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Old 04-25-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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How busy is WDW Easter week?

I know the week of Easter is one of the busiest times at WDW, but for those who have been there during that time--how bad is it?
We are looking into booking a trip for 2012 with DH's family, but I need convincing to go during that time since I know it'll be crazy busy. Our DD will be 18 months at that time and I am afraid it will be hard on her with the huge lines and crowds.
Also--we want to book 2 studio rooms at AKL (not our home resort) with DVC points. Are my chances ok if I call right at the 7 month mark?

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Easter week is generally very busy. This year it was busy, but not as busy as some years because Easter was so late. The distribution of the people was more spread out. Many states had their spring breaks earlier in March/April. Next year I believe Easter is earlier, so I would count on it being busier in the parks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Very. You may be able to see touringplans.com data on Easter week right now since it just passed. Without paying you can only get about 3 mos. of data but are in that window right now.

Somewhere on the web there's a site that shows the best weeks to attend based on crowd levels, 1 being the best (least busy) and 52 being the worst (most busy). Easter traditionally floats in that 41-45 range.

Here's the 2011 data:

Here's the 2012 data:

In 2012, before and after Easter are 43 and 44 so Top 9 in most busy.

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:55 PM   #4
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It has been a few years since I was there at that time, but it was very busy. It definitely was a "go early, take a break and return later type" of stay. By noon or so I recall the Magic Kingdom being very crowded. The parks were open late though too. Skipping that main part of the day made it still workable though.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:07 PM   #5
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We went the week after Easter a couple years ago and we thought the crowds were nuts. I was glad that we had bought 10 day non-expiring tickets. We went into a park the first day. It was so crowded that it took us almost 3 hours to ride one ride. We normally go the first or second week of May when the crowds are much more manageable. So we saved the tickets and stayed at the resort the rest of the week with an occasional trip to DD. Funny, it was a really great trip and we only went into a park one day.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Our DS's spring break always falls either the week before Easter and goes thru Easter Monday OR it starts on Good Friday and runs thru the following week. It varies depending on how early or late Easter is. We also have State Testing Assessments in March so they work around that too. ANYWAY, last year and this year it was the week before Easter. We went last year for our first time ever. I had heard that the week would get busier & busier the closer it got to Easter so we booked 6 nights starting on Friday night and we came home on the Thurs. before Easter. We flew down late on Friday night. I know a lot of people don't like to waste points for Fridays, esp. when arriving late BUT by doing it this way the beginning of our trip was actually not in the PEAK season and it only used a couple more points to go for 6 nights rather than doing 5 nights in the highest point season & trying to avoid the weekend points. We also were able to have a FULL day on Saturday as opposed to wasting it traveling. So first I would say to study the point charts and compare them to your dates. If there's a way to hit a few days in a lesser point season then you can probably bet that the crowds will be slightly less during those days too.

RE: the crowds. We did the Disney Give A Day / Get A Day volunteer program last year and were able to redeem our certificates for special Fast Passes. We saved them for Mon, Tues, Wed and went the regular touring route for Sat. & Sun. BOY what lifesavers they were!! By Tues. the resorts & parks were SOOO busy that the Magic Kingdom was full and closed to further entry by about 10:30-11:00 am!! The Monorail was JAMMED between MK & Epcot. We made good use of the early morning EMH's and would be trying to LEAVE by 11-12:00. Crowds were high but manageable for Sat. & Sun. but during the week as it went on almost everything had 2 hour+ stand-by waits. We tried to avoid them at all costs if we could. We DID wait a couple of hours for Space Mountain once because it had been closed for the refurb on both of last 2 our preceeding trips so we HAD to. But I think I would've HATED it if we didn't have those special Fast Passes. It was the only way to fit everything in.

Would we go over Spring Break again? If that was the only time we could go? Yes - but I'd sure try to plan it out the same way & avoid the worst of the crowds. Get in & get out. I would not attempt to be there OVER Easter itself or the couple of days preceeding / immediately after.

(PS) I was able to book a std. view AKV Kidani studio at about 6 1/2 months out. There were other options available too (including BLT, SSR and OKW) but I was trying to save points as I wasn't sure what else we were doing for the year so the Std. view studio "fit" my points budget. If you call right at 7 months you should be able to score something.
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August 2014 - 3 n @ VGC & DL followed by 7 n @ Aulani follwed by 3 n on Maui / Jan 2014 - 5 n @ AKV Jambo House / Aug 2013 - 9 nights @ SSR / Aug 2012 - 9 n @ Boardwalk Villas and HRH / Mar-Apr 2012 6 n @ Bay Lake / August 2011 Disneyland Paris and DCL MED cruise / August 2010 Disney's DVC resort at Hilton Head Island, SC / March 2010 Kidani Village at AKV / August '09 BCV & Vero Beach / May '09 SSR / July '08 AKV & B2B Cruises on The Wonder/ January '08 VWL / August '07 OKW / July '06 Offsite - Waikiki, Kona & Ka'anapali, Hawaii / July '05 Disneyland & Disney Magic West Coast Cruise to the Mexican Riviera / Summer '04 CSR / May '03 Offsite - St. John, USVI / Summer '02 AKL & O.C., MD

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Last edited by Anal Annie; 04-26-2011 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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We traveled the week before Easter a few years ago, and vowed never to go back that time if we could help it. Extremely crowded - uncomfortably so. By about 11:00 am we found the crowds unbearable.

This year we visited first week in April. In the northeast (not sure about other areas), spring breaks were more "staggered" this year, since Easter was later in the month. Crowds were better this time, but still not great (the weather, however, was awesome! 70s to low 80s for highs, only rained once). I like to avoid spring break / Easter entirely, but it couldn't be helped this time because we were using DVC holding points and didn't want to lose them. We usually travel in November, August, or January, and much prefer these times of the year.

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November 2012 - AoA and DCL Fantasy 7 night, August 2012 - Hard Rock and AKL, Nov. 2011 - AKL, August 2011 - BLT, April 2011 - OKW & AKL - Kidani August 2010 BWV, May 2010 - BLT and DCL (Wonder)
Aug. / Sept. 09 - SSR and BLT; Oct. / Nov. 2008 - CR & Poly; 4/07 - CR; 1/06 - WL; 10/03 - CR; 11/98 -Poly and DCL; 1996 and 4 prior trips - offsite.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ErieCruiser08 View Post
I know the week of Easter is one of the busiest times at WDW, but for those who have been there during that time--how bad is it?
We are looking into booking a trip for 2012 with DH's family, but I need convincing to go during that time since I know it'll be crazy busy. Our DD will be 18 months at that time and I am afraid it will be hard on her with the huge lines and crowds.
Also--we want to book 2 studio rooms at AKL (not our home resort) with DVC points. Are my chances ok if I call right at the 7 month mark?
Timing is crucial!!! But as long as you beat the rainny season, I always find it busy. (fast pass-best investment) Good luck
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:48 PM   #9
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We just got back .... April 10th - 21st. First time ever at this time of year. Usually go the last 2 weeks of August. We found the crowds during Easter week to be a little worse than August. But, the weather was AWESOME .... 90 degrees and low humidity, no rain. As others have said, planning is the key. The parks have really long hours. If you stay onsite, you could get in at 7 am and with evening EMH sometimes going until 3 am @ MK. Get there at opening and leave by noon or shortly thereafter and hang out at the pool. Then go back to a park in the evening. Go to the parks that do not have EMH hours for that day. Or go to a park the day after they have EMH's. The parks had extra parades, extra shows, the Flower & Garden Festival was awesome. We have said now that we are back that this was our best WDW vacation ever and we did not want to come home.

We stayed at BCV's and I was able to get a one bedroom with no problem @ 7 months out. In fact, when I called, every DVC resort had availability. Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:24 AM   #10
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Very busy doesn't cover it, try "crazy". I've put myself through Spring Break/Easter week twice and everybody gets cranky waiting in the long lines, so unless I skip the parks, and stick to the resort I choose different travel dates! Disney is always busy but there are definitively times when it's very manageable like 1st 2 weeks of June and the pre-Thanksgiving week. I won't wait in a line for more than 15 minutes!
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:33 PM   #11
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Easter week

Easter week is usually a busy week, nothing like Christmas but either way the weather is usually great, warm but not to humid.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:10 PM   #12
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We were at WDW the week before Easter this year and the crowds got bigger and bigger as the week went on. The good news was that there were tons of buses running and lots of extra street entertainment - bands, etc to keep you occupied. The bad news was that the lines were LONG. I was there with 15 people and found that if we had been able to get moving earlier, we would have gotten a lot more done. Unfortunately, it was difficult to motivate everyone to get going early.

We were traveling with a 2 year old and she was a real champ in the long lines but I do think the large overall crowds, just walking through the parks were a bit overwhelming for her and the 4 year old with us.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:15 AM   #13
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Easter 2010

Our family of 6 (adults, kids: 12, 9, 6, 20 months) went Easter week 2010 and stayed a 2BR savannah view AK-Kidani, that we had booked 5 months out.

We arrived sat (day before Easter) & basically hung around the resort that 1st day and then went to Downtown Disney. That was a mad house, wall to wall people with over 90 minute waits for any meals - wish I had made a reservation as by the time we were seated all the kids were falling asleep literally on the table as we waited for food (at the Dinosaur restaurant). This night was the worst of the trip - and the one I had least planned for, just assumed we could stroll around DTD.

DON"T GET SCARED - After that night trip was GREAT.

Easter Sunday there were activities to M&G the bunny & other characters right at the resort in the morning & then we went over to Animal Kingdom for am. For Easter dinner we went to MK Cinderella's Castle at 6:55pm - which had been booked at 180 days. Then rode some rides & saw the fireworks.
Monday: Hollywood Studios, 2:00 Sci Fi lunch
Tuesday: Epcot, adult only 8pm dinner at Swan - Blue Zoo
Wednesday: Magic Kingdom, 9:00 am Crystal Palace
Thurs: HS for am magic hours (just the girls), pool, 7pm dinner at Sanaa
Fri: Epcot, 5:40 Chef de France
Sat: 10:40am 1900 Park Fare breakfast, MK for a few hours, 3:00 pickup by Magical Express

Yes the parks were all busy, busy, busy - but we knew that going in & didn't have a "must do this" plan. Used lots of FP, adults split up some: I took the 7 & 9 yr old girls who wanted to rides rides so would get up & go to magic hours to make it happen, while the boys did more relaxing. Baby got lots of sleep & really enjoyed his stroller. Because it is a peak week too, there are lots of extra hours, characters out, shows, etc.

As of this minute, yes we would go back again at Easter (or Christmas which was our other big week at Disney), That said, our next trip is now booked for Nov 5-12, 2011 which is considerably slower so I may have a different opinion after that trip!

Vacation is what you make of it - have a great time!
2003 - WDW off property, 2005 - WDW Sheraton Vistana, 2007 - Christmas at Yacht Club, 2010 - Easter DVC Animal Kingdom Kidani, 2011 - November DVC Animal Kingdom Kidani, 2013 - Easter DVC Animal Kingdom Kidani plus 2 days at Sea World, 2015 - February DVC Animal Kingdom Jambo plus 3 days at Universal
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #14
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We were at Kidani in a 1 bdr for Spring Break this year and it was very busy, but still really fun! We put together a good plan with ADRs and EMH, but were super flexible depending on how the kids (especially the 2 year old) were holding up. With toddlers its always good to be prepared to be at early rope drops, leave for naps, and change plans when necessary - you should be fine!

There is a poll over on the Theme Park planning and strategy board about Spring Breaks next year. It does look like the Easter weeks are busiest for 2012, but it can't hurt to keep an eye on your dates:

Me DH DS (9) DS (5)
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