Five Reasons to Love Disney in the Spring
My colleague at MickeyBlog keeps relaying to me tales of woe about the weather in his neck of the woods. Let’s just say that he’s seen more snow than the Winter Olympics this year. And his frequent mentions of massive snowfalls have amused me, as he’s so matter-of-fact about the kind of weather usually only seen during re-watches of The Day After Tomorrow. Today, I’d like to cheer him up with a bit of Disney daydreaming. Let’s discuss five reasons to love Walt Disney World during the spring.
It’s Festival Season!
We’ve reached a point where Epcot has an exhibition going more often than they don’t. Having acknowledged that, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is actually the granddaddy of them all…barely. Disney started this event in 1994. They quickly followed it with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival the following year. Each one is an institution, and while fall event is more famous, the spring exhibition is just as great.
During the 2018 version of Flower & Garden, you’ll see all the expected horticultural wonders made famous at Epcot. Skilled cast members can somehow carve shrubs into viable recreations of Lightning McQueen and that trippy dancing animals scene from Fantasia. It’s an Instagram fan’s dream event.
The other highlight of the event is obvious. The Food Kitchens here serve some of the most delicious cuisine at Walt Disney World. You’ll lament that these tasty bites aren’t available year-round. You may spend the rest of your life wondering what the recipe was for that one savory dish at The Smokehouse. Speaking as someone who has spent many, many days at the Flower & Garden Festival, I can say with confidence that it’s better than any food that you’ll eat in your snowclad town this week.
The Water Parks Are Open!
Most water parks across the country are seasonal by nature. Even in warm climates, the weather isn’t consistent to keep these tourist attractions open during the winter. Walt Disney World doesn’t have this issue. Cold weather is so rare in the Central Florida area that Disney keeps one of its water parks open year-round.
In late 2017, Blizzard Beach closed for renovations and then opened again during the first week of January. Once Blizzard Beach was ready, Disney closed Typhoon Lagoon to renovate it. By mid-March, both water parks were once again open to the public. By now, all the cast members have their schedule and routines down for 2018.
During the spring, you will feel like you’re vacationing in Florida anytime you visit one of these parks. Best of all, park admission is included with certain kinds of Walt Disney World tickets! Speak to a Mickey Travels agent to find out which one is best for your needs. No matter your choice, you’ll relish the 70-degree temperatures that will make you forget about the snow you need to shovel back at home!
Celebrate an Important Earth Day
April 22nd, 2018, marks a crucial day in Walt Disney World history. It’s the 20th anniversary of the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the impossible park. Walt Disney had wanted Disneyland to include animals living onsite all the way back in 1955. Imagineers of the era told him it was impossible, but cast members from the 1990s somehow found a way.
To commemorate the shocking triumph of Animal Kingdom, Disney’s hosting several special events onsite, some of which are only for that day. Others will run from April 22nd through May 5th! Yes, Disney’s hosting a “Party for the Planet,” a two-week long celebration of the 20-year history of the park.
Guests will have unprecedented opportunities to see a part of Animal Kingdom that’s usually hidden. Backstage tours will show how cast members provide care to the animals onsite. Visitors will also learn about the dietary habits of these creatures and even a bit about conservation practices at Walt Disney World. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s only available to guests visiting this spring.
Look, you’ve likely heard that Disney is insane in April. There’s a logical explanation for this. Many school systems schedule their Spring Break vacations in the timeframe around Easter. This year, Easter came much earlier than normal, and virtually all schools have already taken their Spring Breaks.
You’ll appreciate the impact of this at Walt Disney World. A quick look at a couple of major Disney crowd calendar sites shows great news for upcoming guests. The four parks should have moderate attendance at a time when it’s historically quite high. You cannot count on this behavior in future years, as it’s Easter and Spring Break dependent. It’s amazing news for 2018, though! You won’t have Disney to yourself or anything, but this is shaping up to be one of the least crowded Aprils in recent memory.
Expanded Park Hours
Park planners have done everything possible to eliminate the proverbial off-season at Walt Disney World. Their goal is to have the same level of crowds on virtually every day of the year. It’s an impossibility, of course, but there’s a lot of money to be made in getting reliable attendance behavior.
Despite these attempts, Disney quietly schedules their parks based on a standard model. They have shorter park hours during the off-season. For most of 2018 to date, Disney parks have offered 12-hour days, opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 9 p.m. Sure, there are exceptions, but that’s the base model.
As we advance later into spring, however, Disney expands those hours. Magic Kingdom is open for at least 13 hours each day for the rest of April. On certain days, they’re open 14-16 hours! A 16-hour day gives you 33 percent more park time than a 12-hour day.
You’ll have plenty of time to do anything you want, and you’ll do it in a less crowded park. Since the temperature in Central Florida around this time of the year is nearly perfect, you’ll also feel much more comfortable in the spring during those scorching summer months or the chilly holiday season.
Spring is the best time to visit Walt Disney World, which is why I’ve done so for several straight years. My primary regret in life is that I’m not there right now. Then again, it could be worse. I could live in an area that’s been buried under a series of snowstorms. Anyone who has seen snow fall or worn multiple layers over the past couple of weeks should be planning a trip to Disney RIGHT NOW!
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