NEWS: Disney Announces Starting Date for Park Reservation Policy Change & New Perk for Genie+
In early January 2023, Disney announced changes that would be occurring early in the year, which many guests are excited about. First, they announced that the resort parking fee would be dropped on January 10. Disney also announced that attraction photos would be included with Disney Genie+ and that annual passholders would no longer need park reservations when entering a park after 2:00 pm. At the time, no dates were given for these new perks. However, Disney has now announced the starting dates of those upcoming perks. Learn more below.
Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Avery Maeher:
Attraction photo downloads will be included with Disney Genie+ service
Starting March 20, guests purchasing Disney Genie+ service will also receive digital downloads of their Disney PhotoPass attraction photos, taken in the park on the day of their purchase, at no additional charge. Attraction photos are taken while in the parks at more than a dozen of our most popular attractions including Space Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash, Test Track, Expedition Everest and more. I always love looking back at family photos at our favorite attractions – it’s a perfect way to remember and celebrate your theme park visit together. An exact launch date will be announced at a later time. Disney PhotoPass terms and conditions and expiration policy apply.
Walt Disney World Annual Passholders: Park reservation requirements will be relaxed for visits after 2 p.m.*
Beginning April 18, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. Pass blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today. While the theme park reservation system remains important to manage attendance in our parks, especially on busier days, we realize our Passholders enjoy more spontaneous visits – and this change will make that possible.
Starting March 20, Passholders will also receive access to Disney PhotoPass lenses and one complimentary Cinderella Castle Mural of Memories experience (age restrictions apply). Visit Cinderella Castle Mural of Memories and Disney PhotoPass Lenses for details, restrictions and other information.*
We are also excited to provide Passholders with a new offering starting March 20 where you can create and share short Disney-themed video slideshows with favorite photos from your theme park visits.
RELATED ARTICLE: Top 10 Tips & Tricks to Have the Best 7 Day Disney Vacation Ever!
A week may sound like a long time to be at Disney, but with all, there is to see and do your seven days will fill up quickly. We have put together a list of ten tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your trip and have the best seven-day (or maybe shorter or longer) Disney vacation ever.
10 – Visit During Off-Peak Season
If you are able to visit Disney World in the off-peak seasons. During the peak seasons, resort prices are higher, and the crowds are bigger. Visiting during months like September, mid-November to mid-December, and early May, you will see a drop in hotel prices and lighter crowds, making for a more enjoyable time at the parks with shorter standby wait times, meaning you can experience more.
9 – Schedule a Nap
Getting enough rest is important for anyone when visiting Disney. Trying to tackle a park from open to close is very tiring, and it’s difficult to do day after day during a seven-day vacation. Keep your energy up and your spirits high by scheduling a nap. Disney transportation makes it easy to get back to your resort for an hour or so to recharge, and then head back to the park. Taking the time to rest will ensure you have the stamina to continue to enjoy Disney well into the evening, and everyone will be happier for it!
8 – Make Reservations
One of the best things you can do when you prepare for your vacation is to make dining reservations. Dining reservations for table service restaurants can be made 60 days in advance, and this is strongly recommended. This will help you secure a table at the restaurants of your choice, and hopefully, at the time you’d like. The last thing you want is everyone to be cranky and hungry while searching for an empty table at dinner time, so think ahead and make a reservation.
7 – Consider Your Arrival and Departure Times
If you arrive at Disney later in the day, or your flight leaves Florida earlier in the day, it may not be worth it to purchase a park ticket for that travel day. Of course, this is a personal preference, but if you only have part of your day open to explore Disney, it may be a good time to visit Disney Springs, go miniature golfing, explore a resort, or spend time at the pool. This way, you won’t spend money on a park ticket for only a portion of the day, and it will open up your schedule for exploring other areas of Disney.
6 – See the Nighttime Shows
Editor’s Note: Disney Enchantment and Harmonious will end on April 2, 2023. Happily Ever After will return to Magic Kingdom on April 3, 2023. EPCOT Forever will also return on April 3, 2023. A new show will come to EPCOT in late 2023.
Seeing all the nighttime shows is a must to make the most of your 7-day vacation. You can see Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Harmonious is at Epcot, and Magic Kingdom has a wonderful fireworks show, Disney Enchantment! There simply isn’t a better or more magical way to finish your day at a Disney park than watching a spectacular nighttime show.
5 – Use Disney Transportation
The transportation in Disney is free, so make use of it! The buses between resorts and parks run frequently and will drop you off very close to the front gates. The Monorail, boats, and Disney Skyliner are like attractions in themselves and are a very enjoyable and convenient way to get around. Using Disney transportation will save you money, time, and stress.
4 – Get a Park Hopper
When visiting Disney for an extended amount of time, the Park Hopper can come in handy. It is an extra cost, but it is worth it if you have visited Disney before and like to pack as much as possible into your stay. The Park Hopper allows you to hop between parks each day instead of just staying at one park all day. It also gives you flexibility and the ability to be spontaneous during your vacation. Currently, park hopping is allowed after 2:00 pm.
3 – Have a Character Dining Experience
If you enjoy meeting characters, a character dining experience is the way to go. They will require a reservation, but they are a great way to have a unique, memorable dining experience, and you will avoid waiting in lines to meet characters. There are great dining options with characters at resorts, like 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian dining with princesses, Alice and Mary Poppins, and ‘Ohana at the Polynesian breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. Character dining experiences are a great way to pack a lot into one meal.
2 – Visit Magic Kingdom More Than Once
With seven days to explore Disney World, you can visit some of the parks more than once, depending on how you spend your time. But do yourself a favor and visit Magic Kingdom more than once. There is so much to do and see at this park. You’re going to want to ride the attractions a few times, meet all the characters and maybe see Disney Enchantment twice. Visit Magic Kingdom a couple of times and bask in the magic and pixie dust because it’s a feeling you’re going to want to hold onto as long as you can.
1 – Make Your Park Reservations Early
Initially, the Walt Disney World reservation system was introduced as a way to keep capacity in check during the phased reopening. However, with reservations required through January 2024 and being tied to the annual pass program, it appears the system is here to stay. When planning a trip, the first thing you want to do after purchasing tickets is make park reservations. You’ll need a park reservation for each day you have admission. While reservation availability doesn’t appear to be an issue any longer, some dates and parks do hit capacity, so you’ll want to make your reservations as soon as possible. Remember, you can visit the other parks after 2:00 pm if you have a park hopper. However, you must visit the park you have a reservation for first, so choose a park that you want to spend time at in the morning! You must have a My Disney Experience account to make park reservations. Click here to make your reservations.
For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.