By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.

Meet Dave and Josh Sunday 8/28 at Epcot and Magic Kingdom! Details are here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

April 2016 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

April    May   June   July    August   September   October   November


April 2016 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews April 2016 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Whether or not April is a good time to go is almost entirely a function of the timing of Easter and the patterning of spring breaks after it. 2016 combines an early Easter with relatively few April breaks (compared to March), so most of the month is recommended.


The Easter crowds will be out of the parks by April 4, and the rest of the month will see crowds in the low to low-plus levels.

There are some schools with breaks the weeks beginning April 2, April 16, and April 23, but nothing like the quantity of kids out in March 2016, and thus not enough to move my forecast for these weeks into the “avoid” category. The week of April 9th is a particularly good week this month.

See this for more on 2016 crowds at Disney World.


April hotel prices begin the month 60% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, and 45% at the moderates and the deluxes.

On April 3rd, prices drop to 25% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, and 20% higher than the lowest of the year at the moderates and deluxes.

Prices then stay at this level the rest of the month.

See this for more on 2016 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for April 2016. Details are here.


April weather completes the shift from the variable and cooler temperatures of winter to the warmer and more consistent temperatures of spring.

For example, at the beginning of April, 60% of the time the daily high will be between 72 and 87.  By the beginning of May, 60% of the time the daily high will be between 80 and 90.

All in, April weather is as good as it gets at Walt Disney World.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.


The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues throughout the month.


Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2016 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

2016 Disney World Week Rankings from

Click the image for a calendar view of 2016 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

3/26/2016. Highest prices. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=44. Use the FastPass+ High Crowd Itinerary, but swap Sunday and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday. Watch out for 8a opens and added morning Extra Magic Hours.

4/2/2016  Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=15.  Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary, but swap First Sunday and Wednesday. Alternatively, use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

4/9/2016 Moderate prices. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=7. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary, but swap First Sunday and Wednesday. Alternatively, use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

4/16/2016 Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=10. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary, but swap First Sunday and Wednesday. Alternatively, use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

4/23/2016 Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=11. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary, but swap First Sunday and Wednesday. Alternatively, use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary


Want a second opinion?  Then check out my book lol.

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1 Jennifer { 09.22.15 at 11:00 am }

I’m excited! This will be the first time the kiddo and I have visited during one of your top 10 weeks!!! Now, he’ll miss a math benchmark test, and he’s really sad about that (cough cough cough), but it sounds like it’ll be worth it. :-)

2 Dave { 09.22.15 at 4:18 pm }

OK Jennifer, be sure to come back and let me know how it goes!!

And I can send him daily math quizzes while you are there if you’d like…

3 Jennifer { 09.23.15 at 9:47 am }

Thanks, Dave, I’m sure he’ll look forward to that. 😉

4 Taylor { 09.25.15 at 3:15 pm }

Hi Dave, I first wrote to you when my Disney trip was over a year away. Felt a little silly at the time, but I was so excited to start planning! We are now only a few weeks away from making our ADRs. Woohoo! Anyway, here’s my question for you. Is Fantasmic only shown during certain times of the year? HS is scheduled to close at 7 during our week (April 9-16), and I don’t see the show listed. Have they just not posted it, or are we out of luck? Thank you!

5 Dave { 09.27.15 at 9:51 am }

Taylor, it’s a bit of a mystery. The wild card is that it got a new sponsor, “Pop Secret” popcorn. So there MAY be a refurb going on associated with that. Or maybe the schedule hold is only to add the sponsor’s name to the the various materials…

6 Kerri { 10.01.15 at 8:46 am }

You list April 9th as a low week. How will the recently announced Star Wars marathon affect this week? Will the beginning of the week still remain low? Or should we shoot for the end of the month?

7 Dave { 10.01.15 at 1:48 pm }

Kerri, as is true with all the other minor running events, there will be next to no wait-time effect. This explains why.

8 Taylor { 10.01.15 at 2:26 pm }

Thanks, Dave! I will hold out hope for Fantasmic! And, BTW, I just ordered the 2016 version of your book…can’t wait to read it!

9 Michele { 10.01.15 at 8:23 pm }


Wonderful website! We used the Weeks to Visit rankings sheet for our first visit in April 2013 and it was a great vacation…. didn’t wait in line for anything more than 15 minutes and the weather was nice. We are very excited to be going back now that the kids are a little older.

There will be two adults and two girls ages 6 and 8 staying at AoA (Mermaid room unless a deal comes out Jan/Feb for the suites). I have not booked anything yet but want to by the end of this weekend.

I am trying to narrow down which days to be at which park. Our school district is off 4/25. Originally we were going Friday 4/22 to Sun 5/1 but I saw the Frozen ride might be opening on May 1 so we are shifting our dates to Saturday April 23 to Monday May 2…. I’d hate to miss it by 1 day even if it means one more missed day of school. We probably won’t be back for another 3 years.

Based on the touring plan crowd calendar I’m tentatively planning:
Sat 4/22: arrive MCO @ 1430 Park TBD but probably MK or EP
Sun 4/24: MK, possible mid-day break at hotel, Liberty Tree Tavern @ ~1800
Mon 4/25: HS, all day, 50’s Prime Time Diner @ ~1800
Tues 4/26: AK, all day, Tusker House @ 0800
Wed 4/27: MK, BBB at 0800, mid-day beak @ hotel, Cinderella’s Royal Table @ ~1800
Thurs 4/28: EP, mid-day break at hotel, La Cellier @ ~1800
Fri 4/29: HS, arrive late ~1400, Sci-Fi @ ~1800
Sat 4/30: MK, all day, Be Our Guest ~ @1800
Sun 5/1: EP, arrive late ~1200, supper tbd (probably just snack at different countries)
Mon 5/2: depart MCO 1100

Does this look OK? Do you think we’ll get lucky and be able to ride the new Frozen attraction? If it does open on 5/1 should we get to EP earlier? Our main purpose for the 2nd EP day is the Frozen ride and eating our way thru all the countries :) so we could do another early arrival /mid day nap / late fireworks day. Like Taylor above we are also hoping for Fantasmic at HS. Disney does not have their park hours for our dates published that I can find. Do you know when these might come out?


10 Dave { 10.02.15 at 1:44 pm }

Taylor, I hope you love it!!

11 Dave { 10.02.15 at 1:53 pm }

Michele, there’s one “parks to avoid” calendar out there I’d rely on, and it isn’t the one you used. See this.

Preliminary April hours and EMH are here. Hours will be extended later. May will be out in a couple of weeks.

12 Susan { 10.05.15 at 6:11 pm }

I have loved reading your blog and had lots of questions answered that I was thoroughly confused about. I would like some direction as to visiting the parks and what is a realistic expectation. We are going the week of April 9-16 for my daughters 5th bday. We will also have our 3 year old. How much can be covered at Disney in 1 day? We were thinking maybe do a 1 day pass for MK, with a late lunch at Cinderellas palace, make it to the parade and then leave. Then do a hopper pass one day and go to AK (since it looks like theres not that much to do, we would get to see another park) and then head on over to MK to finish site seeing and see the electric parade and firewoks. Not sure how far apart the parks are, but thought it would also give time for a quick nap to make it to the fireworks. The other days we were going to Seaworld, Kennedy Space Center and one day to Ohana for breakfast ( we dont need a park ticket for this do we?) and just relax that day. Just didnt know if we would need 2 days at MK or worth spending money elsewhere?
I know you love being everyones travel agent but love your advice!!! Thanks!

13 Dave { 10.06.15 at 10:38 am }

Susan this is a very expensive approach. I’d honestly just do two days at MK. Adding a hopper to a two day pass costs another $100… And I’m not a travel agent lol!!

14 Jennifer { 10.06.15 at 12:51 pm }

Dave, do you suppose any decision by Disney regarding the possible changes in ticket prices would go into effect before an April 2016 trip? Or, really, before the 60 day window for Fast Pass reservations for an April 2016 trip? I’ve got my DVC reservation but haven’t purchased park tickets yet and wondered if there was any point in waiting.

15 Dave { 10.07.15 at 7:09 am }

Jennifer, ticket prices have gone up in February the last two years, and my best bet is that they’ll go up earlier than then. So yes, buy your tickets!

16 Laura { 10.30.15 at 9:29 pm }

Hi Dave, my husband andI are taking our 5 yr old daughter to WDW arriving the afternoon of 18 Apr and leaving the evening of 23 Apr. We are staying at the Shades of Green resort. We want to take our little girl to a couple of character experiences and make sure to see some parades. Would you be able to suggest an itinerary that would keep us busy without going too far overboard on budget? Thank you

17 Dave { 11.01.15 at 9:12 am }

Hi Laura, at that age a visit just focused on MK would be fine; you could also add half days at AK and HS. The least expensive way to see the characters is through their meets and greets in the parks, which you can reserve through FastPass+. If you want to dine with characters, there’s several options, but all are pricey. If you want those, let me know your target characters (Mickey? Pooh and Tigger? Princesses?) and I’ll make some suggestions.

Those dates,
4/18 avoid AK and MK
4/19 avoid Epcot
4/20 avoid MK
4/21 avoid Epcot
4/22 avoid MK and HS
4/23 avoid Ak and MK

Note that there’s only two good MK days your dates. However, with FastPass+ you can have successful partial days on some of the not-so -good days.

My park plans are all aimed at older kids, but you can find park touring plans with more of a character component in Chapter 6 of my book

18 Laura { 11.05.15 at 3:08 pm }

Dave, thank you for the reply. Yes, focusing on MK with some AK & HS would be great. We will have Park Hopper passes so should be good to go.
We would like to dine a couple of times with some characters, preferably Princesses, but are open if there is another that you recommend (Chef Mickey’s?).
I see we need to hit MK on the 19th and 21st though we will be in MK for a Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique appointment early afternoon on the 20th.
BTW, we ordered your book and it arrived yesterday. Haven’t got to dig too deep in it yet but looks like we will get a lot of use out of it!

19 Dave { 11.06.15 at 11:23 am }

Laura, the best value for money Princess meal is Akershus–but that puts you in Epcot, not of much interest to most 5 year olds. With your hoppers, though, you could do the breakfast (least expensive) and then go to another park.

20 Paul { 01.10.16 at 9:32 pm }

Dave, Love your site, As of right night we are booked at Art Animation for family of 5 tentative 4/13/16 thru 23 depending on flights will shave off day or two; , my kids son 11 and my twin girls will be 7, One concern should I hold off to Frozen opens and the other Epcot ride is closed? Kids have never been and we have not been since 2004 should we wait to till more attractions open. kids love princess, Star Wars, Lion King and water parks and laid back rides. Also may look at Hoop Dee Review or character dining We have quick service plan since kids and we tend to better at casual meals. Any insight would be great. Thanks

21 Dave { 01.11.16 at 12:22 pm }

Paul, see this for what’s to come this year. Moreover, Soarin, one of the best rides at WDW, is in refurb until “the summer.” So I would delay until the fall if you can.

22 Amber { 01.28.16 at 9:30 am }

Has anyone visited the parks during the end of April when all of the cheerleading championships are held?? The hotel prices seem pretty high, even the budget resorts. Just wondering what the crowds are like?

23 Dave { 01.29.16 at 8:56 am }

Amber, these events happen every year and have no effect on crowds. For why, see this.

Prices at the Disney hotels are the same from 4/3 through 5/27. This is what Disney calls “Regular Season” pricing, and is higher than some part of the year, and much lower than others.

24 Scott { 02.10.16 at 5:39 am }

My family and I are going in April 16 of this year. your site help me alot to see how crowed it will be and the weather. Thank you

25 Dave { 02.10.16 at 4:51 pm }

Good luck, Scott, and let me know how it goes!

26 Joanne { 03.15.16 at 11:58 am }

I love the blog and the site. Thanks for all the helpful info. I am planning a trip 4/18-4/23 with my girls for their birthday (6yr and 12). My 6yr old is a huge princess fan. We plan on doing HS on 4/18, MK 4/20, Epcot 4/21, MK 4/22, and AK on 4/23. Generally I know it’s light crowds, do you think the ride waits will be long without fast pass? Any other insight would be appreciated.

27 Dave { 03.16.16 at 7:40 am }

Joanne, each of those dates except the 18th is a bad day at the parks you have chosen

4/18 avoid AK and Mk
4/19 avoid Epcot
4/20 avoid MK
4/21 avoid Epcot
4/22 avoid MK and HS
4/23 avoid AK and MK

So given the lack of good MK days, I’d do MK 4/19 and 4/21, Epcot 4/20, and AK 4/22. HS could be the the 18th or the 23rd.

I would not call the crowds light, they are just lower than most other times of the year. FastPass+ is essential even on the lowest-crowd days. See this.

28 Jason { 03.21.16 at 12:09 pm }

Thank you so much for operating a site like this that is so informative, it has ben quite helpful. We made the mistake of trying to plan a trip late and are very limited as we have our flights booked and are coming in the 23rd of April through the 28th for a quick 4 day trip tdo all the parks etc. Unfortunately all the Disney hotels seem sold out, if we have to stay off property do you have a reccomndation that may be helpful? my wife and I and our 3 year old are the only ones visiting and we want him to have the best time. Also with the on property hotels sold out does this mean that it is going to be crazy busy at the parks? I very much appreciate any insight you would be willing to provide. looking forward to reading the book.

29 Dave { 03.22.16 at 3:43 pm }

Jason, the on-property hotels routinely book out, especially over weekends. I just checked your dates and saw availabilty at POFQ and that’s it. I’m sorry that I don’t follow the off-property hotels, so can’t help there…

30 Tonya { 03.25.16 at 3:18 pm }

Why do you say to avoid April 18th through the 23rd when the crowd calendar shows low plus for the crowds this week? Those are the same days I will be there and just curious what your thoughts are?

31 Dave { 03.26.16 at 10:11 am }

Tonya, I didn’t. I said to avoid specific parks those days. Disney World is still crowded even in the lowest crowd weeks–it’s just less crowded than other times of the year–and within those weeks, some days some parks are much more crowded than others. Hence my advice on parks to avoid.

32 Mike Angelo { 03.28.16 at 10:12 am }

Hey Dave.
Going to try and go to Disney World in April. Read where you said April 9th week was the best (less crowds) time. I wanna skip that weekend so thinking about the 11th through the 14th?
What say you?
Thanks again!!!

33 Dave { 03.28.16 at 12:52 pm }

Hi Mike! Those will be great dates.

34 Shelley { 04.26.16 at 3:51 pm }

Hi! We’re at Disney April 16-25 and we’ve never seen it this busy end of April. What happened to our beloved “moderate” crowds? They are at least a 9 or 10 some days!! What’s going on to explain the crowds?

35 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:00 am }

Shelley, I was in the parks thru the 24th and found it fine until Saturday. Saturday to Monday were crowded, at the high moderate level, and then everything went back to normal Tuesday.

Disney copes poorly right now with higher crowds than it has predicted, as it has cut back staff and capacity significantly. If more people show up than expected, standby waits skyrocket…

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