3 Changes Walt Disney World is Making to Bring More Value & Flexibility to Your Visits

Avery Maehrer

by , Director, Communications at Walt Disney World Resort

UPDATE: Launch dates are now included below for Annual Passholder and Disney Genie+ service enhancements.

Happy New Year from Walt Disney World Resort! 2022 was a big year for us as we continued our 50th Anniversary celebration with cast, guests and the community, debuted our newest groundbreaking attraction with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and reopened beloved experiences from “Fantasmic!” to the Walt Disney World Railroad.

2023 brings even more to look forward to – from the triumphant return of the “Happily Ever After” nighttime spectacular to the opening of TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom, and one I personally can’t wait to experience, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at EPCOT!

Today, we’re excited to announce a few other updates we’re making to improve the guest experience and to let our fans know we are listening to their feedback, including Annual Passholders, who are some of our most loyal guests:

Enjoy complimentary self-parking when staying at a Disney Resort hotel

Beginning this evening, Jan. 10, overnight self-parking will once again be offered complimentary to guests staying at Disney Resort hotels at Walt Disney World. This is a Disney difference many of you have asked us to bring back, and we’re happy to reintroduce it to make your vacation a little easier and more affordable – whether you’re road tripping across the country, renting a car or vacationing as a local Florida resident. As a reminder, Disney Resort hotel guests also continue to receive complimentary standard parking at Walt Disney World theme parks, daily early theme park entry (with valid admission and a park reservation) and complimentary on-site transportation options such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner. 

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.

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.

All of these updates are specific to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida – be sure to check out this blog post from Disneyland Resort on updates they announced today.

Please know we will keep listening to you and adapting as we focus on making the guest experience even better for more people who visit us here at The Most Magical Place on Earth.

That includes making planning easier for everyone. For example, we recently added the ability to modify Disney Genie+ attraction selections in the My Disney Experience app, began automatically making theme park reservations with the purchase of 1-day, 1-park specific tickets and made our dining reservation policy more flexible if you need to modify or cancel.

As we’ve shared before, we’re also committed to providing a wide range of options to visit, which is why we roll out special offers from time to time for Florida residents and other guests. Visit DisneyWorld.com/Offers for more details, including a few offers we launched to kick off the new year.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more updates and be sure to visit planDisney.com for helpful tips and advice on planning your next visit to Walt Disney World. 

We hope these updates make your next visit more convenient and enjoyable, so you can focus on making memories with your family, friends and loved ones. We’re grateful for fans like you and look forward to seeing you real soon!

*All offerings are subject to change or cancellation without notice. Walt Disney World Annual Pass Terms and Conditions apply. 


  • I have just become an Annual Pass holder for the 1st time and I am beyond super excited. My daughter and I have been visiting Disney 2 -3 times a year and have longed for a pass. I feel that the AP will open up a whole new world at Disney for us. Thank you Disney for making these passes available again. See you soon.

  • This is disappointing. Please Disney focus on what is truly important, you are not really listening to us. I don’t understand how you have to pay more and more for everything. Bring back the fast passes, no more Genie Plus, also please allow the strollers wagons again please!

  • We have an annual pass holders for several years. When the Disney genie plus came along my husband and I used it one trip and was not able to get on anything it was very disappointing to spend over $30 for absolutely nothing. Please bring back the gate Pass system. Disney makes enough money on admission and food they don’t need to charge for everything

  • These changes are a step in the right direction, but they are like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

    The problem is Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. These are far too expensive, complicated, unpredictable and inconvenient – and based on the surveys going out, Parks & Resorts knows it.

    Despite what Mr. Iger says on the earnings call, nobody is “embracing” Genie+. Nobody “embraces” being charged $15-$29 per head, per day for something that used to be included in our park admission. We buy it because we feel like we have no other option if we want a satisfactory “guest experience” in the parks.

    You’ve put us in a position where our “choice” to pay is not a choice at all. Please stop trying to gaslight us into thinking otherwise.

  • Can we just please start allowing stroller wagons again?! They’re much smaller than any double stroller and so much easier to handle

  • We took our entire family in December and HATED having to live on my phone to do Genie+ and lightning lanes – that’s not a vacation. Please bring back fast passes and Magical Express!

  • Does this include Shades or Green?

  • Look, the only one of these enhancements that I would care anything about is going to some of the parks after two without a reservation, although, getting a reservation is so easy, it doesn’t matter. The other enhancements, just another way for you to make money by making people buy the Disney genie plus. To me that’s not listening. Listening would be to lower your prices. To keep raising your prices every year on your passholders is unconscionable. There’s only so much we can afford you know! And then to take away some of our benefits like the Disney photo pass and make us pay extra for it? That is what you need to change, not the silly stuff. That’s what we care about. Sorry Disney, but this is not listening.

  • Bring back all of the other passes, it’s what you should do. We don’t need the enhancements mentioned above.

  • Glad to see that Disney recognizes that annual passholders are looking for flexibility. I would like to make some suggestions, Epcot should not require park pass reservations for people with park hopper or annual pass tickets. Guests staying at or dining at Epcot resorts who want to use Disney transportation are not able to walk through Epcot to take the monorail, a more enjoyable way to travel than buses, to Magic Kingdom. This limits movement throughout the parks, as the reservation system does period. I would not mind saying hey I plan to visit the parks today but do not like being confined to one park until 2 pm. Also if paid fast passes were eliminated for in park guests and we went back to the old way of scanning a ticket to get a fast pass that would be ideal. The paid option could still be made available fore 3 prebooked fp of any kind for people who want to book park pass reservations and what not in advance and in park guests could still use the system at no charge based on what was available. Lastly we are all still missing the main st trolley dancers, and that wonderful train station welcome show.

  • We are currently pixie pass holders and live about an hour away. We have three of the enjoyed our past, however, are not going to renew as blackout dates coincide with every single school holiday, and upgrade to weekends, will be another $1,000 a year.

    Maybe consider opening up annual pass holder slots the morning of a school holiday. If you are not anticipating reaching capacity. It would allow season pass holders to come and spend money in your parks on food and other items that you would not get completely missing out on the ticket sale.

  • I wish you would bring all the floats and dancers back to the Festival of Fantasy Parade. It was so amazing seeing all the dancers and costumes down Main Street and seeing the many floats. But now the parade just looks sad. Bring back the magic.

  • PLEASE begin selling annual passes again!!! We love Disney and are right next door in Georgia… we want to come more often but buying single/multi day tickets every time is hurting our budget! 🥲

  • I would like an annual pass that does not require a phone. I’ll happily carry paper tickets and fastpasses. I have to look at a computer and phone all day, every day at work. I need a vacation where work can’t reach me. Miss the good old days of 3 fastpasses per day. Visitors were happier, CMs were happier, I was happier. It’s no longer an escape from work, sadly. Disney should find more cleverly disguised ways to use technology in the parks while encouraging visitors to leave phones at home or zipped away.

  • Very disappointed in the direction Disney has gone!

  • We have decided to NOT visit Disneyworld again until Disney Corp. stops pushing an agenda that divides.

  • This is great news! Please bring back annual passes soon. I’d love to visit WDW more often.

  • This is great news! Please bring back annual passes. I’d love to visit WDW more often.

  • Disneyland now gets to park hop at 11:00 a.m.
    How is this fair to those who go to Walt Disney World? Thats not right.

  • I am sad to see Disney go in the direction it has, I brought my family there 7 times over my kids lifetime, I love and miss the old paper ticket fast pass, it was such a fun way to get one without the electronic rat race it has become,
    I will never come back until dining plan is back and prices come back down to a sense of value received
    Guess this is the world we are in, the magic is gone

  • I am sad to see Disney go in the direction it has, I brought my family there 7 times over my kids lifetime, I love and miss the old paper ticket fast pass, it was such a fun way to get one without the electronic rat race it has become,
    I will never come back until dining plan is back and prices come back down to a sense of value received

  • Parking SHOULD be included for those staying on property. Thank you for revising that. Please bring back fast passes and Magical Express though.

  • I was so close to purchasing a DVC right before the pandemic, THANK GOD I DIDN’T!!! So many changes now, I feel bad for those stuck with it. NO FAST PASSES, NO MAGICAL EXPRESS, NO DINNING PLAN, prices just keep rising, while getting less. The convenience is gone, It truly is a shame. Get rid of Genie+ & offer fast passes to those who stay on premise.

  • Still no dining plans. Less money for Disney as will go outside parks to eat while waiting for 2pm to park hop.

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