Today marks a historical day at Walt Disney World, as guests and fans alike awoke to fully closed parks all across the resort, from Magic Kingdom, to EPCOT, to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
We did our best to cover what was accessible on the ground––mainly just the monorail resorts this morning, as was chronicled on our Twitter page––but when it comes to aerial photos, no one does it like our friend @bioreconstruct, who took to the skies to cover the closure from a birds-eye view. (For more amazing aerial photography of all Disney Parks and beyond, make sure you check out his page and give him a follow for some very unique content!) Let’s take you around and show you a rare look into some now-empty parks.
The sights start the Magic Kingdom toll plaza, notably void of any cars lined up, or Cast Members. Naturally, all park toll plazas were closed.
The entrance to the Magic Kingdom itself had only security staff lurking at the MagicBand touch points. A handful of Cast Members are seen in the middle of Main Street, as a few Cast Members were still called in for additional breaking down of the park’s various areas, as well as further sanitation. Otherwise, it’s fascinating to see an otherwise bustling Main Street completely void of guests smack dab in the middle of Spring Break season. Also interesting to note is the raised American flag, regardless of the park’s operational status.
Moving over to the hub, you see all of the respective lands fully still and quiet, with the exception of Cinderella Castle, where the makeover paint project was in full force. Without guests in Fantasyland, there’s even a high-reach stationed right outside of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, working on the back side of the castle.
Counting the ones in the back, there were a total of eight lifts at work on every facet of the castle’s facade. It seems the workers are looking to take advantage of an empty park for as long as further COVID-19 restrictions aren’t in place.
Looking back over at Main Street from the Hub, we get a clear sight of the Casey’s Corner bypass walkway progress over in the lower right-hand corner. It’s odd seeing the corner of the Plaza not congested with people, as well.
And finally, here’s a look back out onto Liberty Square from the Hub, where the Liberty Belle is docked throughout the park closure. If you look over at the lower left-hand corner, there’s a car casually parked by the Hub grass.
Speaking of watercraft, here’s a look at a service boat making its way across Fort Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom marina. The development in the upper right-hand corner is actually the former site of River Country, now being transformed into Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge.
Transportation & Ticket Center
On our way over to EPCOT, we traverse the TTC, where construction is still underway on new tram drop-off loops, security screening areas, and more.
Another odd view––a fully empty TTC parking lot.
And next, we fly on over to EPCOT––the Experimental Prototype
City Construction (Project) of Tomorrow. EPCOT is an expansive park, but in this breathtaking shot, we encompass all of World Showcase, Future World, and yes, another empty parking lot. Over to the upper left-hand corner is Disney’s Beach Club Resort, which remains open, but only through 5:00 PM this Friday, closing along with the rest of Disney resorts on property.
Here, we see a number of projects, including the ongoing demolition of Innoventions West, which seems all but fully leveled along with other portions of the center of Future World. In the lower right-hand corner, work is being done to refurbish the old skylights and roofing panels of the former Wonders of Life pavilion, set to become the new Play! Pavilion once the park’s reimagining is complete.
If there’s something we miss dearly right about now, it’s the beloved Flower & Garden Festival, but staying home is key in a time like this––and the topiaries will be back when we return… so long as the closure doesn’t last through June.
Here, a closer look at all of the new bypass walkways at EPCOT’s entrance. As a reminder, guests now have to choose between Future World East or Future World West as they enter the park, following a series of winding walkways around all of the current construction.
While normally, World Showcase would be bustling with guests frequenting Outdoor Kitchens for the festival or otherwise enjoying all of the offerings, the pavilions are currently ghost towns, with outdoor kiosks covered with tarps. Here, we see an empty Germany Pavilion… the only sign of life: a random service truck off to the lower left-hand corner.
Finally, we take a quick look at the West Side segment of Disney Springs, where construction moves slowly on the upcoming new Beatrix restaurant and coffee house. If you spy a few guests in the shot, it’s because Disney Springs is set to close tonight. Guests are currently lining up at the few restaurants and kiosks that remain open.
We’ll continue covering more of what we can from the parks throughout this historic closure. In the meantime we’ll also be keeping our eyes on developments here in California, as well as in Paris, and Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong regarding the COVID-19 outbreak’s effect on Disney Parks operations and beyond. For all of the latest Coronavirus-related Disney Parks news throughout the ongoing pandemic, continue to check here.