View Full Version : Is it possible to beat/deal with Spring Break crowds?

03-20-2007, 08:45 PM
Because of reluctance to take my now high-school-aged daughter out of school for extended periods, we're seriously considering making our next trip during Easter/spring break (next year; this year the lucky kid is going to Italy).

We've never gone during busy times. Is going during SB something to just not consider? Is there a way to deal with it? Do you find it totally ruins the trip to be there when it's that busy?

My wife has requested a more-relaxed trip next time, meaning not going pre-open to close every single day. We'll get to the parks very early and do the EMH parks in the morning but then spend more time at the resort and pool than usual, go miniature golfing, etc. But when it comes to actually going to the parks, what do you think?

03-20-2007, 09:03 PM
we have gone every spring break for 16 years.
its crowded.
sometimes its not bad though.
one year it was insane.:crowd:
it has to do with exactly when the largest school systems break.
we're in atlanta so we are a part of a pretty big crowd but ive been told new york and florida are the two to stay away from.

we cant help but go when our time is as mrs buster is a teacher though.
the biggest trick for us is to dissapear in the middle of the day.:teleport:
go to the parks and hit the big rides then head back to the resort to swim or sometimes i play golf or we go see a movie, just whatever.
then the real fun for us is hitting the parks late!
the good thing is on the spring break weeks the parks can be open REAL late.
add EMH and sometimes the MK doesnt close until 3:00!

that reminds me, a big tip off on the crowd estimates is the hours MK stays open.
if it closes at 11:00 you might be there on a less crowded spring break.
if it closes at 1:00 it could be rough.

no matter what the weekends are the worst, hands down.
if you want to ride rides pick a weekday.
go to DTD or rent a sprite boat on saturdays.
do the richard petty deal,fishing excursion,anything.

the upside is the weather.
its perfect.:sun: :flower: :flower:

were going in 9 days,16 hours, and 35 seconds so i'll report back on this years spring break crowd!

03-20-2007, 09:26 PM
Buster had some good points. The only thing I would add is that any time of the year is managable with a plan. I realize everyone wants no lines, but that's just no longer a reality. So, using fastpass, having a plan, and having realistic expectations of how much you can get done will allow you to have a good time even in the crowded times. "Spring Break" in general is not horrible. Holy Week (leading up to Easter) is one of the most crowded of the year, so take that into consideration as well.

03-20-2007, 11:28 PM
Thanks to both of you so far, especially the note on checking closing times and checking on FL school systems.

And yes, a plan is essential. We'll get up very early and do the EMH park, as I said, and then take some time back at the hotel/other stuff. If we go back to a park at 4pm, what should we expect wait times to be for the rest of the evening? Like two hours? Will all fast passes be gone?

Sean Riley Taylor's Mom
03-20-2007, 11:36 PM
Just a little note from a NY parent. Our Spring Break for our school system has moved up considerably since my son has been in school. It used to fall towards the end of the month, maybe the middle. This year the first day is Monday, April 2nd, return to school the next Tuesday the 10th. That seems to be the trend for this part of NY at least.

So....that might leave the rest of April free from alot of the NY crowd. ;)

03-21-2007, 01:23 AM
We will never want to go Easter week ever again but if that is the only time possible, it can be managed. The crowds rivaled the worst crowds of summer that week. We left midday to swim at the hotel & returned for EMH in the evening.

03-22-2007, 11:45 PM
We were there last week with all the other Texans and the foks from Ontario. The first Saturday (3/10) was wonderful. The rest of the week (through Thursday) was pretty crowded in my mind - especially at MK. The only place I think you will have an issue with Fastpasses when you come back is Epcot for TT and Soarin - so I would plan on doing them early.

Since MGM and AK have different hours during the year, I would count on the high profile rides in the morning and not count on Fastpass in the afternoon.

03-22-2007, 11:54 PM
I was there last week (13-21) and quickly realized we were in for a crowded week! We used FP's and used pm EMH (we are not early risers!)

We realized that we just had to accept what we could do, and what we could not do.

Is it do-able? Absolutely. Will it take some planning and patience, definitely. Would I do it again? If pulling DD out of school continues to become more and more difficult, yes.

I think if you go into it with the right attitude (which it sounds like you have) then you will be fine!

03-23-2007, 12:06 AM
Being an educator, we have always gone at SB. One year, that was the week leading up to Easter. The only other time I have been is the week b/t Christmas and New Years, and once during the Food and Wine Festival. Frankly, I found the F&W to be the worst! We think spring break is a great time to go and have never felt the crowds were too bad. Next time, we are going the week after New Years. I am anxious to see if there is a difference.

03-23-2007, 12:24 AM
Last year we went two weeks before Easter. We got to the parks at opening and followed the Unauthorized Guide plans, at least for the morning. We had ADRs. We used Fast Passes. We had a blast and did almost everything. If you take breaks in the afternoon, you will miss some things, but since you have been there before you will know how to prioritize. It was crowded, but the weather was beautiful and everyone was happy. It was great. We didn't seem to run into any obnoxious groups. Our only regret was that we didn't spend enough time at the resort since it was our first time and we didn't want to miss anything! Have fun!

03-23-2007, 02:41 AM
I was there the week after Easter last year. Let me say that the crowds are ROUGH! I think if you are not going to rise early, you just have to resign yourself to deal with it. For me, getting there early is the single biggest factor in conquering the park.

03-23-2007, 03:11 AM
As others have already mentioned, there are some stratagies that can help during such a busy time but really no matter what you do it is going to be any where from mildly crazy to totally gonzo!

However, I think you touched on something very important in your original post. In that post you said your wife was looking for a more relaxed, easy going kind of trip. Personally, I think the busy season is exactly the right time for a relaxed trip! The trick is to condition your mind from the outset that you are not going to get in a hurry for anything and that you are not going to worry if you don't see everything. Yes, use a plan, but if you set your mind to a slower more easy going pace I think you will be able to handle the crowds much more easily than a park kamikaze that is trying to cram everything into a few days!

03-23-2007, 10:08 AM
I don't know your family's "style", but I think it's perfect to get up early, hit the fast passes and tryt o be productive with rides. Head back and chill for the afternoon, may be try the watermice, rent a surry, go to DDD.
I survived night time over Christmas by doing the entertainment in Epcot. There are so many performers and bands that it literally fills up your night hoping form one to another. I take the time guide and plan out exactly when I can hit each one and see the most performers. (ok, ok, I know the names of half of them and have even visited performances off property, bought CDs, etc.)

BB and TL are also my favs for relaxing. Ride as much as you can in the morning and then relax with Jimmy Buffet and waves caressing your ears (ok, TL is my fav).

If you go down with a relaxing minset and have a small list of ride priorities, you'll have a blast and probably find the lesser known gems in the parks!