Visiting Walt Disney World is a magical and memorable experience at any age, any time of year! Many families are able to travel during non peak times (or times when the crowds are much smaller), but as a public school employee, my vacationing options are limited to peak times when it comes to Disney. At first, I was overwhelmed by this; however, this April will be our 4th trip during spring break, and although it is considered one of the busiest time of the year, it continues to be my favorite time to visit!
There are many reasons that visiting Walt Disney World during spring break is so popular. First, you don’t have to take the kids out of school. Second, us Northerners need a much needed break from the cold. Third, it is a gorgeous time to visit! In the spring, families not only get to experience all the Easter festivities, but they also experience the magic of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. This is MY favorite part of our spring Disney vacation.
As I said, however, traveling during spring break can be overwhelming. There are a lot of crowds which can be overstimulating for kids (and parents). To help make your experience easier and more magical, I have come up some tips to help you make the most of your Disney adventure.
Tips for Visiting Disney During Spring Break
Book Fast Passes
If you don’t mind waiting in really long lines, then you can forgo making fast pass selections, but I imagine that is not how you want to spend your vacation. You can make your fast pass selections as early as 60 days before your trip. When making your selections keep the magic hours in mind. It is important to note that you can only book 3 passes per day in one park. Once you have used those passes, you can then book another fast pass for that day.
Use the Disney App
I highly recommend using the Disney app! The parks offer FREE WiFi so don’t worry about using up all your data while exploring the app. The app offers park maps, wait times, food options and so much more. You can even book your fast passes right from your phone! Did I mention the app is FREE?
Use the Magic Hours
When you are staying at a Disney World Resort, you have the option of using special magic hours. This means each day of the week certain parks are open earlier or stay open later. This is a great way to beat the crowds and get on some rides that normally have long lines.
Bring a Stroller
During spring break, there are so many people that it may be overwhelming for your kids to walk along side you. As a parent, you may also be afraid they will get lost. Strollers help kids stay in their comfortable safe zone while parents feel less anxious. I have seen kids of ALL ages in strollers so don’t be worried about bringing or renting one for your 10-year-old. If it makes your trip easier, then go for it! (Strollers are even great for that mid afternoon nap!)
Bring a Sweatshirt
Yes, it’s sunny Florida, but it can get chilly especially in the morning and at night. Don’t be like my family and have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on 2 towels to use as blankets for the kids because you thought shorts would suffice at 7:30am at Animal Kingdom!
Bring Rain Gear
For those who have traveled to Florida ANY time of the year, you know it can rain at any moment, and it does! I recommend being prepared with an umbrella or ponchos. Last year, it rained at least once a day EVERY day we were there. We were not prepared so we ended up buying a Disney umbrella. The ponchos can also be used when riding water rides if you don’t want to get wet. (This is often a good option for grandparents who want to ride the rides but don’t want to mess up their hair!) I also recommend getting a rain cover for your stroller. It was a life saver our first trip to Disney!
Decorate Your Stroller
No, I don’t mean with balloons and streamers! I mean put something on it to make it noticeable to you amongst a sea of strollers. This will make it easier and faster to find your stroller once you get off the rides. It is important for you to know that your stroller WILL be moved from its original location in many stroller parking areas especially during shows. Don’t worry! This is done strategically by Disney employees to make more space for more people. The first time mine was moved I thought it was stolen but a nice woman calmed me down and explained the process. This is also why I recommend decorating it.
Bring your own Easter basket
This is for those traveling for Easter. It may sound fun to get a basket full of goodies at Disney, but unless you are willing to put out some serious money, it just makes more sense to bring your own. One year, we brought beach pails as Easter baskets so they could then use them during the week at the beach at our hotel (many hotels have sand to play in). The pails were personalized with a Disney theme to add to the fun. I also brought my own Easter eggs to hide around the room as well as goodies to stuff inside the pail. This definitely saved us time AND money!
Many people don’t know that you can bring your own food inside the parks at Walt Disney World! This has been a life (and money) saver since our first trip. I have brought in baby food, formula, snacks, water bottles, sandwiches and more to keep my kids happy while exploring the parks. This also kept my pocketbook happy! You can’t bring in a giant cooler, but I recommend packing a lunch box for each kid or loading the diaper bag up with snacks. No matter the age, your child WILL get hungry, and it’s better to pull out a bag of chips then spend $10 on popcorn!
I hope that these tips will help make your next Disney vacation more magical!