PHOTO REPORT: Magic Kingdom 1/3/19 (New Year’s Eve, Construction, and Crowds)

New Year’s Eve is the consistently the busiest day of the year at Walt Disney World. Let’s see what Magic Kingdom looked like this year.

I walked in at about 8:00 am. The park had been open since 7 for resort guests. Surprisingly, the crowds at the TTC didn’t seem worse than normal. It was all downhill from here.

This will be one of our last glimpses of the Christmas tree on Main Street. The decorations start to come down at Magic Kingdom shortly after the new year.

I found the people.

One of the few times I’ve seen an extended queue for, as the cast member so eloquently put it, “The Main Street Bakery, featuring Starbucks.”

The new “Guest Experience” kiosks stationed around the park have attraction wait times boards. I had missed these. This was a snapshot just before 9 am. Not bad, but it’s just the beginning of the day.

Construction Updates

I hopped on the peoplemover for a view of some Tron construction.

The old pathway to Fantasyland is completely ripped up now, and you can see they even took out the railroad tracks. Not sure if that’s just for convenience as construction moves forward, or if they plan on rerouting the train slightly.

On the other side, the tracks are still in place. Just further down, they have construction fences up around the berm on the backside of the Carousel of Progress. This is for waterway work related to the project.

With the treeline gone, we can see Bay Lake Tower clearly.

With all the seasonal parties concluded, this little tent at the back of Fantasyland is no longer a dance party space, and once again a seating area.

The sword here was missing for a couple of months, returned, and is now under a tarp…

How Busy Was It?

As it inched closer to 12pm, every line I walked passed seemed to be extending out into the walkway. Here’s It’s a Small World. It might be hard to believe, but everyone on the right side here was in the extended queue.

You can barely see The Haunted Mansion from the end of the line. They hadn’t yet organized the line into the old Keel Boat dock, which usually helps with congestion. I’m assuming they did that shortly after this was taken.

Pirates of the Caribbean well surpassed it’s quite extensive queue. They had it wrapped back around to the stroller parking.

When you run out of rope barriers, you bring out the tape.

That tape is also good for directing traffic. This was in front of Splash Mountain.

People were already waiting here for the 12 PM Christmas parade, one of the last ones of the season.

As I was leaving to head to Epcot, the Magic Kingdom hit capacity.

World Drive was backed up for literally miles. Once the park hits capacity, very few people can make it through the parking gates.

And of course, it’s not a holiday at Disney without a limited edition pin to mark the occasion. Happy New Year!

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2 years ago

just amazing ! why would anyone subject themselves too……..

Sarah D Hetmanski
Sarah D Hetmanski
2 years ago

Thank you so much for posting times in your coverage. I think it is an important detail in understanding the crowds. We arrived mid afternoon. It seems there are three waves of attendees. First group, early AM as you covered. Second group the mid afternoon group (risky without an ADR to protect you against phased closures. Third group the early evening group (this year park reopened at 5:30 for a period of time allowing this group in). I think all of these details matter. Thanks for being through in your reporting.