Disney World’s New Rule May Be Hard to Control as Crowds Flood Resort and Wait Times Skyrocket

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This week, Walt Disney World issued a new warning to ANYONE visiting the Resort, and as the holiday season continues to take place and the days draw closer to Christmas day, Guests are visiting the Parks in droves.

Can the new rules be managed with this many people visiting the Disney Park?

cinderella castle at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

It is no secret that Disney Parks across the world have boomed since reopening after the pandemic shutdown. Most notably seen in the United States, both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort have had massive crowds, and long lines almost every day.

Walt Disney World was busy when business reopened for domestic Guests but when international travelers could once more stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., and take in Cinderella Castle, the theme parks have been busy.

The new Magic Kingdom Central Plaza area between Main Street, U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle is now open to guests. The new landscaping is the first milestone of a multi-phase project that features sculpted gardens, charming fountains and winding pathways. This area is designed to be reminiscent of castle gardens and offers extraordinary viewing locations for parades and fireworks. Magic Kingdom is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Credit: Disney

From long wait times at popular attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the 7 a.m. chaos of securing a reservation for EPCOT’s new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, tons of Guests lining up for exclusive merchandise to Park Pass reservations getting fully booked, the Disney experience is one of precision, timeliness, and often, disappointment.

Amid the post-pandemic era of Disney Parks and under the rule of former CEO Bob Chapek, Disney fans have called out the Resort, stating the “magic is gone” and that a Disney vacation has become just “too stressful”.

Bob Iger (left) and Bob Chapek (right) at Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

Along with the contention over the direction of Walt Disney World, the addition of Disney Genie+, Lightning Lane, and the 2 p.m. Park Hopper rule, for example, the Parks have seemingly been entertaining bad behavior from Guests at a higher rate — something they are keen to crack down on.

This year, Disney World has seen some rather raucous events. The notorious brawl in Magic Kingdom Park that made the national and international press left three people arrested and one in hospital. Then there was an altercation in the parking lot of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and multiple incidents were reported on the Magic Kingdom Ferryboat. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

magic kingdom crowd levels memorial day weekend
Credit: Inside the Magic

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With assaults feeling more common than rare, Disney World recently added a courtesy section to its website, with a stark new warning for anyone visiting the theme parks in Orlando, Central Florida:

Be the magic you want to see in the world. You must always remember to treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. Those who can’t live up to this simple wish may be asked to leave Walt Disney World Resort.

Cinderella Castle Partners statue at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

It can be expected that most visitors to The Most Magical Place On Earth want to have an enjoyable, stress-free vacation but sometimes, it only takes one individual to cause mayhem at the Parks.

So, when taking into account new data about wait times and crowd levels at Walt Disney World, can Cast Members and security ensure people are the magic?

Spaceship Earth
Credit: Disney

According to Thrill Data, the past two days (Monday, December 19, and Tuesday, December 20) have seen average wait times entering the top five highest over the last six months. December 19 came in at an impressive 60 minutes average wait time with December 20 having an average of 54 minutes. The former is now the second-highest day in terms of average wait times at Walt Disney World, coming in after November 21.

mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

Related: Guests Halted Leaving Disney World Ride as Altercation Leads to Vulgar Wrestling Match

The high wait times combined with the fact that Magic Kingdom Park is fully blacked out on the Park Pass availability calendar through January 4, means that there will be a higher probability of altercations breaking out just from the sheer volume of Guests. In addition, the frequency of line-jumping at Disney Parks, teamed with this year’s high average wait times might pose the chance of incidents arising in attraction queues.

magic kingdom sign
Credit: Inside the Magic

The question, this holiday season, is whether Disney’s new courtesy rule is enough to stop potential incidents from breaking out.

Are you visiting Disney World during the festive season? Let us know in the comments down below!

Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs. A valid ticket, as well as a Park Pass reservation, is needed to enter each Park and Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. daily.

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