Monday, December 25th kicked off the busiest week of the year for Walt Disney World, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the Magic Kingdom, the most-visited theme park in the world, filled to capacity early in the day, and was unable to admit guests for several hours. Though the following day was a little bit better, wait times still ballooned across the resort, with Avatar – Flight of Passage taking the crown for the most insane wait of the day, with guests Tuesday morning greeted with a 270 minute (four and a half hours!) wait.
Obviously, this situation is not ideal, and as other attractions see much higher than normal waits (PhillharMagic at the Magic Kingdom, which is usually a walk-on, saw a 45 minute wait earlier this week!) Disney has made some changes to try and keep up with the throngs of guests flooding the park this week.
1. All quick service restaurants are now open
Though Walt Disney World (and the Magic Kingdom in particular) has a number of restaurants that it keeps closed on purpose, beginning this week every single quick service location is open and serving guests, with several additional pop-up kiosks offering snacks and drinks scattered throughout the parks. Though there are food and beverage offerings pretty much every where you turn, guests are reporting waits of almost an hour at some of the most-trafficked locations around the theme parks, including Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Electric Umbrella, and the ABC Commissary. And of course, table service restaurants are fully booked, so guests looking for a last-minute walkup reservation at Le Cellier will unfortunately be disappointed this week.
2. Traffic is being managed expertly
Grit lock at magic kingdom park so packed no one can move. Hopefully no emergencies. Unsafe. pic.twitter.com/i5RY8vCRQm— Juanluca (@Juanluca14) December 25, 2017
Earlier this week the video above, which shows foot traffic in Fantasyland at a complete stop while guests stood shoulder to shoulder, went viral. However, while this scene was regrettable, it probably also won’t be seen again, as Disney has deployed additional cast members to help keep guests flowing through the park, in some cases cordoning off specific parts of the walkway and marking it with tape arrows to ensure guest flow remains constant.
In addition, Disney has also opened the Magic Kingdom exit bypass during the morning, which means that guests looking to exit the park at any time can do so using either the Main Street USA thoroughfare or this “shortcut” which is usually only available in the evening.