Walt Disney World resort has only closed four times since its opening in 1971. The most recent closure was last week when Hurricane Matthew threatened the entire east coast of Florida.
Now, pictures have hit the internet from Disney employees and guests who were at the park just before closing on Thursday evening. All four Disney World parks were closed on Friday. They also closed early on Thursday at 5:00 PM. The new photos show Disney World as you’ve never seen it before: deserted.
The Magic Kingdom
Cinderella’s castle is one of the most popular places in the Magic Kingdom. It’s the symbol for the entire park. Normally crowds are mulling around and through the castle. It’s also the most popular spot for photos inside Disney World. So it’s extremely strange to see the castle completely deserted. (Well, okay, there are a few people near the entrance.) On a side note, the castle looks beautiful after a quick wash from the pre-Matthew rain.
Here’s another gorgeous shot of Cinderella’s castle. Once again, the castle looks stunning in the clarity provided by the rain. It’s also framed perfectly by a Mickey Mouse Halloween decoration. The Mickey jack-o-lanterns are just one of hundreds of Halloween decorations scattered throughout the park this time of year.
It's been on my bucket list to get a "last person on Main Street" photo & I didn't think it would ever happen during the day. Disney parks closed early at 5pm today & will remain closed through tomorrow for the only the fifth time in history. We are confident we will stay safe in Bay Lake Tower as this hurricane passes & are grateful to have some extra time here when it's all over. Stay safe everyone!
The caption on this one says it all: “It’s been on my bucket list to get a ‘last person on Main Street’ photo & I didn’t think it would ever happen during the day. Disney parks closed early at 5pm today & will remain closed through tomorrow for the only the fifth time in history. We are confident we will stay safe in Bay Lake Tower as this hurricane passes & are grateful to have some extra time here when it’s all over. Stay safe everyone!”
A “last person on Main Street” photo seems like an oddly specific thing for a bucket list, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Regardless, this is still an amazingly bizarre photo. Located near the park’s entrance, Main Street U.S.A. is normally bustling with activity from open to close.
Epcot is a miniaturized version of Earth, but this photo almost looks like there’s not a soul left on the planet!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Cleared all of Hollywood Studios in under 45 minutes. Getting the park "hurricane ready" was probably the most fun I've had at work in a long time, but walking out with no one in sight, no music to be heard, and sand bags guarding every door in hopes to keep Matthew out, made me realize how serious this storm could get. Please stay safe, everyone. #hurricanematthew #SUX #mybelovedstudios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is commonly known as the least popular park at Walt Disney World. Still, it’s extremely strange to see the famous streets completely deserted.
Here’s another eerie shot of Hollywood Studios, with a few stragglers still mulling about. Despite the quiet, it’s still a beautiful shot of the classically styled old Hollywood buildings. Much like Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom, the rain really brings out the details in the scenery.
The newest park at Walt Disney World wasn’t spared by Hurricane Matthew either. In fact, without the crowds of visitors, it actually looks like the third world country it attempts to emulate.
Here’s the most poignant photo of the entire series. An eery and cloudy sky overlooks the Tree of Life. And a hastily printed sign warns visitors that all the Disney World parks are closing at 5:00 PM.
Fortunately, there was no damage to Walt Disney World and the parks all reopened as scheduled on Saturday morning.