Spring Break 2012 covers most of March this year, as various schools give their students time off and families flock to Central Florida to visit Disney World, Universal, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens, and Legoland Florida.
How do you maximize the fun and minimize annoyance caused by crowds and long lines? While you might run into some rude behavior, there are plenty of ways to have a great time during your spring break visit:
1) Get to your theme park of choice at opening time, or even a little bit before. Some of your fellow guests will sleep in, so this gives you a head start on getting a few rides done before the major crowds take over. If you’ve driving, you’ll have less of a wait at the toll plaza, and the park might even open a bit early (I’ve encountered this at both Universal and Legoland Florida). It also avoids the potential disappointment of arriving and finding the park has reached capacity.
2) Pay extra to skip lines if the park offers this ability. The best two parks for this are Universal, which has Express passes, and Busch Gardens, which has Quick Queue. If you buy these passes, you get to go through a special short line once for each major ride. SeaWorld Orlando has Quick Queue, too, but it doesn’t have nearly as many rides as its sister park, Busch.
Use FastPass at Disney World, since it’s free and handy, but you’re limited on the number of FastPasses you can get. You can only have one at a time, and the FastPasses for popular rides might be gone for the day by the time you can get your next one.
3) Book a special experience. This costs extra, but you’ll be in a controlled group rather than in the huge crowd. Some of my favorite experiences are Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the safaris at Busch Gardens, and the animal encounters with creatures like sea lions and penguins at SeaWorld.
All of the parks, other than Legoland Florida, offer VIP tours that let you avoid lines, too. This is something we do every Christmas at SeaWorld and during Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, but it’s great during other crowded times, like spring break, too.
My newest book is Legoland for Adults: 12 Tips to Enjoy Your Trip, available on Kindle and Nook. My other books include:
- Mickey Mouse is My Neighbor (life in Celebration, FL): Kindle or Nook
- Complete eBook Guide to SeaWorld Orlando: Kindle or Nook
- Complete eBook Guide to Legoland Florida: Kindle or Nook
- 15 Tips for Saving Money on Disney Cruise Line: Kindle or Nook
- 25 Tips for Visiting Disney World With Babies, Toddlers & Young Kids: Kindle or Nook
- 5 Steps to Your Own Internet Travel Agency: Kindle