Confirmed: Disney World Will Go 100% Dark in 24 Hours, Thousands Caught in Path

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Disney's Hollywood Studios front entrance sign during sunset.

Credit: Inside The Magic

On Monday, North America will witness a total solar eclipse, an event not seen in the United States for seven years and not expected to recur for another two decades, according to astronomers. On April 8, millions are anticipated to look up at the sky for the rare opportunity to observe the alignment of three celestial bodies: the sun, moon, and Earth, which will partially or fully align depending on the viewer’s location.

Magic Kingdom entrance at Disney World
Credit: Frank Phillips, Flickr

Related: Disney Immediately Revokes Urgent Advisory to Stay Out of Parks

This monumental event will also be seen in Walt Disney World Resort. So, if you are in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom tomorrow, here is what you need to know.

For those unfamiliar, a solar eclipse occurs when a celestial body, such as a moon or planet, passes between two others, often obstructing the view of objects like the sun. During a total eclipse, the moon appears to be the same size as the sun, completely blocking its disk from Earth and resulting in several minutes of darkness known as “totality.”

This phenomenon allows observers to see the sun’s outermost layer, called the corona, and can disrupt animal behavior, causing nocturnal creatures to become active and birds and insects to fall silent.

In the United States, hundreds of cities and towns across 13 states fall along the eclipse’s path, with an estimated 31 million Americans residing in these areas. Additionally, many more tourists are expected to travel to witness the event, potentially causing traffic congestion. According to eclipse expert Michael Zeiler of GreatAmericanEclipse.com, the eclipse is anticipated to be a spectacular sight drawing millions of viewers. Furthermore, NASA predicts that small portions of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the eclipse.

Disney's Hollywood Studios front entrance sign during sunset.
Credit: Inside The Magic

According to The Palm Beach Post, “the eclipse could be visible in Orlando, Florida, from 1:46 p.m. to 4:17 p.m. ET with max viewing at 3:03 p.m.”

Thankfully, the eclipse will be safe for all guests at Walt Disney World!

In contrast to partial solar eclipses, a total eclipse presents viewers with a distinctive chance to observe it directly with the naked eye, but only during totality when the moon fully obscures the sun, and darkness envelops the surroundings. However, staring directly at the sun’s rays can cause significant harm to the retinas, although it’s unlikely to result in blindness. Therefore, NASA advises that proper safety eyewear remains essential until the moment of totality.

It will be interesting to see how the eclipse will affect the daily operations at the park. For example, at Magic Kingdom, the daily parade, Festival of Fantasy, and the Cinderella Castle stage show, Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire, will both occur during the eclipse. At the moment, Disney has not stated that there would be any obstruction due to the eclipse and shows times remain untouched on the My Disney Experience app.

Whether you reside within the path of totality or are seeking the nearest city where daytime will briefly turn into darkness, one thing is certain: It’s time to plan your viewing experience.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT framed from the arch in the Japan Pavilion in World Showcase. At EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

According to NASA, North America won’t witness another total solar eclipse until August 23, 2044. Unfortunately, the 2044 eclipse won’t have the extensive coverage across the U.S. as the 2024 event.

Then, as we previously covered, “20 years from now, in August 2045, the Walt Disney World Resort will experience a six-minute total solar eclipse. The event will happen on August 12, 2045, directly above the famous Disney theme park destination.”

Bill Nye the Science Guy, who has had his hand in many Disney attractions from Dinosaur to the extinct Ellen’s Energy Adventure, has this to say about the upcoming eclipse:

“My advice to everybody: We all nowadays, everywhere I go, “Can I take a selfie? Can I take a selfie? Can I take a selfie?” I know you all want to take pictures, but just try to be in the moment. Just be there, remember the moment, remember what you were doing on April 8th about 1:30 in the afternoon in Hill Country of Texas. It’s just an extraordinary experience.

And you just think what ancient peoples must have thought. They must have thought the world was ending or the sky is falling or one of these things, and it’s not. It’s this remarkable phenomenon that’s available to us as Earthlings. For most of us, it’s a once in a lifetime; for many of us, it’s a couple or three in our lifetime. And it’s so convenient in that it’s coming right over civilization, interstate highways going all over the place.”

Will you be participating in the solar eclipse tomorrow? Will you be watching it from Walt Disney World Resort? 

 

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