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View Full Version : Park closings---starting to worry about 12/25 and 1/1 ADRs


garanorymom
09-21-2009, 11:56 AM
Historically, how often do the parks close--specifically Epcot on 12/25, 12/31, and 1/1? Do you think the park will be closed by around 4 any of those days?

DCDisney
09-21-2009, 12:25 PM
By 4 it's almost certainly going to be closed at least on 12/25 and 12/31. New Year's Eve I think the norm is that it does close to capacity early in the afternoon. I wouldn't plan on getting there any later than noon to stay through your ADR time. 12/25 and 1/1 are more iffy since it is so big it tends to close last because it's so big but the quicker the other parks fill the earlier that can happen at Epcot. 12/25 MK usually closes by 10-11am so again I'd plan on no later than noon at Epcot. It's very hard to tell when but once it closes lots of people need to leave so others can come in and on 12/31 especially I would think people are planning to stay.

Kickapoo Joie Juice
09-21-2009, 12:51 PM
This was the sign at 11 am on a wednesday during spring break (which is less crowded than xmas):

http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx82/kickapoojoiejuice/HPIM2050.jpg

Cheshire Figment
09-21-2009, 02:36 PM
A couple of years ago I was working Epcot Gate on NYE day. When I was covering exits, I had to warn every party leaving that they might not be able to get back in.

The turnstile master computer at each park keeps track of both entries and exits. When a park capacity closes (which is done in stages) there has to be a certain number of people exiting, with the total "in park" below a certain number, before they start allowing people in again.

I am low enough on the totem pole that I have no idea what these numbers are.

There are four stages to park closing:

Stage 1 - The parking lot entrance is closed. You can only access the park if you are using Disney Transportation.

Stage 2 - The ticket windows are all closed (and the automated Ticket Vending Machines are turned off). Unless you already have a ticket you cannot get in.

Stage 3 - Only people with Annual Passes or current Resort IDs will be allowed in.

Stage 4 - Nobody is allowed in.

Note - having restaurant reservations in a park, even with written proof, will not override a stage closing for you.

Also, if you are staying at a Disney owned and operated Resort and have a ticket, you are guaranteed entry into A park. Not necessarily the one you want (unless you want to go into AK). And if you have entered and left a park and do not have a hopper you may not get into anything.

TMB1203
09-21-2009, 05:30 PM
I am so nervous about Christmas! Our flight arrives at MCO at 10:45 Christmas Day. If we are lucky, we will be to VWL to check in and on our way to MK by 1:00 PM. I am hoping that they are still open.

Will the bus drivers let us know if a park is at a staged closing? Can you form a line and wait to get let in? If so, are the lines long or do most people try to find a park that isn't full?

Does it help that we are DVC members and spent alot of money committing to Disney vacations? KIDDING OF COURSE :rotfl:

Kickapoo Joie Juice
09-21-2009, 06:14 PM
I am so nervous about Christmas! Our flight arrives at MCO at 10:45 Christmas Day. If we are lucky, we will be to VWL to check in and on our way to MK by 1:00 PM. I am hoping that they are still open.

Will the bus drivers let us know if a park is at a staged closing? Can you form a line and wait to get let in? If so, are the lines long or do most people try to find a park that isn't full?

Does it help that we are DVC members and spent alot of money committing to Disney vacations? KIDDING OF COURSE :rotfl:

Fellow DVC member here. Start working on Plan B now.

nicki.momof3
09-21-2009, 06:50 PM
This was the sign at 11 am on a wednesday during spring break (which is less crowded than xmas):

http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx82/kickapoojoiejuice/HPIM2050.jpg

A full sign for a parking sign does not mean the park was closed to resort guests using resort transportation. I was there also Easter week and went into the MK on Easter day at 8am (left at noon) and again at 5pm (left at midnight). No problems. We also had reservations at CP that night and again no problems.

People on these boards freak out about crowd levels. You will be fine. Epcot is HUGE and can hold a ton of people. If you are a resort guest you are pretty high on the closer list. If it closes it closes it should not ruin your vacation - go to another park. Anywhere at WDW is better than at home is my thought. I love all the parks.

If someone is really SCARD about park closures the only answer is to travel at slower times of the year.

TMB1203
09-22-2009, 02:28 PM
Start working on Plan B now.

Yep, we sure are! We'll make the best of it-no matter what. This might be the only time I will get my DH to actually resort hop so that we can view the decoratons.

As another poster stated, anywhere at WDW is better than at home.
My husband drives for UPS, so the chances of getting to go at Christmas time are few and far between. With the way Christmas fell this year, we could take advantage of a visit to WDW! Since this will be such a rare treat, NOTHING will spoil it for us. :thumbsup2

Kickapoo Joie Juice
09-22-2009, 02:41 PM
Yep, we sure are! We'll make the best of it-no matter what. This might be the only time I will get my DH to actually resort hop so that we can view the decoratons.

As another poster stated, anywhere at WDW is better than at home.
My husband drives for UPS, so the chances of getting to go at Christmas time are few and far between. With the way Christmas fell this year, we could take advantage of a visit to WDW! Since this will be such a rare treat, NOTHING will spoil it for us. :thumbsup2

We did that one year and it was a ton of fun. We have a photo montage of every tree at every resort and every park, it was sort of like a scavenger hunt :)

jls886
09-22-2009, 05:10 PM
We have been the last two years and went to MK on Christmas Day with no problems. Both years we arrived in the morning (but not right at park opening), went back to the resort to rest in the afternoon, and then headed back to MK that evening. At no point did we see any signs that the park was at capactiy or anything like that, but maybe we just happened to hit it at the right times of day. We were nervous after hearing horror stories, but we were never turned away. MK is definitely shoulder to shoulder on Christmas though, especially earlier in the day!

happymommy
09-22-2009, 05:27 PM
The year we went from Dec 26 to Jan 2, most parks were full to capacity every day. It was amazing, hearing about it! We had a great time, but really enjoyed our time at the resort (AKL). What made it really nice and comfortable was that we were on concierge level. This was nice for two reasons: they made all our ADR's, activity plans, and such for us; and we really spent more time in the lounge than many would during a slower time of the year.

We went to a park fairly early in the day, enjoyed it until the crowds got very heavy, then we'd go back to the resort, relax, the kids would swim (run from pool to hot tub and back!). Then have dinner somewhere. As we approached NYE, the crowds became noticeably heavier earlier, but the early times were fine. Now, NYE we spent maybe an hour or two at Epcot, and I really couldn't stand it - got a bit crabby with DH ;) The concierge staff had booked us dinner at Flying Fish, sad to say it's the second worst meal we've had at WDW, but hey that happens, then an Illuminations cruise on Breathless (we didn't even know what that was, I just had asked if sometime during the week we could get an Illuminations cruise). It was so cool to watch the show and fireworks while the folks above us were literally smashed in...

I would definitely stick to lunch ADR's if it were me. The evenings may be very crowded.

And to specifically answer one question: from our experience, Epcot was closed before 3pm on 12/31 - to capacity. I wouldn't have wanted to be there if I could. The atmosphere around the Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Club was very festive. I don't know what the current economy will do to affect this situation, but you will probably have people living in the area who will go to celebrate, so I'll bet it will be full. I wouldn't plan dinner that night in Epcot, if it were me.