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PHOTO REPORT: Magic Kingdom 1/16/21 (Huge Crowds and Long Waits, Pirates of the Caribbean Sign Returns, TRON Lightcycle Run Construction, and More)

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom — seemingly The Most Crowded Place On Earth! Despite the holidays being behind us and the decorations being removed, Walt Disney World parks only seems to be getting busier, not to mention 12 hour Virtual Queue waits for Gideon’s Bakehouse at Disney Springs today. Busy days don’t scare us away, though, so let’s head to the park and see what’s going on.

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The Dapper Dans were performing today, as they regularly do, though today the Dans were merely a trio instead of the usual quartet.

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After enjoying a few tunes, we popped into Uptown Jewelers and noticed they had a stock of the elusive neon park icon Loungefly mini backpacks which have rarely been seen since their release back in September.

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Heading up Main Street, we would catch our first of two sightings of the Mickey & Friends Cavalcade as it moved through the park.

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Less than a week ago, we reported that the new Pirates of the Caribbean sail had been blank for nearly two months as it was being refurbished. Mere days later, the sign has finally had the title of the attraction added to the sail (along with some holes), our first signs of progress since November.

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In Frontierland, the large-scale refurbishment continues for the Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island. Significant restorative work grinds on for Harper’s Mill while other projects take place on and around the island.

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At Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, eagle-eyed (or tall) guests might notice a familiar character hiding within the shop.

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Moving over to Fantasyland, we start to get a clearer picture of the crowds. Stroller corrals seem just as packed as they were this time last year, and the number of guests in surrounding areas doesn’t feel a whole lot different, either.

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At The Friar’s Nook, each line was at least a dozen guests deep as parkgoers tried to find food as the offerings have been reduced.

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Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid saw its line extend almost all the way to Storybook Circus.

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Inside Storybook Circus, The Barnstormer had waits approaching an hour in the afternoon. As is commonplace these days, the queue snaked through Fantasyland Station in an effort to find space for everyone in line.

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Work continues around the platform of the aforementioned Fantasyland Station as new track continues to be laid as part of the years long refurbishment of the Walt Disney World Railroad.

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Moving on to Tomorrowland, we were given a pretty clear visual of the rising crowd levels within the park. The amount of guests is a far cry from the days of even the 35% capacity level that the parks operated at in mid-November, only two months ago.

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Contributing to this flood of people are queues, such as the only for Tomorrowland Speedway, that can do nothing but spill out into walkways when they become longer than what Disney plans for.

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Hopefully new attractions will help absorb guests and keep wait times and crowds manageable. Despite the exterior work that TRON Lightcycle Run has been undergoing, though, it will be at least a year until it opens.

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Finally, on our way out of the park, we caught our second showing of the Mickey & Friends Cavalcade on Main Street as the sun was beginning to set for the day.

Thanks for following along with us on this busy day at the Magic Kingdom! For all of the latest updates on Disney news, construction, crowds, and more, click here and follow @WDWNT on Twitter!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Karen Porter
Karen Porter
1 month ago

uh… I hope the crowd level doesn’t backfire on them either angry guests or pandemic numbers wise… Wow, that’s a lot of people.

Last edited 1 month ago by Karen Porter
Bellamouse
Bellamouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen Porter

It’s been busy like this for months. No spikes.

Warrren
Warrren
1 month ago
Reply to  Bellamouse

Yes, “no spikes”…as per Disney/Universal and the governments of Orlando, Orange County, and Florida…all benefactors of the tremendous Sales and Sales Tax revenue that the open Disney/Universal brings in. Yes, go at your own risk, but let’s be honest, Florida’s spikes are centered right here. There are just way too many people who benefit from the parks being open for anyone to be honest about what’s going on there.

Snoglydox
Snoglydox
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen Porter

As long as everyone follows the mask rule, there should be no issues.

Doug
Doug
1 month ago

Are the people as close to each other as it looks in some of these photos?

sam
sam
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug

a lot of them seem to be taken with a telephoto lens, which will make it appear as though crowds are denser than they might actually be.

Tom Corless
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  sam

We usually just use a phone.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Why would any one want to go to WDW when the line wait times are approaching two hours. There are many other places to go for vacation at one-third to cost of a WDW vacation.

William Russ
William Russ
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

We go every year and love it. We will be there for 14 days during July 4th

SCOTT
SCOTT
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

We had no wait to max 30 minute wait last week.

Adam
Adam
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

I went last week and had a max wait of 25 mins. Youre missing out bubba

WrstlingMama
WrstlingMama
1 month ago

Live seeing Florida experiencing life instead of being scared and hissing from it!! Florida is our vacation destination this year, for get Hawaii and their fear!

Greg R.
Greg R.
1 month ago

People already burning their PTO..

LK
LK
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg R.

Using pto we rolled from last year to this year

T. Butke
T. Butke
1 month ago

Wow I guess the pandemic is over then???? Nice crowds with ZERO social distancing. So12,000+ new cases a day isn’t enough now?? Oh entertainment is more important….of course, silly me! This is Florida after all! The state who cares more about tourism than they do their own residents. Sad!

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Butke

I was here and actually the social distancing on lines, restaurants, and rides was pretty impressive. Walking down the streets could get a little busy and there were a few arguing with staff about wearing masks.

Greg
Greg
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Butke

We’re going there this February. If your worried stay home. Kinda strange how there is 98% drop in the flu. The media & the CDC are putting fear into so many people and lives, let’s see what’s coming next.

Snoglydox
Snoglydox
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Butke

People are wearing masks, because of this, other viral diseases have actually also been reduced by large percentages!

Confused
Confused
1 month ago

That is insane! Have none of these folks heard about the new UK Covid-19 varient that’s spreading around? Is this how people are spending their stimulus check, instead of on rent and food?

Alayne M Aikens
Alayne M Aikens
1 month ago
Reply to  Confused

People who can afford to stay on-site don’t need the stimulus checks. I doubt anyone visiting WDW right now is in need of those checks to feed their families.

Adam
Adam
1 month ago
Reply to  Confused

I haven’t missed a days work. To be honest I put mine into the stock market and doubled it. Thanks for being concerned about my finances.

Mike G
Mike G
1 month ago

Stay home!!! Since March, the state has seen more than 1.5 million cases and 23,981 deaths. But go ahead and risk the health and safety of others by going to WDW right now. It’s so “essential”

Strong Mama
Strong Mama
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike G

No, not stay home. Im really over hearing people telling other people what to do! I lost my mother at age 56 due to her havng acute pneumonia, that was dismissed and over looked due to doctors and nurses strictly looking for COVID-19 symptoms, and viewed her as being “non-essential.” I missed my opportunity to see her for 3 months due to hiding in my home, which is something I cannot take back or change. So learning from this horrible experience, hiding from the virus and playing keep away WILL only make you more vulnerable and weaken your immune system,… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Strong Mama
Brian
Brian
1 month ago

We got there at 2:10 pm and Speedway was 15min wait, dumbo and under the sea was a walk through, and seven dwarf was 60min. 1/16 wasn’t bad at all.

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian

I agree I was here all weekend!

Sara Miller
Sara Miller
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian

My thought, too. Going in the morning for or just after opening is crazy; it’s a fraction of that crowd later in the day.

DanC
DanC
1 month ago

Good to see the pandemic is over!

Bob dole
Bob dole
1 month ago

The propaganda machine is hard at work. Stay away from Disney until this is over. Waste of money!!!

Vicki Emerson
Vicki Emerson
1 month ago

So much for social distancing!

David Plows
David Plows
1 month ago

What happened to social distancing? If this predicts what the park will be like when things get back to normal, then I’ll pass. Too much money for me to stand in horrendous lines.

Adam
Adam
1 month ago
Reply to  David Plows

Then don’t go.

Winnie
Winnie
1 month ago

Would be interesting to see mlk numbers from 2019 and this year…

tim
tim
1 month ago

That looks pretty horrible :-(

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago

I was here all weekend and the crowds were not so bad I felt. The wait times were not too bad especially when they are not seating every row many of the times. Definitely seemed less crowded then last year but was also expecting it to be more of a drastic difference.

Kami
Kami
1 month ago

Glad to see those that are not high risk out supporting businesses like Disney. Definitely not hating, enjoy 😁

Greg
Greg
1 month ago

I was there 1/16. It was a complete trainwreck. Zero social distancing, and guests fighting with each other over being too close. Crowd was the biggest I’ve ever seen at MK including before pandemic.

Kelley
Kelley
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

Weird because they’re only at 25/35% capacity. So highly doubt it was as crowded as before the pandemic.

Doug
Doug
1 month ago
Reply to  Kelley

That percentage number can be misleading. What is 100% capacity and how often are they actually at 100%? So the lesser percent at certain times can seem just like regular times considering some stores, restaurants, etc closed. Plus no fast passes and not as much park hopping right now.

COGirl
COGirl
1 month ago

Does anyone know if these crowds are specific to holiday weekend or if it looks like this everyday now?

lisa roth
lisa roth
1 month ago
Reply to  COGirl

From all the people I know that are there almost weekly, it is a holiday and weekend thing. Weekdays most rides are walk on or 20 min waits. Rise of the Resistance is still hard to ge though

Tom Corless
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  lisa roth

As we go pretty much daily, I can tell you the walk-on to 20 minutes wait thing was true in July and August and has not been true otherwise, except at maybe EPCOT on a weeknight.

May
May
1 month ago

Wow, that looks as packed as when I was there, pre-covid.