Disney World can cost a pretty penny!
From tickets to hotel rooms to souvenirs, it’s easy to spend a lot while on vacation in the Most Magical Place on Earth. It’s very rare we ever see prices go DOWN in Disney World. Instead, they seem to be returning at a higher cost. So, here are the things you’ll be paying more for in Disney World in 2022.
1. PhotoPass & Add Ons
Disney World recently announced a new Annual Passholder Program, and several things have been changed compared to the previous program. One of those changes was to the PhotoPass and the Water Parks and Sports Option.
These two perks are no longer included in ANY pass option! They now both must be added onto your pass in addition to the cost of your annual pass. Both options are $99 each. When you’re going to purchase PhotoPass, you should know that, if you are buying multiple passes at once, it will be added to EACH individual pass. This means that you will pay $99 extra for each pass you’re buying, even though you only need one PhotoPass account if you’re all linked in My Disney Experience. But, there is a way around this!
Instead of selecting all of the passes you want to buy at once, you can add Annual Passes to your cart one at a time. You should be able to add a single Annual Pass with the PhotoPass option to your cart, then return to the Annual Pass ticket page and select however many other Annual Passes you want to buy (without PhotoPass) and add those to your cart. This should make you able to check out with PhotoPass just on one pass, but pay for all of the passes in one transaction.
You can have up to 25 people on your Family and Friends list in My Disney Experience that can take photos and they will show up on your account, so you really only need one Annual Pass to have PhotoPass if you’re always with your group for pictures on your Disney trips!
You also can just add PhotoPass on later. A Cast Member confirmed to us that you can buy an Annual Pass without PhotoPass and add it on later — the same goes for the Water Parks and Sports add-on. But, there’s a bigger catch — Disney VERY recently decided to just up and stop selling most Annual Passes again! Keep in mind if you have a pass, you can still renew them but they’ll be renewed as one of the passes in the new program — meaning you’ll lose your included PhotoPass and be in the same boat. So, bookmark this tip for when they DO go on sale again!
Disney’s Magical Express will be discontinued starting January 1st, 2022. This means there will no longer be a free option for you to get to and from the airport and your Disney resort. More planning will be necessary now, so we’ll break it down for you!
The company that ran Magical Express will be offering a new program called Mears Connect. This essentially does the same thing that Magical Express did, but for a price! You can choose between Standard or Express service when booking your transportation. Standard is a shared service and will be $16 one way for adults and $13.50 one way for kids, and round trip will be $32 for adults and $27 for kids. Express is a direct service that is $200 round trip for up to 4 people. Each additional person is $55.
Update: The pricing for the Express option has since changed. Express is now priced at $250 round trip for up to 4 passengers. Each additional person is still $55.
Before your trip, you can compare pricing for an Uber, Lyft, or a taxi for you and your party to the Mears Connect service to see which price point works best for you. You can also always rent a car during your trip if that is a better option for you!
3. Disney Genie+
Disney Genie is the new planning program that recently debuted in My Disney Experience. Genie itself is free and basically just helps you plan your day, but Genie+ is not. Genie+ is essentially replacing the old FastPass+ program — but it’ll cost you. It costs $15 per person, per day to use.
It gives you access to over 40 rides at Disney World that you can make a reservation for to skip the majority of the line, like how FastPass+ worked. Except now, when you show up to ride the ride, you will enter through the Lightning Lane instead of the FastPass+ lane (spoiler alert: it’s the same lane as before with a shiny new name). There’s a lot of rules and, honestly, headaches that can come with this new service but the general rule is basically that you can book a Lighting Lane every 120 minutes.
You will also have the option to pay for Individual Attraction Selections, which are completely separate from Genie+. There are currently (though subject to change) 2 high-demand rides in each park that you can pay for individually to use the Lightning Lane and skip most of the regular line.
If you don’t want to wait stand-by for the STILL mega-popular Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios, this is your only bet to get in that shorter Lightning Lane queue. You will only be able to pay for 2 of these rides per day. These rides will cost you PER ride, PER person, so that can add up quickly. Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate as well, meaning you’ll pay even MORE on busy days or for more popular rides.
We know Genie, Genie+, and the paid rides can seem like you’re trying to learn advanced Calculus to fully understand it, which is why we’ve broken it all down in the simplest, shortest ways possible to help make sense of it all. Check out our mega simple guide to Genie here.
4. Annual Passes
Disney World’s new Annual Passholder Program was recently introduced, and there are now only 4 pass options available, with all of them being more expensive than their old counterparts. The new Incredi-Pass (which is the only pass available to non-Florida residents and non-DVC members) is $1,299. The most comparable previous pass was the Disney Platinum Pass, which was $1,195.
The old equivalent of the Sorcerer Pass is the Gold Pass. This pass is only available to Disney Vacation Club members and Florida residents. The Gold Pass was $719 and the new Sorcerer Pass is $899. Then we have the new Pirate Pass, which is only available to Florida residents and is most similar to the old Silver Pass. The Silver Pass was $539 and the new Pirate Pass is $699.
Finally, we have the new Pixie Dust Pass, which is also only available to Florida residents and is most similar to the previous Weekday Select Pass. The Weekday Select Pass was $369 and the new Pixie Dust Pass is $399. So, if you’re looking to buy an Annual Pass this year, be prepared to spend more money than you would have previously! (You know…when they’re actually being sold again!)
5. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
The Star Wars hotel is finally opening in 2022! It’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before at Disney — a completely immersive and interactive hotel experience. However, it is going to cost a pretty big chunk of change.
Disney first released pricing in the summer, and packages range from $4,809-$5,999 depending on the size of your party. The prices will also change depending on the type of room you pick and the time of year your trip is.
This experience is all-inclusive though — including dining, entertainment, and activities on the ship (although there will be other experiences you can add on for more money). The price also includes a trip to Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios, valet parking, and an exclusive databand (AKA a MagicBand).
So, if you want to include this experience on your Disney vacation, you will be looking at a much (MUCH) higher budget. We looked at an example trip to try and get an idea of how much it would cost for a family of 4 to take a trip on the Starcruiser and stay the remainder of the week at a moderate Disney hotel with park tickets. The total, BEFORE taxes, food, transportation, souvenirs, and other activities, came to over $10,000 total. So, be aware of this when planning your vacation for next year!
6. Extended Evening Hours
Remember back in the day when, just for staying at a Disney World hotel, you got the perk of getting into the parks early or staying late? Ahh, Extra Magic Hours, we miss ya. There’s only one way to get a few extra hours in the park on select evenings for “free.” Extended Evening Hours are free, but only to guests staying at a Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa hotel! So, if you want access to this perk, you’ll have to book a room at a hotel that is on average more expensive than the other tiers of Disney hotels.
Let’s look at May of 2022 to get an idea of how much more Deluxe and Deluxe Villa hotels compare to Moderate and Value hotels. A standard room at the Value hotels range from $154 to $239 per night, the Moderate hotels range from $260 to $454 per night, and the Deluxe and Deluxe Villa hotels range between $452 to $764 per night.
So, there is a Deluxe Villa option (Saratoga Springs) that is actually lower than the most expensive Moderate hotel (Cabins at Fort Wilderness), but for the most part, you can see that you would be paying significantly more to have access to those Extended Evening Hours. So, you have to weigh out if those few hours are worth that increased price to you or not.
MagicBands will no longer be free to people staying at Disney World hotels! Gone are the days of getting your free MagicBands in the mail before your trip, but you can still buy and use them.
The same goes for Annual Passholders — Disney is no longer giving passholders free MagicBands, so you will have to buy them yourself if you want to use one! PLUS, a bigger, crazier version of MagicBands is coming next year sure to cost you a penny or two more than the current ones do. These bands, called (what else?) MagicBand+, will have cool interactive features, but pricing (aside from stating resort guests and Passholders will be able to purchase them at a discount) has not been revealed yet.
You can also just use MagicMobile on the My Disney Experience app as your ticket to get into the parks using just your phone!
Ticket prices have not gone up since 2019, which is a bit unusual for Disney World, as they would typically raise prices a little every year. We can likely expect prices to be raised next year, since we haven’t seen an increase in such a long time. In the past, prices have typically been raised by $2-$6 for single-day tickets annually.
With more things going back to normal at the parks, there will probably be more demand for Disney World tickets. Disney raised the prices of the holiday After Hours events this year, and events like Boo Bash still sold out. So, this proves that, even when Disney raises prices, people will still come.
We’ve seen several instances of merchandise at Disney World increasing over the past year. The experience of Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (where you can build your own lightsaber) increased in price this year, going from $199.99 plus tax to $219.99 plus tax.
Face masks also went up significantly in price. They went from $6 to $9.99 to $14.99 each! Now, Disney did update the design along with this price increase, so that could explain the big jump in cost. Another thing we saw get more expensive were MagicBands. Basic MagicBands went from $14.99 to $19.99 and themed MagicBands went from $24.99 to $29.99.
With seeing price increases like this in the past, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more come in the next year!
Menu items have seen price increases recently in Disney World as well. Yak and Yeti, La Hacienda de San Angel, Tokyo Dining, and more have all had some of the items on their menus go up in price. If the pattern continues, we’re sure to see more restaurants get price increases around Disney World!
You also will be paying more for certain dining experiences. For example, Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom is now only serving lunch and dinner and both are prix-fixe — the quick service lunch option is gone! So, your only option is to pay $62 for adults or $37 for kids.
And for places like Cinderella’s Royal Table, you are paying $42 per adult and $27 per child for breakfast, and $62 per adult and $37 per child for lunch and dinner. The prices are slightly reduced from before the closures, but you’re getting a limited experience. The princesses don’t walk around and greet you and you don’t get to meet and have a photo op with Cinderella (she does pop out quick to wave then scurry away!). So, it may not be the same value as it was before.
We typically see an overall food cost increase most years, even if just by a few cents. Typically alcohol, snack items like Mickey Bars or pretzels, and other quick snack foods all see small increase. We haven’t had one of these sweeping increases in a while, so, again, we’re due. We’ll keep our ear to the ground for 2022!
Those are all of the things you’ll be paying more for in Disney World in 2022! Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney news and updates.
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How do you feel about these price increases? Let us know in the comments!