Disney Park to Shut Down, Signage Warns Guests of Evacuation

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park with only a few people around it.

Credit: @ResortTV1 via @DisneyGlimpses

When guests visit Walt Disney World Resort, while they might hope that everything is open and functioning as usual, there are many instancing when that will sadly not be true.

Crowds at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Marc Smith / Flickr

Walt Disney World is comprised of four theme parks: EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In addition to that, there is Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, the two water parks. Disney also has multiple modes of transportation like the Disney Skyliner and the iconic monorail, which is attached to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

With hundreds of attractions and a variety of mechanical creations that need maintenance, Disney is rarely ever entirely complete — which is something Walt once said about Disneyland: that the theme park would never be complete and that it would continue to flourish and develop.

The Skyliner at Walt Disney World.
Credit: Inside the Magic (Luke D.)

The ongoing construction at Disney World is inevitable, and while it helps the theme park get better over time, it does affect and hinder the vacation of thousands, if not millions, while its going on.

A good example of this is seen in major park overhauls.

In the past, Disney’s Hollywood Studios was often referred to as a “half-day park” due to extensive construction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land, which significantly limited the park’s offerings. Now that these projects are complete, the theme park has regained its full allure. Meanwhile, EPCOT has been undergoing substantial changes, transforming it into an active construction zone for an extended period.

The primary focus of EPCOT’s updates is in the front half of the park, particularly in Future World. Presently, guests entering the park encounter numerous construction walls throughout. Visitors planning a trip to the theme park should be aware that Future World is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, leading to the creation of three new neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature. (World Showcase remains situated in the back of the park.)

A Cast Member in VIP Tour guide costume high fiving a kid and his father in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

The imminent opening of World Celebration at EPCOT is highly anticipated, given the substantial space it occupies within the park. Disney has revealed plans for the new area, with an expected opening towards the end of 2023, possibly extending to early 2024. Among the attractions already introduced is Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.

While this construction is intrusive, it is something that many guests visiting are already aware of — there are other closures that can happen in which guests may not be prepared for, which will potentially ruin their vacation.

Journey of Water attraction at EPCOT
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Of course, we have the possibility of a ride being under refurbishment. If you are looking to ride Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom, and it is closed for two weeks for maintenance, you will probably be sad, but that is something that would be scheduled on Disney’s calendar beforehand.

There are other instances in which a ride might close during the day unexpectedly. When this happens, it is typically titled a “temporary closure”. Sometimes, these closures could last a short amount of time, but we have also seen a temporary closure last over five days in the past, specifically with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.

When this happens, it is easy for guests to get upset, as they may have really been looking forward to riding that attraction.

While a shutdown attraction is never a good thing, evacuating an entire land is even worse. It may not be common, but sometimes, Disney has to shut down massive areas of the theme park, which means restaurants, multiple stores, and many rides. At Magic Kingdom, we recently saw this happen when a bear was found in the theme park; areas in Fronteirland and Fantasyland had to shut down. 

We also recently reported that the world’s largest wave pool, and a huge chunk of Typhoon Lagoon had to be evacuated after a few teenage boys decided to pull a revolting prank and poop in the water. 

Magic Kingdom closure sign due to weather
Credit: Inside the Magic

Yesterday, Disney put up signage that warned guests that areas of the Magic Kingdom would be shutting down entirely during fireworks due to weather. This signage was interesting, as there was no strong wind or weather in the area. Disney was, however, filming their Christmas and Thanksgiving special yesterday with Julianne and Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars), so it seems that instead of noting that areas were closed due to filming, Disney “avoided the smoke,” so to speak, and put out a sign that was essentially a lie, to keep guests at bay.

Disney World - Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a float during a parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Credit: Inside The Magic

As one may imagine, guests pay thousands to visit Magic Kingdom, so to be told that you will be restricted from areas of the park because Disney is filming during park hours might anger some guests, but telling them that it is due to weather, and therefore, a safety hazard, will likely curb any complaints as it is “out of Disney’s control”.

Have you ever been restricted from areas at Disney or evacuated from the theme park or ride? 

If you are looking to visit Walt Disney World Resort for a magical vacation, the Walt Disney World Website can be a great tool to begin planning your trip! You can begin exploring their theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. You can also take a look at their water parks where you can splash around in the chill of Disney’s Blizzard Beach (alongside new Frozen characters, Anna, Elsa, Sven, and Kristoff), or hit the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. When you get hungry or want to go shopping, Disney Springs is the place to be, especially with World of Disney there ready to help you pick up some souvenirs! You can also begin looking for your Disney World Resort! If you are looking to stay at a Deluxe monorail Resort like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or a Value Resort where you can hop on the Skyliner like Disney’s Pop Century Resort, it is always fun to begin looking for a room that would best suit you and your party. Plus, it has all the information you need to know on Disney Genie+ so that you will be ready to go on your My Disney Experience app once you download it! Click here to check it out today.

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