I'm torn on how effective a promotion this will be for Disney. It's just one day, after all, and on a "school" day at that, when relatively few families of Disney fans will be able to get away for a trip down to Disney World or Disneyland for the event. So I suspect that the attendance will be almost entirely locals - people with annual or seasonal passes, generating no additional admission income for Disney. Some might book hotel rooms for a night or two around the event, but I don't see this "Disney Day" generating any more in-park revenue for the company that a typical summer day would. Sure, it's nice to convert a Wednesday in February to a high-attendance day, but whatever additional income that brings in will be nothing more than a rounding error in Disney's budget.
So what is the value of this stunt? Publicity. The 6am-6am operation at Disney's two top theme parks will attract TV and newspaper reporters, as well as writers from every Disney-fan and theme park website. And all those stories will be drawing the public's attention three months before the start of summer vacation, when many families are considering their summer plans. So it's not the extra money that Disney makes on Feb. 29 that's driving this promotion. It's the extra money that Disney can make from the publicity around Feb. 29.
Hey, we'll play along. But how? That's what I want to talk about today. What should be our coverage angle for Feb. 29?
Here's my idea, and it's deceptively ambitious: Use the 24-hour window to try to visit every attraction at Disneyland. Keep in mind that there are 40 rides and shows at Disneyland, not counting the parade, Fantasmic! or fireworks. (Or Matterhorn, which will be down for refurbishment on Feb. 29.) That's just 36 minutes per attraction. And on a day when many at Disney are expecting to hit park capacity.
Disney's published calendar for Feb. 29 for both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom lists no special entertainment for that day in either park - just the evening parade at Disneyland and the afternoon parade and Wishes at the MK, same as the day before and after. The calendars also note, ominously for this effort, that "select attractions, entertainment and services will be available" on that day. I'm taking that to mean that everything in the park won't be open for the full 24 hours.
So is a clean sweep of the park even possible? Is it worth trying? Is there a better idea for experiencing the 29th? Does anyone want to volunteer to cover the Magic Kingdom, since I'll be in Anaheim? Does anyone in Southern California want to join in for part of the day?
Have at it, in the comments.Tweet
As has been mentioned, we don't know which rides will be closed when during the day, complicating things. But a 6am start is essential, and I'm thinking that one should start on the non-Fastpass rides in Fantasyland, such as Pan in Disneyland. Thoughts?
And during it, you are going to need some serious food. If we get to eat around the world at Food and Wine, you can eat around the world.
Finally, it's leap day. Celebrate it with the Theme Park Insider Jump Rope Party on your Tom Sawyer's Island at noon (but not the boat though that could be a great story for the next edition of your book). Why should Disney have all the fun. It's TPI time for fun also.
To say the least, this is gonna be a MONSTER day for yours truly. Our troupe will be on hand at the park's opening. While I will attempt to hit every attraction my primary objective will be to compile the definitive collection of Jungle Cruise photos.
After the three o'clock parade, I will bounce out of the park and make my way over to the West End at Downtown Disney. I have tickets to see Flogging Molly blow the doors off the House of Blues.
After getting my celtic-blam-blam on I will swallow a gallon of coffee and a half-dozen Red Bulls and rocket back to the Kingdom. After midnight I intend to marathon the Jungle Cruise.
After the park closes at 6 AM on March 31st I will head home.
If your there promptly at 6am and focused on the rides that could hold you up: Speedway & Haunted Mansion due to lack of Fast Pass and accordingly Fast Passed Peter Pan Jungle Cruise and the Mountains, did the shows Country Bear, Presidents, Phillarmagic, CoP, Stich & MILF after lunch when its busiest you shouldn't be concerned about being there after hours.
As on the proper off season days Magic Kingdom sweep is attainable without the 24 hour timeline.
I felt the same when on Grad Night. My school class was emptying out at around 1 am, but we had to wait until morning before the bus was given permission to leave the parking lot. What a joke.
Best to get a hotel room, preferably at the Disneyland Hotel so you can crash.
Personally, I'd rather go to the parks that won't be open 24 hours since they will probably be much less crowded than usual. Seems like the last few times we've been, we always end up in the magic kingdom, which is great, but I'd like to see EPCOT and animal kingdom, too.
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