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A Look Ahead at Walt Disney World Resort

Avery Maehrer

by , Manager of Communications, Walt Disney World Resort

For nearly 50 years, Walt Disney World Resort has continued to evolve the guest experience to best suit the changing times. As we plan for the future, we are looking at how needs and preferences are changing across the travel industry, particularly in the way people want to get places faster, at their convenience. 

Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this shift, when Disney Resort hotel bookings open for stays in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022. We will continue to operate the service for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021. Additionally, complimentary transportation options – such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner – will continue to be available within Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Resort hotel guests, including to and from all four theme parks.

While we are retiring this option, we’re introducing some new ways for guests to enjoy their visits, while reimagining others:


  • Return of the Park Hopper Option: We kicked off a new year with the exciting milestone of bringing back the Park Hopper option, with some new updates as part of our ongoing focus on health and safety. With the return of this option, guests can enjoy more Disney magic in our theme parks, including the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts happening now through Feb. 22, 2021 and the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival springing to life beginning March 3.
  • Special Vacation Offer: For those of you ready to start planning your next vacation, we just released a special new offer! Get two extra days added to your ticket when you buy a 4-night/3-day room and ticket package at select Disney Resort hotels for arrivals most nights Jan. 8 through Sept. 25, 2021. Also, visit DisneyWorld.com/Offers to learn more about other great offers we recently launched for visits to Walt Disney World Resort.


  • Early Theme Park Entry: We know how much guests enjoy extra park time, so coming later this year as part of our 50th anniversary celebration, Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to enjoy more fun with 30-minute early entry to ANY theme park, EVERY day. It’ll be a great way to get a jump start on your Disney day, no matter the day! As a reminder, the Extra Magic Hours benefit was suspended when Walt Disney World Resort reopened last summer, and as we continue to manage attendance with health and safety top of mind, Extra Magic Hours will not return. The new early theme park entry benefit helps us better spread visitation across all four theme parks, while providing added flexibility by giving guests extra early park time on each day of their vacation and in the park of their choosing. Please note that guests need valid admission and a park reservation made via the Disney Park Pass system to enter a theme park.

As with every other change we’ve made in our history, we will help guests navigate through these next steps and will continue to deliver on what’s expected from a Disney experience. We remain focused on exploring new ways for guests to spend more time with their friends and families and creating memories to last a lifetime.


  • I’m skeptical 30 minutes will get more than a single ride done.

  • For me personally I am thrilled at this news. I never use DME as I prefer the speed of getting to resort by Uber rather than waiting around for an hour for DME.

    The EMH removal is a shame BUT to have EVERY park now open EVERY day 30 minutes early is a MASSIVE perk. I can now chose any day to go to any park and get in 30 minutes early and beat the crowds. Imagine getting in early to avoid a 2 hour wait for Avatar…Seven Dwarves Mine Train..Slinky Dog…Test Track..Animal Kingdom Safari…etc etc – Before I would have to plan each parks early admission around EMH.

    Times are a changing and Disney has to change too…for me this announcement is making staying on property even more valuable and actually guarantees it. Why would I stay off property to then see thousands of guests walk past me in the queue outside before the park opens and make my wait times for rides huge from the first minute.

  • I am an out of state AP. I typically make 4-6 trips a year bringing with me several non AP family members each stay. I spend ALOT of money at WDW every year. These changes post Covid are disappointing. Eliminating DME, discontinued magic bands with your stay, no EMH…so many other perks disappearing one by one. The writing is on the wall that APs will be the next to go, just like has happened at Disney Land. At that point, I’ll be done. The value for the experience is gone. I do not feel appreciated as an AP. The magic keeps fading…and with that, so will the desire of the faithfuls to buy into your brand. Truly disappointing.

  • My sister is Disney-obsessed and the only reason I’d agree to go back with her was the Extended Magic Hours. It’s the only way I’ve ever enjoyed Disney Parks, even including when I was a child. I’m a person on the autism spectrum with sensory issues and there is no way I’ll ever return without Extended Magic Hours late at night. Very disappointing.