What Magic Kingdom Is REALLY Like When Half of the Park Is CLOSED

Disney World can be seriously unpredictable — something we’ve seen time and time again.

Magic Kingdom

But every once in a while, something happens that has us seriously turning our heads. It’s not every day that bear saunters into Magic Kingdom and forces half the park to close, but chances are you might run into a few bumps in the road and you need to know how to be prepared!

On Monday, September 18th, half of Magic Kingdom failed to open with the rest of the park leaving us wondering just what the cause was. Was it a widespread technology issue? Perhaps a plumbing problem? Nope. The reason that Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square were all closed to visitors this morning was because a BEAR WAS SPOTTED IN MAGIC KINGDOM.

No, not this bear.

That’s right — a bear decided it wanted to check out the Most Magical Place on Earth, leading to land and attraction closures throughout the park. So, not only were park-goers unable to ride a whole list of attractions in these lands — it also meant wait times shot up at rides throughout the rest of the park. 


Not only were wait times high, but all those people who would normally be taking up space in Frontierland, Adventureland, and Liberty Square had to go somewhere and that meant the rest of the park was crowded. At one point, the wait for Space Mountain was 105 minutes — something we usually only see for a ride like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

It’s crowded!

We’re not talking normal crowds either, but shoulder-to-shoulder walls of people trying to make their way through what little of the park they could. We spotted Cast Members turning people away from different lands and informing them they that were closed.

Adventureland closed

And, with entire lands closed — meaning no rides, no dining locations, no stores — smack dab during breakfast and lunch times, the quick-service locations that were open were straight-up packed. Just take a look at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. The lines to order were atrocious…

Cosmic Ray’s lines

…there was no indoor seating available…

Indoor seating

…and forget about sitting outside, either.

Outdoor seating

Of course, it’s not likely that we’ll see something like this happen again in Disney World. Though wild animals have been known to wander into the parks before, we’re not sure that we’ll ever see an animal of this size in Magic Kingdom again — unless it happens to play the guitar.

Big Al swoons “Blood on the Saddle” to Country Bear Jamboree guests. [The Walt Disney Company]
But, the important thing to remember is that you should always expect the unexpected on your Disney World trip. Rides close all the time, and while it might not be because of a bear, you should be prepared for when it happens. Luckily, there’s always something else to do in Disney World, it might just not be the first thing on your list.

Just try to be flexible and go with the flow, and remember to keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app for the most updated information about ride closures, wait times, and more.

Tom Sawyer Island is closed

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Have you ever experienced widespread closures in Disney World? Tell us in the comments. 

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2 Replies to “What Magic Kingdom Is REALLY Like When Half of the Park Is CLOSED”

  1. Question: In situations like these (which are admittedly, very rare, would guests have had the option to park hop sooner than the 2 PM allowed time? This would have helped… otherwise, guests were “trapped” in MK without a choice to change their plans flexibly and relieve the congestion at the MK. In this scenario, it was sort of Disney’s own fault that the MK was so congested.

    1. I had wondered the same. I realize the situation was out of Disney’s control, but wondered if they relaxed the park hopping rule to alleviate the frustration of some of the guests.