With a new ride opening, those visiting Disney World for spring break should be prepared for crowds
By Corinne Minard
While many families each year visit Disney World during spring break, this year may be the most crowded year yet. Park attendance has been steadily growing ever since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, and spring break remains one of the most popular times to visit Disney World. But something else may cause crowds to be bigger than usual in 2023—TRON Lightcycle / Run, the first new ride at Magic Kingdom in almost 10 years. Opening April 4, the new roller coaster may make one of the world’s most popular theme parks even more crowded.
Have you already made plans to visit Disney World this year? You still have a couple of options to help you get the most of your trip despite elevated crowd levels.
Visit a Different Park
If you’re not set on visiting Magic Kingdom, consider visiting one of the three other parks. If you haven’t been in several years, you’ll find several new attractions—Epcot recently added two new rides (Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure), Hollywood Studios is home to the resort’s Star Wars attractions and Galaxy’s Edge, and Animal Kingdom is where you can find Pandora – The World of Avatar and its Avatar-inspired rides.
Consider Purchasing Genie+
Is your heart set on Magic Kingdom? Consider purchasing the Disney Genie+ Service to cut down the time you spend in line. Those who purchase the service can select windows of time to enter the Lightning Lane line for certain rides. Those in the Lightning Lane can board the ride much faster than those in the standby line.
However, there are drawbacks. You can only make one Lightning Lane selection at a time and can’t make your next one until you use your previous selection or two hours have passed. You must use the My Disney Experience app on your phone to make the best use of Genie+ and you can only purchase the service the day you’re visiting the park.
It can also be expensive. The price changes each day based on the predicted crowd level at the resort, but it can be between $15 and $29 per person. So, for a family of four, you could end up spending an additional $116 on top of your tickets.
Get in the Virtual Queue or Buy Lightning Lane
If the crowds don’t deter you and you want to be one of the first to ride TRON Lightcycle / Run, you’ll only have two options, neither of which is a traditional standby line. You can get in the virtual queue or purchase a Lightning Lane pass.
The Virtual Queue is free and you can try to get into the queue system at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day on the My Disney Experience app. You can only get in the queue once per day. If you are able to get into the Virtual Queue, you and your family will be given a boarding group and you’ll be notified when your group is called.
This may seem easy enough, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a spot. When Star Wars: of the Resistance was using this system, all boarding group spots were typically taken within seconds each day.
Another option is to buy your way onto the ride. Just like Genie+, you can purchase the Lightning Lane on the My Disney Experience app. If you can snag one, you’ll be given a time to board the ride. Disney World has not announced what the prices may be yet, but you can expect Lightning Lane prices similar to the prices of other popular rides—somewhere between $15 and $25, depending on the day. These also will go very quickly.
Even with the possibility of large crowds, you can still have a great time at Disney World this spring break! Just make sure to be prepared and to have a plan in place. If you’re looking for more advice, visit undercovertourist.com, both of which are packed with insider tips and tricks.