It appears that ESPN the Weekend will be scheduled one week later than usual in 2011. Historically, ESPN the Weekend has been scheduled at Hollywood Studios for the last weekend in February. While the official dates have not been announced, the ESPN Wide World of Sports website indicates that the Champion 5K at ESPN the Weekend will occur March 5th and 6th. That would mean that ESPN the Weekend would also have to occur on Saturday March 5, 2011 and Sunday March 6, 2011. ESPN the Weekend is usually extended to include the prior Thursday and Friday as well, though the bulk of the events happen on Saturday and Sunday.
If ESPN the Weekend is a major part of your vacation plans, you’ll want to keep March 3rd-6th and February 24th-28th free on your calendar. If you have already booked for February, I would recommend holding off on switching your plans to March until an official announcement is made. Registration for the Champion 5K is not yet open and it is possible that the dates for the race are incorrect.
As far as the Crowd Calendar for February is concerned, it won’t change much even if ESPN the Weekend is moved to March. Wednesday February 23rd remains the best day that week to visit Hollywood Studios and Saturday and Sunday will remain “not highly recommended.” Sunday February 26th would move to the third recommended Park, but only if you want to see Fantasmic. In other words, if you have previously planned your vacation around the best Parks to visit, you don’t need to change your plans for a February vacation that includes the 24th through the 28th even if ESPN the Weekend is no longer scheduled.
The March Crowd Calendar also won’t change much if ESPN the Weekend is indeed moved to the first weekend in March. Hollywood Studios will remain not recommended on Saturday unless you want to take part in the ESPN the Weekend festivities and Wednesday March 2nd or Friday March 4th of that week will remain recommended. Wednesday would probably change to have Hollywood Studios as the number one recommended Park that day. Sunday would remain recommended only if you wanted to see Fantasmic and could Park Hop over in the late afternoon to see it.
All in all, this mostly affects those who want to take advantage of what ESPN the Weekend at Hollywood Studios has to offer. You’ll want to be ready to switch your vacation dates if and when the official announcement is made. I will update this website with the official dates when they are announced.