I’ve completed the update of the April 2011 Crowd Calendar. You can find a list of the changes to the operating schedule here, along with some additional thoughts on April crowd levels. As always, the April Crowd Calendar is available here. There aren’t a lot of changes to the recommended Parks this month because most of the schedule changes were extended hours or additional Parades/Fantasmic shows on days that previously had one scheduled. The extended hours at the Magic Kingdom on Wednesdays will cause those Wednesdays to be slightly more crowded than they would be with the original shorter hours of operation, but Wednesday will still be your best day to tour the Magic Kingdom. The 8am openings to the general public are helpful for those of us who are aware that arriving at the Park prior to opening is the most important thing you can do to guarantee short lines. When the Magic Kingdom opens at 9am, we usually have about 90 minutes to tour before crowds begin to noticeably pick up. With the 8am openings, we’ll have 150 minutes to tour before crowds begin to pick up. We can assume that Disney opens the Parks at 8am so the touring mavens (read: you and me) can get through the headlining attractions earlier in the morning, which will subsequently keep us out of line for Splash and Space Mountain once the “less-seasoned (to put it nicely)” vacationers arrive at 11am.
We also have extended hours at Animal Kingdom which will cause that Park to be marginally more crowded on recommended days than it would be without the longer hours, but not so much that the recommendation needs to be changed. You’re best served to visit the Animal Kingdom early in the week when it doesn’t have Extra Magic Hours. As always, what you do once you arrive at the Parks is more important than what Park you pick, especially when crowd levels are elevated like they are for much of April. Touringplans.com is currently touting the fact that choosing proper touring technique is “5 times more effective than picking the right day” and I think we’re smart enough not to question whatever their computer algorithm spits out. I would put it closer to 4.812 times more effective, but I’m known for using decimal points to make it at least appear like I’m more accurate.
Overall, it shouldn’t be necessary to alter your plans if you’ve already made them. You may need to cancel 8am breakfast reservations if the Park is opening at 8am, but that’s about it. If you have questions about your itinerary, you can join us over in this thread at the easyWDW forums.