Last Minute Operating Schedule Additions Amid Heaviest Crowds of the Year Thus Far

As evident by the “9” crowd levels on the March Crowd Calendar this week, we’re in the midst of some of the heaviest crowds of the year thus far. In fact, this past Monday had the highest attendance of the year so far and today (Wednesday) looks to be even worse. Disney has made several last-minute amendments to the next few days:

Animal Kingdom:

  • Thursday, March 27 – Park open has changed from 9:00am to 8:00am and Park close has changed from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Friday, March 28 – Park close has been changed from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
  • For both days, Finding Nemo show added at 7pm; Rafiki’s Planet Watch close extended to 6pm; With the exception of Louie and Baloo, characters will appear for one additional hour after the stated end on the Times Guide. All food and beverage locations will stay open one additional hour.

Hollywood Studios:

  • Saturday, March 29- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular added a 10:00am show; Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage added a 10:30am show.

Magic Kingdom:

  • Wednesday, March 26 – Park close has changed from 12:00am to 1:00am
  • Thursday, March 27 – Park close has been changed from 12:00am to 1:00am

Magic Kingdom was also extended to 1am yesterday. Magic Kingdom’s parking lot closed to capacity yesterday and today. The website has otherwise received a number of amusing emails asserting that the crowd levels for this week are “off.”

It’s pretty easy, really. Virtually all of Florida is off for spring break this week.


  1. rob says

    Is Florida Spring Break ( or most of Florida schools as noted above ) for one week only or are they off next week also?


  2. Jon says

    My sister-in-law and niece are there right now. Sister is there for a convention and my niece is on spring break.

  3. ceb104 says

    It’s spring break for most of NE Ohio schools this week too. Too busy for me!

    Josh, are you planning on going to a park this week to show some of us what a 9 looks like? LOL

  4. PolyJason says

    Seriously though? I’m sort of shocked by the amount of abuse Josh gets. This site is useful, informative, really funny, and — HELLO — it’s free. SMH. Disney really brings out the crazy in some people.

  5. Dawn H says

    to email writer “LP”…try not to figure out the ‘hows’ of it…he can…and he does! repeatedly year after year…accurately!!

  6. Katie says

    I live in Central IL and the schools in my city (5 high schools and many more junior highs and grade schools) always have spring break the last full week of March (so…right now).

    My husband used to be a teacher and we went to Disney over spring break in 2007 and 2012 and it certainly wasn’t as bad as what is being reported right now!

  7. marianna says

    LP, against Josh’s excellent advice (least recommended/ crowd level 9) and my better judgement, I ended up at HS today. I assure you it was most definitely a 9. I still managed to tour effectively by using what I’ve learned from his site. He really does know what he’s talking about.

  8. RebeccaMcK says

    Spring Break in parts of Colorado this week, too. Our city has several school districts and ours happens to have two weeks off (this week and next). I was so tempted to go to WDW like we did last-minute last year, but nope – we’ll save up for October’s fall break trip now.

  9. Samantha says

    Heading down next week when Josh says 7s all week for crowds. Vastly preferable to this week’s 9s, and the weather looks better too. :)

  10. Carrie says

    As usual, you are spot on. We are at WDW this week and the crowds have definitely lived up to the level 9 prediction. With your tips, the longest line we have waited in so far has been 15 minutes, and this on a day which saw 105 minutes for BTMRR and 80 minutes for JC. We’ve been ahead of the curve the entire trip, thanks to you!

  11. Aristol says

    I think people hoped for a Diagon Alley soft opening during the Spring Break. As it hasn’t happened they visit Disney and save their Summer vacation for Universal. Or the Mayans were wrong and this is the end of the world. Take your pick:)

  12. csd says

    Josh, will you be doing a park walk-thru soon? I’m curious to see if the FP+ users are still backed up at the various FP+ entrances, like some were complaining about on the Dis. Well, that and I’m Jonseing for one of your photo tours.

  13. Ocalla says

    I was there this past Mardi Gras, and Josh was DEAD ON!!! Made the mistake on day before mardi Gras and started at MK (which Josh didn’t suggest at all) and it was so packed we left and went to EPCOT, which was fantastic!!! I have followed his suggestions for 4 trips now and while I don’t know HOW he does it, he DOES do it correctly!!!

  14. Ann says

    Many southern schools districts are on spring break this week, including Birmingham and Nashville. In the south, the school year usually starts early-mid August and runs through mid-May or ending before Memorial Day, so late April spring break doesn’t occur and break isn’t dependent on Easter. Lots of people will fly or drive the less than 12 hour drive from various southern towns and cities to Disney World, and not just Florida, so I’d say Josh’s ESTIMATE of the crowds is pretty accurate. This website is awesome! Thanks Josh!!!

  15. Amber says

    I was at the MK Wed. March 26 and if I had to rate the crowd level 1 being low, 10 being high – it was a 20!!! Everyone one from everywhere was in that park yesterday. When people are waiting 200 people deep to get on the People Mover you know it’s busy. If you did not have a FP you had to wait an hour for almost everything. The FP kiosk lines were ridiculously long. On top of it all Splash Mtn went down mid afternoon as well as The Laugh Floor. It was a challenge to maneuver through the park yesterday it was so crowded.

  16. Molly says

    What?!?! A day predicted to be a 9 was actually crowded???? Vacation ruined, my life is over and has no meaning!

    Seriously, just read the crowd calendar. It’s not too hard 😉 One a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest, it’s like a .5 or something. Definitely NOT A 9!!!! That would be too much work! Like, crazy, crowded and hard work. Like spring break crowds work!

    I made the mistake last May of going to Epcot on a non-recommended Josh day and well, it was a mistake. Lots of people and longish lines.

    So when is the book coming out again Josh? Really looking forward to it! Will some of your artsy-because-it’s-tilted pics be in it as well? Hope so!

  17. Mary Ann says

    Ann, not all southern schools are are spring break this week. Most of Georgia gets out starting April 5.

  18. Emily says

    Alabama schools are on Spring Break this week. We have for the past 8 or 9 year been the third week of March but this year we are back to the last week of March. I know a few people that are there braving the crowds. It seems that no matter what time of year you go there is a crowd-we went in February a couple of years ago and there were international groups (large groups) touring and of course cheer teams and dance teams from all over. We always follow Josh’s recommended days and have never had to wait more than 30 minutes for a ride.

  19. Alicia M. says

    I was there for Mardi Gras. Even spent Mardi Gras day in MK. It was not packed. Not even close to being packed. We walked on the anytime rides during the peak of the day. I don’t think people really know what crowded actually means.

  20. Carrie says

    Ummm..hello…the website and it’s advice are FREE! If you don’t agree with his advice then pay and use a different website. His advice and crowd predictions have always been spot on in our experience.

  21. Cindy says

    Half of IL is on spring break this week as well, the other half is on break next week. Many schools do their spring breaks at the end of march, regardless of when Easter is.

  22. Donna says

    Wow, so when the MK parking lot is closed….every one of those spaces is filled? And people are entering by bus too! I’m glad I wasn’t there.

  23. Lori says

    Was at MK yesterday. Yes, CSD, lines for the Fastpass Plus entrances to the rides are still backed up outside of the actual queues, however once you scan in the first time at the entrance to the ride then it’s been pretty quick to get onto the actual ride, for us at least it has been all week.

  24. Lori says

    And yes, MK was slammed yesterday but we did quite a bit by arriving at rope drop, having a rough touring plan in mind, and the ability to book our fastpasses using our phone. I can’t believe Disney didn’t make this feature available to offsite guests in anticipation of this week. I felt bad for people waiting in the kiosk lines!

  25. Brian B says

    I think its slower to wait for the bands to go green than 1 person collecting multiple paper passes at a time. I would expect total wait of fp+ to be pretty good.

  26. Sweetpea0830 says

    We were there last week and thought crowds were very manageable for being Spring Break. We visited in June a few years back and I feel like June crowds were worse. I’m glad we always follow Josh’s suggestions. I was a bit scared going during Spring Break but I guess the week we went was a better week to go. We did just about everything we wanted by rope dropping and using FP+.

  27. Anonymous says

    Geez, I would imagine the college spring breaks have much less of an impact on WDW crowds (demographics!) than K-12 schools, so using a college calendar to predict WDW crowds is virtually useless (who is this LP anyway?).

    We’re in GA and the college Spring Breaks here have already taken place around us, but the K-12 schools will be out next week (week of March 31st) or the week after (the week of April 5th).

    Can’t wait to see pics of the madness of next week!

  28. Coltgurl says

    A lot of Schools in Southern Indiana have 2 weeks for Spring Break this week being one and next week the other. Also, the schools here locally in North Central Kentucky have next week off.

  29. Lynn says

    Sadly, went to MK Wednesday, 3/26/14 for probably the last time. It was gorgeous weather, but wall to wall baby strollers. Spring Break for many Illinois schools brought lots of people down to Florida to escape the last part of the worst winter ever. The Space coast was nice and next time? Well…not DW. :-)

  30. Sara says

    We went to MK yesterday 3/27/14 and I was amazed how crowded it was. We arrived at 1 PM and left at 8:30 PM, got our 3 fastpass rides in, watched the 3:00 parade (AH-MAH-ZING!) and did two non-fast pass experiences. So we had fun despite the crowds. When we left we saw the parking lot was just at capacity. They were filling the last row! I wonder what happens once it fills? Do they turn cars away? I know there are plenty of parking spots available – those who left early like us. But Disney probably don’t encourage folks to drive up and down the isles searching for spots, do they?

  31. shannon f says

    We were in the area for other reasons and decided to head to EPCOT on 3/26 because we had some complimentary tickets that were burning a hole in our pockets. I must agree that MK must have been nuts because the traffic going to MK was backed up all the way to the entrance to EPCOT. EPCOT wasnt dead by any means but I cant imagine what it was like at MK. Josh had EPCOT as the Most Recommended park on 3/26 and I went with that because he has never steered me wrong. The headliners had their usually long waits, but everything else was nice. Using FP+, we were able to get everything in except Maelstrom. We stayed away from there all together. We talked to a couple that said they waited for Anna&Elsa for 6 hours. Thats 6 hours they could have done something else! The day was perfect and we made the right decision.

  32. Kristina says

    Not sure how much impact this has on the overall crow situation this week but many counties in Alabama have changed their spring break to the last week of March as well.

  33. projectx says

    We just returned from our trip. Crowds were heavy as expected, but nothing was anywhere near as nuts as our MK visit on the 26th. It was the most recommended park, and it was still PACKED. Thankfully because of Josh’s tour plans and many members of this site, we were able to get a lot of touring done. Our second day at MK on the 28th was noticeably different.

  34. Ter623 rocking & rolling in So Cal! says

    Not sure how much this affects WDW but our school district, about 30 miles East of DLR, just finished our first of 2 weeks of spring break. Again another area heard from that is on break this week. FYI-I would steer clear of DLR right now!

  35. Pembo says

    NE Ohio – schools here don’t all have the same week off, in fact in our county, there are spring breaks for somebody every week until after Easter.

  36. Cary says

    North Alabama schools were on spring break the last week of March. The crowd levels were certainly a 9 and seemed to be pushing 10. Since my family thinks I am crazy to pre-plan our parks they went to every least recommended park listed….that was fun with the new FP+ system…which sucks along with the Disney App. At least my family stuck with rope drop to stay a bit ahead of the masses. That being said, the next visit, the family finally agrees that we should follow the calendar here.

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