Thinking about finally planning that Disney World vacation you’ve been dreaming about?
We know the feeling. But, there are a TON of things to consider before you actually get down to the nitty-gritty. Where do you want to stay? What parks do you want to visit? And maybe most importantly — WHEN should you go? If you’ve got Disney World on your brain and can’t decide whether a 2023 or 2024 trip is right for you, we’re laying it all out for you right here!
Whether it’s your first time or fiftieth time visiting Disney World, there’s going to be at least a little bit of planning involved. But before you can decide where to stay or what delicious snacks you’ll chow down on — you have to decide just when you’ll be visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth. So, let’s find out if you should book a 2023 or 2024 vacation to Disney World!
Special Events and Experiences
You’ll usually find some sort of special event going on around Disney World, but some are only around for a limited time! The 50th Anniversary Celebrations are happening just through March 2023, so if you’re wanting to experience that event — a 2023 trip might be for you. And, although we don’t know what’s in store for the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration in Disney World, we do know it’ll begin in 2023.
Disney After Hours events returned in 2023! Both Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will host separately ticketed, late-night events featuring special snacks and more. Chances are these events could continue into 2024, but if you want to be there for their return — consider booking your trip for early 2023.
Most of Disney World has returned to normal operations, but there are still some experiences that have yet to come back. The Disney Dining Plan is a BIG one that still hasn’t returned, and although Disney confirmed it will be coming back — we just don’t know when. If not having the Disney Dining Plan is a deal breaker for you, holding out until 2024 just in case it’s back by then might not be a bad idea!
In 2023 however, Disney did introduce a different dining offer. Guests staying in Disney World hotels on select dates in 2023 can get what is essentially a dining gift card.
Disney World already raised ticket prices for 2023, so either way, you’re going to be paying more for your trip than you would have in 2022. Disneyland also just announced a price increase for tickets, and it’s possible that yet another hike could hit Disney World tickets before 2024.
But, if you’ve already resolved yourself to the fact that you’ll be paying more either way and don’t mind digging into your pockets just a little deeper, a 2024 visit could work too — especially if you’re waiting for most of those construction projects to be done around Disney World by then. Price increases on food, merch, and more tend to be an annual thing. So that’s just something to keep in mind!
Speaking of construction projects, major changes are happening all around Disney World right now. Between hotel renovations, new restaurants, and the latest attractions opening — there is a LOT going on.
Both TRON Lightcycle Run is set to open April 4, 2023, and Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana is set to open late 2023 respectively. If you just can’t wait to experience these attractions, a trip to the parks next year sounds like it’s in your future.
P.S. Note that, in order to ride TRON during its opening phase, guests will need to secure a Boarding Pass via Disney World’s Virtual Queue system OR purchase an Individual Lightning Lane through Disney Genie, as this attraction will NOT offer a Standby line.
Though this spot will not be a Toy Story character meal, the theming — featuring a new play area: a RODEO arena, created by Andy himself — looks pretty incredible nonetheless! We can’t wait to mosey inside and try it out this March!
A new fireworks show will also be debuting at EPCOT in 2023, and we’re hopeful that the EPCOT Transformation will finally be complete by then as well. In the meantime, Harmonious will close on April 2, 2023 and EPCOT Forever will begin its limited time run on April 3, 2023.
But, if you’re waiting for the Splash Mountain re-theme to be finished so you can ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, well, you’re probably going to want to wait until 2024 as that’s when the ride is slated to be done. (Splash Mountain itself had its last day of operation on January 22, 2023, and — as of January 23, 2023 — has permanently closed in Disney World.)
Plus, by that time both TRON and the Moana attractions will be open so you can experience all of Disney World’s new rides!
More Character Experiences Returning
Traditional Character Meet-and-Greets started to return to Disney World in April 2021. But not all of these beloved experiences returned at that time. In fact, several Character Greeting locations remain closed (you can find all the ones that are OPEN here).
That said, the tide continues to turn. For instance, though this meet-and-greet has been closed since the Disney World theme parks reopened from their temporary closure in 2020, Characters RETURNED to Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Magic Kingdom on January 15th, 2023!
Minnie Magnifique, Daisy Fortuna, The Astounding Donaldo, and The Great Goofini are all ready to shine under the Big Top once again!
You can meet The Little Mermaid here once again, since the spot reopened on January 22nd, 2023.
While this is not a traditional Meet-and-Greet, it’s still a WONDERFUL character experience: Disney has also shared that Enchanted Tales with Belle is returning to Magic Kingdom!
Enchanted Tales with Belle is an experience that retells the story of Beauty and The Beast. Guests get to go into Maurice and Belle’s cottage and explore Maurice’s workshop, where they are transported through an enchanted mirror to learn the story of how Belle met the Beast. And it all returns on February 19th, 2023!
A lot can happen around Disney World (and we’ll continue covering all of the changes here), so keep all of this in mind when you’re deciding whether you should book a 2023 or 2024 vacation. Either way, you can be sure we’ll be bringing you the BEST planning advice and tips — like the hardest dining reservations to get in 2023 and how to save $1,000 on your trip.
We’ve got a great resource for you when you plan your NEXT Disney World trip – our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. We wrote our ebook after decades of visiting Disney World, so that we could help you have a stress-free vacation! Click here and use code WDW2023 to get 25% off!
Stay tuned to DFB for the latest Disney World planning tips, news, and more!
Will you be heading to Disney World in 2023 or 2024? Let us know in the comments!