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Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

med
Canada
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162 posts
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Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

I have been wanting to go to Orlando & Disney World for "FOREVER" but always either did not have the money or the time. I am now trying to plan a trip during Spring Break period (for the end of March last week/1'st week of April 2006) for myself, husband and 2 boys (8 & 15). I am getting very discouraged because this is the only time we can go and I have heard/read that the crowds are so bad at this time of the year that you are fighting your way through a shoulder to shoulder mob all day and will wait in lines for 1 and a half to three hours for each attraction (ride/show) that you want to see. I read that someone spent 12 hours there and only got into 5 attractions in the park because they spent the whole day waiting in lines and could not even sit down for lunch. I also have heard that if you don't stay on site you may not even be able to get into the theme parks because they will be too full. Is it really that bad?? I expected it to be a busy time of year but did not think it would be that bad. I have been wanting to go to WDW since I was a young kid, and have been talking about going with my kids for the past 12 years, this is my dream vacation, but now I am afraid it may have to stay a dream! I expected we would be standing in line ups, but I don't know if my kids could handle repeated 3 hour line ups. It would be a shame to go all that way (we live in Canada) and spend all our savings for this trip (we are not rich nor poor, just average income) and then not get to see/do hardly anything while we are there, just to spend the whole vacation standing in lines for hours & hours more than doing anything else. Also, I am trying to budget it out, but I do not know if we will be able to afford to stay on site (very expensive), but if we don't we risk not even getting into the parks. I am so confused and disheartened. So I ask How BAD is it? Should I give it up? Any info/advice would be appreciated. Sorry this is so long. Thanks!

med
Canada
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162 posts
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51. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

Reverend: Thanks for your advice. Sounds good.

med
Canada
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162 posts
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52. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

Reverend: Where do you like to stay when visiting WDW? Do you travel with family/kids?

Surrey, UK
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53. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

I recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Nikki Bird.

http://www.hinikkibirdorlandohotelsite.com

It's an average Hotel. However, the rooms are nice: Clean and tidy. They are cleaned everyday-Toilets are spotless.

2 very nice swimming pools, and staff are courteous.

Angels Diner does great All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffets every day for $6.99-Your 8 year old will eat free.

We never ate at the hotel in the evening-Instead within a 5 miute walk from the Hotel along the pedestrian sidewalks there is: Black Angus Steakhouse-Lovely food-Steakburgers for $6.49 are great-Their Filet Mignon Steak is wonderful: 8oz $19.99 and 10oz $21.99.

There's also Sizzlers: All You Can Eat Dinner Buffet for $8.99 includes Deserts: Yummy! Across the road there;s Bob Evans Restaurant, and Perkins Family Restuarant: Meat Loaf is great $9.99

A little further up the road, say no more than 1/2 mile is TGI's and Shoney's Steakhouse and opposite is IHOP (International House of Pancakes) Don't bother with Ponderosa-It's a Dive.

We liked it there!

Medford, OR
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54. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

If you need some encouragement,

http://www.touringplans.com/CrowdBlog.html

Those are the crowd predictions by the authors of the Unofficial Guide. It is the up to date version of what you can find in your book. 6's and 7's for your dates aren't bad at all. That means they expect to see a peak wait time of 60-70 minutes on the headliner attractions. Sounds long, but remember that they are talking about the worst case scenario(Space Mountain at 3pm). On a day when the longest wait is 60 minutes, you can probably expect to see 30 minute waits earlier in the day and later in the evening on many rides. Whether or not the UG authors are correct we don't know yet, but they seem to have been pretty accurate so far.

I've had discussions with them on www.disboards.com, and they feel that March won't be too bad because Easter in April this year. In other words, they think Easter has a much bigger impact on crowds than March spring breaks. In fact, many schools base their spring breaks on Easter, so next year, at least the breaks will be spread out.

One good indicator of crowd levels is Disney's park hours. During the most crowded times of the year, they extend their park hours. I mentioned the historic park hours in your other thread. In years when Easter falls in March, the last week of March/first week of April has some of the longest hours of the year. But in the years when Easter is in mid-April, the park hours for late March/early April are pretty standard with MK closing at 9 pm most nights.

We used the Unofficial Guide touring plans for Disneyland on a crowded summer day and it worked great. We also subscribed to www.tourguidemike.com for our trip to WDW last May and it was great. I know crowds weren't bad in May, but I was still impressed that we never waited more than 10 minutes in any line even though many of the big rides had wait times of 45 - 60 minutes at certain times of the day. And we went on all the big attractions.

sbo
Jackson, WY
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55. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

We have toured Disneyworld during spring break (last week of March/first of April) before and plan to do it again this year. I recommend getting Sehlinger's Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He gives some great tip about which helps avoid long lines...which days are most crowded, arriving early, using FASTPASS, etc. Yes there will be lines and crowds, but it is all in your attitude.

West yorkshire
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668 posts
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56. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

Hello Med....I'm sure you have already made up your mind what you are going to do by now but just to let you know we went to florida last year on the 18th March and came back on the 1st April, the traffic was busier than i had remembered from last time i went but the first week was not too bad for the parks however the second week was also easter so was an absolute nightmare! this year it wont be easter at the time your thinking of going so dont be worried about the crowds....it will be busy but you will get on everything-just use your fast passes wisely. We are going the sametime this year and am really looking forward to it-i am expecting it to be busy but it wont be as bad as you have been expecting it to be.....certainly not 3hour waits

West yorkshire
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57. Re: Help Please re: Spring Break - Just HOW bad are the crowds?

Ooh and i forgot to mention-we stayed in a villa not on a disney resort but managed to get into all the parks(even easter week) You just need to set off early to get there for opening time really and as your kids are older that shouldn't be a problem (we managed it with a 4month old!!).