Our guide to April 2021 at Walt Disney World offers a free crowd calendar, weeks to visit & avoid, weather, ride refurbishments, and tips for navigating the chaos of Easter and Spring Break. Plus, info for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios–including Mickey’s & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
If you’re considering a spring visit, April crowds fluctuate dramatically depending upon whether Easter occurs in April. Unfortunately for those visiting Walt Disney World in April, Easter falls within this month every year until 2024, meaning that there will be a noticeable spike in crowds during April for the foreseeable future.
Easter falls on April 4, 2021, and you can expect the days before and week after that to be among the busiest times of the year at Walt Disney World. Additionally, Spring Break crowds will descend upon Walt Disney World throughout April. If you’re able to get past that, the parks have long hours with a reasonable slate of entertainment, and some of the best weather of the year…
The plus side of Easter in April is that you get it as a special event, with a few offerings for the holiday. There’s an Easter Bunny (and Mrs. Bunny) meet and greet in Magic Kingdom, plus an Azalea Trail Maids pre-parade before Festival of Fantasy. While their costumes are pretty, this is fairly insignificant. There are also church services at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on Easter Sunday.
Here’s what else you can expect during April at Walt Disney World, organized by category…
April Weather at Disney World
Outside of the first week, April is exceptional when it comes to weather. Lows at the beginning of the month are in the low-60s and creep up into the mid-60s by the end of the month. High temperatures range from 80 to 85 degrees. Take a look at the “comfortable” band on this page–those are the kind of averages we like to see!
Obviously, anomalies are possible in both the “too cool” and “too hot” directions, but largely, April is one of the more comfortable months weather-wise in Orlando. April is more predictable than March and May, both of which are more likely to have unseasonable cold snaps (in the case of March) or early humidity (in the case of May). While all 3 months are great for weather, April is the “safest.”
April Special Events at Disney World
If you’re visiting on Easter or the weeks immediately before it, it’s also worth noting that there are special festivities for the holiday. Take a look at our Guide to Easter at Walt Disney World for more on the beautifully-decorated eggs, seasonal foods, Magic Kingdom meet & greet, pre-parade, and everything else you can expect from Easter in the parks and hotels.
Much more significant than that is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which continues in April and brings a vibrant atmosphere to Epcot, but there’s not much else. The words “vibrant atmosphere” don’t exactly get the kids hyped up like “trick or treating” or “THIS IS NOT A DRILL. SANTA WILL BE THERE.” The annual event will run for the entire month of April, continuing until July 5, 2021.
Aside from Easter week, park hours are pretty average in April. It’s worth noting that 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.
April Refurbishments & New Rides
In terms of other attractions that will be closed during April 2021, check the Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule. Walt Disney World announces most major refurbishment projects at least a few months in advance, but more could still be added for Spring 2021 as we draw nearer those dates. However, April tends not to have much down as it’s a busy month.
The major exception to this is the multi-year reimagining at the front of Epcot, which will eliminate Future World and replace it with 3 new neighborhoods. This project has already kicked into high gear, and will continue through at least 2022.
This unprecedented overhaul has led us to address the question Should You Visit Epcot in 2021? in a dedicated post. For most people, the answer will be yes, but it’s still worth going in with a realistic view of just how much construction will impact your vacation.
On the new attraction front, there’s Star Wars Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (plus the rest of Galaxy’s Edge). The blockbuster ride has an unprecedented protocol, and is still massively popular over a year after opening. Expect that to remain true in April 2021…and April 2022, for that matter.
We highly recommend consulting our Ride Guide & FAQ for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. That covers almost every conceivable question you could have about ‘best practices’ for experiencing the attraction, and basic info about it.
Additionally, a huge expansion to the France pavilion that includes the family-friendly trackless dark ride, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, will debut at some point in 2021. It’s possible this opens in time for Easter, but Disney could hold off until Summer 2021.
Outside of Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has two attractions that will still be fairly new in August. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance are both now open. The latter is literally the best Walt Disney World attraction in decades–better than Avatar Flight of Passage.
April 2021 Crowd Calendar for Disney World
We’ll start this free crowd calendar section with the same preface as other months–skip ahead a few paragraphs if you’ve already read it. We don’t have a color-coded crowd calendar here because we don’t put much reliance on them anymore. You shouldn’t, either. If we just had a visual crowd calendar graphic here, many of you would only look at that and not read the accompanying explanation that covers what you might actually expect. That’d be doing you a disservice.
While they can be useful tools, crowd calendars are one small piece of a much larger puzzle. We no longer choose our own Disney travel dates based exclusively upon crowd calendars and we’d likewise discourage you from doing so. Crowd calendars are increasingly unreliable because of the way Disney manipulates attendance patterns, staffing, closures, and ride capacity.
Walt Disney World doesn’t release official attendance numbers, so crowd calendars utilize info like school schedules, airport traffic statistics, hotel pricing & occupancy, and other indicators as proxies for crowds. For years, this approach worked and made crowd calendars reliable. Walt Disney World attendance followed an identifiable pattern that tracked with the aforementioned proxies.
More recently, wait times don’t always reflect actual crowds because Disney has become adept and more sophisticated at manipulating both attendance and crowd flow. Think of this as the difference between the actual temperature and the “feels like” temperature, but with crowds. We can still actual crowd and attendance patterns, but not wait times. The latter are what most of you likely care about (the “feels like” crowds), but it’s more difficult to accurately forecast wait times via WDW crowd calendars.
While April is not the Spring Break month for most colleges and schools with static Spring Break schedules, many schools in the United States schedule their Spring Breaks around Easter. This means that the couple of weeks around Easter (particularly the week before) will be two of the busiest of the year.
In other words, there will be peak season (10/10) crowds at Walt Disney World from April 2 to 11, 2021. It’s not really much better before that due to Spring Break, which typically occurs the last two weeks of March.
Beginning April 12, 2021 and continuing until the end of the month, April is slightly above average in terms of crowds. Not nearly as many colleges or schools have Spring Break at the end of the month, but there are a couple of cheer and dance competitions that bump up crowds a bit. All things considered, April is one of the most crowded months of the year at Walt Disney World. If you must visit in April, go as late in the month as possible.
April Pricing & Discounts
In terms of promotions, don’t expect much. It’s way too early for the Free Disney Dining Plan promo (the holy grail of Walt Disney World discounts) offered in the fall, and slightly too early for the scaled back Free Summer Meal Plan promo. Instead, you’re typically looking at the tried and true room-only discount offer for all of the month outside of the Easter holiday window.
In terms of pricing, April is again normal outside of the Easter holiday weeks. For 1-day park tickets, most of April is “regular” season; for hotels, pricing is also at the “Regular Season” rate. You might be able to do better scoring deals off-site, because April is a fairly competitive month for Orlando tourism.
Overall, unless you have no other alternatives, April is pretty much a non-starter every year between now and until 2024 because of Easter. This holiday makes the weeks around it incredibly expensive and crowded. Consequently, April is one of our least favorite months of the year at Walt Disney World, “rivaling” only the hot and humid summer months. (Even then, the summer months are less crowded.)
However, if you don’t care about crowds for some reason (you’re rope dropping every day and using a strong Walt Disney World Park Itinerary), April is actually somewhat appealing. The weather is great, refurbishments are rare, and Epcot is looking great with Flower & Garden Festival. Of course, “if you don’t care about crowds” is a pretty huge asterisk. It seems like the months that have the biggest draw always have asterisks next to them. “Yeah, Christmas is beautiful…oh but watch out for the horny Pop Warner teens and the potential for needing a parka.” Same deal for April (minus the horny teens and parka).
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. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts on April? Do you think it’s average, exceptional, or somewhere in between? Enjoy visiting for Easter? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!