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Top 10 Tips for Spring Break at Disney World
Tips to Help You Get the Most from 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!
All photos are my own unless otherwise noted. The castle photo in this section was taken by Monica Bryant and is used with permission. (c)Stephen Johnson.
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 prepurchase admission tickets and book their FASTPASS+ reservations 30 days prior to arrival.
Tip 2: Have good Disney World Theme Park Touring Plans.
You gotta have a plan, Man.
We are convinced that 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 - our clients typically wait 3-to-4 hours less per theme park day than people who do not use a good touring plan. During less crowded times, a good plan factors in shorter park hours and fewer performance times. But the most 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
Theme park Touring Plans are so helpful that we provide them at no extra cost to everyone who books their Disney Vacation through us. Click here for more information.
Excellent Guidebook & Theme Park Touring Plans
We're so impressed with the quality of information in this wonderful guidebook that we offer it as a thank you gift to everyone who books their Disney Vacation through BuildABetterMouseTrip.com.
Tip 3: Arrive at the Disney Theme Parks at least 20 minutes prior to park opening!
You'll enjoy more attractions and shorter lines if you arrive early.
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. We recommend that you arrive 30 minutes prior to park opening - if you can't quite pull that off, try to get there at least 15 - 20 minutes before official 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 try to go from the middle.
Tip 4: Go to These Rides and Attractions as Soon as the Theme Park Opens
FASTPASS+ 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 can make FASTPASS+ reservations up to 60 days prior to arrival. If you're not staying at a Disney World hotel, you have to wait until you get into the park to make your FASTPASS+ reservations. Every person is limited to three FASTPASS+ reservations per day. We help our clients with their FASTPASS+ reservations but here are some tips for people won't be able to get those until they arrive at the park:
As soon as the theme park opens, get hustle over to experience these attractions immediately:
- Disney's Animal Kingdom / Expedition Everest
- Disney's Hollywood Studios / Toy Story Midway Mania
- Epcot / Test Track, followed by Mission Space
- Magic Kingdom / Enchanted Tales with Belle
If you arrive late, you may need to get FASTPASS+ reservations for those attractions, if they're still available. If you were able to ride those attractions, find a FASTPASS+ kiosk and try to snag these reservations:
- Disney's Animal Kingdom / Anything you want
- Disney's Hollywood Studios / Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Tower of Terror or Rock-N Roller Coaster
- Epcot / Soarin' and any others you want
- Magic Kingdom / Peter Pan's Flight, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, or any others.
Warning: The FASTPASS+ tickets 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: 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.
How to use Disney's FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World Resort
This video tells you how to use the new FASTPASS+ system with photo examples of the actual system so you'll know how it works before you get there.
Tip 5: Avoid early morning Character Breakfasts
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 enjoy the lower morning crowds 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.
Tip 6: Avoid Extra Magic Hours like the plague during peak travel times
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 go to a less crowded park and 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 you'll be crowded and know that you'll be tired the next day. Do you have the water park option? Then go to a water park after your late night at Disney World - 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.
This information is especially important for anyone 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. You can get that information by clicking
Tip 7: Main Street Electrical Parade & Fantasmic! Tip -
There will be nights when Disney World offers a second Main Street Electrical Parade at the Magic Kingdom and 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.
Tip 8: Easter Sunday Heavy Crowd Warning for Magic Kingdom and Epcot
Avoid the Magic Kingdom and Epcot on any major holiday - including Easter (Sunday, April 8th). These two parks will be crazy busy that day. Animal Kingdom or Disney's Hollywood Studios will be less crowded. Easter Week is also the peak week of Spring Break throughout the Unitied States.
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.
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 lunch with no advance reservations accepted. The restaurant is hugely popular so lines of an hour or more often form at lunch. The restaurant typically opens at 10:30AM - we recommend that you eat a light breakfast and then at the entrance of the restaurant by 10:25AM so that you get in quickly and have your choice of the three themed choice of seating areas.
Tip 10: Book Your Disney Vacation Through Build A Better Mouse Trip -
Build A Better Mouse Trip gives you a better Disney vacation by taking the stress out of trip planning & providing theme park touring plans. We book directly with Disney so you never pay more than if you booked the reservation yourself and we provide lots of help and advice designed to take the stress out of vacation planning at no extra cost to you.
1) Help with selecting the right resort or hotel for your budget. We don't just book Disney resorts - we're happy to make reservations at other accommodations too.
2) Help with building a Best Days Itinerary - a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
3) Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
4.) At no extra cost to you, we will provide 1) a TouringPlans.com subscription, - or - 2) the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World when you book through www.buildabettermousetrip.com.
Contact us today to start planning your Disney Vacation:
Toll free: 877-815-6515
When Are You Going To Disney World?
When is your next Disney World Vaction?
We'd love to hear about your plans. You can also share your best tips for Disneyworld in the summer.