But Disney World prices never “cap off.” There’s never a time where Disney looks at their ticket, hotel, food, and merchandise prices and just goes, “Yup! That’s a good price for forever!” Disney’s prices — and travel prices, in general — are always fluctuating. And if you’re planning a Disney World trip for 2022, you might find yourself forking over more cash than you’d originally budgeted.
Between 2020 and 2021 we saw the prices on a number of things increase. Magic Bands now cost more, Savi’s Workshop bumped up its saber prices, and the Magic Kingdom spring rolls will now cost you way more moolah. 2022 has already brought some big price increases too — namely, HUNDREDS of price increases at Disney World’s restaurants.
Let’s take a look at some of the MAJOR price changes that might make you rethink your budget for your 2022 trip.
Last year we reviewed the Disney World 2022 ticket prices. The costs we’ve seen thus far are… not surprising.
Disney World ticket prices vary depending on the day (a.k.a.: peak vacation days = higher prices). So far, ticket prices themselves have increased slightly in 2022, when compared to 2021. The lowest price is $109 for 1-day (which is the same as 2021), $106 for 4-days, etc., and the peak price has increased from $141 to $159 on days like Christmas.
And, when we compared the previous ticket prices for select days in 2021 compared to the ticket prices for the same days in 2022, we noticed that select days now fall into the higher ticket brackets, meaning they cost more. That means that even if you visit Disney World in 2022 during the exact same days you visited in 2021, your trip could be more expensive.
This can vary by day though, so you’ll want to check your travel dates carefully. If your travel dates now fall into a higher price category, be prepared to shell out a bit more cash when it comes to those tickets.
Keep in mind that ticket prices have also changed for those wanting to buy an Annual Pass. Though Annual Pass sales have now been suspended for most types, it’s still something to keep in mind if you were considering buying an Annual Pass.
Ticket prices haven’t yet been released for 2023. It’s possible we’ll see more days fall into higher ticket brackets or even get a pure price increase when it comes to ticket price ranges. We’ll be sure to share an update on that as soon as we get more information.
Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Experiences Could Dominate in Disney World
Lately, it seems like Disney World has been starting to focus more time, energy, and investments on their Deluxe resorts or more deluxe hotel experiences.
Wanna stay at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (a.k.a. the Star Wars Hotel) this year? Then you’re DEFINITELY going to have to start saving up! Since this hotel is more of an immersive, deluxe, cruise-type experience, it costs a pretty penny. Rates for 2 guests per cabin start at $4,809 total. Deluxe & unique experience = big price tag.
Disney also been focusing on refurbishments and transformations at their Deluxe hotels. Moana has taken over rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with floral embellishments and island vibes, while Disney’s Contemporary Resort is looking a little more *super* with its modernized Incredibles rooms.
Another notable update for Deluxe resorts is the expansion of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort with the all-new 14-story tower called the Swan Reserve. This hotel features guest rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, new restaurants, and other amenities. The Swan Reserve is now open for guests to enjoy.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa started some major remodeling in Spring 2022. An entire building — The Big Pine Key — is being transformed from regular Deluxe guest rooms into 200 Resort Studios for Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members.
Disney had also previously announced that certain renovations and enhancements would be taking place at the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Polynesian. And we’ve got a first look at what some of the updated villas will look like.
Disney Vacation Club Villas seem to be all-the-rage for Disney World as of late. It seems Deluxe resorts just aren’t enough anymore — Disney wants to provide more wiggle-room for families (and higher cost rooms, too).
If you think about the last hotel to open (aside from the Galactic Starcruiser) — Disney’s Riviera Resort — that’s also a Disney Vacation Club Resort. And the last new hotel Disney announced — Reflections — A Disney Lakeside Lodge — was also set to be a Disney Vacation Club Resort. We haven’t really heard much about Reflections lately and it appears it may have been canceled or severely delayed, but still it shows the direction Disney seems to be heading in — toward more villas/deluxe accommodations.
You can currently book villas over at a number of resorts including Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Copper Creek Villas and Boulder Ridge Villas), Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort (Jambo House Villas and Kidani Village Villas), Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows), Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Bay Lake Tower), and more. Basically, there are quite a lot of villas to pick from.
Even when it comes to the value hotels — the last value resort that Disney World opened was Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (which opened nearly a decade ago in May of 2012!), which mainly features family suites, an upgraded and more “deluxe” (and more expensive) value resort experience compared to standard rooms.
If recent history is any indicator, we expect more deluxe accommodations or deluxe-style experiences (with higher price tags) could be in Disney World’s future, meaning you could find yourself shelling out more for your room either in 2022 or beyond if a deluxe-style or more expensive type of room is all you can find once other rooms — potentially many of the regular (cheaper) rooms — get booked up.
Dining Prices Just. Keep. Changing.
Hotels and ticket prices aren’t the only things Disney likes to switch up on us. Dining prices change constantly around the Disney parks. Though there have been a few instances where the dining prices decreased, those instances are typically few and far between. Usually, we’re looking at bump-ups for menu items.
A good example of this is Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland. Previously, Be Our Guest featured a quick service option for lunch as well as breakfast (AKA — it was much more affordable for many guests than the pricey prix fixe set priced meal for dinner). But, when the restaurant reopened after the pandemic-related shutdowns, the experience switched over to a prix-fixe table service experience for brunch and lunch. The prices for brunch and lunch are now the same as dinner — set to $62 for adults and $37 for children ages 3-9 — making brunch and lunch much pricier experiences!
YIKES. That’s SO different from our old Croque Monsieur that used to cost us about $15.99… . Post the pandemic closures and reopenings, we saw a number of other restaurants (especially former buffets) switch to prix fixe or family-style meals. And a new prix fixe dinner menu was introduced at California Grill for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Though some buffets are returning and select spots are changing, it still seems prix fixe dining could be a new trend.
But it’s not just the prix fixe menus (which can make you spend more on your meal). We’ve also seen lots of individual items increase in price.
In 2021, the Spring Roll Cart in Magic Kingdom went from $7.50 to $9.50 for those oh-so-tasty spring rolls! That’s a hefty price for a snack!
The France Pavilion over in EPCOT also experienced some significant price increases to their menus back in 2021. At that time, many prices rose by only a few cents across the board. But a few cents can add up over the course of a trip with several guests.
In early 2022, the price increases continued in a BIG way. In fact, 2022 has brought some of the most sweeping price increases we’ve ever seen — not necessarily in terms of the actual amount of the increase, but in terms of just how many snacks and restaurants were impacted.
If you haven’t already read up on the price increases, you’re going to want to. In some cases the difference is just a few cents, but other times the prices have increased by $1, $2, or even $3. These are things you’ll want to account for when making your budget for your upcoming trip.
Do you remember that one scene in A Bug’s Life where the big, bad grasshopper antagonist (Hopper) talks about how one, puny ant wouldn’t be able to take down the grasshoppers, but ALL of the ants coming and attacking at once WOULD? (If you totally don’t remember this, it’s time to go watch it again! Fun movie!)
That’s kind-of the way to think about the dining price increases. One increase here or there or increases of a few cents/dollars might not make a difference. But sweeping changes (like what we saw recently) when applied across many guests for all of the days of a trip can definitely add up.
Travel Prices Increase & Other Costs You’ve Got to Think About
Prices at Disney World aren’t the only things on the rise. You’ve likely seen it when booking other travel necessities or even at your local grocery store. You’ve likely felt the pain.
According to CNN, gas prices hit a record high of $4.37 a gallon in May 2022. The national average dipped a bit in April, after the previous record of $4.33 was set in March 2022, but prices increased yet again.
If you need a rental car to get yourself to Disney World or for once you arrive in Orlando, you might also find yourself paying a pretty penny for that. Back in 2021, we shared that a rental car could cost you more than your Disney World ticket, and it seems high rental car prices is a trend that’s continuing at the moment (largely due to supply chain issues and the large sales of used cars by rental car companies in the early part of the pandemic).
Air travel costs are also predicted to increase, even as many flights continue to be canceled. Orlando Business Journal shared info from Hopper Inc., stating that the average fare for a domestic roundtrip flight increased by 22% from February 2022 to March 2022.
Getting from your airport to your Disney hotel will also cost more now. Disney’s Magical Express has officially ended. That means Disney World Resort hotel guests no longer get free transportation to and from the airport. Instead, guests will have to make arrangements to get to and from the airport and their Disney hotel on their own, and they’ll have to pay for those services.
Uber and other rideshare services are an option, as well as renting a car (as we discussed above), using a taxi, using a private car service, and other alternatives. There are also 2 Magical Express-type replacement services — Mears Connect (run by the same company that operated the Magical Express; now fully available) and The Sunshine Flyer (run by a separate company).
Both of these services will cost you, so that’s an added expense you’ll need to be prepared for.
Oh, and then when you get to your Disney Resort (if you drive a car there) you’ve got to pay those parking fees! A number of years ago, Disney stopped providing complimentary parking to their resort guests. Now, you’ll have to pay $15-$25 per night if you’re parked as a guest on resort property.
And if you’re not a Disney World Resort hotel guest and otherwise don’t have an Annual Pass ticket that provides free parking at the parks, be prepared to pay for parking at the theme parks.
Could we see an increase in these prices in 2022? Only time will tell.
So just be prepared to dish out some MORE transportation money in 2022 on top of what you’re already planning on spending.
Souvenir Prices Have Been Rising
On top of rising ticket costs, food costs, and more, you might find that your favorite souvenirs are a bit pricier too!
Here’s a short list of just a FEW items we’ve seen increase in price these past few years:
- Minnie Ears now generally cost $29.99 instead of $27.99 (we saw this change made back in 2019), but you will find some ears priced more expensive than that — we’re talking $39.99 and even specialty ears that can reach $1,000(!!!).
- NuiMOs are $19.99 instead of $17.99 (We saw this change made in 2021. Plus, remember that you’ll likely want to buy some clothes for them on top of that — like a tiny Build-a-Bear — and those cost money too.
- Lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop are $219.99 instead of $199.99 (Again this increase happened in 2021. But keep in mind that you might find a discount being applied due to supply chain issues which have meant that lightsaber carrying cases are no longer available as part of the experience).
- Reusable Shopping Bags fluctuated in price at certain spots in 2021 (and have fluctuated in the past), but in some spots we did see increases making it $2 for a small bag, $2.50 for a medium bag, and $3 for a large bag instead of being $1 for any size.
- MagicBands also got a big price increase in 2021, making many of them $19.99 instead of $14.99.
We’ve also seen some incredibly expensive items arrive for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, like the $1,000 ears we mentioned and $300 bags. Only time will tell how expensive the souvenirs in Disney World will be in the next 5 years, but you might want to consider bumping up those souvenir budgets or taking a close look at just what items you really need/want to buy.
Another free perk that has gone away is FastPass+. FastPass+ has been discontinued. Now, if you want to skip the lines at Disney World’s rides, you’ll have to PAY to do it through the new Disney Genie+ system and Individual Attraction Selection.
With this new system, guests can pay $15 per ticket per day to see available return times for select Disney World rides. Guests can then select 1 return time at a time. When the return time for that ride arrives, they can then use the Lightning Lane (a.k.a. the old FastPass+ lane) for that ride, skipping the standby line.
BUT not all rides are available through the regular $15 Disney Genie+ service. Select popular rides are not available through the standard Genie+. If you want to skip the lines at these select attractions (like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Avatar: Flight of Passage, and select others) you’ll have to pay to get access to their Lightning Lanes individually through Individual Attraction Selection (pay-per-ride).
With this service, you’ll pay a set amount to use the Lightning Lane at one of these popular rides once. You can only get a maximum of 2 of these selections per day (though you cannot buy it twice for the same ride).
If you don’t want to use these services, you don’t have to. But if you do want to skip some of the standby lines, be prepared to pay.
Whether it’s paying more for food items, rental cars, airfare, or even your park tickets — your trip in 2022 could cost you more than you might think. It’s important to really take a close look at your trip and estimated costs to see if anything has changed since the last time you worked on your budget.
If your estimated costs have gone up, look to see if there are any ways you can save — maybe by sticking to quick service spots, reducing the number of souvenirs you’ll bring home, or skipping out on some “extra” experiences like a water park day.
Don’t forget that a number of deals and discounts have also been announced for 2022. You might be able to take advantage of some of those to help you save BIG. Click the links below to learn more:
- Annual Passholders can save on rooms in 2022
- Florida Residents can also save on hotel rooms this year
- A special Florida Resident ticket deal has been announced
- Guest staying at select Walt Disney World hotels from March 6th-July 7th, 2022 can save up to $100 a night!
- Florida Residents can also save on hotel rooms on some dates between March and July of 2022
- And Annual Passholders can save on select dates from March through July of 2022 as well
Don’t want to deal with booking your trip on your own? Reach out to our friends at Small World Vacations! They can help take the stress out of your vacation planning and their services are totally FREE!
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for news about price increases and discounts, so be sure to check back for more updates!
Tired of these high Disney World prices? Click HERE to read about 7 things at Disney World that cost less than you think!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
What price increases do you think we’re going to see in Disney World this year? Let us know in the comments below!