TMSM Explains: Walt Disney World Capacity Closure Phase Information

capacity

Whenever we get close to a holiday or known busy time at the parks we often get asked “How many people have to be in the park before they start capacity closings?”  Now, we know there are a lot of people willing to fling numbers out but we know that Disney doesn’t publicly release their capacity numbers. That’s right, there are NO officially confirmed and published capacity numbers for the parks, nor are there officially published numbers for what is required to start each closure phase. Disney is very secretive about that information. Also, let’s not forget capacity includes Disney Employees, Contractors, outside performers etc. not just park guests. So when you see someone in a chat room or forum flinging numbers that “MK will hold XYZ” take that posters comments with a Deer-Lick size grain of salt.

Today we wanted to take a moment to address something we get asked a LOT when it’s busy at Walt Disney World, and that’s Capacity Closure. As always as we hear updates about capacity closures through our followers on Facebook we will push out updates to ensure park goers are prepared. Also remember as parking lots fill guests may get diverted to other lots, so be prepared to take in everything you need for the day as your car may be very far away, and you may not be able to get back in, and make sure you pay attention to signs on the side of the road updating you to any changes in standard parking procedure.

To make your trip more enjoyable during busy times here are a few tips:

  • Remember to print copies of your reservations that won’t link to My Disney Experience (Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, Pirate’s League, Special Ticket items etc.) to show CM’s if needed
  • Take a screen shot of your FP+ times in case the system has an error, and to save you time and battery! A screenshot made into a lock screen wallpaper is a lot easier to look vs opening and loading an app.
  • You can take snacks and water in the parks with you but they will be inspected (remember no adult beverages can be taken into the parks!)
  • Sunscreen should be reapplied often
  • Take a hat and sunglasses with you to protect your eyes (and your wallet when you realize you should have taken them and didn’t!)
  • Take clothing that will help you with the weather (poncho, warm weather items etc.). Consult the weather forecast before you head to the parks!
  • Stay hydrated, and if you feel hot go inside a show or quick service location and cool off
  • Be prepared to miss rides, or stand in long lines.
  • Take advantage of cell phone charging lockers in the park, or carry a portable charger with you.
  • Dress for the day, but don’t dress to CAUSE an event. Remember the parks have a dress code and Disney is a family destination.

Below are the closure phases for Walt Disney World capacity levels. The parks have not published their  park closure procedures this information is based on past closures, and the parks may change practices at any time as needed by Disney corporate. Also the parks usually do not publish when they hit capacity on a specific date, so the only way we know this has occurred is if Main Streeters alert us to their actually seeing a capacity closure notice.

Phase One:

Non- resort guests without tickets, and those with single-day and CM tickets  guests are turned away at the toll plazas and are not allowed to park.

Guests may enter the parks:

  • Disney Resort Guests
  • Annual Passholders whose AP’s aren’t blocked out
  • Guests that are park hopping
  • Guests using Disney buses, boats and the monorail
  • Guests with appointments or in-park reservations (make sure you have a copy of reservations that can’t be added to MDE printed for proof to be safe, and remember FP+ reservations don’t apply to this)
  • Guests with multi-day/park tickets
  • Guests that left the park and are re-entering

Phase Two:

The following guests are allowed in the park and are allowed to park:

  • Disney Resort Guests
  • Annual Passholders whose AP’s aren’t blocked out
  • Guests that are park hopping
  • Guests using Disney buses, boats and the monorail
  • Guests with appointments or in-park reservations (make sure you have a copy of reservations that can’t be added to MDE printed for proof to be safe, and remember FP+ reservations don’t apply to this)
  • Guests that left the park and are re-entering

Phase Three:

The following guests are allowed in the park and are allowed to park:

  • Disney Resort Guests
  • Annual Passholders whose AP’s aren’t blocked out
  • Guests with appointments or in-park reservations(make sure you have a copy of reservations that can’t be added to MDE printed for proof to be safe, and remember FP+ reservations don’t apply to this)

Phase Four:

Phase Four is total shut down, the parks and parking lots are closed to ALL arriving guests regardless of their ticket type or reservations.

Michele
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Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” 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. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 5594 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele

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