Our free crowd calendar for March 2021 at Walt Disney World covers the best times to visit the parks including specific weeks and days to go or avoid. We also cover ride refurbishments, closures, attraction and land openings, weather and anything else that’s new for Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We frequently update this with any new information that we get (Updated Feb. 4th, 2021).
You’ll find that our March Crowd Calendar is going to cover our usual items and suggestions but we’ve also added commentary on COVID-19 as it’s having an impact on wait times and crowds in general. While Disney is working to get back to normal as soon as possible, things like social distancing and capacity limits still apply to the resort. There are also cutbacks and closures still going on at all the parks. On top of this, guests are still going to be required to make a Park Pass Reservation before they can visit for the foreseeable future.
Having said all that, don’t get down about visiting in 2021. We still think it’s a great year to go as long as you know how to navigate around the crowds and COVID. Along with this post, you may want to see our Best & Worst Months To Visit Disney World post as it has a great overview of every month.
March of 2021 is going to be unlike any other when comparing it to previous years. Like everything else in the world, COVID is making things crazy for the resort this year and March is no exception. While January and February were our suggested travelling months for the beginning of the year “slow”, things are going to pick up for March in a weird way. Spring Breaks typically start happening this month and because last year was a bust for everyone (the resort was closed), we’re expecting 2021’s Spring Breaks to be….not too bad actually (more on this below).
For this reason, we tend to say Yes to early March and No to later March when it comes to traveling during this month. It’s one of our “split months” where the first bit is almost like January and February and the second bit is April and summer. The two time frames can be stark so it’s always a good idea to know which one you’re travelling in and, if needs be, make a change. Outside of the Spring Break period though we love March.
For several years now, March has become the early Spring Breakers month, mostly K-12 schools, across the country. We’re not sure why this started trending but it did, thus Spring Break lasts much longer now than it used to. The nice thing about March 2021 is that Easter is in April which is going to put a lot of schools (mostly colleges) Spring Breaks into the first week of April 2021. This will make a difference as holiday celebrators and breakers will most likely travel during that month instead of March. Along with this, many colleges have actually cancelled Spring Break and in its place will be several one-off days for students to rest.
The biggest reason we’re more optimistic about March this year is that a lot of the K-12 schools have been doing virtual schooling which has allowed parents to take their kids places without having to worry about them “missing” school. In a sense it’s freed them up to travel without having to wait for a break. This concept obviously doesn’t apply to all schools in the U.S. but a good chunk of them. Schools will still have Spring Break and many families will travel to Disney World but at the same time, there’s a decent chance they already went because of virtual school.
COVID has sort of flattened the crowd up’s and down’s when it comes to month like March. Spikes aren’t as high as they used to be with slower travel across the board and we expect to see this happen through the month. So even with kids out of school, many are still choosing not to travel.
MARCH WEATHER AT DISNEY WORLD
March is the last month to grab those cooler temperatures before they start to heat up in April and May. We love March for this. As frequent visitors to the parks, and having experienced them during all months of the year, we can say March is one of the best months for staying cool during an active day. While January and February tend to be on the cooler side without many warmer days, March’s temperatures slowly creep up so you don’t really need to worry about cold days.
March is also great because the humidity level is still low compared to the summer months. This makes a huge difference as you don’t find yourself soaking wet after having stepped outside from your hotel room. It’s one thing to deal with a hot day, something in the 80’s; but when you add 90% humidity to that, things start to get really uncomfortable. You bust out the fans and cooling towels and pray for shade or a rain storm. March is extremely manageable while April and May start to see increased humidity levels.
While the temperatures may seen nice, we still don’t suggest going all out and planning big days at the water parks like Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. While one of them is typically open, they are usually dead and for good reason. It’s just not quite warm enough in our opinion to spend an entire day there. It may end up being a day where you lay down and throw a bunch of towels on yourself after having spent only 30 minutes in the pools. We do recommend planning pool days at your hotel. This way if it is colder than you think you can always just go back to your room and make other plans.
March’s temperatures tend to be in the mid-70’s to 80 with lows in the 60’s. Again, for us, these are ideal temperatures to enjoy during the day and in the evenings. Most guests will find this to be accurate as well. It allows them to enjoy the parks in shorts and t-shirts without getting too hot or too cold. While the first part of March see’s the mid-70’s, the further you get into March the more likely you’re going to see daily temperatures in the 80’s. Just something to be aware of. If you really want the cooler temperatures we suggest going in early March.
Humidity should be low, somewhere is the 60% which for most, isn’t really “feelable” when you’re outside. It’s when you get into the 80 and 90% that things start to get crazy. March does have the occasional thunderstorm to lookout for so be sure to come prepared with ponchos, rain jackets, umbrellas and good shoes. And of course, always check the forecast before you leave for your trip.
As far as weather affecting crowds, look for the rainy days. These are going to have the biggest impact on crowds for this month. Unlike January whos cold days keep guests away from the parks, March doesn’t see that. While it may seem like the worst to plan on “good” rainy days, we’ve always found them to clear the crowds and provide us with short wait times.
MARCH 2021 EVENTS AT DISNEY WORLD
Like February, March is a pretty slow month for events being held at Walt Disney World. ESPN Wide World of Sports typically doesn’t have anything crazy on their agenda, especially during COVID. This significantly lowers the chances of crowds, particularly at the All-Star Resorts, but in general, the parks as well. The biggest thing the resort has going on this month is Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. It starts March 3rd and runs through July 5th, 2021.
The Flower and Garden Festival is one of Epcot’s best and one that we’ve enjoyed going to for many, many years. We realise the name can make it sound like you’d just be gardening all day (which we aren’t fans of) but it’s really not. While the festival typically does offer tips and tricks for planters, there’s so much like dining, merchandise, music and topiaries. The latter is what most guests come for. The park is dressed up in topiaries that reflect your favorite Disney characters and they are really cool. Along with this, 10’s of thousands of fresh, colorful flowers are planted throughout the park making it a sight to behold. You can read more about the festival in our 2021 Guide which offers detailed advice and tips and tricks for the event.
Because COVID is still keeping big events out of Orlando in general, we expect the crowds to be slow on this front. There’s also no runDisney events in March typically which is very helpful. These normally bring in a lot of additional guests which is bad for your wait times. You can breathe a sigh of relief though (unless you wanted an event) and not worry about this. It’s not a bad idea to check their calendar for events though in case this changes (typically doesn’t).
MARCH 2021 ATTRACTIONS, CLOSURES AND REFURBISHMENTS
October of 2021 is the month that Disney World plans to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Because of this, they are trying their hardest to prepare the parks by updating, refurbishing and opening attractions, lands, shows and the general facade of the parks. All of this is happening right now and can be seen at almost every park. So there’s a 100% chance you’ll see and be affected by it if you plan to visit in March.
Should you not visit then? Just the opposite actually. We find that so many people out there, in one form or another, say they will wait until construction is over to visit. For us, this translates into smaller crowds during our visits, and the same for you. We highly recommend visiting during March of 2021 if you can make it. We have some great guides to help you get around any crowds and closures that there might be. Take a look at our general crowd calendar then find our 1-Day Touring Plans for each of the parks. These are very helpful!
Before we dive into our actual crowd calendar for March, we’re going to break down each park by its expected condition for the month so you know what each one will be like, including what will be open, closed and being refurbished.
Magic Kingdom is always the most popular park to visit out of the 4. It has all the classic attractions, the fireworks, parades and of course the castle. The biggest project that they will have going on in March is Tron Lightcycles. They’ve been working on this for over 2 years now and it’s expected to be completed in late 2021. Because of its location, the Disney World Railroad is closed so you should not expect to ride this attraction.
Rivers of America, Tom Sawyer Island and the Riverboat Ferry were all being refurbished in February of 2021 but this should be completed by March which means it should be open and operating. The People Mover has been down for several months but we expect to see it open in March sometime though no specific date has been announced yet. Other closures including Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and the Main Street Vehicles will remain closed due to COVID and will not return until restrictions are lifted.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going to be the busiest park in March from what we can tell. Since the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, this park has been the perfect storm. You may want to take a look at out 1-Day Touring Plan for this park to help you navigate the crowds and ensure you make it on to Rise of the Resistance.
Outside of these two attractions, there is no major construction going on here. The park is reeling from show closures though including Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and limited seating to Frozen The Musical, Disney Jr. Live on Stage, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy and Star Wars events. The Launch Bay is currently closed and they don’t have the Jedi Training Academy going on.
Of course Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land are still very popular so, again, this park in March will be drawing the biggest crowds.
Epcot theme park is typically a mild park in our opinion, until they have a festival going on (when don’t they). Since March is the kick off for The Flower and Garden Festival, we expect this park to be busier than normal with a few caveats. Weekdays tend to be the best time to come. Weekends and nights are the busiest. So if you can avoid those, that’s always in your favor.
March will still be a heavy month for construction at this park due to its major entrance renovations. Basically the whole front of the park (Future World) is boarded up causing guests to have to wind their way through fencing to get to certain attractions. This project isn’t expected to be finished until late 2021 so plan on it all being there.
The only thing that would cause the crowds to spike at Epcot in March is if Ratatouille’s Adventure opens at the France pavilion. There’s a decent chance of this happening either in late February or March so we would suggest you watch this closely. Follow our free newsletter to stay up to date on this opening and other big news. Assuming it does, this park will probably overtake the other 3 in popularity. That, combined with the festival will be crazy.
Lastly, we have Animal Kingdom which, for all of 2021, has been the slowest park of them all. We see this continuing through March so make sure your plans include visiting it. We expect all the major attractions to be open during March with the exception of Kali River Rapids which was undergoing refurbishment. It may be open in March or April. COVID is keeping many of the popular shows closed like Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King. These shows are expected to remain closed until summer 2021.
MARCH 2021 CROWD CALENDAR
We start all of our free crowd calendars the same way so if you’ve read one before you can skip down a bit to get to the March information.
For anyone confused as to why they aren’t seeing a numbered calendar with 10 being really busy and 1 being really slow, it’s because we aren’t fans of that system. It’s not outdated to say, but crowds at Disney World are based on way more things than historical data. Like the Walt Disney World Resort, crowds are ever-changing.
The other downside to a visual calendar is that you have no real explanation of what the number means. You see a 7 which means busy but why? To be honest, no crowd calendar, including our own, will ever be 100% accurate. We don’t always know why people decide to travel to Disney World when they do. Also, crowds don’t necessarily reflect attraction wait times. For instance, COVID has caused Disney World to reduce capacity to around 40%. However, attractions are still reaching wait times of over 90 minutes. You would see these wait times at 100% capacity. For us, there’s a couple of things that really make a crowd. We discuss these on our Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Guide which you may want to read.
Last March, Disney World was extremely busy due to the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and regular Spring Breaks. There were major crowds, particularly at Hollywood Studios but they weren’t contained to just that park. Right now, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is commanding longer wait times due to its popularity. And while guests may prefer other attractions over it, the fact that it’s new means people are going to want to experience it.
The other biggest sway for March could be the opening of Ratatouille’s Adventure at Epcot. Like all new attractions, they draw massive crowds to the resort. This one in particular has gained a lot of attention due to the viral TikTok videos of Ratatouille The Musical. What we’re getting at is if Disney does end up opening this attraction up in February or March of 2021, things are going to get crazy. We would expect to see major crowds at Epcot, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney Beach Club, Yacht Club and Swan and Dolphin Hotels as they are closest to Epcot. Keep an eye on our Disney news for updates on this.
Even with crowds for Ratatouille, there is a decent chance that Disney will launch this attraction with a virtual queue like Rise of the Resistance. What will this mean for crowds? First if all, it means that no one will be rushing to the attraction in the morning to form a massive line. Those days seem to be over for the foreseeable future. Second, guests will hang out in the park for their chance to get a boarding group for it. If it’s anything similar to Rise then there will be two opportunities to join, the second one requiring guests to be in the park. So crowds either way it’s done. The virtual queue just means there’s more order to it all.
Spring Breaks this year we’ve already discussed a bit. We don’t expect them to impact crowds at the resort as much as they have in the past. Many kids have been out of school already and lots of colleges have cancelled Spring Break in lieu of resting days. This doesn’t mean a small spike won’t happen. We would suggest visiting in early March rather than later because of this. Most school don’t start their Spring Breaks until the last two weeks of the month.
March 2021 has one major Holiday that is celebrated at the parks and that’s Saint Patrick’s Day. This year it falls on the 17th which is a Wednesday. Be happy for that. While people will head out to celebrate, Wednesday makes it a little harder because it’s in the middle of a work week. We would expect crowds to form that night but not anything major during the day time. We would avoid any bars and Epcot that night if possible. There’s a good chance with the Flower and Garden Festival going on that Epcot will be the place to go.
Our suggestion on weeks to visit in March are the 1st thru the the 15th. We’ve found these to be some of the best weeks to visit during the “winter months”. We’re predicting that starting the 15th, Spring Break crowds will start forming and continue to run the rest of the month and into April like they have in the past. We did our due diligence and it does look like Orange County, FL is releasing their kids from school on the 15th for a break which means locals will start to flood in that week. Combine that with Saint Patrick’s Day and that week could be quite busy.
We also like the beginning of March’s weather more than the later part as it tends to get hotter. If you prefer a more temperate climate than we would suggest the earlier weeks.
If you do find yourself traveling towards the end of the month, fear not. While there will most likely be more crowds that at the beginning there still shouldn’t be more than previous years. Be sure to read our touring plans as they can help you navigate these bigger crowds and get a lot done each day no matter what park you’re at.
MARCH 2021 DISCOUNTS AND SAVINGS
Some months are better than others when it comes to saving at Walt Disney World. March is…not a great month to save in when looking at past “discounts”. You should be able to find discounted rooms during the month, more towards the beginning. Look to save about 20% on average. Disney won’t be offering their Free Dining Plan this early in the year so room discounts really are the best.
There are always discounts on tickets to be had, especially in March. Look for savings of up to $75 per ticket when you use an authorized wholesaler like Undercover Tourist. They have the best overall pricing online compared to everyone else plus they are now offering discounted 1 Day tickets which is extremely rare. For a family of 4, look for savings around the $150 range. These tickets work just like buying from Disney and allow you to make Park Pass Reservations in advance once you’ve linked them to your My Disney Experience account. For more details on discounted tickets be sure to read our complete 2021 guide.
If you are going to be booking a complete vacation package for March, we recommend doing so with an authorized Disney Travel Planner like The Mouse Savers. They have been booking packages for over 10 years and offer the best service and savings anyone can find. In fact, just mention our name, Park Savers, and they will take $25 off your package for you!
Overall March is a very split month when you compare the first half to the second. We highly recommend visiting during the first half of the month as it will always be less busy than the second due to Spring Breaks happening during the latter. March in general offers below average crowds when compared to months like June, July, August, October and December. So if you find yourselves planning a vacation during this month, don’t fret if you can’t make it work at the beginning. You’re still going to have less crowds than most months out of the year.
Are you an avid Disney World traveler who loves visiting in March? Do you have some specific advice for other travelers about this month? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or send us an email. If we find it helpful we’ll be sure to add it to our post.