We live in a very different – dare I say challenging – time. Throughout the past year and a half, so much has changed, and more changes are to come in the next few months. I wanted to share some changes that I feel will be most impactful when planning a Walt Disney World vacation.
This first change I want to mention with which most of us have become familiar is the need for theme park reservations. To get into any of the four parks at Walt Disney World, you need a reservation. This has been a struggle to many and a blessing to some, depending on who you ask. As an annual passholder, I have had many moments where I hate the reservation system because I miss being able to just walk into a park, but I understand that it’s no longer an option. It is important to make sure you and your traveling group are all linked in My Disney Experience to ensure that everyone can get a park reservation together for the same park. When making your park reservation you will be able to see the availability calendar which will show you which parks are available to certain ticket types. It’s important to make sure you get your theme parks reservations sooner rather than later because if not, you might not be able to get the park you want. Now don’t worry, you can always park hop after 2pm to another theme park of your choice as long as it hasn’t hit capacity. Most likely, the park won’t be at capacity unless it’s a holiday.
The next thing to be aware of is that Rise of the Resistance is not using a virtual queue until further notice. This attraction can now be experienced by waiting in a standby line. Another attraction that uses this virtual queue technology is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot. It uses the same time schedule as Rise of the Resistance did, meaning the first set of boarding groups will drop at 7am and the second set will go live at 1pm. In order to secure a spot in the virtual queue, you have to have a park reservation for Epcot.
Something to watch out for is Disney Genie and Disney Genie+. These are going to be new planning tools that launch October 19th. Disney Genie is supposed to be a planning tool that will help you plan out each day based on wait times and other activities going on in the park. Disney Genie+ is the new paid “FastPass+” system. This system will take away the ability to plan your rides in advance. Disney Genie+ is $15 a day per person; you can plan your Lightning Lane usage the day of and book separate Lightning Lanes for attractions that are not included. I used to love planning my FastPasses prior to my trip because it got me excited. It was my favorite part because it gave me something to look forward to. I am eager to see how these new planning tools enhance the park experience.
It’s also important to check what the current Covid-19 rules and procedures are in the parks so you can come prepared. As of right now, masks are not required in outdoor locations. Masks are currently required in all indoor locations including indoor queues and transportation, except boat transportation. It is important to check this because these rules can change at any moment depending on how things are looking in Florida. I know for a lot of people these rules and procedures can change how they plan their vacations.
If you plan on visiting Walt Disney World within the next 18 months, it’s important to consider that the parks will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. If this celebration is something you want to experience, then make sure you plan a trip within the next 18 months. Make sure to use Dreams Unlimited Travel to book your next vacation. There’s so much to see and celebrate for the 50th anniversary like new gold statues, new fireworks shows, and new food. You are not going to want to miss out on this 18-month long celebration.
As I mentioned above, if you need any planning assistance for your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to Dreams Unlimited Travel. They can help as much or as little as you would like and they can give you expert advice. They are currently helping my fiancé and me plan our first Disney cruise, which is very exciting. Anyway, let’s get back on topic here. There are so many changes coming to Disney World and it’s good to be prepared for these changes and how they can affect your planning process. Also, keep in mind that in 2022 we should be seeing two new attractions open up at Walt Disney World. Tron and Cosmic Rewind will be here soon, I hope. There is a lot to plan around right now, but these are the ones that I think are the most important for the specific time that we are in.
What planning tips and tricks do you recommend for travelers coming to Walt Disney World in the next few months?
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.