My family is heading to Disney for Easter and I’m in the final countdown! I’m 40, my wife is around there (haha) and we have a DD10 and DS 8. We’re doing a 5 day trip and I’m really excited, but I’ve heard that the parks get packed during this weekend! Like you, the crowds don’t bother me and I’ll brave Magic Kingdom for Easter Day… but we do plan on taking your Christmas tips into consideration when planning our day and we plan on having some downtime at the resort. We’re staying at the Contemporary! It’s our first time at a Deluxe Resort, so we plan on enjoying it! Can you recommend some things to do outside the parks?
Dan from Boston, MA
Well, Dan, I’m jealous. I’ve been to Disney in late March/early April and the weather is gorgeous. I’ve never been to Disney for Easter, but I would imagine that the crowds are very similar to Christmas week.
I commend you for braving the crowds and still heading to the parks. Make sure to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours both in the morning and at night!
The Contemporary is a ton of fun and a really gorgeous resort. The proximity to the Magic Kingdom will really work in your favor. You could easily walk over to the park or take the scenic route on the monorail. You can also jump on the monorail to EPCOT, which is a huge plus.
You’re heading down at the perfect time if you’re looking for out-of-park activities! Disney Springs is really coming together and definitely worth checking out. A lot of great shops are opening, including Sanuk and Erin McKenna’s Bakery! I’m not sure of the exact date, but the much-anticipated BOATHOUSE is scheduled to open in Spring, 2015. With the addition of Starbucks, Disney Springs is a great place to grab an iced coffee on a warm day and shop till you drop or sit back and enjoy the scenery. Even with the ongoing construction, Downtown Disney/Disney Springs is a relaxing and beautiful escape from the parks. Another idea would be to check out Splitsville or the AMC movie theater – especially if it rains one day!
The Boardwalk is also a great spot on a sunny day! I have some great memories sitting outside and eating a huge sandwich from the Boardwalk Bakery. You can easily get to the Boardwalk from EPCOT (via the International Gateway near the UK Pavilion,) or walk from Hollywood Studios. After spending a long morning at EPCOT, it’s a nice break from the crowds and a great spot to grab a filling lunch!
If you feel like staying close to your resort, you could rent a boat or participate in other water sports at Bay Lake. A few years ago we rented a boat from Bay Lake and drove it to the Seven Seas Lagoon. This gives you an awesome opportunity to travel over the water bridge, snap some awesome photos of Magic Kingdom and surrounding resorts, and enjoy a peaceful day at sea. I believe that you can bring food and non-alcoholic drinks aboard, so fill up your mug and grab a quick-service sandwich and make a day of it!
Last year the Contemporary made Easter baskets available and served a brunch buffet at both The Wave and Chef Mickey’s. Depending on your FP+ times, you can probably enjoy a nice brunch on Easter morning and then walk over to the Magic Kingdom after.
Another idea I just had – custom Easter baskets. Bring down two small Easter baskets for your kids. Go from resort to resort and allow your kids to choose one goodie (a Mickey rice krispie treat or piece of candy.) At the end of the day, your kids will end up with an Easter basket filled with their favorite Disney-themed treats! You can even get everything in one stop at Goofy’s Candy Company in Downtown Disney! There, you can fill bags with assorted candy priced by the pound.
Enjoy your trip. Take time to relax and stop and smell the flowers – literally. The trip should serve as a nice transition into Spring after a rough winter. I’m sure your kids will want to enjoy the rides, so make sure you tailor their expectations! Remember, you’re in Disney for Easter! Don’t worry about the crowds or wait times and just enjoy your vacation!