It seemed like an ideal time to visit — kids are out of school and the weather in Orlando is warm but not hot. The problem is it seems like everyone else has this idea, too.
Here's why I'm firmly on team "never again" when it comes to going to Disney World during spring break .
Even though we got to the park before it opened, the crowds were already intense
We rope-dropped Magic Kingdom, which means we queued up before the park opened to be among the first to enter. It was wall-to-wall bodies.
As soon as we were allowed in, we made a run for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. But we weren't the only family with this strategy, judging by our 65-minute wait. The wait times only went up as the day went on.
The lines for quick-service food were also long. And I wish we'd been able to make advance dining reservations because our chances of getting walk-up seating at a table-service restaurant were slim.
Over the past year, different rides, shows, meet and greets, and restaurants have either opened or reopened, which might help disperse the crowds this spring. But we spent a lot of our trip waiting in lines.
We paid extra for Genie+ services, but it wasn't worth it
We ended up buying Genie+ services, which are supposed to help you skip lines with expedited Lightning Lanes. But we weren't impressed.
We paid $15 a person per day and thought it was a waste of money. Instead of reserving Lightning Lanes for what we wanted to ride, we had to choose from what was available (i.e. rides we weren't interested in).
We tried several times to purchase an individual Lightning Lane for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot because we didn't want to wait 120 minutes, but we weren't quick enough on the app. That also would've cost us $15 a person per ride.
We ended up waiting over three hours to ride Remy's (the posted wait time was inaccurate), leaving everyone grumpy. The ride was cute but very short and ultimately not worth the wait.
Things might be different now — Genie+ was still a fairly new system last spring and Disney has had time to make some tweaks. But it didn't end up being worth the extra cost for us.
On top of everything else, navigating the airport was a nightmare
We fly to Disney World, and Orlando International Airport (MCO) is always crowded during spring break — according to the airport's official Twitter account, about 7.3 million travelers are expected to pass through between now and April 18.
Orlando also tends to host various spring sports events, like cheer and softball tournaments, that can cause more congestion.
At the end of our 2022 trip, we showed up at MCO for our Friday-night flight home and were told it was canceled. We were rebooked on a Sunday-morning flight, and the extra two days in Orlando were at our own expense.
Disney isn't responsible for this, but we've found that traveling through MCO during spring break always comes with the risk of being delayed or stuck.
Travel is just too unpredictable during spring break and the parks are too crowded
During spring break in 2022, travel was back in full force, leaving us with ultra-crowded theme parks and pure chaos at the Orlando airport.
I don't think going to Disney World during spring break gives the casual traveler — especially first-time visitors — a magical experience.
For now, my family is done with the annual mess of long lines and extra costs.
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