What happens when Walt Disney World’s parks are full? (How Park Phase Closure Works at WDW)

indexWalt Disney World can hold a large amount of people, but each park still has their safety constraints. Walt Disney World has a “phased closure system” that they use with the parks are almost full. Usually this is only put into action around Easter, the between Christmas and New Years and sometimes on the Fourth of July. The two water parks usually hit their max capacity in the summer.Usually the parking lots will close before the park, if this occurs cars will be sent to alternative parking lots and the parks provide bus transportation to the over flow lots. Walt Disney World uses a “phase” system with closing the parks, this phasing is based on the TYPE of guest they are letting into the park. Phasing starts at Phase 1 and works up to Phase 4, if guests leave the park during the closures, the level of “Phase” can drop a level or the “Phase” system of restricted entry can be lifted all together. Disney does not publish its park closure procedures and this info may change  at any time. This information is based on how the parks have handled “Phase Closure” in the past.
*PLEASE NOTE: Just because one park has reached capacity, it does not mean they all have. Each park will announce their Phase Closure as needed*
Guests that Can Enter During Phase 1

  • Current Disney Resort Guests
  • None Resort Guests with multi-day or multi-park tickets
  • Guests that are park hopping from another park
  • Guests with in-park reservations/appointments
  • Guests arriving on Disney transportation (buses/monorail/water craft)
  • Annual Passholders (not in black out)
  • People who have already entered the park that day, and are re-entering

Guests that Can Enter During Phase 2:

  • Current Disney Resort Guests
  • Guests that are park hopping from another park
  • Guests with in-park reservations/appointments
  • Guests arriving on Disney transportation (buses/monorail/water craft)
  • Annual Passholders (not in black out)
  • People who have already entered the park that day, and are re-entering

Guests that Can Enter During Phase 3:

  • Current Disney Resort Guests
  • Guests with in-park reservations/appointments
  • Annual Passholders (not in black out)

Guests that Can Enter During Phase 4:

  • No one. The park and parking lot are closed to all arriving guests as the park has hit it’s posted legal limit.

Author: Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

One Response to What happens when Walt Disney World’s parks are full? (How Park Phase Closure Works at WDW)

  1. lloconn03 says:

    Does the “Current Disney Resort Guests” include the campground guests?

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