The need to reduce the size of crowds in order to reduce the spread of Coronavirus has caused most theme parks around the world to shut down. However, they didn't all shut down immediately. Walt Disney World's parks remained open through Sunday evening, and it appears that guests wanted to give Magic Kingdom a final farewell before the gates were locked, and one member of the Disney family can't believe it.
The crowds at the Happily Ever After fireworks show are always big, fireworks are always a popular event and Disney fireworks take things to another level. However, last night, shots of the crowd showed that they were absolutely insane, and Abigail Disney, the grand-niece of Walt Disney, was less than thrilled to see that many people crowded together.
While Main Street U.S.A. is rarely empty, and is always pretty crowded right before the fire works show begins, there's really no space to move based on these images. Considering the entire point of closing the parks is to help facilitate social distancing, then we're certainly not getting that here. It's true that Florida hasn't been having the issues with Coronavirus that we're seeing other places, but if somebody in that crowd was sick it's hard to imagine anybody else not catching it.
This is the sort of crowd you expect to see on the last night of the fireworks show before it gets replaced by something new, which, in some ways, is exactly what this was. Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World's other theme parks are all dark as of today, and will be until at least the end of the month.
While Walt Disney World originally planned to keep its hotels and Disney Springs open for the duration, this morning the park announced that all the hotels, along with all of the retail Disney Stores, will be closing March 20.
While seeing crowds like this at Walt Disney World are mildly terrifying, they're also completely understandable. The crowds at the park had vacations planned and most of them were almost certainly having them cut short because of the park closure. Everybody wanted to get the most out of their experience, and if you're making your first trip ever, you might decide to take a risk in order to experience the things that you might get to do for a very long time.
It's a safe bet that we'll also see crowds that look like this whenever Walt Disney World, and the other Disney Parks around the world, reopen again. Whether that happens in two weeks, or if the scheduled reopening gets delayed, after a period of self-isolation, there are going to be a lot of people who want to get out to places like theme parks just to experience the freedom of being able to do so again.
For a run down of how Coronavirus is impacting many different theme parks in the country, check out the story below.