Did You Know? This Month in Disney His­tory


WDW Magazine - - Content - BY TERRI MILLER

Walt Disney World first opened the gates to the Magic King­dom on Oc­to­ber 1, 1971. Adult ad­mis­sion cost $3.50 and ap­prox­i­mately 10,000 guests vis­ited the park on open­ing day. To­day, an av­er­age of 48,000 guests visit the Magic King­dom per day. How­ever, in peak sea­sons, Level 1 ca­pac­ity be­gins at 65,000, with a max­i­mum ca­pac­ity set at 100,000!

Ap­prox­i­mately 48 mil­lion peo­ple visit the Walt Disney World Resort–in­clud­ing the Magic King­dom, Ep­cot, Disney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios, Disney’s Animal King­dom, and Disney Springs–an­nu­ally.

On av­er­age, Ep­cot has 30,000 guests visit per day, while Disney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios and Disney’s Animal King­dom have ap­prox­i­mately 27,000 visitors per day. Keep in mind that these are the av­er­age at­ten­dance num­bers–max­i­mum ca­pac­ity, which is set near 75,000 for these parks, is of­ten reached dur­ing peak crowd sea­son.

The Walt Disney World Rail­road at Magic King­dom serves ap­prox­i­mately 1.5 mil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally.

There are sev­eral at­trac­tions with large-ca­pac­ity the­aters that are great for giv­ing your feet a rest. The Hall of Pres­i­dents con­tains a 700-seat the­ater, Find­ing Nemo the Mu­si­cal the­ater can hold up to 1,500 guests, The Amer­i­can Ad­ven­ture the­ater can hold 1,024 guests per show, and there are 6 the­aters on the Carousel of Progress—each one holds 240 peo­ple. Did you know that the au­dio an­i­ma­tronic dog in the Carousel of Progress is named “Rover”?

There are 15 Jun­gle Cruise river­boats, which are named Ama­zon An­nie, Bomokandi Bertha, Congo Con­nie, Ganges Ger­tie, Ir­rawaddy Irma, Mon­gala Mil­lie, Nile Nelly, Orinoco Ida, Rut­shuru Ruby, Sankuru Sadie, Se­negel Sal, Uc­vali Lolly, Volta Val, Wamba Wanda and Zambesi Zelda. A boat named Kwango Kate re­tired in 2010. Ten of these 15 boats are al­ways in op­er­a­tion at the Jun­gle Cruise, with a typ­i­cal pas­sen­ger load of 30 peo­ple.

Did you know that Space Moun­tain was the first roller­coaster con­trolled by a com­puter? Space Moun­tain has brake zones that can de­ter­mine the weight in each rocket ship and con­trol how fast it will move down the track, depend­ing on where the other ships are on the track. This is com­mon­place to­day, but al­most 40 years ago, it was ground­break­ing. Space Moun­tain’s ca­pac­ity is 900-1,200 guests each hour when only one track is open, and 2,057-2,500 guests per hour when both tracks are open. The left track is named Al­pha and the right track is Omega, the two are nearly mir­ror im­ages of each other, with Al­pha be­ing about 10.5 feet longer to ac­com­mo­date cross­ing over the Omega track at the ride’s “launch.”

Dur­ing peak times (such as ma­jor hol­i­days), Walt Disney World may need to “close” the parks to cer­tain guests. Easter week­end and July 4th al­most al­ways cause the Magic King­dom to reach ca­pac­ity, in which they must turn away some guests. All four parks risk reach­ing par­tial clo­sure dur­ing the week be­tween Christ­mas and New Years.

The best way to en­sure that you get into the parks dur­ing these high-peak, crowded times are:

Be sure to stay at a WDW Resort (Resort Guests are given pri­or­ity for en­trance to the parks.

Be a WDW Pre­mier, An­nual, or Premium Passh­older.

Have a dining reser­va­tion in the park.

Have a reser­va­tion at the Bib­bidi Bob­bidi Bou­tique, Har­mony Bar­ber Shop, or The Pi­rates League.

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