Tips For your Spring Break Trip to Disney World.
Spring Break is such an amazing time to visit Walt Disney World and we've got some great tips to help you avoid long lines and spend more time having fun on your Disney vacation. The weather is perfect - warm without being too hot. Lots of people head to Disney World during Spring Break so there will be crowds but our expert advice will help you handle all that like a pro!
Tip 1: Book Your Hotel and Dining Reservations As Soon As Possible
The Early Bird gets the best rates and the best seats.
Disney gives the best rates to the people who book their Disney World vacation packages early and booking early also helps you get your first choice of Disney Hotel and room category.
Disney Dining Reservations can be booked up to 180 Days Prior to Arrival. Popular locations like Cinderella's Royal Table, Ohana, and Chef Mickey fill early so booking early gives you the best shot at getting your first choice in restaurant and dining time.
FastPass+ reservations can be made up to 60 days prior to arrival if you have a Walt Disney World Resort vacation package that includes tickets. Guests not staying at an official Disney hotel can pre-purchase admission tickets and book their FastPass+ reservations 30 days prior to arrival.
Tip 2: Have good Disney World Theme Park Touring Plans
Everyone can benefit with good theme park touring plans. During busy times, a good plan will absolutely keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the lines; you will typically wait 3-to-4 hours less per theme park day than people who do not use a touring plan. Another really important benefit of a good plan is that everyone gets to ride and see the things that they are looking forward to because everyone's priorities are included in a plan that tours the parks efficiently and effectively. The plans we offer will also help you select the FastPass+ options that offer the biggest benefits in avoiding boring line time.
Theme park Touring Plans are so helpful that we provide them at no extra cost to everyone who books their Disney Vacation through us.
Tip 3: You'll enjoy more attractions and shorter lines if you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to park opening!
The parks are at their least crowded in the first hour or two of the day. It is so much better to arrive early and take a mid-day break than to arrive late and get in line behind everyone else. Disney often starts letting people in prior to the posted opening time so we recommend that you arrive 30 - 45 minutes prior to park opening.
There will be lines at the gate so here's a little tip - skirt around the edges of the crowd. You'll get farther forward, if you work your way around the sides that if you try to go from the middle.
Magic Kingdom now allows guests to enter Main Street USA at least 30 minutes prior to park opening and go as far forward as the castle hub. Disney's Animal Kingdom also regularly allows guests to enter the park at least 30-minutes early and move towards Pandora - the World of Avatar.
Early Opening For Everyone: The Disney theme parks typically open to the general public at 9:00AM but the Magic Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on March 23 - 23, March 26 - 31, and April 1- 7, 2018. Disney's Animal Kingdom will open to the general public at 8:00AM on March 20 - 31 and April 1- 7, 2018.
Will you have a car? Remember that the parking for the Magic Kingdom is across the Seven Seas Lagoon. You'll have to park, catch the parking lot tram which will take you to where you catch either the monorail or ferry boat to the Magic Kingdom. Allow enough time for this. Unless the ferry boat is loaded and ready to depart, the monorail is usually faster than the ferry boat in the morning. Guests staying at one of the Disney World hotels may want to use the resort transportation to the Magic Kingdom, if you have a car, because the buses or monorail drop you off near the front gate of the Magic Kingdom.
Tip for going through security: You'll get through security faster if your bags, including purses, diaper bags and camera bags, are already open before you reach the security guard. It can be easier to have one adult take all of the bags through security while another adult takes the kids through the "no bags" line.
Tip 4: FastPass+ Advance Reservation Tips
Disney has instituted a new FastPass+ system that replaces their old paper FASTPASS system. You will find a leaflet near the park maps that explains the new system and lists current options. Guests staying at a Disney World hotel and select "Good Neighbor" hotels can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days prior to arrival. If you're not staying at a Disney World hotel, you can make your FastPass+ reservations 30 days prior to arrival, as long as you purchased theme park tickets and can put the ticket numbers into the account you create at www.MyDisneyExperience.com. Every person is limited to booking three FastPass+ reservations per day in advance; additional "same-day" FastPass+ reservations can be added one at a time once you've used the first three.
In a perfect world, I'd like you to get to the theme park at least 30-minutes prior to opening so you can walk onto a number of attractions during the lowest crowds of the days. Because you can add additional same-day FastPasses later, I think it is ideal to book FastPass+ reservations for late morning or early afternoon.
Whether you book in advance or have to wait until you get to the park, try to snag FastPass+ these reservations:
- Disney's Animal Kingdom: The longest lines are for the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride. Get any others you want.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios: This park has a "tiered" system for FastPass+ that makes you choose either Toy Story Midway Mania or Rock-N Roller Coaster. Definitely go with Toy Story Midway Mania; the lines at this attraction are crazy and it is easy enough to walk onto Rock-N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror right at park opening. Use your other FastPass+ selections for Star Tours, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, or Tower of Terror.
- Epcot: Epcot also has a FastPass+ tiered system so you'll have to choose between Frozen Ever After, Soarin' and Test Track. If you want to ride Frozen Ever After, get a FastPass+ for later morning and head to the Soarin' as soon as the park opens. If you don't care about Frozen, get a Soarin' FastPass for mid-to-late morning and walk directlyover toTest Track as soon as the park opens.
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the newest ride at Magic Kingdom and it is centrally located which leads to very long lines so try to secure a FastPass+ if at all possible. If Enchanted Tales with Belle is a priority, try to get a FastPass+ for later morning or afternoon. Again, if princesses are important, you'll definitely want to get a FastPass+ to see Anna & Elsa, if still available - they go quickly and the stand-by lines are horrible. Otherwise, go with Peter Pan's Flight, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, or Space Mountain.
Tip: You can write your FastPass+ times on the leaflet that explains the system but a lot of folks find it easier just to use their cellphone to snap a picture of the screen that shows your confirmed FastPass+ reservation times. You may want to make this your phone's wallpaper for the day.
Tip 5: Do These Attractions as Soon as the Theme Park Opens!
As soon as the theme park opens, get hustle over to experience these attractions immediately:
- Disney's Animal Kingdom: If you have a FastPass+ reservation for Avatar Flight of Passage, go to Expedition Everest as soon as the park opens. If you aren't into roller coasters, go to the Africa area and ride Kilimanjaro Safari and see the first Festival of the Lion King of the day.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Midway Mania, if you don't have FastPass+ or want to experience this more than once. Thrill seekers should head right over to Rock ' n Roller Coaster & Tower of Terror. If you have a child age 12 or younger who wants to participate in the Jedi Training Academy, you'll need to go within the first hour of day to the stand near the entrance of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular to reserve their spot; the child must be present to register.
- Epcot: Depending on what Tier 1 FastPass you chose, you may need to ride Test Track or Soarin' as soon as the park opens if you don't have FastPass+.
- Magic Kingdom: At park opening, head directly to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain; or you can head over to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Families with small children will want to start with Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and the Under the Sea - Voyage of the Little Mermaid, followed by Dumbo, Barnstormer, Mad Tea Party, the Carousel, and "it's a small world" for a great Fantasyland morning with the least line time.
Warning: During busy times like Spring Break, FastPass+ reservations will all probably be completely distributed by noon for the attractions I told you to experience right away. Remember that there is no extra cost for using FastPass+, it is included in the price of admission.
Tip 6: Avoid early morning Character Breakfasts at Disney World
I don't want you in a restaurant when the crowds are low, just to leave and get in line when the crowds are getting long. Get a late (brunch) seating or, better yet, book character lunches or dinners - you'll be able to take advantage of morning lower crowd levels in the parks and then sit down to eat when you're ready for a break. Remember that character breakfasts are now confirmed with a credit card and subject to a $10 per person "no show" penalty - another big reason to avoid early morning reservations. The character breakfasts located in the Magic Kingdom resorts can be a great option for water park days, days where you plan to relax instead of visiting a theme park, or even on your departure day, if you have enough time.
Tip 7: Be Smart About Extra Magic Hours!
Extra Magic Hour(s) are times when a Disney World theme park opens an hour early or stays open two extra hours for anyone who stays at one of the official Disney World Resort hotels. Disney has over 30,000 hotel rooms which means that during Extra Magic Hours, too many people are being pointed in the same direction at the same time. The Extra Magic Hour park will be the most crowded park of the day so avoid all of that and go to a less crowded park. You'll enjoy more attractions without having to arrive painfully early or staying so late that you'll be too exhausted to get to the next day's park before park opening.
There is one exception to this recommendation and it only applies if you have Park Hopper Tickets - some young adults and teens really love being at the Disney parks until the wee hours of the morning. If this sounds like you, enjoy the evening extra magic hours but know that the park will be crowded and know that you'll be dog-tired the next day. Do you have the water park option? Then go to a water park after your late night at Disney World because a late arrival at a water park won't be a problem, just plan on riding the most popular attractions closer to the end of the day when the crowds are thinning.
The Extra Magic Hours information is especially important if you're not staying at a Disney World hotel! You really don't want to arrive at a Disney theme park at park opening just to find that Disney hotel guests have been forming lines for a whole hour so it is really important that you know which park has Extra Magic Hours on each day of your visit so that you can visit that park another time.
Tip 8: Fantasmic! Tip
There will be nights when Disney World offers a second a second Fantasmic! performance at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The second (later) parade or Fantasmic! performance will always be less crowded than the earlier one, when offered twice on the same evening. Check to be sure that going to the later performance doesn't mean missing the Star Wars themed fireworks though.
Tip 9: Go to Quick-Service Restaurants at Non-Standard Times
Disney's Quick-Service / Counter-service restaurants are mobbed with people during typical meal times. During peak travel times, try to eat lunch around 11:00AM and dinner around 4:00 - 4:30PM or after 8:00PM; you'll enjoy shorter lines at the counter and have an easier time finding a table. Save time with mobile ordering if you're paying with the a credit or debit card or with the Disney Dining plan. Must download the MyDisneyExperience app (free).
Special Note for Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom - This is the new "Beauty and the Beast" themed restaurant in the Fantasyland area of Magic Kingdom and reservations for dinner often fill 180 days in advance. The restaurant is a "quick-service" location for breakfast and lunch and is the only quick-service location where advance reservations are accepted. Definitely get a reservation, if possible, because the restaurant is hugely popular long lines form for stand-by spots. They'll cut off the line when they think they have as many people as they'll be able to serve in the time that they're open for lunch. If you have a reservation, you can pre-order your breakfast and lunch through your "My Disney Experience" account and we strongly recommend this; it is a huge time saver. Click here to learn more about pre-ordering at Be Our Guest.
Tip 10: Book Your Vacation Through Build A Better Mouse Trip
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Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:
- Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
- “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
- Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
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