at the parking lot booths.

Mainly effecting Magic Kingdom on days leading up to a major holiday. Crowd estimate > 45,000

Turning away cars.

Phase 2, 9am:  Starting to turn away cars at the toll booths.  Parking lot is almost full. Traffic to the Magic Kingdom backed way up for miles.

Phase 2 Park Closing

Admission is limited to:

* Disney Resort Guests (including the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and guests arriving by bus from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels)
* Annual, Premier and Premium Annual Passholders
* Guests with Hopper tickets coming from another park
* Guests re-entering the park
* Guests with dining reservations
* Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League
* Guests using Walt Disney World Resort Transportation will be admitted
* Guests with pre-purchased 1 day Magic Kingdom tickets

Magic Kingdom crowd estimate: 50,000. Parking lots are almost full.

july

July 4, 2016, 8pm, Magic Kingdom:  Phase 3 Closure.  92 degrees + 90% humidity + 50,000 guests = Bad Time!

On July 4, 2016, the Magic Kingdom was at Phase 2 Closure by noon and Phase 3 Closure by 6pm due to everyone arriving for the special fireworks show at 9pm.

A sad sign.

Phase 4 at Magic Kingdom, 11am:  A sad sign.

Phase 3 Park Closing

Admission is limited to:

* Disney Resort Guests (including the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and guests arriving by bus from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels)
* Annual, Premier and Premium Annual Passholders
* Guests with dining reservations
* Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League
Magic Kingdom crowd estimate: 60,000.  Parking lot is full/closed.

Wall-to-wall guests, all attractions have extremely long wait times, restaurants are packed.

December 25,  Phase 4:  Wall-to-wall guests, all attractions have extremely long wait times, all restaurants are packed.  The park is mobbed and at capacity.

Phase 4 Park Closing (Major Holidays at MK:  Dec 24/25/31, Jan 1st)

MK closed

December 31, 2015:  11am

Closed to all newly arriving guests, aka avoid the park at all costs!!!

Park is at capacity and would be difficult to evacuate in case of an emergency.  On December 25, 2015, Magic Kingdom was at Phase 4 at 11am.

Magic Kingdom crowd estimate: 75,000+. Parking lot is full/closed.

No more guests are admitted until a significant number of current guests leave; usually by 5pm it drops back down.

[Comment:  Christmas Week is our least favorite time to visit the Magic Kingdom!!!  We’ve done it several times, but it’s not been a very fun experience.]

phases (2)

Park Closure summary

9am

December 30, 2015, 9am:  New Years Eve eve crowd at MK

9pm

December 30, 2015, 9pm:  New Years Eve eve crowd waiting for fireworks show at MK.

traffic (2)

Dec 31, 2015, 10am:  Magic Kingdom parking lot full.

crowd (2)

Dec 31, 2015, 10am:  Crowd around the Castle hub. Phase 4 closure in place.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

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   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:   Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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3 thoughts on “Disney Park Closures by Phases

  1. May says:

    I am starting DCP at Disneyland in the fall. How do I go about putting a freeze on my annual pass until I’m done with the program? I don’t want to pay for the pass during the months I’m doing DCP since I will get in for free.
    Thank you for all your helpful information.

    Like

    • We are not aware of any way to “freeze” your annual pass and extend it into 2018.

      We know of a few newly hired CMs that were able to cancel their annual pass and got a refund. (They had renewed their AP very close to their hire date.)

      If we hear differently, we’ll let you know.
      Meanwhile, after you get hired, contact Disney and see if they can do anything, but don’t count on it.
      😦

      Like

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