There are very few reasons to ever be somewhat sad while at a Disney park. In fact, the only one that I can really think of is when the closing announcement is heard over the speakers. However, as well all know, Disney must close their parks for a number of reasons. Here are my top 5.
5. Cast members must work their magic
As the last guest exits the park after closing, a slew of Disney cast members start to sprinkle their pixie dust around and begin getting the park back to sparkling new. From the streets, to each attraction and every restaurant, the cleanliness standard is set extremely high. Walt once said: “Give the public everything you can give them, keep the place as clean as you can keep it, and keep it friendly”. We all love walking into a Disney park in the morning and it having that grand opening feeling every time. Also, in between the intense cleaning, all throughout the year the seasons are happening and who does seasons better than Disney! I love how effortlessly it seems that the new types of flowers show up and different decorations start magically appearing without anyone ever seeing or hearing any of the work being done.
4. It’s another reason to really enjoy your resort
If you happen to be staying on a Disney property for your vacation, which I highly recommend, you will notice that each of the Disney resorts is almost like a park in and of itself without the attractions. This creates quite the conundrum when planning your day. How do you explore your resort and enjoy all the parks during your stay? Disney provides help with this wonderful problem by closing the parks at night and giving us time to get better acquainted with our particular resort. I used to be of the mindset that while at Disney relaxing and resting were non-existent. My siblings and I would wake at 5am, go non-stop until the parks closed around 1am and then do it all over again the next day. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve come to appreciate that the parks have to close which gives an opportunity to head back to the resort for rest and relaxation. A few years back I took my wife on her first WDW vacation. We stayed at the same resort that my family would stay at on all of our vacations, Port Orleans Riverside. We went in early November during a down time and on one of the days the parks closed at 7pm. We went back to the resort and to the room to freshen up then spent the rest of the evening just walking around. It was divine! We stopped by the River Roost and caught a Yee Haw Bob show then went to the arcade and had a showdown playing a basketball game. She won. Overall, it was such an amazing time. After the trip, she admitted that at first she was a little reluctant about the trip because of the stories I would tell her about how we were back in the day. I proved to her and myself that a Disney vacation is not all about running from attraction to attraction non-stop and that it’s ok when the park has to close.
3. It allows the cast members to let loose even more
I’ve noticed on the many occasions that I have been at a Disney park at closing time that the cast members seem to get a little more loose during the last hour or so before closing. You might catch them dancing or singing or wearing Mickey gloves and waving goodbye. My personal favorite though is when they allow you to remain on an attraction and ride over and over again. I’ve been able to experience this several times on different attractions, but the main one has been one of my favorites, Splash Mountain. It’s the best feeling when your log comes up the ramp to the load and unload dock and you notice there is no one else in line, then the cast member seems to give you that slight little glance and then asks if you would like to go again, as if they had to ask. That has to be a good feeling for them as well to see the look on the guests face of disbelief. I think the most we rode was 5 times in a row and it never got old.
2. It allows time for the mad dash souvenir rush
We all love the attractions at WDW. Sometimes, we are so wrapped up in the parks that we forget about souvenirs. We’ve all had that moment, on the last day of vacation, when we are coming down from a sugar rush and the excitement of watching an amazing fireworks show then realized you haven’t bought any souvenirs yet. The good thing is that Disney will close the park but most times will allow extra time for last minute shopping. This creates a Christmas Eve like feel with guests scurrying around trying to find that particular souvenir that they saw at another park. Insider tip: not every gift shop carries the same items! I found this out the hard way. After the parks completely clear out there are always other options; Downtown Disney and the World of Disney gift shop. The hours vary during the week and on the weekends.
1. Disney characters need some downtime too
All the characters in Walt Disney World absolutely love to have us as guests at their home and entertaining us. They also really enjoy their downtime after the parks close. Mickey and Minnie love to watch Disney movies together and talk about their wonderful day. Donald is usually trying to make up to Daisy for something he did to upset her. Pluto enjoys hanging out in his dog house chewing on a nice after work bone. Chip and Dale go around the parks collecting nuts to store in their treehouse, and Goofy just enjoys doing what he does best, being Goofy!! All the other characters throughout WDW each have their own special thing they do after closing until the next magical day of inviting us into their world.
Walt Disney World is truly the most Magical Place on Earth and we all enjoy everything about each park, resort, water park, and so much more. Closing time does not have to be a sad time but more of a celebration of such a fantastic day spent with loved ones making memories to last a lifetime. With each and every closing comes another opening the very next day! Enjoy!!