Cast Member Blockouts Remain in Place for Magic Kingdom Through the End of July, What It Might Signal

    While we originally tracked Cast Member admission blockouts at Magic Kingdom to try and predict Tiana’s Bayou Adventure preview dates, we’re now tracking when Disney World will lift those blockouts. Typically, Disney World will block Cast Member admission to a theme park when elevated crowds are expected at the park, and it looks like they’ll do so at Magic Kingdom for nearly two months this summer.

    Of course, when we mention elevated crowds, we’re talking about the June 28th opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. While the use of Virtual Queue all but eliminates “new ride” demand in terms of overwhelming foot traffic, guests will still be very interested in riding the Splash Mountain replacement. The use of a Virtual Queue at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure won’t last long (we’re looking at you, Cosmic Rewind), as Disney World has said that they plan on dropping the Virtual Queue “soon after the attraction’s opening”. We’d imagine that means sometime in the first few weeks, although Disney World has not said exactly when they’ll drop the Virtual Queue requirement.

    That said, if we take a look at the Cast Member blockout calendar, and apply some of the same logic that allowed us to accurately guess when the preview period would begin (and the attraction’s opening timeframe of late June), we can start to paint a picture of what the Virtual Queue situation will probably look like come August 1st.

    Looking at the calendar above, we can see that Cast Member blockouts at Magic Kingdom will be from June 3rd through July 31st. With June 28th being the official opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, it looks like demand for the ride will moderate enough by August 1st to allow for Cast Members to return to Magic Kingdom.

    To me, that signals that not only will the Virtual Queue be gone by August 1st, but that there will be at least a week or two (or three?) of traditional standby use before August 1st as well. If I had to guess, I would guess that the Virtual Queue would be gone by July 14th. That means that our guess is that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will use a Virtual Queue for less than two weeks, and there will be just over two weeks of standby in use before Cast Members can enjoy Magic Kingdom admission again.

    Splash Mountain closing day

    I’ve previously said that trying to derive useful information from the Cast Member blockout schedule was “one step above throwing darts at the calendar and two steps above reading tea leaves”, and that probably stands. That said, we think there’s a bit of logic in using the Virtual Queue to get through all of the Fourth of July crowds before going to standby, and getting enough standby operations in the books before allowing Cast Members to return.

    Two more things. First, Walt Disney World had the slowest Fourth of July in a decade last year. We probably don’t expect that to happen again this year, but who knows. Second, if you’re planning a visit to Magic Kingdom specifically to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure on or around the first of August, know that the Cast Member impact will be a thing. We see it on a bigger scale every time a tier of Annual Pass returns from a lengthy blockout, and while the Cast Member blockout likely won’t affect wait times as a whole at the parks, we expect that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be a popular destination.

    One last thought and this is just stream of consciousness at this point, but we might also see the return of the Country Bear Musical Jamboree before August 1st, which could be another factor in Disney World’s decision to block Cast Member access to Magic Kingdom through late July. As of publish time, Disney World has not announced an opening date for the Country Bear Musical Jamboree.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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