It’s that time of year when the gray skies give way to blue. Sweet aromas fill the air with the blooming of new flowers. Vibrant shades of green begin peeking up from the earth and adorning trees. The days become longer, the birds chirpier and the sun brighter. Olaf may prefer summer, but spring is the season for me. The dry, brittle cold of winter becomes a thing of the past as we make way for warm, sunnier days ahead. And what better way to bid farewell to winter and welcome spring with wide, open arms than to plan a trip full of glorious, sun-soaking days at Walt Disney World? So hang up your coat and dust off your flip-flops—let’s countdown the top 9 reasons for visiting Disney World in the spring!
9. Grand Openings
Change, change, change. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. It’s happening all over Walt Disney World Resort property—building, restoring, reimagining. Some of those construction walls are finally disappearing, revealing a first-hand look at the latest completed Disney projects. In Magic Kingdom, “the hub” walls are coming down (HURRAY!), revealing the new Main Street Plaza Gardens. In the spring of 2015, Animal Kingdom will finally unveil their Africa Marketplace, a new shopping and dining experience which doubles the size of the original Harambe Village. Also debuting in spring is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a lounge serving up small food offerings and drinks at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This lounge is based off the popular nightspot Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar found at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. Downtown Disney’s evolution into Disney Springs is being slowly revealed, piece by finished piece. Many new retail locations have just recently opened up in the area to be known as The Landing (one of the four “neighborhoods” Disney Springs will be divided into). In addition to retail shopping, the first of three upcoming restaurants to be located in The Landing, The BOATHOUSE, is scheduled to open their doors to patrons in the spring. These are just a FEW of the changes scheduled to “wow” us this year. Keep your eye on the official Disney Parks blog for the announcement of confirmed opening dates.
8. The Weather
You don’t need me to remind you that spring in Florida is a very welcome break from days where words like “frostbite” and “wind-chill” are frequently spoken. The weather in Lake Buena Vista is almost always desirable and spring is no exception. The days are warm and the evenings still cool. True enough, you’ll probably still need to pack an umbrella, but the sometimes rainy days will trump snowy days every time. Swimsuits, sunscreen and flip-flops are also a must for that suitcase of yours if traveling to Disney World in the spring!
7. Spring Training at Wide World of Sports
The Atlanta Braves are returning for their 18th consecutive Spring Training Session at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports located at the Walt Disney World Resort. Available for purchase are tickets to see them in action against some of Major League Baseball’s marquee teams, including four reigning division champions. Games are played at Champion Stadium and promote a wonderful, family-oriented atmosphere with a Disney “feel” offering in-game entertainment, Disney character appearances and on-field fan experiences. Your kiddos will also have the opportunity to let out some fun energy and become a part of the team experience by running the bases in a post-game tradition.
I won’t say that visiting Walt Disney World in spring is a the best time of year to avoid crowds (hello, Spring Break!), but there ARE several weeks nestled in between the heavily crowded, bustling weeks that tend to see slightly fewer guests. To get a good “feel” for what you should expect, it’s always a good idea to take a gander at the crowd forecast calendars found online which will give you a good estimate on the line waits and the overall best days to avoid the parks. I will say that going in the spring is a great time to go before the ALWAYS busy summer crowds. The water parks and the resort pools will not be nearly as crowded in spring as they will be in summer!
5. Smaller Known Activities
There are probably a good number of you that don’t know about “Dapper Day” at Disney. Perhaps even fewer of you knew there was an actual “Egg-stravaganza” (Easter egg hunt) on property either. Did you know you can participate in a lively celebration of all things Irish, green, and four leaf clover-y at Raglan Road’s Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival? Or how about a wonderful Earth Day celebration at Animal Kingdom’s “Party for the Planet” events held throughout the park? These are just a few of the fun activities that happen to fall during the spring months, making a Disney vacation even more magical. From March 27 – April 5, 2015, you’ll be able to search for special hidden eggs themed to Disney characters inside Epcot (as well as Disneyland and California Adventure), offering an “egg-cellent” reward to those who participate (maps and stickers will cost you $4.95). On Dapper Day at Disney (March 14th), dress yourself up to the nines and step out in style in your fanciest vintage garb or chic contemporary apparel. Inside Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road (and OUTSIDE on the patio for that matter) there will be lively Irish entertainment to add some extra luck to your St. Patty’s Day celebrations that will run from March 13th-March 17th. And on Earth Day, April 22nd, special events for guests to enjoy will be held inside Animal Kingdom as well as ‘The Seas with Nemo & Friends’ pavilion in Epcot.
4. Seasonal Offerings “Springing” Up on Disney Property
The Walt Disney World Resort theming follows the season. The feel of spring is sprinkled throughout Disney Parks and Resorts, including seasonal merchandise, seasonal food and drinks and even seasonal displays. The Disney Resort restaurants infuse their often revolving menus with dishes that promote fresh, seasonally inspired cooking. You’ll also find souvenirs in the merchandise stores that serve as a reminder that spring has certainly sprung! Each year, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa hosts an exquisite Easter egg display which is truly a work of art. Each egg takes around 20 hours to create by masterful chefs and includes unique artwork such as memorable hand-painted Disney classic movie scenes. Like the life-size gingerbread houses on display in the lobby during the Christmas season, these Easter eggs are heavily detailed and entirely edible.
3. Disney Water Parks
There is no better time to experience Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach than during the wonderfully sunny spring season! The weather is neither blazingly hot nor chilly, and taking that first dip of your toes into those wildly fun pool waters is oh-so-satisfying. Regardless of the outside weather, those waters are mildly heated so if the air around you gets a little cool, the water will remain the perfect temp.
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2. Star Wars Weekends
This Hollywood Studios annual event running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May 15th to June 14th draws out high numbers of Star Wars devotees. This ultimate fan experience includes specialty Star Wars treats, parades, special shows, presentations, autograph sessions and chances to meet the characters and celebrities from the popular film franchise. Star Wars character dining experiences are also available for booking. Valid park admission is all that is required to enjoy the out-of-this-world galactic gala!
1. 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
If you’ve ever been to this annual Epcot event, then you know just how gorgeous this park is during these months. This year the festival runs from March 4th to May 17th, and includes fresh, seasonal dishes around the World Showcase, spectacular and charming Disney character topiaries, complimentary garden presentations and even a Garden Rocks Concert Series (not unlike the Food & Wine’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series). The “Outdoor Kitchens” that are almost as prevalent as the Food & Wine Festival’s Marketplace Booths will feature small seasonal plates of food as well as beverages to purchase and enjoy as you meander your way around the stunning landscaped lawns of Epcot. Your regular park admission is all you need to enjoy this festival.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!