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One of the most popular events at Disney parks in recent years has been the 24 hour day. Begun in 2012 as a limited-time “one more Disney day” promotion (celebrating the extra day during 2012's leap year), this celebration went on to become quite the fan favorite at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, with guests showing up every year to check out exclusive merchandise, enjoy unique entertainment and of course party all night long at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom.

However, much to the chagrin of fans who enjoyed this annual tradition, it looks like Disney will not be holding this event this spring, at neither Disneyland Resort nor Walt Disney World. While Disney hasn’t officially commented about why they cancelled this event, there are several reasons why a 24 hour day at Disney just wasn’t possible in 2016. 

1.The event was too popular in 2015 at the Disneyland Resort

Last year’s 24 hour day at Disneyland resort coincided with the kickoff of the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration (including the debuts of the new World of Color show, Disneyland Forever fireworks and Paint the Night parade), which made this 24 hour day way more popular than normal. As a result, Disneyland park flooded with guests early, and closed to new entrants around 2:00PM, and blocking re-entries about three hours later.

Though phase closures are nothing new at a Disney Park (especially during special events), as crowds filled the esplanade during last year’s 24-hour day event, Disney mis-managed the flow of guests through security checkpoints on either side of the plaza, effectively blocking guest access to Disney California Adventure, which was still technically open even as Disneyland park was closed.

The resulting chain reaction created a massive backup of guests that went all the way down Harbor Boulevard. Although the crowd eventually dissipated, managers panicked when they saw the afternooon crowds and put a complete halt to admissions for 13 hours. Even as guests left in droves following the Paint the Night parade and Disneyland Forever show, Disneyland remained closed to new guests until around 2:00AM, which led to quite the outcry from fans in the days following the event, especially as photos surfaced on social media of a sparsely-populated Disneyland while entry was still being denied to those waiting outside.  

While its unlikely that an event in 2016 would attract the same kind of crowds, Disney probably doesn’t want to remind guests of 2015’s fiasco, and since there’s nothing specific to celebrate at Disneyland this year, it seems like an opportune time for this park to skip the 24-hour event.

2. The event wasn’t popular enough in 2015 at Walt Disney World 

Image: Disney

While crowds packed the parks at Disneyland Resort in 2015, the opposite was true at Walt Disney World. 2015’s event at the Magic Kingdom was relatively low-key, with only a few event-specific merchandise items for sale, a couple of special events to promote the new Tomorrowland film and a small number of extra entertainment options during the late night and early morning hours. 

As a result of the rather low-key nature of last year's event, guests didn’t exactly show up in droves. Wait times around the park remained light, and as the evening hours arrived, the park virtually emptied, with a few thousand guests essentially having the run of the park as the 3:00AM and 4:00AM hours passed by. 

Image: Disney

While this event has been a blockbuster for the Magic Kingdom in the past, 2015’s event just didn’t have that same spark that previous Walt Disney World events have had, which might be why Disney is opting to take a year off in 2016.

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Comments

Well that's too bad. My favorite part of the 24 hour event was watching the webcams that would be online during the event! They were very cool to watch every year they were online, but it looks like it won't happen this year! :(

I do not believe too much in "coincidences" so to have Magic Kingdom/FL cancel their annual 24 hr event may be directly related to the fact that promoters of GAY DAYS at Disney MOVED their standard APRIL event to the last weekend in May - when Disney normally scheduled their 24 hr event. I believe Disney wants to avoid the mixing of gay days and "all nighters". I've been to Disney during GayDays and as a passholder and married woman with four children we've really never had any issues until last year.

Some of the group shirts worn were very crude for my children to be seeing, i.e. woman wearing "I'm a vaginterian" tees, and men displaying PDA that is inappropriate at Disney for everyone and anyone. A group of three young 20 year old males made some very strong advances toward my oldest son in line for the Thunder Mountain in front of my younger son. He was polite in his refusal to join them for the rest of the day but still I saw it spoiled his day.

I really believe the 24 hours event was canceled for preventative measures. So sad....

In reply to by Ana B. (not verified)

..."and men displaying PDA that is inappropriate at Disney for everyone and anyone"....sorry but straight folks don't own simple public displays of affection. My husband and I are near our 60's, grew up in Southern California and though we live in Las Vegas today we are annual pass holders who make very frequent 4 day trips, spend tons of money and enjoy the wonderful memory making experiences that Disneyland affords us as WELL as straight folks. And so we do hold hands, and we feel young and romantic again just like YOU do...and we don't need gay days to enjoy each others company. Trust me. There are plenty of straight folks at Disneyland that are so over the top with THEIR public displays of affection that they should just go get a room. Your post is insulting and disrespectful of couples like my husband and myself who have been together for 23 years and deserve the same respect that you have as somebody who loves Disneyland as much as you do and probably for the same reasons.

In reply to by Stuart Wyman-Cahall (not verified)

To bring Gay Days in as a reason Disney may or may not have the 24 hr event is unreal and just wrong.. I've been to Disney on Gay Days and regular days with my family. I've never had a problem with any of the other people whom most were families just ike ours there to have a good time. How moronic and disrespectful of you to bring that into the conversation.. I've been approached by many straight guys saying crude and disgusting remarks to me because I'm large breasted, I know that's NOT one of the reasons Disney may not have the 24 hr events. They're cutting costs... Management is nowhere to be found during these events, leaving regular employees to deal with rude guests. Both my kids work at Disneyland and DCA ()Disney's CA Adventure) during 24hr events.. Poor planning on disney's part for over crowding has much to do with unruly guests. Cast members are left to fend for themselves as managers go hide in meetings. Oh they do bring them back donuts after being gone for 4 hours at a time. My daughter was spit on by guests who were unhappy about the lines they had to wait in and how Disney routed them in the park.. It had nothing to do with Gay Days.. Poor planning on Disney management is the problem.. Take it from someone who knows from insiders.. Don't speculate please..

In reply to by Susan (not verified)

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

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