PHOTO REPORT: Magic Kingdom 3/15/20 – Final Day Before Unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closure
It was a somber day at the Magic Kingdom, the mood in stark contrast to the beautiful, sunny weather. We saw a drastic reduction in crowds, and noticed that what little guests there were were mostly made up of College Program participants on their last day in the parks. Emotional moments and tearful photo ops made our last day in this beautiful park even more memorable and sorrowful.
The makeover of Cinderella Castle made for a bright spot in our day, in this case, quite literally. The vibrant new blue of the turrets stood out even against the bright blue sky. We’ve so enjoyed following this project, and will miss getting to see all the progress day by day as work may well continue while the park is closed to guests.
As we took in our favorite sights and spots, we noted the absence of crowds. Here at Gaston’s Tavern, the line that usually stretches well past this iconic fountain and out into the walkway was nonexistent.
Over in Liberty Square, a spot that’s usually packed with people having just come from the Hub and their first castle selfie, had just a handful of people passing through.
Our view of Crystal Palace, even at midday, was almost completely empty of people. We did notice these small residents of Magic Kingdom in our shot however, and they were a sight for sore eyes.
We hope these little guys do well until we see them again!
All across Walt Disney World, we saw smaller snack stands closing early or not opening at all. This cart, home to the popular Pepper Jack stuffed pretzel, didn’t open today.
Across from the closed cart, we found this water art of Goofy left to bring a smile to guests’ faces on this sad day.
We took some time out to visit some of our favorite characters today. Many of the guests in line with us were grieving College Program participants, and the moments that these characters gave them was nothing short of magical.
With so few guests in the park, wait times for popular attractions were remarkably low. Most rides didn’t go over 30 minutes for most of the day, although Seven Dwarfs Mine Train remained around 60 minutes.
Another project that we’ve been closely monitoring is the construction of the TRON Lightcycle Run coaster. From what little we could see through the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover track, more temporary steel supports have been added to the structure that will ultimately support the canopy while it’s being built. We expect a large amount of progress to be made to this project before we see it again.
This flower installation never ceases to amaze us, and we were thankful we got a good look at it before leaving the park.
Even though the castle isn’t finished, we took advantage of today’s pause in construction to get a glimpse of what this view will resemble when we return. It’s been a historic day here in Magic Kingdom and everywhere in Walt Disney World.
Later in the day, we returned as the sun was setting to close out the park. We got to see each of our favorite places bathed in a beautiful glow for the last time.
Some attractions and dining options were already closed and preparing for the parkwide shut-down.
Many guests took last-minute rides on their favorite attractions.
The park can look completely different in the dark. We enjoyed this rare view of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.
Some rides have a very specific smell… Can you smell the chlorine?
Nostalgia reigned for many as they relived special times from their childhood.
We closed out the night watching “Happily Ever After” and a very special, character-filled farewell at the train station.
Even though the parks are closing, we here at WDW News Today will continue to bring you the latest news and updates about all things Disney. We hope to be reporting the reopening of the Walt Disney World theme parks very soon.