Monday, February 9, 2015

You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here: Magic Kingdom Evacuations

I know that facing an emergency evacuation is the last thing on anyone’s mind when they visit the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, but it could happen.  Rest assured that cast members are ready for these situations and have been trained on exactly what to do if they should arise.  I have never been a part of an evacuation as a guest or a cast member but I thought I would run down the 3 levels of evacuation that you may encounter depending on the severity of the emergency. 
As Usual
Guests would be asked to exit the park in an orderly fashion just as they would any other time.  Cast Members would of course be assisting with crowd control and have out their air traffic control wands.  This is for an evacuation where time is not necessarily a factor but there is still reason to evacuate the park.

Just a normal exit from the park after fireworks.
Best Possible Route

Guests would be asked to exit the park and routes that would not normally be traveled by guests would be opened to allow for a faster evacuation.  These routes may take guests into cast member only areas backstage.  Safety is the most important thing to everyone at Walt Disney World, so for these emergency situations the veil of “magic” may be lifted temporarily to ensure the safety of the guests.  Sometimes these routes are used in very high traffic times of the year as well to help ease the flow of traffic down Main Street U.S.A.  They have used one such route so much that they decided to sprinkle some pixie dust on that area so when they do need to use it the guest’s experience is not ruined in any way.  Such a Disney thing to do!
Adventureland: To the left of Pirates of the Caribbean

Frontierland: To the left of Splash Mountain
Where parades will originate or end.

From both above locations you exit out to the right of the
Fire Station in Town Square
(The exit that I'm sure many of you have used is just to the left of the Plaza Restaurant and lets you out up by Tony's Town Square.  This is the one I mentioned before that will surely be getting more frequent use.)
Take Cover

Guests would be immediately escorted down to the utilidors under the Magic Kingdom.  We all know that the tunnels under Magic Kingdom are used by cast members to come and go from their locations and where a lot of the behind the scenes operations occur.  There is an incredible amount of space down there as well and in an extreme weather emergency, like a hurricane, cast members will have no problem evacuating guests down to the first floor of the Magic Kingdom for their safety.  If you think it is bad how the cast members ask you to move down the row and fill in all available space, imagine if every guest in the Magic Kingdom is evacuated down into the utilidors.

This is just another example of how the cast members at Walt Disney World do the worrying for us.  We can visit Walt Disney World and only worry about whether to take a poncho or if we will need sunscreen.  The cast members at the Walt Disney World Resort are always prepared and alert to the other things that could possibly endanger their guests.  If you ever are in one of these situations please understand that the steps the cast members are asking you to complete are for your own safety.  Cooperate as fully as you can with the cast members’ requests and realize that inconveniencing you in any way is the last thing that these cast members wanted to do.  They want to ensure you are safe so that they can see your smiling, happy face visiting their park again.

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