After thawing out from winter, we’ve learned that we absolutely need to schedule some warm weather fun during Tad and Lily's week off from school. So we frogs are quite hoppy to join in that annual rite of spring known as spring break. And more often than not, that means a trip to Disney!
Overview of Spring Break 2022 at Disney World
Spring at Disney World offers a bounty for the senses! From gorgeous horticultural displays and delicious kitchens at EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, to 50th-anniversary touches across all of the theme parks, this spring is blossoming into a hoppin' time to visit!
While we love visiting any time we can, spring break ranks just behind the weeks of Christmas and New Year's as the busiest time to visit Disney World. With so many frogs visiting during this time of year, a trip to Disney World requires a little more planning and expectations. Make sure you have your tickets ready to go and have your Park Pass reservation for each day. Some parks like Disney's Hollywood Studios may book up first, but no matter what park you have to start in, you can always park hop after 2 p.m. with a park hopper ticket. Outside of making your park pass reservations, consider My Disney Experience your main planning hub — if you've got an Apple device, you can even create a pass to tap into the parks using your smartphone or watch with MagicMobile!
You can still have an amazing time even when there are more frogs in the pond, so to speak. But it does mean you need to have a plan! That's where this post comes in. We're going to be sharing our best tips so you will have an amazing time this spring break at Disney World.
Spring Break Crowds at Disney World in 2022
Because this traditional week off from school is staggered throughout the U.S., it typically creates a spike in attendance at the theme parks over a period of a few weeks. For this reason, we've come to think of spring break as a season. While the start of the season is always early March, the end fluctuates, thanks to Easter. The date of the holiday changes every year, and many school districts adjust their spring break or give additional days off because of it. Typically when you have a later Easter, there is a longer, but overall less crowded spring break season. As always, weekends will be busier than weekdays. For 2022, Easter falls on April 17, so there will be an overall longer spring break season. With many families hopping back into travel, this year, in general, is expected to see higher crowds.
Florida universities typically have spring breaks during the first week of March. This year, the public schools in Orange and Osceola Counties have spring break from March 14 to 18, so that week, in particular, may be busier due to locals being out of school.
We always recommend you check our Crowd Calendar for daily crowd levels and recommended parks, but you should especially do so if you are visiting Disney World over spring break in 2022. Now, onto our tips!
Tips for Visiting Disney World Over Spring Break 2022
1. Arrive at the theme parks ahead of official opening.
Our single most important tip is to arrive early, especially during spring break. Arrive at all parks before opening and ride your popular attractions in the first hour or two before the lines get too long. Be sure to double-check the park opening times (which you can see on our Crowd Calendar) because they can and do change.
If staying on property, Disney has introduced the Early Theme Park Entry benefit. Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels have 30-minute early entry to any theme park, every day. This is crucial for saving time for popular attractions such as Avatar: Flight of Passage and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Arriving early also helps with parking, if you plan to drive, as the parking lots fill sooner during peak seasons such as spring break. Trams have returned to Magic Kingdom parking to help with the otherwise long walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. The three other parks do not currently have trams, but they are confirmed to return sometime in 2022.
You should also know that certain areas and attractions are not open during Early Theme Park Entry. At Magic Kingdom, for example, Early Theme Park Entry guests are limited to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. This can impact your morning, whether you're an on-site guest or not. This brings us to our next point ...
2. Follow our park plans and download our wait time app.
We recommend you at least have an idea of which attractions you want to visit in the parks. Lucky for you, we offer park plans for all of the Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando theme parks so that you can experience the most in-demand attractions with the shortest durations first. Download the printable park plans from our site before you go, or use our app to follow or customize our plans! You can also use our free wait-time app for iPhone to check wait times for rides nearby instead of having to traverse the park.
You'll also want to decide if you want to purchase Disney Genie+. For $15 a day per person, Disney Genie+ lets you choose available times to skip the standby line for a variety of rides and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance. Most attractions are included in the service, though some can be purchased separately as individual selections. Just in time for spring break 2022, three ride options have moved from individual Lightning Lane selections to Genie+ options: Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, Frozen Ever After and Space Mountain.
3. Know your transportation options.
While Disney World offers complimentary transportation, wait times can be long during peak times. Buses (boats, Disney Skyliner gondola capsules and monorail cars) can fill quickly, and you may find yourself waiting for a second or third bus before you can board.
Having a rental or driving your own car gives you the convenience of going anywhere at any time. (Undercover Tourist conveniently offers car rentals, and you can save even more when you bundle your tickets and rental together!)
If you do drive yourself to the parks, know that parking booths don't open until about an hour before the parks are scheduled to open. If you arrive and see a line that isn't moving, don't worry! In our experience, once things open up, they move quickly. If you are a Walt Disney World Resort hotel guest, you'll pay for overnight hotel parking, but parking at the theme parks is free.
4. Pack with purpose.
Head into spring break well prepared with these essential items! While not peak summer, it can always get hot in Florida, so make sure to bring hand-held fans and sunscreen. It can also rain often, so we recommend bringing your own rain ponchos so you don't have to buy the pricer ones in the parks. Be sure to bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated and save some money. Finish out your essentials with a portable phone charger, as you will be using the My Disney Experience app a lot throughout the day, which can drain your battery. Face coverings are required on Disney transportation, regardless of vaccination status, so be sure to pop a few in your bag!
5. Eat breakfast at the hotel and pack your own drinks and snacks.
Need a cup of Joe in the morning? We caffeine-fueled frogs get it. But grab it before you get to the park, so you can spend those precious early hours on rides and not in the coffee line. You'll save more time if you eat ahead of time, and if you're eating breakfast off-site, you'll also potentially save more money. And when you bring your own snacks and drinks, you can avoid lines — as well as hunger and hydration meltdowns!
6. Avoid dining during "prime time."
Unless you've made Advance Dining Reservations, the restaurant crowds can be as busy as the attraction lines. You'll find the shortest lines during "off-peak" hours, for example, before 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m. for lunch. Just remember to adjust your breakfast and snack times accordingly.
Oh, and just because you didn't make a dining reservation in advance doesn't mean you can't while you're on vacation. Check for openings on the days of your visit for last-minute openings due to other people's cancellations. In the My Disney Experience app, you can even check for dining reservations "now" to see if anything is available!
Did you know that you can plan your Mobile Order in advance? That's right! You can create your order and even select a pickup window as soon as you enter the park. For popular stops such as Woody's Lunch Box, which book up quickly, this is even more important. Some locations require mobile ordering, so be prepared to place your order before heading to the restaurant.
7. Review your safety plan.
Crowds + tadpoles = sky-rocketing anxiety levels for parents. Review your safety steps such as “what happens if we get separated” beforehand as a family. Take a look at Lily's tips for not getting lost at Disney for more hopful hints.
8. Take a break from the parks.
If you or your little ones are completely frazzled by the afternoon, take a break from the parks completely. Let the kids have a swim or a nap and then decide if a trip in the evening — perhaps to the resort's entertainment and shopping areas such as Disney Springs or Disney’s BoardWalk — might be in order. We love factoring in one full afternoon for just pool time. If you're staying at Disney's Beach or Yacht Club Resorts or Disney's Art of Animation, which has multiple themed pools, you might want to plan even more pool time for your tadpoles.
Remember to look at your resort's entertainment schedule too — from Movies Under the Stars to add-ons such as horseback riding or even tie-dye by the pool, there's plenty to do outside of the parks.
9. Don't sleep on entertainment!
The perfect way to end the day at Disney World is with fireworks! At Magic Kingdom, enjoy the new show "Disney Enchantment" with fireworks and projections on Cinderella Castle and all the way down Main Street U.S.A. At EPCOT, head to the World Showcase for "Harmonious," the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. Check out our guides on the best spots to watch Disney Enchantment and Harmonious!
And there's an added treat for spring breakers — the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade returns March 9 to Magic Kingdom!
10. Pack your patience and be flexible with plans.
The Grinch is great as long as he stays in his place at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Don’t let that old sourpuss take over your vacation! If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and maybe a five-minute "time-out." It’s very important to bounce back from a melt-down ... yours or your kids'! In a time when some experiences may be modified or unavailable, this is especially important.
While I love when a great plan comes together, I know when it’s OK to change course. Take occasional "temperature" checks of everyone's energy levels and attitudes. If you have to cut something short or go to a different park than you planned, don't sweat it. It’s about quality, not quantity.
Remember, there will be lots of froggies also visiting Disney World, but as long as you have reasonable expectations and a flexible plan, your family will have a magical vacation!
Have a question about what to expect during spring break at Disney World in 2022 or a Disney World spring break tip to share? Share it with us in the comments below!
Related: The Best Times to Visit Disney World