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Central Florida theme parks reach capacity

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Dec 29, 2011 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Theme parks in Central Florida are reaching capacity this week. The week between Christmas and New Year's is typically one of the busiest of the year, due to children being out of school for the holidays. On Wednesday, several parks shut their gates for a few hours when the level of guests inside the parks rose to capacity.

Legoland in Winter Haven has only been open since October; yesterday was the first time they had to turn guests away, beginning at 1:25 pm. Hours of operation were extended until 8:30 pm; normally the park closes at 7:00 pm. Legoland spokeswoman Jackie Wallace commented on the closure, saying "We're definitely busy, and you can definitely feel that we're full. However, people are still smiling and having a great day."

Islands of Adventure (IoA) at Universal Orlando began turning guests away at 12:30 pm, but set up a temporary queue outside the park for any guests who wanted to wait in case the crowd levels dropped. Hours at IoA were also extended, changing from 11:00 pm to midnight.

Three parks at Walt Disney World were temporarily closed as well. Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom were only allowing in guests who were staying at a Disney hotel, had a park hopper or premium annual pass, or had dining reservations inside the parks. Full admission resumed at 2:30 pm.