This guide to March 2024 at Walt Disney World offers a free crowd calendar, weeks to visit & avoid, weather, ride refurbishments, and what’s new. All of this, plus info & tips for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
March 2024 will likely be a “tale of two seasons.” The beginning should be slow, with crowds subsiding after Mardi Gras and Presidents’ Day in late February 2024. Then later in March, colleges and many school systems in the country will take their spring break…and that means trips to Walt Disney World!
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), the month of March 2024 can otherwise be a good time to visit Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at the highs and lows of the month…
While it’s always above-average in terms of crowds, parts of March 2024 won’t be as bad for a couple of reasons. First, because Easter isn’t until March 31, 2024. This means schools that plan their Spring Breaks around the Easter holiday won’t be off for Spring Break the end of the month.
However, many K-12 schools and colleges in the United States do have their Spring Breaks in earlier in March. That includes many districts in Florida, including the two counties with the biggest impact on Walt Disney World crowds.
This is where our Spring Break Crowd Calendar for Walt Disney Worldwill come into play. If you’re only concerned with congestion, wait times, and planning around dates to avoid–that has you covered. It details which weeks of spring break will be best and worst.
We’ll discuss the ramifications of Spring Break in the March 2024 crowd calendar section below. Here’s what else you need to know about the month at Walt Disney World, organized into convenient categories…
March Weather at Disney World
As far as the weather goes, March is the month 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.
March 2024 Disney World Special Events
Let’s start out with the nonpublic events in March 2024 that impact attendance at Walt Disney World. While there is no Beer Bong World Championship (let alone more unsavory events) held at the ESPN WideWorld of Sports, there are youth events that can result in just as wild of crowds.
There are usually two major cheerleading competitions held in March that will boost attendance at the parks and occupancy at the hotels, usually the All Stars and Coronado Springs. However, these are not yet on the schedule for 2024. (Keep an eye on the ESPN Wide World of Sports calendar for dates to be added.)
The actual impact of youth sporting events on crowd levels is debatable. If you end up at the same hotel as them or behind a large group of cheerleaders in line or in the same Haunted Mansion stretching room as them, your perception of them will likely be very different than someone who stays at a different hotel and only encounters small numbers of them in passing. We speak from experience (including that very specific Haunted Mansion example), and say that this is generally not something about which you should be concerned.
Speaking of athletic events, on a positive note, there is no runDisney race in March 2024. The Princess Half Marathon is in late February, and the Springtime Surprise is in mid-April. Neither have any impact on crowds in March.
Then there are the public events held during the month at Walt Disney World. The 2024 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival kicks off at the beginning of the month, likely running from March 1 until July 5, 2024. This will spike ‘feels like’ crowds at Epcot, as it’s a big draw for locals who show up specifically for the event–to see the floral displays, eat food, and buy merchandise. One thing they typically do not do, or do disproportionately less than tourists, is rides. As a result, congestion is higher but wait times often are not.
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.
Finally, there’s After Hours at Magic Kingdom and After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These occur sporadically and, as the names suggest, are held after park closing. They have minimal impact on daytime crowd levels, but result in a slight bump in crowds during the evening ‘mix-in’ time. We do not recommend changing your plans because of After Hours at Magic Kingdom, but you might want to do DHS on a different evening. Normally, that park is great for lower wait times at the end of the night, albeit to a lesser degree on After Hours dates.
Park Hours for March are usually pretty good. Walt Disney World has quietly been extending these, with Magic Kingdom now closing later and the other 3 parks opening earlier as a result. Of course, there’s a reason for this: spring break attendance forecasts!
Beyond ride closures, the construction project that will have the most noticeable impact on the guest experience is the massive reimagining at the front of Epcot. Several years after this started, the front of the park is still a sea of construction walls with a giant dirt pit in the middle. This will almost certainly be filled-in by March 2024.
Another alternative for Cosmic Rewind is buying line-skipping access via the Individual Lightning Lanes. Those posts explain the free and paid options, their pros & cons, and everything else you need to know. Suffice to say, do not just show up to EPCOT expecting to join the standby line–as there isn’t one.
Then there’s the biggest addition to Magic Kingdom: TRON Lightcycle Run. This will still be the newest major attraction at Walt Disney World, and will be less than a year old as of January 2024. See our Virtual Queue Strategy Guide for TRON Lightcycle Run for details, tips & tricks for success, and more.
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. Wondering why you don’t see a color-coded crowd calendar here? It’s because we don’t really trust them anymore and don’t think you should, 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 less reliable 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 Walt Disney World crowd calendars.
Let’s start with the good news: early March 2024 should be a great time to visit because it’s a lull in crowds. That isn’t always the case, as years when Mardi Gras is at the beginning of the month (or end of February) result in an influx of visitors from Louisiana and other areas of the South. Thankfully, the worst weeks of winter will occur in mid-to-late February 2024.
Bad for those who visit in February 2024, but good for those who opt for early March 2024!
As such, our expectation is that the first week-plus of March 2024 will see moderate crowd levels. It’s likely that crowd levels range from around 2/10 to 6/10, with the average being in the 5/10 range–perhaps slightly below. This means average wait times across the entirety of Walt Disney World of around 30 to 35 minutes.
Specifically, March 1-10, 2024 will see the lowest wait times and attendance of the month. That might sound high or not great, but it’s a sharp contrast to the aforementioned worst week of winter. That stretch saw 10/10 crowd levels and average wait times of 54 to 61 minutes. That’s a huge difference over the course of an entire day!
This is more or less normal, reflecting the lull between the popular Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras holidays in late February and the start of Spring Break season in mid-March. Weekends will be busier, especially when the weather is nice.
The week that follows (March 11-15, 2024) also should not be terrible, but a handful of school districts will have breaks then. If past precedent is any indication, crowds and wait times will gradually increase throughout that week.
Things will get significantly worse starting March 15, 2024. Both Osceola and Orange County, Florida are scheduled to have their Spring Breaks March 15-24, 2024. That alone will make that week-plus pretty busy.
Consequently, we forecast the week of March 18-23, 2024 to be the busiest week of the quarter, and one of the worst 5 weeks of the entire year at Walt Disney World. (The weekends before and after will also be bad, but we’ve seen Saturday and Sunday crowd levels fall off a bit during spring break recently.)
It won’t get much better after that due to Easter falling on March 31, 2024. As a result, school districts that have their breaks anchored to Easter will likely be off March 25-29, 2024–with the weekend before and after that (including the holiday itself) also being busy. Whether that ends up being the worst week of spring break or the week before it is an open and almost irrelevant question. Both will be very bad and far (FAR!) worse than the first half of the month.
Expect daily crowd levels of 9/10 or 10/10 at every park during this date range. Some of those 10/10 days will have particularly high wait times (not all 10/10 days are equally busy–that’s just the maximum crowd level).
No matter when you’re visiting in March 2024, we’d advise leveraging Genie+ and Lightning Lanes to beat the crowds. Everything you need to know, including ride priorities, strategy for avoiding pitfalls, maximizing your time saved & ride count, and much more is covered in our Guide to Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World.
March PRICING & DISCOUNTS
As a result of Spring Breaks being fairly common in March, you typically won’t find much in the way of exceptional promotions. With that said, there are currently a surprising number of deals available for Annual Passholders, Florida residents, and even the general public. See All Current Walt Disney World Discounts for specifics. Some of these are actually quite good.
However, “good” is a relative term when describing these discounts, as March is above average in terms of rack rates and ticket prices. Even a higher-than-normal percentage off an astronomical price is still a high price! For hotels, much of the month is peak season, which is exactly as expensive as it sounds. Only holiday pricing is worse. For tickets, the pricing is not as bad, but it’s still far from the off-season in terms of per-day pricing.
Overall, March is a tale of two months–but also a month on the rise. Normally, the last week of February/first week of March is one of the year’s “sweet spots” for planning a vacation. In fact, we love it so much that it’s one of the top weeks of the year on our rankings of Best & Worst Months to Visit Walt Disney World. Even with slightly elevated wait times, we once again expect that to be true in early March 2024!
There’s a reason that window ranks so highly despite the wait times not being super low. March typically offers pleasant weather, longer hours, and the start of the spring bloom with Flower & Garden Festival beginning. After that, March’s attractiveness deteriorates, but even later in the month, I still think the weather goes a long way to compensate for crowds.
Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts on March at Walt Disney World? Have you done Walt Disney World during Spring Break before? Do you think it’s a good or bad time to visit? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!