March Break 2020

Hi everyone. I haven’t been posting much since our last trip to WDW in August 2018. We didn’t have any plans to return anytime soon after that one. However, my daughter came up with a suggestion this evening that has me thinking.

Her 16th birthday is this coming March and she requested that we consider a trip to WDW for the four of us (Me, DH, DD16, DD13) and include two of their best friends, sisters who we have travelled with before on a brief weekend trip.

My first instinct was to say no way, but then my Disney fanatic side kicked in and I started considering. We could drive down from Ontario making one stop each way to save the costs of flights. Four days at the parks, one day each, and we’d be able to head back all within the ten days of our March break.

So, am I crazy? How busy would the parks be the third week of March? We would probably avoid Star Wars land unless we lucked into fastpasses. The girls’ friends have never been out of Canada, so I think they would be happy with anything we managed to organize.

My main concern (besides the overall cost) would be where to stay. We would prefer to stay on property but would reluctantly consider off property. With six people I know that our options would be more limited. How are the suites at the All Star resorts? Are they much cheaper than the ones at Art of Animation? What about getting two rooms at Pop Century? Is there a way to ensure that they would be connected or adjoining? We’ve never travelled with a larger group and I am not sure how to plan. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

No one on this site is going to argue against your plan :grin:

We were there during the 3rd week of March this year (3/22-3/25), and since that’s spring break season it was BUSY (think CL 8-9). But I’ve never been during Thanksgiving or Christmas. Check out this sea of humanity at HS.

But, with strategic FPP, DAS, EMM, and a good touring plan, we never waited in a standby line for more than 15 minutes, despite the massive crowds.

They make it pretty clear that connecting rooms are not guaranteed. But if you tell them you have children, I think they’ll prioritize your request. Just make sure to tell the reservation CM at the time of booking. We had no problem getting 2 connecting rooms at the Poly for our group of 6.

Happy planning!


I personally can’t imagine letting my children leave the country without me for the first time as minors. That’s a lonnnng drive for 4 days of park time. Yes it will be crowded, it will be crowded for a good 3-4 years at least though so that would the least important factor in this planning.

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@duffybear has a point. I didn’t catch that you’ll only plan on being there for 4 park days.

I don’t know where you are in Ontario, but if you’re near Toronto, why not drive over the border to Detroit (I used to live near DTW) and hop a plane to MCO. Spirit and Alaskan fly routinely from DTW to MCO for under $150 RT. (You could fly directly from Toronto or other Canadian city, but airfare would probably be double). Flying would make your trip much more doable, and it wouldn’t be that much more expensive considering you wouldn’t need to spend the night on the road…

I would consider flying out of Buffalo but I am pretty sure that the cost for six round trip tickets would be way more than we’d spend driving. And if it wasn’t that would probably mean that the whole thing would be too expensive.

Gotcha. Well, I’d probably still do the long drive to go to WDW for 4 days in the park, but I don’t mind long road trips like that.

(Just out of curiosity, I searched Buffalo to MCO on google flights, and there is a Frontier non-stop flight that hovers around $109-120 RT.)

Be careful with Frontier they don’t fly everyday. Here they fly like every other day to FL.

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If you’re going to look off property, I suggest checking into Wyndham Bonnet Creek.

One thing I LOVE ABOUT this site is that you can share stuff like that without someone being upset that you aren’t recommending Disney because the sponsor is an official travel agent for Disney.

I have successfully used Vacation Strategy to book WBC multiple times and they are great to work with. Others have used Trip Bound and had success.

WBC is technically onsite and you don’t really leave the bubble.

A 2 BR Condo will sleep 8 and you will have a washer/dryer, 2 bathrooms, and a full kitchen and a private patio.

Also, in 2017, our spring break coincided with Canada’s and it seemed like every other car on the way from Atlanta to Orlando had Canada plates. It was VERY crowded but with TP we did fine and we stayed offsite offsite.

Is WBC a Disney Springs hotel? Does it get you the 60 day window for fastpasses and EMH access? Thanks for the info.

We drive from south of Toronto in March. Buffalo to Erie (I90) can be iffy, weather-wise, but not horrible. Also watch for storms in Pennsylvania and even in West Virginia. But maybe by the third week of March, it’ll be much better. We usually go 2nd week.

Crowds through spring break? Of course there will be crowds. They might even be CL 10s (but not Xmas CL10s). Make a good plan and be flexible enough to change it. Do RD and get there for RD an hour early at least. You’ll have fun.

Now for our trip this last spring, it cost us just under $2000 to drive. So $455 for a van rental (why put mileage on our van), then 3 nights in hotels, food and gas. You’re only spending 2 nights in hotels and we did have 2 rooms in each hotel, but they were lower end hotels.

Just get a feel for what the costs will be for driving and then compare that to flying to see if the extra car time is worth it.

Oh yeah, plan for traffic in S. Carolina on the way home. Like stop and go traffic from Georgia to Columbia. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s happened enough that we’ve been caught 3 times in 12 years. We still make it home from Orlando in 2 days, though (3 on the way there, so DH isn’t too exhausted for RD then next day).

Oh yeah, we stay off site. We find a house near WDW with 4 bedrooms for under $2000 a week. Private pool and everyone has their own room/bed. You can’t beat well-rested kids.

We (party of 3) did a day trip to MK following our cruise on March 14th. The CL was 7-8 and as @paulasc mentioned with a good TP and FPP didn’t wait more than 15-20 minutes (something I wasn’t convinced was possible before doing it, despite how many times I have read or heard it… now I’m a believer!) We took a midday break back at the hotel and still got to ride everything we wanted. We also stayed off-property at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista in DS. My sister (party of 6) stayed off property at the DoubleTree Suites in DS. I know they ate currently offering the same ADR and fastpass windows as other Disney properties, but I’m not sure about 2020. You’d definitely want to look into that before deciding about off property. always seems to have good deals on DS hotels in their newsletter. Also, I’d hire an uber or Lyft if you decided to do a DS “off” property. Their bus arrival times weren’t very reliable and the one bus made stops at all the other hotels before heading off to the parks. Best of luck with your decisions!

Yes, you are crazy. Can you adopt me?:rofl: My parents gave me a cake with a couple friends and cooked me my requested dinner for my birthday :rofl::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Also check to be sure there won’t be any glitches taking someone else’s children out of the country. There might be some unexpected hoops you have to jump through first. I know when we even just got our kids’ passports both parents had to be present at the same time, so I’d imagine there might be some additional precautions on the actual day of travel.

And be sure you get written permission to give consent for medical treatment in case of emergencies, & know if they have insurance that can cover them in the US. As the only adult present, it’s possible you’ll have to sign papers accepting responsibility for any bills should something like that happen.

Of course the chance of anything like that happening is very low, but the consequences could be financially significant if it does!

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Wyndham Bonnet Creek is a time share resort on Disney property next door to Caribbean Beach Resort. You do not get the EMH or 60 day FP.

Are they pushy with buying a timeshare?

I’m not sure how the cost compares to the values or moderates, but have you considered renting DVC points and staying in a 2BR villa? This would give you a master bedroom with ensuite bathroom for you and your DH, a second bedroom with two queen beds (and own bathroom) that the girls could share, a full kitchen, lounge and washer/dryer. Just a thought. :slight_smile:

Just be sure to SKIP the whole “go to the desk to get your parking pass” spiel because that’s where they try to get you to a presentation.

You do NOT need a parking pass…your room key will be what gets you in the gate.

Or, if you do get sucked over to the “parking pass” desk, tell them your spouse is not with you at this time.

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And the DISBoards has a GREAT thread called “We Looooovvveeee Bonnet Creek” that has great advice and information on it. It has quite a following.

How about flying Southwest out of Rochester? It’s not close-close, but may be ok. Probably it’ll be cheaper. I’d be hesitant to drive that far at that time of year. You never know when a random snowstorm could knock out half the eastern seaboard.