EPCOT; Mother and Son; Spaceship Earth
  • On Feb 26, 2013
    Nicki Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Question regarding parks reaching capacity during Christmas week... What happens to dining reservations guaranteed with credit card in the event that you cannot enter park? Best to make ressy outside of parks for dinners?

    Hi, Nicki! Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel. 

    You ask a great question! The Disney theme parks can definitely reach capacity during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. On such days, it's vital to arrive at park opening and have an itinerary planned. The park most likely to close due to capacity is Magic Kingdom. The park least likely to close is Epcot (due to its size). 

    Disney implements a "phased closure" procedure when a park is nearing or at capacity. Normally, guests staying on property at a Disney Resort, Annual Passholders and guests with in-park dining reservations will be allowed into the park at all levels of phased closure except during a Phase 4 closure when a park will be closed to ALL guests. Not to worry, however, because Phase 4 closures happen rarely, and when they do, they usually do not last all day. The park will often be reopened to guests later that same day when the crowds have thinned out.

    To give you an idea, last year (2012) between December 24th and December 31st, Magic Kingdom did have several Phase 2 and Phase 3 closures, but never reached Phase 4. The closures mainly occurred between the most crowded hours of 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM.

    Since the park most likely to implement a Phase 2 or 3 closure is Magic Kingdom, you may want to consider making dining reservations at Epcot, Hollywood Studios or at a resort hotel. The three Deluxe resorts near the Magic Kingdom - the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary - are easily accessed by monorail from Magic Kingdom and offer some of the best dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World! My personal favorites are California Grill, Kona Cafe, Citrico's and Victoria & Albert's!  

    Wishing you a magical vacation, Nicki! Please don't hesitate to write me back if I can assist you further with your vacation plans.

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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, New Jersey

I'm a Disneyphile and Type A planner! I'm also a writer and editor, wife and mom to an amazing daughter, age 7. I love helping guests of all ages and abilities plan their "Disney time" and make magical vacation memories at Walt Disney World!
Learn More About Kimberly

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