PHOTO REPORT: Magic Kingdom 3/15/20 – Final Day Before Unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closure

Rapunzel
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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.

Cinderella castle makeover

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.

Gaston’s Tavern

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.

Liberty square

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.

Crystal Palace

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.

Magic kingdom ducklings

We hope these little guys do well until we see them again!

Closed pretzel cart

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.

Goofy water art

Across from the closed cart, we found this water art of Goofy left to bring a smile to guests’ faces on this sad day.

Rapunzel

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.

Splash mountain

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.

Tron construction

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.

Magic kingdom train station

This flower installation never ceases to amaze us, and we were thankful we got a good look at it before leaving the park.

Partners Cinderella castle makeover

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.

Big thunder mountain

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.

Liberty belle

Some attractions and dining options were already closed and preparing for the parkwide shut-down.

Under the sea

Many guests took last-minute rides on their favorite attractions.

Swiss family robinson

The park can look completely different in the dark. We enjoyed this rare view of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Some rides have a very specific smell… Can you smell the chlorine?

Teacups

Nostalgia reigned for many as they relived special times from their childhood.

Happily ever after

We closed out the night watching “Happily Ever After” and a very special, character-filled farewell at the train station.

Minnie Mouse bronze magic kingdom

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.

About the author

Noelle Burk

I’m a traveler, crafter and circus girl. My favorite things to do are knit at Disney and eat tacos. If I can’t take my knitting I’m not going.

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Jason K
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Jason K

Will Disney be open in the summer?

Katie
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Katie

I rarely comment on this website, but that castle view with the partners statue brought a tear to my eye. My compliments to the photographer. Truly gorgeous shot.