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Old 01-15-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
phillmolly
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How bad will the crowds be 3/30/13 to 4/6/13???

so we are thinking about planing a trip for the first week of April, Easter Break for most of the US...

How bad will the crowds be? It would be our 4 year old sons first time, would we be spending the whole time waiting in lines? The other time for us to go would be the last week in August, but then again I don't know if I want to deal with the heat.

Right now we are tossing around the idea of spending two days at Unversial and four days at WDW. I really want to go to Harry Potter World.

Also will it be warm enough to swim in April? Would it be worth it to go to one of the Water Parks that week? To me warm enough to swim means at least 85 or better.

It's been a while since we've been and we have always gone off season. But now I am babysitting and DS is in preschool, so really the best week for us to go is the first week in April.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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I went the week before that last year and it was fairly crowded. Headliners were typically 60-75 min wait times. I will say I don't think I would go back during that time again, even though the weather was beautiful. It didn't rain one day. We did go to Universal one day while we were there and the crowds weren't too bad, although Harry Potter was crowded, but I think that is to be expected no matter when you go.

The weather was low to mid 80s and we did swim while we were there.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:26 PM   #3
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For that week in March/April, crowds are predicted to be at the highest levels of the entire year. Expect 2+ hour wait times for rides. The last week of August would be a much better time crowd-wise.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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The info I saw was 2-3 hr waits for major attractions and 30 minutes for counter service
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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Not sure if that is close to some spring breaks for some schools. If it is, it will be heavy crowds. The closer to Easter you get the heavier the crowds. Of course I am sure I am not telling you something you already know.

We were there on Easter Sunday one year. Wall to wall people. Started out at MK was really bad. We hopped over to Epcot, not as bad.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Not sure if that is close to some spring breaks for some schools. If it is, it will be heavy crowds. The closer to Easter you get the heavier the crowds. Of course I am sure I am not telling you something you already know.

We were there on Easter Sunday one year. Wall to wall people. Started out at MK was really bad. We hopped over to Epcot, not as bad.
Easter is March 31 this year.

So many schools have shifted spring break away from Easter that basically spring break destinations are packed from March 1 through May 1.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
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That week will be spring break for our kids and a lot of schools in our area. We are in a day's driving distance and Disney and universal are popular destinations for many from our area during that week.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #8
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Well, I did a Christmas trip this year and was warned that it was the "worst" time to go crowd-wise. Yes, it got extremely crowded in the afternoon, but that was when we took our breaks. Get there at rope drop (there will be no lines at the rides), take a swim break in the afternoon (it should be plenty warm enough to swim), and come back in the evening. Magic Kingdom will probably be open until midnight or 1am that week. The crowds tend to leave after the fireworks. Don't do what the crowds tend to do. When we were leaving the parks at noon, floods of people were trying to get in. We had already done our must-sees by then. When we were riding rides after the fireworks, floods of people were exiting the parks. I would definitely go during spring break.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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Well, I did a Christmas trip this year and was warned that it was the "worst" time to go crowd-wise. Yes, it got extremely crowded in the afternoon, but that was when we took our breaks. Get there at rope drop (there will be no lines at the rides), take a swim break in the afternoon (it should be plenty warm enough to swim), and come back in the evening. Magic Kingdom will probably be open until midnight or 1am that week. The crowds tend to leave after the fireworks. Don't do what the crowds tend to do. When we were leaving the parks at noon, floods of people were trying to get in. We had already done our must-sees by then. When we were riding rides after the fireworks, floods of people were exiting the parks. I would definitely go during spring break.
This!

We did a few Easter week trips, both the week before Easter and week after, and enjoyed them a whole lot more than August. Summer Florida heat is OPRESSIVE. There's a reason they offer such great deals to fill the parks in the summer

For Easter week, stay on site. Easter sunday spend at the resort. All the Disney resorts do fun Easter events with the Easter bunny and his wife , Mickey and Minne, many of the princesses in Easter dresses and bonnets! Our girls were over the moon seeing them all dressed up and getting pictures with all of them. Those Easter Sundays are very special memories for our family as we relaxed at the pool and visited with SO MANY characters (without paying for expensive dinners!!) and did all the Easter events they offered.

Take advantage of early and late magic hours. Our kids loved being out after the fireworks and running off and on their favs over and over. I loved shopping in the nearly empty emporium and the days after staying for extra majic hours we would be spent lazying around the pool.

Use FP for the major attractions. We never had an uber long wait. Now if you stroll in at noon you will be waiting a long time. How old are your kids? FB involves covering more ground but if your kids aren't really little you can do it all with no problem.

We went in May one year and all agreed the previous visit during Easter was more fun. We were there during Star Wars week and couldn't believe how many fans were there and the hours were very limited.

We would definitely go back the weeks before or after Easter. We will never again go in the summer or September due to heat and hurricanes. Ideally November and January are still our favorites but those trips are few and far between.

So if Easter is the only time you can go, by all means go. You'll have a blast.


ETA: I just re-read the OP and with 4 year olds, FB can still work if an adult is willing to get them while someone waits with the kids.
My mom just reminded me that our girls were 4 & 6 one Easter (mom went with us) and the cast members were over the top amazing with them that Easter sunday (love grandmas for remembering so many details) To my mom, it was our best trip to WDW. And we have since taken many others, some with mom, some at Eastertime, some not. So FWIW, I'd say go when you can and have fun!
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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OP have you made any decisions? My next door neighbor is coming over tonight to learn some Easter break strategies! Hoping our kids are otherwise occupied so they don't start whining about us not going again this year lol
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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No, not yet. I am debating going the last week in April, but that would mean the families I bsbysit for would have to find other sitters for that week and I don't really want to do that to them. But, it would be a lot cheaper and a lot less crowded. I don't really have any issues with DS missing a couple days of preschool.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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We are also planning on going that's week. Our two boys are 10 and 12, our 12 year old has spring break that week (middle school), and our 10 year old two weeks prior. We assumed that 5th grade would be much easier to catch up from a week missed than middle school. I really wish that we could do a different week, but it is what it is. I'm sure we will still have a blast, crowded or not!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Easter is March 31 this year.

So many schools have shifted spring break away from Easter that basically spring break destinations are packed from March 1 through May 1.
I disagree.
We've been to WDW during that spring break period when it wasn't in the weeks surrounding Easter and it was busy, but very manageable. The weeks before and after Easter are much worse. Those are the second most crowded weeks of the entire year, with only Christmas to New Year's being worse.

With that said, the weather should be perfect in April, while August is going to be very hot and humid.

So it really just depends on which sounds better to you.
Insane crowds and long lines for everything, with great comfortable weather.
Low crowds with oppressive heat and humidity.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #14
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That is my kids Spring Break week as well....
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Easter is March 31 this year.

So many schools have shifted spring break away from Easter that basically spring break destinations are packed from March 1 through May 1.

What we have found is just the opposite. Since spring break is usually not around Easter, the crowds seem to be distributed among several weeks, lessening them from the weeks before and after. THink about it, it makes perfect sense

A few years ago we went in mid March, NOT our spring break but apparently many others. (DH won a trip and we all got to go! )
Yes it was busy but not unmanageable. Believe which group here you want - the naysayers or those who've gone and reported back. The crowds were not *insane* as someone wrote. Actually during the week before Easter, and the week after, the crowds have never been insane either. Again do it smart use early and late magic hours by staying on site, take a break midday when many are just strolling in. The crowds are very manageable and you will have a great time.

(Haven't gone at Christmas but know from reading here and IRL friends that doing it smart works then too)

ETA: Like most school systems, our spring break was moved away from Easter last year. Next year we will be going again the week before Easter but I'm not concerned in the least. (going for DD1's)
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