On January 31, Walt Disney World Resort Guests walked through the Transportation and Ticket Center to find a notice in front of the Monorail Station which said the Magic Kingdom would be closing at 4:30 pm that night for a private event. Almost 5 hours earlier than usual.
Read More: Reminder: Disney World Park Closing Before Sunset Today
Now, Disney World made it known months in advance that its Castle Park would be closing early that day, and many Guests planning their vacations around that day were most likely aware of the situation, as well as the fact that Theme Park Ticket prices remained higher that day despite it.
But it turns out that Walt Disney World Resort does not actually need to inform its Guests ahead of time of this or any sudden closure, and the powers that be appear to make it clear that they could essentially close everything down without needing to refund a single penny.
Under “Company Rights,” the Walt Disney World Resort states,
“We may from time to time, in our sole and absolute discretion, without prior notice and without refund, liability or compensation, change the operating hours of any facility, close the Walt Disney World Resort or any part of it temporarily, restrict the number of persons having access to a facility and/or suspend or cancel any entertainment program if we consider that the circumstances so require.”
It is also stated under the “General Walt Disney World Property Rules” that,
“Tickets, credentials and other entitlements are non-transferable, non-exchangeable, non-refundable, revocable and void if altered.”
Of course, the folks at Disney World and The Walt Disney Travel Company are not this heartless when it comes to sudden restrictions or closures in the Theme Parks, rides, or other attractions and experiences. Long-term closures of experiences, themed areas, and Theme Parks are constantly posted on the official schedule weeks or months in advance, travel insurance options are always available when booking your Disney World Vacation Package, and exceptions such as the Resort’s Hurricane Policy allow extensive modification and fully-refunded cancellations. Guests can now also cancel their advance dining reservation up to two hours beforehand without paying a cancellation fee. This hard-nosed policy is also most likely used for smaller-scale measures, such as preventing Guests from demanding a refund for their Walt Disney World Tickets because their favorite ride was unexpectedly closed the day they visited or justifying empty spaces left for stage shows. This could also arguably be used to defend any and all complaints about the closure and transformation of Splash Mountain.
Related: Classic Disney World Establishment Closing Soon, Fans Upset
But at the end of the day, these Company Rights and rules serve as a reminder that while we all visit Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort for our own favorite things, none of it is truly guaranteed to happen. So for all of you in the midst of planning your trip, keep wishing on a star that all of your Disney Park dreams come true, and promise to make the most out of whatever magic comes your way during your Disney experience.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Parks news and stories as more developments come to light.