Walt Disney World celebrates Easter with foods & desserts, entertainment, and decorations in the parks & resorts…oh, and heavy spring break crowds. In this guide to Easter at WDW, we’ll share tips for enjoying the special festivities and surviving the popular holiday.
First, we don’t want to oversell Easter as a holiday or special event at Walt Disney World. It’s not even remotely on par with Christmas, or even Halloween. While there are some decorations in a few of the resort hotels and special offerings at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, other hotels and parks ignore the holiday completely. Aside from a random cupcake or dessert, you might never know it’s Easter at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. Well, aside from the aforementioned crowds.
The crowds alone are reason-enough to avoid Easter at Walt Disney World. They more than outweigh the holiday offerings, so if you’re debating whether an Easter trip to Walt Disney World would be ‘fun’, that’s your answer. In reality, most people reading this are probably visiting at Easter for lack of better options, as it coincides with school spring break and weather makes it a more desirable time to visit Florida than summer…
First, crowds. Contrary to some misconceptions, Easter itself is not a ghost town at Walt Disney World because everyone is at home spending time with their families. (This is a persistent myth about every holiday and the Super Bowl, and we’re not sure why.)
To the contrary, as we discuss in our April at Walt Disney World post, the week leading up to and including Easter Sunday is one of the most crowded weeks of the year in the parks. (The week after Easter isn’t nearly as bad.) In years when Easter is in March, this is even worse, as Spring Break and Easter school break schedules are more likely to align.
The good news is that April is not the Spring Break month for most colleges and schools with static Spring Break schedules, but many schools in the United States do schedule their Spring Breaks around Easter. This means that the couple of weeks around Easter will be two of the busiest of the year at Walt Disney World.
Visiting Walt Disney World’s parks inefficiently can mean a lot more time spent in lines or having to skip attractions completely if lines are too long. You can find our 1-day itineraries for every park at Walt Disney World on our Disney Park Itineraries & Touring Plans page.
As for specific Easter entertainment, activities, and dining, here’s what you can expect this year at Walt Disney World…
At Magic Kingdom, you can meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny in the “Bunny Lane Garden” in Town Square Courtyard on Main Street, U.S.A., which is tucked away by City Hall just inside the front entrance to Magic Kingdom. (It’s the same spot where Santa meets.)
This meet and greet is beautifully-decorated with pastel-colored birdhouses and pots full of vibrant spring flowers. It typically runs for a couple of weeks leading up to Easter, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily. A PhotoPass photographer and character attendant are present to capture images.
In our experience, the wait times for this meet and greet aren’t too long. That’s probably because these characters aren’t recognizable to the average guest as “Disney” and because the location is not visible as you enter the park. We noticed a handful of parents with children in spring dresses and outfits, so we assume it’s a popular spot for that.
We ended up waiting about 10 minutes to have our photo taken with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny, and this was midday on what was otherwise a busy day in Magic Kingdom. We’d hazard a guess that wait times for this spike on Easter Sunday, but otherwise it’s something of a hidden gem meet & greet!
Also at Magic Kingdom, but only for Easter weekend, there’s a special pre-parade for Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. The highlight of this is the Azalea Trail Maids, a group of 50 high school seniors chosen annually to serve as “Official Ambassadors” for Mobile, Alabama.
The Azalea Trail Maids, wear extravagant antebellum-style dresses meant to look like flowers, and have been marching in Walt Disney World’s parades on Easter for over 40 years. It’s a fun little tradition, and their costumes are gorgeous.
If you’re looking for some more tasty Easter or spring-themed desserts, there are several cakes and cupcakes around Walt Disney World. Above is the seasonal Easter cake available at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, which is a fantastic lemon flavored cake.
We’d call it a Chicago-style cheesecake, meaning it’s fluffy and airy on the inside. It’s also fantastic, with a light and refreshing quality, and without the overly artificial flavor that often plagues desserts like this at Walt Disney World.
We didn’t track them all down, but there are seasonal cupcakes available throughout Walt Disney World. Some of these are just colorful options with floral stylization.
Sprinkles in Disney Springs and BoardWalk Bakery have probably the most overt spring-time cupcakes, and we’d expect more to arrive (we were disappointed to find nothing at Sunshine Seasons, which normally is home to the best seasonal cakes and cupcakes).
Over at Epcot, the Eggstravaganza character egg scavenger hunt is back for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. For this scavenger hunt, guests scour World Showcase for hidden character eggs, record their discoveries via sticker on a map, and return to the World Traveler or Disney Traveler shops for a surprise (spoiler: it’s also a character egg).
Maps and stickers can be purchased for $6.99 at Pin Central in Future World, Disney Traders at the entrance to World Showcase, or World Traveler at International Gateway. It’s a fun little hunt, but we’re cheap so we just meander World Showcase looking for the eggs without purchasing the map or receiving the prize at the end.
Finally, the resort hotels, where you can find the Easter Egg Resort Displays. Walt Disney World’s flagship resort has the most impressive display, with dozens of hand-decorated eggs throughout the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Each egg is designed and hand-decorated by the Grand Floridian Bakery Team, and ornamented with edible products such as modeling chocolate, fondant, sugar floral royal icing, colored cocoa butter, and sculpted sugar art pieces.
These eggs are typically quietly put out (there was no Disney Parks Blog announcement–probably to avoid drawing more visitors to the lobby) about three weeks before Easter, and are taken down almost immediately after the holiday.
Words don’t do them justice, so here are some more photos from Grand Floridian:
In the past, other restaurants and resorts have gotten in on the fun. Notably, Boma – Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has featured their chocolate Easter egg display for a few days leading up to Easter. Likewise, Disney’s Contemporary Resort has done a display. We visited both this year and saw neither. (Maybe they just aren’t up yet?)
We did, however, find beautiful chocolate Easter egg displays in the lobbies at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. First, here are some of the eggs from Yacht Club:
…And here are the Beach Club eggs:
If you’re looking for a religious service on Easter Sunday, that’s offered in the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We don’t have official times for this year, but Catholic Mass is typically held at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., with Protestant Service at 9:15 a.m. Inquire with the resort directly to confirm times.
Note that parking restrictions have been in effect for weeks at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, meaning you will not be allowed to park here for the religious services. Instead, take monorail or boat service to the Contemporary, or take a bus to Magic Kingdom and walk to the Contemporary.
Overall, unlike Christmas or Halloween at Walt Disney World, Easter is not a time to visit that we actively recommend. To the contrary, we’d recommend avoiding it if you can. However, that won’t be an option for many of you reading this, and it’s possible to make the most of the experience with efficient strategy and by enjoying the limited assortment of special seasonal offerings.
Have you visited Walt Disney World at Easter? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Anything else you’d recommend? 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!