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 — for all of our sakes. So we frogs are quite hoppy to join in that annual rite of spring known as "spring break" and make a trip to Orlando. Never mind that spring break ranks just behind the weeks of Christmas and New Year's as the busiest time to visit Disney World and the other theme parks. While this traditional week off from school is staggered throughout the U.S., it creates a spike in attendance at the theme parks over a period of a few weeks. Hence, we've come to think of spring break as a season.
For 2019, the season unofficially begins March 9 and ends April 28, with Easter on April 21. With Easter falling so late this year, spring break will be longer but not quite as intense as when Easter falls earlier in the season. While there will still be lots of frogs in the pond, so to speak, we've got you covered! Here are a few tips that can make a big difference in your visit. 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 during spring break.
Frog Family's Disney World Spring Break Tips
Disney World Spring Break Tip #1 - Arrive Early.
Our single-most important tip is to arrive early, especially during spring break. Arrive at the parks at least 45 minutes before rope drop and ride your favorite attractions in the first hour or two before the lines get really long. This helps with parking, if you plan to drive, as the parking lots fill sooner during peak seasons such as spring break. And keep in mind that security in the parks has been tightened, so you are likely to spend more time going through bag check. Know that closures are possible at the parks on the very busiest days, although likely on only the very busiest of days, such as Easter. Closures are done in phases, and they don't normally last all day. As guests leave the park, more are allowed to come in. Keep in mind also that moving between parks takes up a lot of time and can be tougher on little ones when there are more crowds to navigate.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #2 - Take Advantage of FastPass+.
Disney World's FastPass+ service lets you pre-book attractions up to 60 days or 30 days in advance, depending on whether you are staying onsite or not. You get three rides or show selections per day from any one park. If you will be visiting Disney World during spring break in 2019, you definitely want to book those rides as soon as you can! And make sure to buy your tickets far enough in advance that you can book your FastPass+ selections when your reservation window opens. You'll find full details inside our FastPass+ Guide.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #3 - Follow Our Park Plans & Download Our Wait Time App.
In addition to using FastPass+ and arriving early, we recommend you at least have an idea of which attractions you want to visit in the parks, preferably a touring plan. 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. You can use our free wait-time app for iPhone to check wait times for rides nearby instead of having to traverse the park.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #4 - Rent a Car.
While Disney World offers complimentary transportation, wait times can be long during peak times. Buses (boats 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!)
Disney World Spring Break Tip #5 – Eat Breakfast Beforehand & Pack Your Own Drinks and Snacks.
This will save you time and money. If you rent a car or drive your own, it's easier to find breakfast foods and eat at your hotel. If you're on property, most of the resort gift shops have breakfast foods available for purchase that are cheaper than eating a full sit-down breakfast. And when you bring your own snacks and drinks, you can avoid lines — as well as hunger and hydration meltdowns!
Disney World Spring Break Tip #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.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #7 – Review Your Safety Plan.
Crowds + tadpoles = sky-rocketing anxiety levels for parents. Review things like “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.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #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.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #9 – Pack Your Patience.
The Grinch is great as long as he stays in his place at Islands of Adventure. Don’t let him take over your vacation! If you start to feel overwhelmed, just take a deep breath and maybe a 5-minute "time-out." It’s very important to bounce back from a melt-down ... yours or your kids'!
Disney World Spring Break Tip #10 - Watch the Fireworks from Outside the Parks.
Magic Kingdom fireworks shows are viewable from the Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the beaches at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the Ticket and Transportation Center and on the boat ride between Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness. Epcot fireworks can be seen from the bridge that connects Disney’s BoardWalk Entertainment District and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club. You don't have to be staying at the hotels to watch the fireworks from them, but do keep in mind that we now offer discounts on Disney World and Orlando hotel rooms.
Disney World Spring Break Tip #11 – Be Flexible.
While I love when a great plan comes together, I know when it’s OK to alter that plan and 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.
Have a question about what to expect during spring break at Disney World, or a Disney World spring break tip to share? Share it with us in the comments below!
Related: Best Time to Visit Disney World