Crowds Fill Orlando Theme Parks

Filed under: Orlando Theme Parks |

It’s certainly busy right now here in Orlando! In fact, it’s so busy that Disney, Universal and Legoland Florida all shut their gates yesterday because they had reached maximum capacity. Lines were crazy as tourists lined up for up to three hours to ride Space mountain at Magic Kingdom and the entrance ramp leading off of Interstate 4 to Universal Orlando looked more like a parking lot by midday.

Legoland Florida, which opened in October on the site of the former Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, said it closed its parking lot at around 12:30 p.m., and officially stopped allowing guests into the park at 1:25 p.m. Legoland did extend it’s operating hours until 8:30 p.m., an hour and a half later than normal.

“We’re definitely busy and you can definitely feel that we’re full. However, people are still smiling and having a great day,” said Legoland spokeswoman Jackie Wallace.

Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park also hit capacity and stopped admitting guests about 12:30 p.m. A spokeswoman for Universal said it set up a temporary queue for guests to wait outside the park and that it extended Islands’ hours from 11 p.m. until midnight. Islands also reached capacity several days during last year’s holiday season, helped by the popularity of its Wizarding World of Harry Potter which was almost impossible to enter yesterday!

Walt Disney World had to temporarily restrict access at three of its four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Admission was limited to guests staying in Disney hotels, people with higher-priced tickets such as park hoppers or premium annual passes, and those with dining reservations, among other categories. Even the Downtown Disney area was jam packed as seen by the photo below!

Capacity crowds are a common thing for Central Florida’s theme parks during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when both tourists and local families are flocking to the attractions but this year it seems everyone has forgotten any economic woes that may be troubling them. It seems that families are still going to enjoy themselves even if they decide to save money in other ways…such as renting one of vacation homes. Yes…we’re sold out too!

Check back later today as we’ll be doing a blog post about the best time to visit Orlando and how to avoid the lines!


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