The Quiet Kingdom: What Does Disney World Look Like With No Guests?

Walt Disney World has closed its doors in response to the novel coronavirus. This marks the first non-weather related closure of the parks since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, and the longest continuous closure of the parks in their history.

Walt Disney World normally operates rain or shine, making this closure an unusual circumstance indeed.

It’s rare to see the Magic Kingdom bereft of people, even after closure, as the park is usually bustling with guests or staff at all hours. Today, WKMG-TV/Click Orlando in Orlando, gave us a rare look at what the park looks like without guests… and it’s definitely eerie.

These aerial photos are a particular rarity because flying less than 3000 feet (0.91 km) over Walt Disney World is normally forbidden, thanks to the No Fly Zone in effect over the area.  WKMG-TV had to get special permission to take these shots, which were streamed on Facebook Live earlier today.


The entrance to the park, normally filled with massive crowds, is nearly empty.

No transportation is running during the closure, which means no monorails or ferryboats. ©WKMG

Main Street USA looks similarly deserted, though it is a rare chance to see the rooftops of the buildings here. Most buildings at Disney World only maintain their facades from guest level, switching to a more utilitarian look when viewed from above or behind.

Still, some buildings like the Train Station maintain consistent theming regardless of how you look at them. ©WKMG

As the chopper approaches Castle Plaza, it’s clear just how empty the park actually is. This is usually the busiest area of the entire park, as the main thoroughfare between the various lands. The fact a maintenance truck can drive through the normally packed streets is astounding.

The Plaza is usually the busiest area of the park. ©WKMG

Of course, this also means the Magic Kingdom isn’t entirely deserted. Disney has a skeleton crew of workers to keep the park maintained, as well as to continue on certain construction and renovation projects. However, due to advisories restricting larger gatherings, work on some more intensive projects has been slowed or halted. We spotted workers testing the Casey Jr play area in Storybook Circus and doing renovations outside the main entrance, but work on the castle seems to have slowed for now.

This lone truck was spotted slowly circling the park. ©WKMG
While there are a great deal of cranes surrounding the castle, we saw no evidence of work being done during the flyover. ©WKMG

Other popular areas of the park seem almost unrecognizable.

Pirates of the Caribbean ©WKMG
Big Thunder Mountain ©WKMG
Tomorrowland ©WKMG
The Riverboat ©WKMG
Dumbo ©WKMG

Click here for a full list of closures at the Disney Parks

Stay tuned to All Ears for more updates on this situation as it develops.

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Austin Lang is an Orlando local with a love of Disney, puns, and Disney puns. He's been a contributing writer for AllEars since 2019, and has been sharing his quirky view of Disney life ever since.

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5 Replies to “The Quiet Kingdom: What Does Disney World Look Like With No Guests?”

  1. time they should invest in repairs – paint, fix the light bulbs etc.
    after all they have plenty of money to do it but seem to never have the
    time to keep up with it. Now they have both the time & money.

    1. Disney has already announced they are reducing their projects and maintenance due to wanting to keep their staff safe from COVID-19 too.

  2. Disney execs, take notice, you keep raising prices and this is what it could be like. Yeah, I know that will never happen, just venting on the never ending price increases lately.

    1. Never say never. This sudden drop in the economy is going to hit a lot of us hard and Disney will be nothing more than a pipe dream with those ridiculous prices. I think the powers that be think that people will make Disney trips happen no matter what but the amount of people that are going to be out of work because of this will prove to be far more than the financially stable I believe. It’s not the rich that keep going back to the parks over and over again. They have the money to go on much nicer vacations. It’s us middle class people that can’t seem to get enough and always pull the money from somewhere. I think a big and needed change might be coming. Or at least I’m hopeful.