What will the crowds at WDW be like in mid-April 2017?
(Berlin, New Jersey)
“I have scoped out a few different crowd calendar for April 2017. We are visiting April 18th to 22nd. It’s a weird week because the way Easter falls this year, but you know that already.”
Because I keep track of that stuff.
“One site has now changed their opinion about that weekend, has noted it red, A.K.A. danger week. Are you still holding strong with manageable? Any thoughts? Prayers? Disclaimer, we have only visited during peak times a year. Educator schedule, so I am super excited to hear that there was a chance that the crowds would be small. Thanks in advance. Christa”
Hopefully you’ll see crowds like this… – Photo by Brett Svenson
Christa, as you’re finding out, when Easter is in mid to late April, crowd projections get hard for us, that project crowds at Disney World. The reason for that is most schools have spring break.
Spring break time is like between the second week of March through to second week of April. Maybe not even the second, through the first week of April. So typically the spring breaks, the big crowds that come with spring breaks end sometime that second week of April. And the crowds go, “Pfft!” To where there aren’t any crowds.
When Easter happens later in the month like this year, I wrote it down, this year is … No I didn’t write it down. Oh well. I think it was the 17th. When Easter happens late like that, it does throw off the crowd projections.
A couple of years ago, 2014 it was on the 20th. That’s the latest Easter can be if I remember right. And that was a really late date. What happened that year is, yes there were crowds on the Monday after Easter, and Tuesday. But then they just went away.
You had a bump on Monday, Tuesday, but before and after, they were not terrible. And I think that’s what will happen again this year. I think that you’ll see the big crowds up through the beginning of April, kind of slow down until … Literally Easter will be bigger but still manageable. Monday and Tuesday might be really bad, but the days around that, if you’ve got that whole week, if you’re there until the 22nd, you should have some days where crowds are pretty mild and pretty light. Maybe not light but at least moderate and manageable.
Dad’s Bottom Line
So yes. Let’s just wrap it up. My bottom line, dad’s bottom line is, I’m not in the Chicken Little crowd. The sky’s falling that week. I go with the, yes there are going to be a couple of busy days. Monday, Tuesday, are going to be very busy, but the rest of that week will be okay.
If they’re doing whole week crowd projections then they see Monday, Tuesday, so they go with the highest for the whole week. But I think you’ll find that yeah you’ll have a couple of busy days but around it you’ll see some nice reasonable days.
But let’s talk about manageable crowds. I think this is important. Let’s talk about manageable crowds. Except for a few days of the year when there are phase, what’s called “phased closures” at Disney World like Christmas Day, Christmas week, where they’re not letting people into the parks. I think almost everyday you can deal with the crowds if you follow dad’s simple rules for dealing with Disney World crowds.
Rule number 1, get to the parks early. Be there when the parks open. I talk a lot about our Nine by Noon Challenge. You can do more between 9 o’clock and noon typically, on a typical day, than you can do between noon and the time the park closes.
Crowd patterns follow the same pattern everyday. Everyday, even the busiest day in the year. Park opens, you have the lowest crowds of the day. Crowds build, build, build, until about lunch time. Then they kind of plateau. They’re still building a little bit in the afternoons until about dinner time, and then they start falling off. That first few hours of the day is prime time to get on the rides. The shortest lines you’ll find will be in that first few hours.
Rule number 1A, have a plan. Don’t walk into the magic kingdom, pull out a map and say, “How are we gonna get to Expedition Everest?” Number 1, you’re in the wrong park.
Number 2, you should have a plan. Before you go there, it doesn’t have to be a full blow, what am I going to do step by step, but at least know a general thing, like we do. “I’m going to start out in Tomorrowland. Then I’m going to do Fantasyland, then I’m going to work my way around to Liberty Square, Frontierland, and end up in Adventureland.”
Have at least a general plan. You could have a plan, “I’m gonna go here, here, here, here, here, here.” That’s fine, but have a general plan.
Rule number 2, ride the busy rides first, because if you’re there in the mornings, you ride the busy rides when those lines are the shortest. So ride those busy rides early in the mornings.
Number 3, which works with number 2, is use FastPass+. If you can get FastPass, get them for the rides you have to ride, that you want to ride no matter what. But I would also say, use them for the rides that you need them for.
You need them for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you need them for the mountains, you need them for Expedition Everest probably, unless you ride it early in the morning. Whatever that’s important to you. Kali River Rapids, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster. Toy Story Mania, not as bad as it used to be, but Toy Story Mania.
Use FastPass+ for those rides that you’re going to need it for. If you can get the FastPasses, you’re doing good. You can mark those off your list of things you have to do in the mornings when you’re riding those big rides.
So those really all work together. Get there early. Have a plan. Ride the busy rides first. Then use FastPass+. You do those things, and any day is manageable. Bottom line, you can handle it. Easter, yes it will be busy on Monday and Tuesday, but nothing to worry about.