We’ll pop into Magic Kingdom to check on the insanity that is pre-Christmas week at Walt Disney World. Today, the overall crowd level is boosted up to an 8 and Magic Kingdom is the “worst Park to visit” on the Crowd Calendar. Just a warning to the wise: these pictures are not for the faint of heart. We’re talking about 50 minute waits at “it’s a small world,” a queue so full at Dumbo that the usual entrance is closed and guests must enter in the back, and a queue for Haunted Mansion that begins at Liberty Square Riverboat. Not to mention a look at the extended-queue-in-action at Swiss Family Treehouse, the fabled extended queue sign at Aladdin’s Magical Carpets, and a 75 minute wait for Jungle Cruise. It’s only going to get worse. Or better, if you like to wait 70 minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean.
That doesn’t look so bad. Someone is feeling a little dramatic today, are they? Just wait naysayer.
Do you see it? It’s cute that it has a little ornament top.
Haha, really? A wagon?
Yes, that’s a 55 minute wait for the Princesses and 35 minutes for Mickey (not pictured). It’s 2:15pm.
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are meeting at the Flag Pole for the foreseeable future. The Fantasyland construction walls are moving as Disney completes concrete work. So much so, that Disney (re)moved many of the carts in the area to help with congestion around Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo. As we’ll see later, the walls are also moving in the opposite direction around Mad Tea Party, where Winnie the Pooh and Tigger previously met guests.
I wonder what the insurance on jump-roping along the main corridor into the Magic Kingdom runs? It just seems to have tragedy written all over it.
The applicable characters have their appropriate winter wear. In Daisy’s case, it means a scarf rather than pants.
Ms. Poppins is running a bit late. Can’t chat bro, got a float to catch.
Here we are in position for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade that will arrive in about an hour. Unlike the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade, which normally runs from Main Street up through Frontierland, the Christmastime Parade runs in the opposite direction, meaning it will arrive here in Town Square around 3:20pm and end around 3:40pm.
About 15 minutes before the Parade begins, the area around Town Square is completely full with people five or six rows deep in most places. The rest of Main Street proper would be even worse. For a front row seat along Main Street, you’re looking at a 90+ minute wait. I’m not kidding. I arrived 45 minutes early and got one of the last spots in the front. That’s also why this is my favorite location though. And yes, if this location looks familiar, I am the 6’2″ tall oaf of a man that told you and your kids to get lost so that I could take pictures for the Internet. Hope you enjoy them.
The Main Street Philharmonic leads the charge.
Just before the Parade starts, we’re packed in pretty tight.
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, which we’ve seen previously during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The ambiance is better at night, but it’s certainly easier to take pictures during the day:
Here it is. Skip ahead if you’d like it to be a surprise:
I had mentioned to Bert that I incorrectly labeled him as “some caroler” in my Christmas Party post and formally apologized. He said it was, “cool bro.”
He is just the most precious thing.
So precious. You just want to punch them.
Ariel is nuts. Due to the red hair, probably:
Little Bo Peep and the Gingerbread Men belong in the Boo To You Parade…
Mom, I really do want one!
The aftermath. Don’t be a Parade follower.
More aftermath. We’re trying to retreat into the Confectionery.
With waits at the Storybook Princesses topping out at more than 60 minutes, FASTPASS return times are more than three hours out. This is unheard of 97.21% of the time.
But the Mickey Mouse Town Square FASTPASSes still aren’t “connected” to the rest of the system, meaning you can grab Mickey FASTPASSes and then collect FASTPASSes for any other attraction immediately after, including the Princesses. Note that the FASTPASS was pulled at 15:44 (3:44pm) and I can collect another at 3:45pm.
Tomorrowland Terrace was open for lunch for just about the first time since July. The current menu:
A gutsy choice. But you have a strong stomach if you’re here in the first place.
Over to Tomorrowland.
The line for Stitch’s Great Escape exceeds the capacity of the queue. We’re just chillin’ in the middle of Tomorrowland.
Keep in mind that if you photobomb me, it’s going on the Internet.
A ways to go. Not sure what face that cast member with the green flag is making.
Yes, you will be tested on this.
A big crowd for the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show.
Featuring Stitch…who else?
Along with singing, dancing, Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski…you know…the riff raff.
The line for Rapunzel. Not sure if I want to know how much further around the corner it goes.
New concrete!! You can walk all the way around Mad Tea Party again.
The Tremaines were meeting guests across from Winnie the Pooh, which is extremely rare. When they are out, they’re usually much closer to Cinderella Castle.
The line for Dumbo was so long they weren’t even allowing people through the usual entrance.
You have to enter here in back. As I was standing there taking a picture, another cast member walked up saying, “Oh my God…” to the other cast member. Busy, much? 50 minute posted wait.
Progress seems to be progressing quickly at Prince Regal Carousel, which is good because the tarps look ridiculous.
You can see the remaining tarps on the left.
We even have an extended queue for the popsicle cart.
Put on your helmet and big boy pants, we’re headed to Peter Pan’s Flight.
A big LOL to everyone that returns from Disney World saying, “Magic Kingdom was SO CROWDED OMG!!!! Peter Pan’s Flight had a 30 minute wait, can you believe that?”
Running out of queue at “it’s a small world.”
Totally out of queue. The posted wait time is 50 minutes.
Over to Haunted Mansion.
Scared yet? There’s a sign there that says:
But it’s wrong because…
“Haunted Mansion Line Starts Here.” Yes, this is at Liberty Square Riverboat.
Over through Frontierland.
Extended queue for the Turkey Leg Cart.
Big Thunder Mountain with the line back here.
Having fun yet?
An even 100 minutes at Splash Mountain.
Golden Oak Outpost is back to serving its regular menu. You may recall that they’ve been serving hot dogs and bottled beverages for the last several weeks. I recommend skipping the Flatbreads, they are awfully skimpy.
They weren’t using the usual entrance at Pirates of the Caribbean either.
45 minute wait at Pirates is about as long as it gets. It peaked at 55 minutes today and we may very well see wait times over 60 minutes after Christmas.
Over to Jungle Cruise…what do you think the standby wait is?
Ding ding! We have a winner!
The extended queue for Aladdin is back here.
Not going to see that sign very often! Enjoy it while it lasts.
Remember when we were taking a look at Swiss Family Treehouse and I mentioned that you didn’t want to be here when the extended queue was necessary?
I don’t think they have a wait time that says anything higher than 65 minutes.
Especially considering the wait for Ariel and Prince Eric – they aren’t even meeting at the moment.
Peter Pan is currently meeting guests across the way from where he was previously. If you walk down the path to the left here, you would be walking through Adventureland toward Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and then up to Splash and Big Thunder Mountains. Lines remain short because his presence isn’t well advertised.
The Celebrate The Season Show is absolutely worth seeing if you’re in town over Christmas. It’s a fun, humorous show featuring a huge cast of characters, including Mickey and Friends, elves, reindeer, a ballerina, Frosty the Snowman, toy soldiers, and a sort of racist portrayal of Russians and Asians.
And your fair share of shoulder-children.
A lot of people for the 4:35pm show. This week, it’s also shown at 7:15pm, 8:15pm, and 10:30pm. Because of the raised stage, this is one show that may be easier to see from further away. There’s a lot of room off to the left on the Adventureland side that offers a pretty good view and much less of the crowd. There’s really no overwhelmingly better time to see the show. You may be able to set up shop for the 10:30pm Celebrate The Season Show and stay in the Castle area for the 11pm Electrical Parade, but it’s going to be a hassle to get there with the Wishes crowd exiting en masse at 10:15pm. You could try the 8:15pm show, but then you run into a ton of people in the area for the 9pm Electrical Parade. The area on the street should be relatively clear because so many people are saving their spots for the Parade, but there’s still going to be a lot of congestion. I would probably stick to the 4:35pm show if you’d like to see it during the day or try for the 7:15pm show if your schedule allows.
A few more shots:
If you’re visiting for Christmas – don’t miss this show.
A quick Corn Dog Nugget snack from Casey’s Corner, accompanied by one side of hot-enough-to-burn-your-tongue-cheese-sauce and enough-calories-to-shorten-your-life-cheese-sauce. Absolutely worth it. And one of the better values for your money at Walt Disney World at $4.49.
The crowds exiting just after 5pm.
If you’re visiting over the next couple of weeks, let me give you a heartfelt, “Good luck.” I’m getting the heck out of Dodge myself. See you on January 7th.