Planning your March 2017 Disney World vacation!

 

This guide is specifically for guests traveling to Disney World in March 2017 (The rest of the year will come soon if you’re looking to travel later in the year!)

For complete months: January 2017, February 2017, April 2017

Crowds begin to increase in March as Spring Break season begins in early to mid March. Droves of families from all over the country take this break from school as a perfect excuse to head to Disney World (as if you need an excuse!) In addition to higher crowd levels, prices spike to more peak levels. While Spring Breaks are staggered throughout the country (sometimes even within the same state), from what I’ve investigated, it looks like the week of March 12th starts true spring break season through Easter (April 16). Generally, the most crowded “spring break” weeks are the weeks immediately leading up to Easter Sunday and through that week.

March weather in Disney World

According to Weather.com the average high in the month of March is 78 and the low is 54. Be sure to check your favorite weather app prior to your departure to confirm actual temperatures before you pack. This can be picture perfect weather for Disney World! Warm enough to swim during the day but not too hot that walking around the parks are unbearable! Remember that 78 is the average, so you may see cooler temps earlier in the month and much warmer temps toward the end of the month. Definitely check the forecast before you arrive.

Choosing Your Travel Dates/Events to be aware of

  • March 12 – 31 – Spring Break Season (if this is your only option outside of summer, don’t be afraid to take advantage of
    Bambi & Friends

    Bambi & Friends

    it! It’s generally better weather wise in spring vs. summer for park touring).

  • March 1 – May 29 – Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival. This doesn’t increase the overall day to day crowds in Epcot or in the resorts, however you may see an increase in crowds over the first few days of the Festival with bloggers and excited guests!

Special Offers/Promotions

  • No promotional offers will be available at the time of publication. Look toward October for promotional offers for early 2017 (based on historical releases). In previous years, both a room offers and package promotion were both available.

When to book dining

Dining reservations are available 180 days in advance of your arrival date which means you can bee dining for March can be made in early September! If you have an active package, you’ll have the ability to book dining for your entire length of stay. If you’re inside that mark, you may not see every dining reservation available – especially popular things like character dinners (especially Cinderella’s Table, and Chef Mickey’s) and popular locations like Ohana and Be Our Guest. Don’t let lack of availability worry you, since all Disney dining reservations require a credit card guarantee, cancellations do happen so persistence and patience are key! As we start to creep closer to the busy season of Spring Break, planning for the incredibly popular locations are often best for later in your trip to secure prime dinner times!

Cost

Disney's Pop Century brings adults back to their childhood!

Disney’s Pop Century brings adults back to their childhood!

So how much will it cost a family of 4 to travel to Disney World in March of 2017? Let’s do the math. Remember these are NON-DISCOUNTED rates so your total could be less than the ones listed below. These travel dates fall under Spring Break as it’s a more popular time to travel.

The Smith family wants a fun an inexpensive vacation and are planning 7 days and 6 nights at a value resort. I suggested Pop Century in a preferred room since it’s most centrally located among the value resorts. They are taking mom, dad, Susie – 13 and Jenny – 9 on their first vacation! They have decided on 5 days of base tickets to really focus on one park each day and to save a little bit of money and will pay for meals out of pocket and bring some snacks with as well, so no dining plan. $2552.08

The Jones family wants a moderately priced vacation and are also planning 7 days and 6 nights, but they want to stay at a moderate resort. Their two daughters love Disney princesses so they are considering an upgrade to a royal guest room. They are also going to do 5 days of base tickets but are considering the upgrade to park hoppers to see more with their time. If the Jones family chooses the least expensive package options, their moderate vacation would cost them $3118.00. If they added park hoppers to their tickets, their vacation would cost them $3411.96. And if they wanted to upgrade to a royal room their vacation would cost them $3685.30

The Howell family wants to go all out for their two children’s first Disney World vacation and stay in a deluxe resort for 7 days and 6 nights. They definitely want park hoppers to see everything and they are considering the dining plan. Their preferred resort is Wilderness Lodge but with the construction scheduled, they are going to try out the recently renovated Polynesian resort to have access to Magic Kingdom. and Epcot. With 5 days of park hoppers, their vacation would cost them $5678.76. If they did elect to add the dining plan, their vacation would cost them $7036.02

The bottom line

March is a great time to travel to Disney World if your only options are school breaks whether you can’t pull your kids out of school or if you’re a teacher! While the pricepoint is a bit higher than that of the the “off season” a family of 4 can have a magical Disney vacation. There is potential for some promotional offers (typical room discounts), soyour family can still save a few dollars as well!

Start planning your March 2017 vacation

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2017 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

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Friday Five: Water Park Adventures!

Just because summer is ending (sniff sniff) and schools are starting back in the next few weeks doesn’t mean that you can’t start thinking about having water fun during next spring or summer break.  In fact, planning this early will be advantageous for you in saving money and choosing your favorite resort!  The sparkling fun awaits you at the Disney World with their two water parks:  Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon!   Once you have visited them you will see how no Disney World vacation is ever complete without visiting the “splash-tastic” water parks. From serene to extreme, you will find an experience for everyone from rest and relaxation to extreme water fun for all ages!  Here are your Friday Five top points:

  1. There are plenty of chill rides to beat the heat!  From Crush n Gusher to Keelheel Falls and Ketchakidde Creek.  You will find slides and a lazy river that is an incredible time for all ages to float your cares away.My only suggestion for the lazy river is to take note of where you get in (they are well marked at all entrances for the river).  That way you will know when you have circled the loop and where to get back on land. (You can get out when you want, just in case…)
  2. Then there are awesome thrill rides for all ages can be found from Summit Plummit, , Teamboat Springs (a family fav of ours), and Tobaggan Races!
  3. Wave pools are everyone’s favorite in Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool and Blizzard Beach’s Meltaway Bay!  I love hearing the “thunderous sonic boom” and the shrieks from the crowd as the waves (swells as large as 6 feet in the back) heads towards you.  The feeling in the air is electric!
  4. Snorkeling in the Shark Reef was my favorite but I love sharks and all “that stuff”!  This is a man made coral reef in 362,000 gallons of salt water and it is COLD but awesome and worth the try at no extra cost if you have never snorkeled.
  5. Relax on the sandy white beaches in a lounge chair or float in a tube in the gentle waves.  There are even fantastic cabanas for rent which made it so easy when we had a large family of 20 with us at Blizzard Beach.  We were able to use it as a “home base” for everyone…older kids were running around doing the big kid, thrill slides while moms ran after the toddlers in the Tike’s Peak area, while the Grandparents could chill in the shade of the trees.  It was a great addition to our family memories!

This video below can help you to get a drift of the fun that awaits you…..

 

MinnieBox

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

So if you are ready to dive into your next Disney adventure, feel free to contact us for a free quote today!!  The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please ask for more details!

 

 

Navigating Disney parks during holidays and peak season!

Epcot ball

Happy Easter Disney fans! It’s another peak travel date in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. So for the families that don’t have the luxury of traveling during off peak travel dates outside of holidays whether you’re a teacher, your child’s school doesn’t allow you to take them out, or it’s just too difficult to take kids out of school because it would be too difficult to catch up. This means you’ll be traveling during summer, school breaks, or holidays. And that’s OK! I’m sure in 5-6 years we’ll be facing that struggle with a child in school full time and learning things every day that it would be much more difficult to miss!

So how do you navigate Disney parks during peak travel? Here are a few great tips to help save yourself time and frustration whether traveling with kids or just adults!

  • Plan ahead when possible. Book early to get the best rooms available which often gets you the best rates. If you FullSizeRender 2want to stay at Polynesian over Christmas, you should be thinking about that NOW! Disney raises rates during peak travel, so if you want to save some money, choosing one of those lower cost rooms – a standard view or a lagoon view, those will go more quickly than the more expensive club level rooms!
  • Prep everyone in your travel party for the crowd levels. Know that there will not be as much “room to roam” and less opportunity to “walk on rides”. Think about some games to play while you are in line (Heads Up!) is a popular app and easy for anyone who can read to play! Also bring some snacks and something to drink with you.
  • Think park hoppers to maximize your time. During peak travel times, park hoppers are incredibly helpful! They allow you to start your day in a park with early magic hours and then “hop” elsewhere when the crowds increase beyond a level you find manageable. Outside of peak travel time, I’m not a huge fan of extra magic hours because it increases crowds more quickly than other days so it’s not always a great use of your park time during off peak travel days.
  • Plan for mid-afternoon breaks (with an asterisk). Disney ALWAYS has the late arriving crowds and that’s what really makes the crowds increase. As those always late arriving people arrive, that’s your key to take a mid-afternoon break as noon until about 4 pm is the peak of crowds during the day! If you’d like to see Magic Kingdom’s afternoon parade, pick a day to stay but know you’ll have to find your “front row seat” early! The big asterisk here is if you want to be in Magic Kingdom on the most popular days of the year that often see closures due to park capacity – Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. Those are the days that you need to arrive early and plan on being there ALL DAY! To break up your day, schedule dining reservations inside the park when possible!
  • IMG_6600Speaking of parades, avoiding Main Street will help lower crowds a little bit and you won’t have to arrive as early. There’s also very little shade along the parade routes, so plan “shifts” to hold spots so one person isn’t stuck in the sun the whole time! The rumor is that Disney is doing away with FastPasses for parades but I just pulled one for June 1st so they’re not a think of the past quite yet! If parades are important (especially during peak time), consider a FastPass!
  • Know the places to “rest your feet” or relax your eyes for a bit (sorry Disney)! I love most of these attractions so don’t get your pitchforks out! Magic Kingdom has plenty of options – things like Carousel of Progress, TTA PeopleMover, PhilharMagic, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, or find a tree at Tom Sawyer’s Island! Epcot World Showcase is full of shows but not all of them have seats so be careful as you choose your options! American Adventure and Impressions de France are both good options! Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom both have some great shows available throughout the day so check your times guide!
  • LIVE IN THE MAGIC! Whether this is your first time and you’re soaking it all in or your first time during peak travel time, enjoy it! This is my advice to every single guest no matter when your travel. Disney destinations are about magic. You just have to decide if you want to be a part of it with a positive attitude or worry about crowds and shut the magic out. ENJOY!
A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Tips for First Time Flights to Disney

 

I just had a client to ask me about some first flight tips for their Spring Break trip to Disney World so I thought that I would share a few of mine with you…

First, start booking your flight and browse airline sites (Delta and Southwest are my two favorites).  Look for direct flights to save time and frustration.  Although those tend to be higher in price but I always feel that $50 more is worth my time and stress when traveling especially with children!  (And of course I will be glad to book your flights for you to help alleviate your stress, if needed.)

Next, prepare for your flight by first printing or downloading your boarding passes.  I recently put mine in my “Wallet” on my iPhone for my Disneyland trip and they just scan your pass from your phone – I LOVE technology!!  Mark your checked bags with a ribbon or colorful duck tape especially if you have a black suitcase along with everyone else – this will make yours easy to spot on the baggage claim carousel.  I always carry on my makeup and prescription medicines (if needed) and liquids in 2 oz. clear bottles.  Also, make sure you have easily removable shoes to help speed up your time through security.

Don’t forget your Magicbands-needed for your Magical Express bus ride to the resort!  And to keep the kids busy by bringing along books, coloring books/crayons, word searches, hand held games, DVD players, headphones, tablet/phone with the wonderful app Disney Movies Anywhere – my kids love it!

Airport arrival needs to be no less than an hour and a half prior to take off.  I would much rather be sitting at my gate than stressed and running though an airport with children and bags in tow – WAY too much stress!!  Have your ID and boarding passes easily accessible (that iPhone Wallet is awesome) and check those bags in.  Remember that any bag over 50lbs will cost you money so pack carefully!  Go through security and find your gate.  A restroom break is wise and I always grab a bottled water and snack for the flight before boarding the plane.

Then before you know it, you are flying to Orlando and Mickey is waiting for you!  The stewards will ask you to place all electronics in airplane mode and then will give you steps to link your electronics to the planes wifi if it is offered  – Southwest has free wifi!  I always keep gum in my pocket/easy accessible for take offs and landing to help with the ear pressure.  If you have babies then a bottle/pacifier is a great way to help them alleviate the pressure.

Once landed, get on the tram towards the Main Terminal/Baggage Claim for the Magical Express and if you used the yellow tags from your Minnie Box then all you do is go to the Magical Express bus.  They will gather your luggage and have it delivered to your resort room for you.  It is SO nice!  Have your Magicbands available for them to scan at the Magical Express counter – my kids like to put theirs on while driving to the airport before we even leave.  Now relax and let Disney pamper you!

MinnieBox

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

I’d love to help you plan and enjoy your Disney vacation stress-free!Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Planning your Spring 2016 Disney World vacation

spring2016 (1)

The holidays are over and guests across the country (and really around the world) are planning their 2016 vacations. It’s really the perfect time to talk about spring! This guide is specifically for guests traveling in March, April, May, and early June. There is a guide for early 2016 travelers which covers January, February, and March (there is some overlap in March in “early” and “spring!)

There is plenty of time to plan for ANY of these travel dates, whether it’s grabbing a dining reservation, planning FastPasses, or having the perfect warm weather getaway in the Orlando sun!

The spring months are really a great time to travel for several reasons. Outside of the peak spring break weeks in March through Easter, crowds are very manageable. We were happily surprised to have a very “dead” day in Magic Kingdom at the end of April 2015. Most spring breaks are clustered before Easter, although you may see some after March 27th into the first week or two of April,but I wouldn’t expect to overcrowd the parks!

As March and April hit, Disney begins to extend park hours into the 10 and 11 pm hours. This is a great way to maximize your money and your park time and also leans well to having a nice mid-day break from the action, whether it’s to get in a bit of swim time, check out Disney Springs, or just rest your feet!

A few busier times to note for this time of year:IMG_4982 (2)

  • Most of March (beyond March 8th for spring break season through April 2nd)
  • Star Wars Half Marathon: Dark Side – April 14-17
  • After June 5th as kids start to end school (Florida schools typically end about a week later, so if you have an early release, take advantage!)

 

While all months of the year see rain in the Orlando area, these months are not considered peak rainy season. That being said, you’re likely to see a touch of rain here or there (sorry, I can’t control the weather) but hopefully it will be minimal!

Crowd Calendars

Below are projections of crowds for early 2016. Click the images below to see the images larger! These are subject to change. Please don’t be concerned about a “red days”. You will have a magical experience no matter what time of year you travel. Typically it’s not “wall to wall” crowds!

March 2016 Crowd calendar

March 2016 (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2016 (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2016 Crowd Caneldar (Click to Enlarge)

May 2016 Crowd Caneldar (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2016 Crowds Calendar (Click to Enlarge)

June 2016 Crowds Calendar (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Money

Save up to 30% on your resort stay for travel dates in April, May, and June and up to 25% off of resort stays in February and March!

Book By
February 28, 2016

Valid Travel Dates
February 22, 2016 through June 11, 2016

Important Details

  • Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.
  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Moderate and Deluxe suites may be available at a lesser discount.
  • Additional per adult charges may apply if there are more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
  • Upgrade to a room and ticket package with minimum 4-day Magic Your Way theme park tickets, and receive one more complimentary ticket day.

Like all promotional rates, there are exclusions which include the usual suspects – Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, Bay Lake Tower, Villas at Grand Floridian, the campsites at Ft Wilderness, and all 3 Bedroom Villas. This promotional offer also excludes Port Orleans French Quarter.

Refurbishments

This time of year is not often considered “peak” for refurbishment as Disney tries to provide the least amount of guest inconvenience. While you’ll still see some closures before the summer season, it’s typically reasonable! We’ve seen things closed like Test Track, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and a few days of update on its a small world, but it’s not too bad!

  • Boardwalk & Boardwalk Villas exterior repainting (through May 5)
  • Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House Soft Goods Rehab (Jan 1 – May 20)
  • Art of Animation Sprayground (kids splash play area) (Jan 3 – March 11)
  • Soarin’ (Jan 4 – Summer 2016)WL
  • Pizza Planet (Jan 11 – Late 2016)
  • Planet Hollywood  (Jan 6 – summer 2016)
  • Typhoon Lagoon annual refurbishment (Jan 3 – March 12)
  • Beach Club Villas Soft Goods Rehab (Jan 22 – August 17)
  • Flights of Wonder (Jan 25 – March 17)
  • Wilderness Lodge & Villas (multiple refurbishment projects running through 2017)
  • Flying Fish Cafe (Feb 1 – Sept 30)
  • Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower (Feb 1 – March 18)

Thankfully, only Soarin’ is the only attraction with a “major” impact on guest travel!

Limited Time Experiences!

So what makes this time of year unique? A few really exciting things this year.

Symphony in the Stars This popular limited time fireworks experience in Hollywood Studios is returning on a nightly basis. As of January 5, you’ll also be able to book a Fireworks Dessert party! (currently scheduled to end in early March but may get extended based on popularity)

Growing Star Wars presence in Hollywood Studios. On December 1st, Disney opened Star Wars Launch Bay, updated Star Tours to include scenes from the new film, updated Jedi Training academy featuring a new villain and updated experience as well as a new themed stage, and new character meet and greets – you can visit the dark side and find Darth Vader or the light side and find Chewbacca! These experiences are available EVERY DAY instead of just limited time during Star Wars weekends!

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Each season, Minnie will host a character dinner at Hollywood & Vine which can be coupled with the Fantasmic dining package. This experience will allow you to meet Minnie and her friends (the holiday version came with Goofy & Mickey). In winter, you can “dine with the stars”! Plenty of good reservations are still available. As of March 21, the experience will change over to a “spring” themed experience (booking is not available fg2for this time-frame yet, so there’s still a chance to get a great character dining experience during peak travel time!)

Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival. This annual experience continues to grow (excuse the pun). This year the Flower & Garden Festival is extended to 90 magical days and begins on March 2nd and ends much later in May than in past years! You can see your favorite Disney characters made into gorgeous topiaries and nosh on some tasty food in the “fresh kitchens” around World showcase. This is a huge change in experience from several years ago as the kitchen experience continues to grow! I can’t wait to see what’s new this year.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!