Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar – April Preview

When looking at April Crowds at Walt Disney World it all starts with Easter. This year Easter Sunday falls on April 16. Historically, Sunday is not the busiest day of the Easter season although you can expect to see very large crowds every day around the holiday. The Christmas peak season that we see every year happens between December 27 and January 1, a few days after the holiday itself. For Easter, the busiest days at the Disney World parks happen before the holiday. Guests of the Disney parks can expect to see peak Easter crowds on the Tuesday through Thursday before Easter (April 11 – April 13).

Easter is very busy but not as extreme as Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Easter is not the only date of interest on the April calendar. In fact, April is chock-full of special events. Here is a breakdown of what’s happening in April and how it might impact crowds in the parks.

Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival continues throughout all of April. Guests can expect the parks to be extra busy on weekends, especially in the afternoon. The festival includes temporary food kiosks all around the park which bring in curious locals who come for the food but don’t ride the rides. This is why you might see very crowded parks with manageable wait times at the attractions. Avoid weekends unless you have no choice or if you are visiting for a specific concert.

Grad Nights

Grad Nights are back but now they are at Typhoon Lagoon. We don’t think those grads will spill over to the other parks in great numbers but beware if they do. There may be a premium on arriving early at the parks on days around Grad Nights – they tend to sleep in.

Easter

The Disney World Crowd Calendar is predicting very busy parks during the second week of April (April 10 – April 17). Two-thirds of the largest school districts are off at least one day that week and that means large crowds at Disney World. The good news is that park hours are extended to accommodate the influx of guests so the savvy planner can take advantage and arrive as early as possible. Do that and you will be ahead of the game. After the Easter break, 95% of school districts are back in class so we expect to see the parks return to moderate crowd levels fairly quickly after Easter Monday.

Star Wars Half-Marathon

The Star Wars Half is the next event on the April calendar (April 20-23). Like all runDisney events, the Star Wars Half Marathon will bring lots of guests to the resort but the majority of their activities will happen outside the parks and we don’t expect see a large impact on wait times.

Dapper Day & Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom

Once the Star Wars Half-Marathon weekend comes to an end the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicts that the parks will see their lowest crowd numbers since January. There are two events to note on the calendar in the final week of April. Magic Morning (not to be confused with Extra Magic Hour), a ticketed event at Magic Kingdom continues on April 25. The impact of these magic mornings has been minimal. Dapper Day (April 29 – 30) brings in a few thousand well-dressed guests that although easy to spot, don’t have a huge impact on wait times at the attractions.

Fred Hazelton

Fred Hazelton maintains the crowd calendar, theme park wait time models and does hotel rate analysis for the Unofficial Guides. He's also done the models for the new mobile wait times product Lines. Fred Hazelton is a professional statistician living in Ontario, Canada. His email address is fred@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @DisneyStatsWhiz.

10 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar – April Preview

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:15 am
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    “This is the inaugural event for this new run, we will see how it goes.”

    2016 was the inaugural Dark Side Half.

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:45 am
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    We visited last April during the Star Wars Half and Dapper Day. The half just caused a little difficulty getting to the park in the morning but Dapper Day made Magic Kingdom super busy. The rides weren’t typically busy but Dapper Day attendees seemed to stand around in the middle of paths making it difficult to get around.

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:55 am
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    I can’t seem to click and expand the pretty infographic.

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:56 am
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    Not an inaugural year for the Dark Side half. That was last year. There is however supposed to be a new course this year due to complains.

  • April 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm
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    Star Wars Celebration is April 13-16. While it’s off-site, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spike in activity at Hollywood Studios in the evenings, particularly leading up to the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon the following weekend.

  • April 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm
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    Thanks folks, you are correct. I am changing the post now and updating the info page on our site.

  • April 4, 2017 at 2:50 pm
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    The graphic is too small to read and cannot be expanded. D:

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