MK24 Thoughts and Ideas

Friday, February 17, 2012

Back in November Disney made a statement about a very special announcement to occur during 'Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve' Show on December 31st.  My first reaction was to think “okay, here’s another one of those BIG announcements that usually ends in a resounding THUD!”  For most of us in the Disney fan community we’d like to believe a BIG announcement may have something to do with a new or existing attraction inside one of Disney’s theme parks.  However, this time it wasn’t about a new or existing attraction.  Instead, we received word of a new vacation package offer and both Magic Kingdom parks on the east and west coasts would be open for 24 hours on Leap Day, Feb 29th from 6:00AM until 6:00AM on March 1st. 

Analyzing this announcement seemed easy.  Who really cares about another special vacation package, but I did have one eye open about the 24 hour parks announcement.  After all, keeping a theme park open for 24 hours straight is an unusual and daunting proposition considering daily attraction inspections and park clean-up procedures for the following day.  Also, there are staffing and entertainment considerations to deal with, especially when you get into the wee hours of the morning.  I wouldn’t want to be the person to tell the Haunted Mansion staff they had to work the “graveyard” shift prior to the 24 hour event (although they may welcome the idea, not sure) <shrugs shoulders>.

Although I won’t be at MK24 (24 hours in the Magic Kingdom) I have been wondering the past 2 months what I would do in a theme park for 24 hours straight.  It sounds like fun and it’s certainly something unusual, but 24 hours is a long time.  I’d have to incorporate some of my usual daily activities into an event like this.  Plus, there are some other activities I’d like to try that maybe I couldn’t do during normal park hours.  Maybe you’ve been thinking like me and wondered “Wow!  What could I do in the Magic Kingdom for 24 hours”?  Well, here are a few thoughts and ideas that crossed my mind. 

Ride the same attraction over and over again until you get sick of it –

Does anyone have a list of the world records for how long guests have ridden attractions at Walt Disney World at one time?  Maybe we could reference the ‘Guinness Book of World Records”?  Just think of it, how long could you stay on the TTA, or float through ‘It’s a Small World’ before going skitsofrantic!  Would the front line Cast Members even allow you to do this; probably not unless you had permission from some top-ranking Disney official.  But, just the thought of trying to beat a world record at one of the Magic Kingdom’s top attractions sounds like fun.  That is, of course, until you are a few hours into the attempt of the record.  Coolness Factor – It’s probably not worth your time and effort 3 out of 10. 

Bring your pajamas to the theme park –

If you are going to stay inside a theme park for 24 hours you might as well get comfortable and dress for the occasion.  Is this a slumber party, maybe?  What’s wrong with dressing the way you would normally dress at home for a relaxing evening?  I must admit I don’t wear pajamas to bed per se.  I’m more of a shorts and t-shirt with no socks kind of guy.  I guess what struck me about this idea was would anyone really say anything to you if you wore your black and white poodle or cool Buzz Lightyear pajamas and slippers in the Magic Kingdom overnight.  You are participating in an overnight excursion so why not dress the part?  I guess if your pajamas are too obvious you could always purchase a pair of “Pajama Jeans” (see the latest infomercial for details).  Coolness Factor – Dress comfortable and do something unusual 8 out of 10     

Sleep inside the Magic Kingdom -

Let’s think about this for a second.  It’s always been okay to find a nice quiet spot in the Magic Kingdom for an afternoon siesta, right?  That being the case what would be wrong with taking a nice 3 or 4 hour nap during the overnight hours while the park is still open.  Remember those pajamas you brought with you?  I’m not saying to plan all this out, but just the thought of grabbing some shut-eye in the Magic Kingdom seems legitimate, especially since the park is operating over a 24-hour period.  If you want to take a nap where’s the best place to grab 50 winks?  One suggestion I’ve been told was the Hall of Presidents.  They have a great theater with soft lighting, comfy seats, and calming voices.  This attraction runs continuously with limited Cast Member disruption which makes it a great place for an evening siesta.  Coolness Factor – If you can nap during the day you can nap at night too 8 out of 10.   

Check out of your resort before MK24 and check back in after MK24 –

Talk about your crazy, but sinister ideas.  Think about it!  If you are going to spend 24 hours in the Magic Kingdom why would you need to go back to your resort room? (Just make sure to shower before you check out).  You could check your luggage at the front desk and head to the Magic Kingdom.  Just think of the money or DVC points you could save if you didn’t have to pay for a hotel room that night.  I’m not trying to turn this into a Cinderella Castle Suite opportunity, but taking a nap overnight in the Magic Kingdom into the wee hours of the morning is about as close as most of us are going to get to a night in the castle suite.    If you knew you didn’t need a hotel room for an entire day why pay for it?  MK24 would give you the opportunity to dump your room for the night.  Shhhhhh…..Don’t tell Disney.  They may not like this idea for various reasons.  Coolness Factor – A great way to save a few bucks, but don’t spread the word 9 out of 10.

Conclusion

Before anyone disagrees with these crazy ideas just keep in mind I don’t encourage it, but you have to admit when Disney announced the Magic Kingdom would be opened for 24 hours certain ideas and thoughts went through your head.  How often do we get the opportunity to enjoy 24 hours of theme park bliss?  If the Magic Kingdom is available to enjoy for 24 hours in a day the same guidelines should apply while the park is open.  Grabbing a bench and enjoying some time to relax, or even re-riding the same attraction over and over seems to be okay and within the rules.  

Let me pose these questions to you.  What would you do in the Magic Kingdom for 24 hours?  What went through your mind when Disney announced a 24 hour Leap Day at the Magic Kingdom?  How would you enjoy the day?  What tricks or tips would you use if you could stay in the Magic Kingdom for 24 hours straight?  Maybe you’ll be there.  If so, what is your plan?  We’d love to hear your ideas.  

February 29th inside the Magic Kingdom is going to be an interesting day.  Who knows how big the crowd will get, or how the crowd will tour the park, or even how the crowd will react to 24 hours in a theme park if they choose to spend the entire day there.  One thing is for sure, I’ll be waiting for reports to surface about how the day progresses.  There are plenty of questions like what entertainment will Disney provide at 3:00AM, or if the monorail will run the entire 24 hours.  Only time will tell and since the Magic Kingdom will be open for 24 hours straight we’ll have plenty of time to see what happens. 

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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