This post covers what the crowds, weather, special events, etc., are like at Walt Disney World during March, but simply put, if you are able to plan a visit whenever you want, March is a month to avoid (with one exception). This is because, in the immoral wisdom of Alien, it’s “SPRINNNG BREAAAKKKKKK FOREVAAAAAA.” (There are so many other lines of his I’d love to quote, but almost none are appropriate for this site.)
Indeed, it is Spring Break in March. For colleges and many school systems in the country, March means Spring Break, and that means heavy crowds. If you’re somehow able to get past that (perhaps you’re an avid queue enthusiast, in which case 120-minute waits might be right up your alley), everything else about the month is solid.
While it’s always above-average in terms of crowds, March isn’t always as bad as it was this year, which was fairly horrific. That’s because Easter fell in March this year. Schools that plan their Spring Breaks around the Easter holiday (which is a good portion of K-12 schools in the United States) were also off in addition to the schools that have fixed dates for Spring Break in March. The confluence of fixed Spring Breaks plus Easter Spring Breaks this March resulted in crowds that even Alien would think are crazy as sheeit. Fortunately, this is a scenario that won’t repeat itself until 2024 (although the end of March in 2018 will be bad).
As far as the weather goes, March is the mont when the weather starts to turn around and warm up. Temperatures rise over the course of the month, and although they are still on the cool side of mild, it’s usually quite comfortable. Sure, it can be abnormally cold or hot in March (definitely check the long term forecast before visiting as it really could be either), but you’re generally in for weather that’s almost ideal for touring the parks.
Lows at the beginning of the month are in the mid-50s and creep up towards the 60s by the end of the month. High temperatures range from 75 to 80 degrees. In looking at those numbers and the “comfortable” band on this page, you might think that it skews towards chilly. That can be true early in the morning and late at night, but keep in mind that you’ll be most active during the middle of the day when it’s warmest; personally, I prefer slightly cooler temperatures when I’m active, anyway.
The result is that I find March to be one of the better months of the year for weather in Florida, particularly towards the end of the month. At the beginning of the month you’re more likely to experience unseasonably cold weather, so I tend to avoid that. About the only downside to this mild weather is that it can make visiting water parks or spending much time in your resort hotel’s pool less appealing (or downright unappealing). This can be a bummer for those seeking a ‘tropical’ reprieve from winter in the North.
Being Michiganders, that’s exactly what my family wanted from our trips when I was growing up. I still remember an early March vacation during which my parents decided to stubbornly stick to our plans (I paint them as “stubborn” but the reality was probably that I was a bratty kid who insisted upon going) to visit Blizzard Beach. There was almost no one in the park, and we all spent the better park of the day wrapped in towels on our beach chairs.
I recall crossing the icebergs in Ski Patrol Training Camp and envisioning them as actual chunks of ice, which wasn’t that much of a stretch of the imagination at the time. I share all of this because you might not want to make concrete plans for the water parks or put too much weight in a hotel’s swimming pool when choosing a hotel or planning a March visit–you may not want to spend time at either.
While there is no Beer Bong World Championship (let alone more unsavory events) held at ESPN Wild World of Sports, that’s perfectly fine, because Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival kicks off at the beginning of March. This is the best time to experience Flower & Garden Festival, as everything is freshly planted. Regardless of whether you’re into gardening (I’m not) this is event has the park looking lovely. The flower tapestry by the Imagination pavilion, between Future World and World Showcase is incredibly picturesque, as are the many topiaries around the park. There’s much more than that, all of which you can read about in our Guide to Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
March is the only month between January and April that does not have a runDisney event, which is good or bad depending upon your perspective. On the plus side, it means there are no spikes in hotel rates and occupancy on random weekends that might force late-bookers to look off-site. On the downside, you can’t pay money to go running.
As a result of Spring Breaks being fairly common in March, you typically won’t find much in the way of exceptional promotions. It’s way too early for the Free Disney Dining Plan promo (the holy grail of Walt Disney World discounts), at least for United States residents. At best, you’re usually going to find a room-only discount that maxes out around 20-25%. Better if you receive a targeted PIN code, are an Annual Passholder, or Florida resident.
Likewise, March is far above average in terms of pricing. For hotels, much of the month is peak season, which is exactly as expensive as it sounds. Only holiday pricing is worse. For 1-day park tickets, it’s currently unclear whether March 2017 will be Regular or Peak pricing. This year it was Peak season, but Easter was also in March this year, which led to a higher concentration of Spring Break holidays falling in March.
Although Walt Disney World Park Hours for March 2017 aren’t yet available, you can bet that they will be some of the most favorable hours of the year. You’re likely to have midnight closings for the Magic Kingdom on weekends, and Extra Magic hours that keep other parks open late. This is a mixed bag: park hours are a decent proxy for projected attendance levels, so the later a particular park is open, the higher Disney expects the crowds to be. Plan accordingly. For more tips on what times of year might be good for visiting, check out our When To Visit Walt Disney World post for the best and worst months of the year.
Overall, March is worst from the perspective of pricing and crowds, particularly in the rare times when Easter falls in the month. That “perfect storm” of crowds aside, March is still the primary month for schools with static Spring Break schedules, which gives it a bump to attendance over February. It’s not a bad time to visit, especially early in the month when you can avoid some of these crowds. From my perspective, this last week of February/first week of March is one of the year’s “sweet spots” for planning a vacation. Typically below average crowds, weather slightly on the cool side, and the start of the spring bloom with Flower & Garden Festival beginning. Other than that, March can be a mixed bag, but I think the weather goes a long way to compensate for crowds (and I’d much rather do March for Spring Break if it comes down to that or Summer Vacation in June through August).
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help.
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Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts on March at Walt Disney World? Do you think it’s the sheeit…or a crappy time to go? Share any questions, tips, or additional thoughts you have in the comments!