Disney Shuts Down Entire Resort Area, Thousands Rerouted by Police

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

disney springs crowd levels memorial day weekend

Credit: Inside the Magic

When guests visit Walt Disney World, they expect to be in a safe environment; luckily, Disney guests will always be looked over with the utmost care by security and the proper authorities. However, when something significant does occur, it could end up shutting down areas of the resort entirely, rerouting thousands of guests.

Scene at Disney Springs
Credit: Disney

People visit Disney World for a magical and immersive experience that transcends the ordinary. Comprising four main theme parks, each with its unique charm, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, offers a diverse range of attractions. Magic Kingdom, the flagship park, brings fairy tales to life with iconic attractions like Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain. Epcot, known for its futuristic and international themes, features Spaceship Earth and the World Showcase.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios provides a cinematic experience with rides such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Toy Story Mania. Animal Kingdom combines wildlife and adventure, housing attractions like Pandora – The World of Avatar and Expedition Everest. From beloved characters to thrilling rides, Disney World caters to various interests, creating a destination where enchantment and joy await visitors of all ages.

Toy story themed roller coaster with Disney guests pictured at Disney World
Credit: Unsplash – Perry Merrity II

Another area in Disney that is highly popular and involves no cost to enter is Disney Springs.

Disney Springs, located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, is a vibrant entertainment complex offering a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Guests can explore unique stores such as World of Disney, the largest Disney character store globally, featuring a wide range of Disney merchandise. The Marketplace Co-Op showcases Disney-inspired clothing, accessories, and home goods from independent designers.

For delectable dining experiences, restaurants like Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, known for Southern comfort food, and The Boathouse, offering waterfront dining and fresh seafood, are popular choices. Specialty dessert spots like Amorette’s Patisserie and Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop cater to those with a sweet tooth. The Polite Pig and Morimoto Asia are among the diverse culinary offerings, from southern cooking to Asian delights. Additionally, guests can enjoy live entertainment, outdoor performances, and themed events that contribute to the lively atmosphere of Disney Springs.

The entrance to World of Disney at Disney Springs at nighttime.
Credit: Disney

As we noted, guest safety in these areas, as well as their resorts is top priority, and something that Disney has certainly been taking more seriously as of late. We are starting to see a lot more trespasses being given out for guests that are breaking rules and disrupting the experience of others. Additionally, Disney ensures that all guests go through a mental detector upon arrival.

Of course, weapons of any kind are forbidden from the park.

While Disney is able to control the behavior of guests to an extent and what they bring into the parks, they also need to be aware that guests can fall ill while at Disney, and when something like that happens, Disney must be ready to spring into action. Each theme park has a first-aid area where guests can get medicine at, as well as go to lie down in instances where they may need a few moments of rest.

Walt Disney World Express Monorail outside of Magic Kingdom
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney also has the Reedy Creek fire station on property, and fast ambulance access when needed.

If a crisis occurs that causes Disney to have to bring in the authorities, at times it can close down areas of the theme parks.

Evacuations are a common occurrence at attractions in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. For instance, guests riding the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom or Disneyland Park may experience an evacuation if the ride encounters a breakdown, necessitating a safe removal of guests. Maintenance-related problems often contribute to these interruptions. In more serious instances, issues like a small fire have led to the evacuation of all guests dining inside Cinderella Castle at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland also got evacuated this fall due to a fire.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an immersive section that plunges fans into the captivating narratives of Lucasfilm. Engage in the thrills of piloting the Millennium Falcon in Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run or elude Kylo Ren on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

A family walks through Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

For a more hands-on experience, visit Savi’s Workshop to craft your lightsaber or Droid Depot to create a personalized droid companion. Quench your thirst for an intergalactic beverage at Oga’s Cantina, and fulfill your nutritional cravings at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. Additionally, don’t miss the chance to savor the iconic Blue Milk and Green Milk on Batuu.

On September 14, 2023, around 3:00 p.m., the Marketplace underwent an evacuation. Cast members efficiently guided guests out of the area, and fortunately, no injuries were reported. Subsequently, the Marketplace was temporarily closed, with four cast members stationed at the gate.

We have even seen a large chunk of Typhoon Lagoon have to close down after multiple boys pooped into the water as a joke. 

Overall, Disney will do what must be done to protect guests, even if it causes a disruption in operations.

Recently, one guest took to the internet to bring up a disruption at Disney Springs, they said, “Leaving Disney Springs tonight we saw about 6-7 cop cars, a fire truck, ambulance, and some cast members redirecting us every few feet. Is this normal? I’ve never been to springs so close to closing time, so was just curious. We didn’t think about it at first, but there were cast members every few feet redirecting us.”

empty disney springs, no crowds
Credit: Inside the Magic

At Disney Springs there is typically a heavy police presence; however, if nothing is going on they do not have to reroute guests, nor will a firetruck or ambulance show up. In this case, it appears Disney was reacting to a medical emergency.

One guests replied, “Disney is just planning ahead. With as many people are there at night, it is best to pre-stage fire and ambulance there because they are more than likely needed before the night is over. They might be needed multiple times before the end of the night. The police are there because Disney security isn’t armed and has limited legal powers to deal with an issue. For example, a drunk person causing trouble can be dealt with on a limited basis by security and maybe encouraged to leave and go to their hotel, but if it escalates further the police will get involved. Disney security can do crowd control and help guide people to buses and boats, as they want to make the experience as nice as possible.

Four people raise Coca-Colas in front of the hot air balloon in Disney Springs
Credit: Disney

In this specific case, cast members were likely trying to guide the crowd away from a medical incident. It helps make other guests experience better to not see it and it gives privacy to the person who needs the assistance. People will gather to watch in a medical incident.”

Luckily, it seems that Disney was able to deal with the medical incident without causing too much of a disruption, however, some areas certainly did have to shut down, as we know due to the rerouting of guests.

What do you think of Disney’s ability to handle emergency situations? 

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