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One of our favorite Spring Break destinations is Disneyland. My family is heading to Disneyland as part of our spring break trip (keep watching for posts on our other destinations) and we are excited to get back to the happiest place on earth. Over the years we have learned a lot about spring break at Disneyland. Today I am excited to be sharing what I have learned with you so your spring break at Disneyland can be as magical as possible.
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing tips to survive Spring Break at Disney.
When is Spring Break at Disneyland
Well, spring break varies by region. Most of the surrounding areas have spring break starting anywhere from mid-March to late April. The majority of Californians seem to have their spring breaks either the week before or after Easter (which is in April this year). I know in Idaho, most school have theirs either the last full week in March or the week after.
The point is, you can expect spring break crowds starting around March 10 clear through the end of April.
What is the best way to manage Spring Break Crowds?
Don’t go? Just kidding. I always try and remember a crowded day at Disney is still better than a day at home.
Every Disneyland regular has their own way to handle the crowds. Our family is big fans of getting there before the park opens, taking a mid-day break, and returning after dinner. Others prefer to just go in the morning and stay until Dinner. We personally find it is nice to miss the hottest, most crowded part of the day.
Even trying to avoid the busiest times of day, you will still have to endure crowds. It will be important to prioritize your activities, have a flexible game plan, and utilize fastpass. You can read more about surviving Disney’s on season and managing the crowds by checking out THIS POST.
What can you expect during Spring Break at Disneyland
Depending on when your spring break is, you can expect different events and activities your spring break at Disneyland. I am going to break down some of the happenings for 2017, some of which are annual happenings, others specific for 2017. I will also tell you what you can expect as far as park hours,entertainment and more.
What are the park hours for spring break?
Disneyland’s park hours during spring break may vary. You will usually find they open the parks to all guests around 8-9 am (With Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour happening the hour before opening). It is worth noting that Disney California Adventure (DCA) appears to be opening an hour AFTER Disneyland on the mornings it hosts Extra Magic Hour.
As for closing times, Disneyland tends to close at 11 pm the first week or two, but starting the last week in March, it begins closing at midnight. DCA closes at 9 pm the first few weeks, and 10 pm after that. DCA always closes at the start time of the final showing of World of Color, so there will still be guests in the park at that time.
When you go, also be sure to listen and watch for announcements noting a change in park hours. We have gone a few times during the weeks that were supposed to close at 11pm, only to have them extend the hours to midnight.
Downtown Disney is usually open from 7 am -2 am.
The great thing is that Disneyland releases all of these park hours 6 weeks in advance. You can check the park hours by visiting the Disneyland site or CLICKING HERE.
What can I expect as far as weather at Disneyland during Spring Break?
Weather during spring break can be pretty unpredictable. But if you are like me and coming from a state that is still in the 40-50 degree range most days, you can bet most days will feel pretty nice. We have had rain, sunshine, highs of 60’s and highs in the 90s during our spring break visits. Many times all in the same trip. I strongly suggest watching Anaheim’s forcast in the days leading up to your trip. Even if the forecast looks awesome (80’s and sunny all week- YES PLEASE!) be sure to bring a sweatshirt and maybe even some pants. Once that sun goes down, it can get pretty cool real fast. You can find out what I am packing for our Spring Break visit HERE.
What can I expect as far as ride closures?
Normally during Spring Break you will find most rides open. If your spring break is at the mid-March or late April time frame you may still have a few closures as the park preps for Spring break, or (late April) preps for summer. This year though, the Matterhorn will be closed for refurbishment and the new Guardians of the Galaxy Mission:Breakout is not yet open (this is the ride replacing Tower of Terror). Also, there are still closures that started in January of 2016 for attractions affected by the construction of Star Wars Land. These are the Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Fantasmic, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. All of these are slated to reopen in Summer 2017.
Even though most rides are scheduled to be open, it seems spring break is always full of unexpected closures. Some people claim it is because it is the first time many rides have operated so heavily since their seasonal maintenance, others claim it is the bipolar weather, but no matter what, Spring Break seems to have several unexpected closures. Some may last for only an hour or two, others a day or more. So if there is something you “have to ride” and it is open on day 1 of your visit, I suggest getting on it.
You can also check the customer service Kiosks for current ride closures and reopenings. Scheduled maintenance appears on the daily park schedule for the upcoming 6 weeks.
What special events are going on during spring break at Disneyland?
Each year, spring break may feature some different events going on at Disneyland.
Closer to Easter, Disneyland hosts the Egg-stravaganza, an easter egg hunt type of activity that lets you find hidden eggs. The maps and stickers usually cost under $10 and it is a fun activity. Details for this year have not yet been released, but watch the Disney Parks Blog for more information. I am really hoping they continue this activity this year.
Also around Easter you will see a lot of your favorite Disney rabbits come out to do more meet and greets. This includes the White Rabbit, Roger Rabbit, and more.
Also returning in 2017, and going on now, is the Food and Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure. This special event takes place in DCA from March 10-April 16 and features special foods and demonstrations seminars. You can get more information and make reservations (when required) for different events by visiting the special events page HERE.
Special for 2017:
In 2017 we will also see some special celebrations and events. First, starting March 17, 2017 the park will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean. The celebration will include special merchandise, and even gold dusted Churros (yes, you read that right!). The official anniversary is on March 18th, and it is sure to have other fun pirate surprises popping up throughout the day.
Probably the most talked about special event this spring is the celebration of the release of the new Beauty and the Beast live action film. To celebrate the movie (in theaters March 17, 2017) Disneyland has “beauty-fied” Fantasyland (see what I did there?). This includes having Gaston, Belle and Beast come out for meet and greets, special merchandise, and changing the Village Haus into the Red Rose Tavern where you can get some yummy french food, including the Grey Stuff. It is also where you will be able to find those Red Rose lightup cups (once they are back in stock). If you want either of these offerings you will want to be sure to head to the Red Rose Tavern early in the day.
The Main Street Electrical Parade returned to Disneyland Park in January and will be showing there until June 18, 2017. If you want to check it out (and I strongly suggest you do) you can either find a spot for the parade when the cast members put the ropes up (Disneyland no longer allows you to save seats for the parade before ropes are up) or you can book one of the dining packages that includes a ticket for a reserved viewing area. You can find out more about the dining packages by clicking here.
Can I still book a vacation for spring break at Disneyland?
You will get the best deals for spring break by booking several months ahead, but that doesn’t mean you are out of luck for booking a Disneyland vacation. You can still find hotels in the surrounding areas. Using sites like Hotwire or Priceline might save you money. However, for the best packages, where you know your hotel before you book, I suggest using our friends at Get Away Today. They can do everything from booking your hotel, to giving you vouchers for character dining.
Are you spending your spring break at Disneyland? What are you most looking forward to?
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Spring Break Survival Guide Loop:
- 1st Stop – Love Our Crazy Life | What You Need To Know About Spring Break At Disneyland
- 2nd Stop – Disney Mamas | 5 Spring Break Must-Dos at Walt Disney World
- 3rd Stop – Magical Mickey Tips | Last Minute Disney Trip, No Time to Plan
- 4th Stop – Adventureland Pam | 5 Reasons to Visit Disney for Spring Break
- 4th Stop – My Pixie Dust Diary | 5 Packing for the Parks During Spring Break