March is going to be a big month for Walt Disney World! We’re taking a look at the entire month, including all the major events and expected crowds, weather possibilities, park and attraction refurbishments, and the opening of a highly anticipated new ride at Hollywood Studios!
March at a Glance
- March 1, 2020 – Contest of Champions at ESPN Wide World of Sports (Began on February 28, 2020)
- March 4–June 1, 2020 – Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
- March 4, 2020 – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening Day
- March 13–14, 2020 – The Quest Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports
- March 14–15, 2020 – UCA Competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports
- March 16–20, 2020 – Orange County Spring Break
- March 17, 2020 – St. Patrick’s Day
QUICK GUIDE TO MARCH WEATHER IN ORLANDOOverall, March in Orlando will usually see warm days with an increased possibility of rain showers. Even though weather will most likely be warm, there can be an occasional dip in temperatures, so it’s best to be prepared with layers and consider bringing a jacket just in case. It’s also a good idea to bring an umbrella just in case!
There is only one holiday in March, which is St. Patrick’s Day, but since this is not a major U.S. holiday it should not really have a significant affect on crowd levels. Crowds in general have been heavier this winter than usual with the popularity of Rise of the Resistance and Galaxy’s Edge, however, so be prepared for longer lines than normal continuing throughout March and into the coming months – even on regular weekdays.
While not technically a holiday, spring break weeks for schools all across the country can cause heavy crowds in the parks as Walt Disney World is a common spring break vacation choice. Spring break weeks are different for all schools, but one week to especially be aware of this year is March 16th – 20th as this is Orange County spring break (which is the area of Florida that Disney World is located). Spring break time at Disney World can see a significant increase in guests, so crowd levels can sometimes be difficult to predict for the month of March (as well as April). Overall, though, you can expect that crowds are certain to be much heavier on days surrounding attraction or event openings or on days when locals have time off from work and school.
It’s also important to note that if having a family-friendly experience is especially essential for you and your family during your vacation (as it is for most of us who choose to visit Walt Disney World), then you may want to avoid spring break times as much as possible. We have unfortunately heard several accounts of people having some not-so-great-experiences at Disney World during these times due to the behavior of a lot of college-age spring break visitors (particularly in Epcot since there are more alcohol-based beverage options offered throughout the park). While Disney does their best to keep this under control, this kind of behavior from some college-age spring break groups is also an issue outside of Disney World as well, so this is something to be aware of when visiting Florida in March as it is a popular spring break destination.
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins on March 4th and continues everyday through June 1st, making it Epcot’s longest running festival of the year. This annual festival is a very popular event with themed food kitchens, special entertainment and activities, and unique merchandise that Disney guests look forward to every year. Crowds can often be larger during the first week or so of Epcot festivals, so keep this in mind when choosing a time to visit.
We’ve got a full 2020 guide to Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival coming soon!
New Openings and Additions
One of the most anticipated new additions of the year is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which will officially open to guests on March 4th. Since the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is also debuting on March 4th, it is very likely that Walt Disney World will be especially busy that day (and most likely all week). This is the first-ever Disney theme park ride to feature Mickey Mouse, and any available FastPasses reservations have been running out very quickly ever since they were released at the beginning of February, so lines are sure to be long on opening day – and for the foreseeable future!
Park and Attraction Refurbishments and Construction
Epcot’s full park reimagining continues, as does construction for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, so Future World is somewhat of a maze at this point with all of the construction walls. While this may make navigating the park a bit trickier, guests can still access the majority of rides and attractions as most should continue to remain open throughout this phase of the construction (at least from what we know).
Over in Animal Kingdom, Kali River Rapids remains closed for refurbishment until late March, and Typhoon Lagoon attractions are also expected to remain closed for refurbishment for the time being. Disney frequently refurbishes their water rides during the winter months, so these attractions should be finished by the time warmer Florida weather is once again consistent.
The Walt Disney World Railroad in Magic Kingdom also remains closed and isn’t expected to reopen until the TRON coaster is completed – or is at least close to completion – since its show building is too close to the track for the train to run.
Other Events and Factors That Could Affect Your Trip
Like February, March has quite a few sporting events that take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports. These events generally bring in significant amounts of participants and their families and can make avoiding crowds quite a challenge. The Contest of Champions at ESPN Wide World of Sports will wrap up on March 1st, having started on February 28th. The Quest Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports then takes place from March 13th through March 14th, while the UCA Competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports takes place from March 14th through March 15th.
These competitions all take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, so a large majority of these groups will be outside of the parks during these events, but participants and their families may visit the parks whenever they are not competing – possibly including a few days leading up to their event and a few days after it ends.
Overall, while the weather may be more pleasant and consistent during the month of March, it may not be the best option if lower crowds are important to you. With rotating spring break weeks, several sporting competitions, the start of the Flower and Garden Festival, and the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway all taking place this month, it will most likely be busier than January and February typically are.
That wraps up our Walt Disney World March 2020 Guide! We hope this planning guide helps you as you plan your magical Disney vacation. Check out our full twelve month 2020 Planning Guide for Walt Disney World, and don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter to receive new info and updates as we add them to our website. Thanks for reading!