The Disney Parks Blog has announced a return to several pre-covid operations as well as stating some restrictions will remain in place.
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First Time Planning? If you are planning your first ever Disney trip or first trip since the pandemic, check out my Disney trip planning tips for first time guests to see how to prepare for your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth! (Link opens in a new tab so you can continue reading the story below)
According to the post by Eric Scott, Walt Disney World is set to return many experiences to normal, or pre-Covid, including bringing back the popular Disney Dining Plan, removing park reservation restrictions for some guests, as well as teasing changes to Genie+ with perhaps a Fastpass style pre trip selection system. Extended Hours will continue to operate as they have been. Park hopping, as of now, will continue as an afternoon option for guests with that type of ticket add on. See below for full details.
Every guest who visits Walt Disney World has a completely unique experience. The magic of these experiences comes from the little moments, the ones we don’t quickly forget. Like the décor when you step into a Disney Resort hotel, the smell of your favorite Disney treat as you walk down Main Street, U.S.A., the cast member who went out of their way to help you, or feeling the thrill as you race across the Grid on TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise at Magic Kingdom Park.
Thousands of these unique moments happen every day, creating a deeper connection with Disney. We care about that and continue to listen to your feedback. That is why we recently rolled out updatesto improve the guest experience, like bringing back complimentary overnight self-parking at our Disney Resort hotels, adding attraction photos taken in the park on the day of your visit to Disney Genie+ service and more.
And today we’re thrilled to share some more exciting news just in time for the launch of 2024 bookings for theme park tickets, Disney Resort hotel stays and packages at Walt Disney World on May 31. These updates will make planning your future Walt Disney World visits simpler and easier, so you can further enjoy all we have to offer and make more memories:
Removing theme park reservation requirements for date-based tickets: Starting with park visits on Jan. 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets. You heard that right! When getting your ticket, you will simply select a start date for Jan. 9, 2024 or later, complete your purchase and then you will be all set! For reference, date-based tickets are the standard ticket option we offer to guests. For other admission types, including non-dated tickets, theme park reservations may be required to help us continue managing attendance and delivering a great experience for everyone. You can check which admission types require park reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com/ThemeParkReservations before you purchase.
Introducing “good-to-go days” for Annual Passholders* and cast members: In 2024, we plan to offer select days on which our Annual Passholders* and Disney cast members may visit Walt Disney World theme parks without needing a park reservation. Once introduced, we will roll out these good-to-go days on an ongoing basis. This will be in addition to the recent update which offers Passholders the opportunity to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. Good-to-go days may vary by park, and pass block out dates and capacity limitations continue to apply like they do today. Please stay tuned for more details on good-to-go days.
Bringing back our fan-favorite Disney dining plans: Time to eat! Disney dining plans will be coming back as an option for those staying at Disney Resort hotels who purchase a vacation package with us starting with stays beginning Jan. 9, 2024, which will also open for bookings on May 31. We know our guests – and families in particular – have missed dining plans, which offer guests the convenience and peace of mind of pre-paying for their meals and snacks. Guests will be able to choose from two popular options: Packages that include either the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan. Both plans will be a great value for families with young children with access to many spectacular food and beverage offerings across Walt Disney World.
Continuing to provide extended park time to Disney Resort hotel guests: For those planning to stay at a Disney Resort hotel, we will continue to offer the popular early theme park entry for visits through 2024 – every day, across all four theme parks. This great benefit gives you a jump start on your day. For those staying at Disney Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas, we’ll also be continuing to offer extended evening hours on select dates at select parks through 2024. Early theme park entry and extended evening hours require valid theme park admission and a Resort ID.
Simplifying the Disney Genie+ experience: We have heard from guests that they would like ways to plan with Disney Genie+ service and individual Lightning Lane selections before the day of their park visit, and we want you to know we are working on ways guests may do this for visits in 2024. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family. While we are not yet able to share specific details, we look forward to sharing more information at a later date.
Whether you’re getting ready to experience the feelings of a Disney thrill or counting down the days until your Disney visit, we hope these updates make you feel as excited as we are. We look forward to welcoming you to Walt Disney World real soon!
*Passes are subject to the Walt Disney World Resort Annual Pass Terms and Conditions
What are your thoughts regarding the changes to Walt Disney World? Comment below to let us know your thoughts!
If you’re ready to start exploring a Walt Disney World or Disneyland family vacation, I recommend checking out Undercover Tourist for your ticket options. I’ve already used them twice, once at Disneyland and once at Disney World and will plan to continue comparing their prices with other sites, however I usually come back to UT because they have the best deals and their instructions make it easy to add your tickets to the Disney apps.