Calling all Disney World trip planners! We know you’re typically prepared with schedules for booking reservations and detailed itineraries for the trip, so we’re here with some reminders about how Disney World trip planning might be a little different right now!!
With all the changes coming to Disney World, staying up-to-date is so important so that you know how to plan for everything you want to do on your vacation! Here are 8 things you’ll need to plan a little differently this time around!
Even the most seasoned Disney World trip planners have been thrown for a loop with the changes happening in the parks! There are new policies for getting into the parks, a change to the dining reservation booking window, reopenings happening all the time…you get the idea! Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan for your next vacation!
1. You’ll Need Park Reservations
Is this one too obvious? It’s been a thing since Disney World reopened, but if you haven’t been into the parks in a while, it’s a biggie! Guests need a ticket to enter the parks, of course, but now you need reservations for the specific park you’ll be attending each day. Capacity is still limited (but increasing!), so reservations are also limited.
In fact, we’re finding that park reservations disappear rather quickly! Park Pass Reservations are currently available for booking through January 14, 2023, so as soon as you have purchased your Disney World tickets, you can make your reservations. The sooner, the better!
Park hopper IS still an option, but guests can only hop to a different park after 2PM. And the biggest note here is that you will NEED to scan into your first park before you are able to hop. But you do NOT need a park pass reservations for the parks you plan to hop to after 2PM each day!
2. FastPass+ Has NOT Returned to Disney World
Disney has NOT brought back the FastPass+ system, so if you usually use FastPasses to get on those popular, long-wait rides, you’ll need a new plan! Keep in mind that capacity is increasing in all the parks, so there will likely be a lot of people wanting to get on the popular attractions.
Being at the parks early — right at rope-drop — is usually a safe bet to get onto popular rides before the wait times get crazy. Another option is to stay later, as the last couple hours in a park can sometimes have shorter ride wait times too! We have recently seen FastPass kiosks uncovered in Magic Kingdom and one was even on!
We’re hoping we receive an update on FastPass+ soon.
3. Dining Reservations are Made 60 Days Out
Like the park reservation system, this one has been a thing since Disney World re-opened, but it’s important to know! Before, guests could make restaurant reservations 180 days before the first day of their trip. Now, reservations will open 60 days before the first day of your trip!
If you have some favorite sit-down places you can’t miss in Disney World, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to make the reservations on the first day they open for your trip! Reservation availability for most Disney World restaurants typically begins at approximately 5:45 AM each day.
Click Here to See 7 DFB Videos You Should Watch Before Making Your Disney World Dining Reservations!
4. A Lot of Restaurants Are Re-Opening!
We’re seeing lots of Disney World restaurants re-opening, so odds are good you’ll be able to hit some of your favorites! It’s a little tough to get reservations right now, though, so you need to book those as soon as you can (see the previous point about 60 days out!).
As park capacity continues to increase, plan on those reservations going super fast! For some restaurants, you might be able to get dining reservations a little early! And if your favorite restaurant is scheduled to reopen soon, you might be able to grab reservations in time for your trip!!
If your day for dining reservations is coming up and your favorite restaurant isn’t open yet, we’d recommend grabbing some plan B reservations and then checking back closer to your trip to see if you can get the ones you want! Here are some tips for snagging hard to get Disney World reservations.
5. Some Disney World Hotels are Scheduled to Reopen Soon
Like the restaurants, Disney World hotels are re-opening, with several scheduled to open in the next few months!
If you’re a fan of the Polynesian Village Resort, BoardWalk Inn, or Animal Kingdom Lodge, those are all re-opening this summer! Some are already open for those staying in DVC rooms…so it’s like they’re opening twice!
Hotel availability has been looking pretty slim, so keep a close eye on those reservations and call if you need assistance. Since not all of the Disney World hotels are open at the moment, rooms in the available hotels are pretty limited.
6. Virtual Queues
You’ve probably heard by now of Disney’s new favorite queue system: the virtual queues. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance uses them, and so does Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure in Disneyland. To join, you’ll need the My Disney Experience app, and you’ll need to be right on time to hit “join queue” as soon as you can! Disney World’s Rise of the Resistance passes can be snagged outside of the parks at 7AM each day. And if you don’t get one at 7AM, you can try again at 1PM from anywhere on property, as long as you have tapped into Hollywood Studios that day.
Snagging Rise of the Resistance boarding passes can be a stressful and new experience. We have a few tips to help you snag those hard-to-get reservations.
But there is a wait to get to them, and you’ll need to go to the bakehouse, join their virtual queue, and wait to be called back when it’s your time. The good news is that you can walk around the Springs or even go back to your resort to wait for your time to be called!
7. Some Disney World Transportation Hasn’t Come Back Yet
If you depend on the EPCOT monorail line to get to the park, you will need a backup plan! The Resort Monorail line is running, but the EPCOT line has not returned. Minnie Vans are also not available right now, but you can still get Lyft and Uber in the parks.
The Skyliner and buses are both running, but the buses are NOT going directly from Disney parks to Disney Springs. If you wanted to hit the Springs after one of the parks, you’ll need to grab Lyft or go to a resort to catch a Springs bus.
8. FIREWORKS ARE BACK
Fireworks are back, people! The only confirmed fireworks shows that are returning right now are in Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. So if you’re hoping to catch the magic, you’ll want to be in one of those two parks in the evenings! Magic Kingdom will have its Happily Ever After show back again, and EPCOT is returning with EPCOT Forever — at least for now! Both parks will see a nighttime show update on October 1st as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration!
Until October 1st, though, the original shows in Magic Kingdom and EPCOT will be running as usual! If you’re hoping to catch one of the shows, you could book a reservation for the park all day or grab park-hopper and go there any time after 2PM! There will probably be a lot of people there with you to see the fireworks return, and Disney has not confirmed if social distancing will be enforced. Those crowds could also make it hard to get back to your resort quickly, so plan for a lot of people trying to exit the park after the show!
Or — if fireworks aren’t really your thing — plan on being in Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom at night to possibly enjoy some smaller crowds while everyone else goes to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT! Disney’s Animal Kingdom will get a new show on October 1st as part of all the 50th festivities, but it’s a daytime show rather than evening fireworks. So if you’re visiting between July and October 1st, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom might have some lighter crowds.
Good luck with all your Disney World vacation planning, and keep following DFB for updates to help you out!!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
When is your next Disney World vacation? Let us know in the comments!