More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney Dining Plans Returning, Exciting Park Reservation Updates and More at Walt Disney World

Eric Scott

by , Senior Manager, Communications

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 updates to 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 

Comments

  • For goodness sake, please bring back the Magical Express!!! Just made life easier!

  • Thank you for all this changes .. but please please bring back the old fastpass system … waking up at 7:00 am on vacation is no fun

  • These are great steps in the right direction! Thank you. As a true Disney lover, I hope WDW finds its way back to its roots of providing an exceptional experience at a value like they once did so well. Your guests felt appreciated and the bar was set high. But then, WDW started running like any other theme park by skipping the quality with mediocre experiences, non-functioning rides, failing attractions, and changes with the goal of strictly making more money. I don’t mind paying for quality, but I hate feeling robbed. I hope WDW fully come back to what made them stand apart. Bring back the magic!

  • The changes for 2024 are great! The one thing that I would like to see is the “Extra Magic Hours” as they were so all resort guests can enjoy the later park times and early entry. Early entry is nice but a bit of a circus at times – I would rather stay later in the evening. I usually stay at a Value Resort to save money on the rooms so we can spend more in the parks, some folks save a long time to afford a Value Resort – please don’t penalize us for that. Thanks very much!

  • DVC membership is expensive enough. Although I like the idea of having the park open earlier for those staying at a resort, as a DVC member, our perks are minimal. I’m asking for deeper discounts on annual passes at best. They are through the roof, even for Fl. Residence. We haven’t been in the parks during these changes done under Chapek, and for good reason, who wants to deal with all that frustration, and checking phones constantly and stressing over what you can ride and cannot ride, what parks can you go into, what can you reserve. No thanks. I’ll wait and see what other changes happen. And lastly, stop making everything so darn confusing.

  • I like the fact that some things are changing back to the way it was. None of what changed needed to happen in the first place. Two major things that still need changing are..if I’m paying extra for a parkhopper pass, I shouldn’t have to wait til 2:00 to park hop. It should be whenever you want because it can effect reservations planned out at other parks to benefit the guest’s day. The biggest one needing to change is Genie +. Fast pass wasn’t broken and worked just fine. We always had our fast passes reserved before we even left on the plane. It’s already outrageously expensive just to get in the park so there is absolutely no reason to charge any amount of money for essentially a “fastpass” for any ride! Just bring back the old system and many will return including myself who has been there 29+ times from Kentucky and always stayed in a Disney resort.

  • 10000% Tables In Wonderland needs to return. Haven’t been to a WDW restaurant since the program ended. Quit being greedy and shunning the locals.

  • Please bring back fastpass+ and get rid of Genie+

  • Will the dining package be available to DVC guests as well?

  • I have a few suggestions!

    1.) Please bring back parking lot trams to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. I’ve gone to EPCOT at various times and seem to end up in the back of the lot. Getting guests to the entrance faster makes them happy and also allows them more time in the park to bring revenue to Disney.

    2.) Discounts on quick service for WDW passholders would be a nice benefit! Maybe even do an offer such as buy an entree and get a dessert free.

    3.) Offer discounts for the standalone snack stands such as popcorn/treat carts to WDW pass holders.

    4.) I would love to see a free preferred parking option for higher tier WDW pass holders. Universal, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens all offer a higher tier parking option for their top tier annual passes.

  • All park reservations need to go and and so do the virtual queues. There’s no flexibility anymore with Disney parks. You cannot be spontaneous at all! You have to wake up at 7:00 AM just to try and get in a queue for a ride, can’t park hop until 2:00 even if your chosen park reservation for the day is extremely crowded and you want to go somewhere else, etc. It’s beyond frustrating, especially for families that have saved and saved for their trip, only to be told they can’t ride something because the queue is full and they have to stay glued to their phones all day to attempt to get a LL.

  • While some of this is great news, it stinks that AP holders will still have to make park reservations – especially the ones staying at a WDW hotel. That just rubs me the wrong way and doesn’t seem fair. I’m very happy to hear about upcoming changes to Genie+ though. The whole – get up at 7 AM and stress out on my vacation thing – was just a bad idea from the beginning. Glad you’re going to fix that!

  • I called MS and the CM I spoke to said no DVC reservations booked with point will not be eligable. Its for purchases of room packages = room and ticket must be purchased to get the dinning plan

  • And how about Disneyland?

  • These are great. Thank you. But please bring back resort parcel delivery!! Even front gate parcel delivery would be a huge deal!! And Tables in Wonderland!!

  • No more waking up at 7am on vacation!!! Let people buy their lighting lanes and genie the night before. The stress this adds to our trip makes us not want to come anymore.

  • I do not understand why annual passholders staying at one of your onsite resorts should still have to make park reservations to visit the parks during their resort stay dates. The type of admission ticket (date based ticket or annual pass) should not make a difference in order to track the number of people that are possibly visiting the parks from onsite resort reservations for a certain date. Why should an annual passholder have to decide which park they want to visit in advance or be limited to what parks they can visit on different days of their visit? You do not know ahead of time which park the dated ticket holder is going to choose on any particular day. Why are you penalizing annual passholders? All resort guests should have the same flexibility.

  • It would be nice for passholders who are local to get something out of this. We don’t need to stay on site since we live about 40 minutes away. How about giving us a discount on all food? Like Universal does?

  • So you’re eliminating park reservations and replacing them with ride reservations… got it.

  • Please reverse the terrible mistake of eliminating Magical Express. Also, expand the extra hours in the morning by at least another 30 minutes.

  • It will be nice to not wake up at 7am on vacation! But, I hope G+ doesn’t turn into FP+ where you had no flexibility and certain attractions were not available unless you were staying for days. The beauty of G+ is that you can decide where to go early that morning. Ideally, you should be able to book the afternoon before.

  • Bring back the Kiss Goodnight. I have spoken.

  • This is exciting! Still would like to see magical express return. Also would like to know if DVC members using points for a stay can purchase the dining plan?

  • If I have a resort reservation starting Jan 7 – will I only need park reservations for the first 2 days? (Using date based tickets)

  • now bring back the magical express!!!

  • While it’s nice to see Disney finally bringing some things back they continue to fall short in some areas. It’s time to get rid of the park reservation system as well as the 2pm park hopping rule for all guests. If they are bringing back the Dining plan then how about a return of Tables in Wonderland. Finally resort package delivery should have been back long ago.

  • This is a start to improving the guest experience. However, the 2pm park hopping restriction needs to go. It makes it so hard to have to wait until 2pm to hop to another park. More flexibility in park hopping we be awesome.

    On the Genie+ front, I am really hoping for two things. First is the ability to book three (or even two) return times ahead of time like the old Fastpass+ system. Second, would be the option to pick a time later in the day once you have used your initially booked options/two hours after park opening. Basically, in addition to planning ahead, I want the ability to plan for a break in the middle of the day. While I loved having Fastpass+ available at no charge, I would feel better about paying for Genie+ if I didn’t feel like I had go go go into the mid to late afternoon in order to get my money’s worth and it worked more like the Fastpass+ system did.

  • Cool. Now bring back the Magical Express please.

  • So exciting. Do we know how much the dining plan will cost? And do we know if a table service meal will include an entree, dessert, and specialty (adult) beverage like it did pre-pandemic?

  • Any chance these updates are coming to Disneyland?

  • Please bring back Tables in Wonderland!

  • Hi! Will Disney Vacation Club members be able to purchase a dinning plan? Are there any requirements that we need to meet like purchasing tickets or can we just purchase the dinning plan without tickets? How will this Work for DVC (Disney Vacation Club) Members?

    Thank you!
    Nahara

  • Amazing changes into the right direction. One comment, questions will the theme park reservations be dropped for Annual Passholders that have hotel reservations on-site? Seems weird to require those still when date-based tickets do not need to decide what park they will go to anymore but APs on site (think DVC as a huge group) will still need to decide months in advance on the park.

  • Really was hoping Disney Dining would be back by fall…we’re there in October 2023….We loved the Disney Dining Plan….maybe the dining gift card will still be an available option after this summer unless the dining plan.returns next spring….here hoping

  • Will this mean park hopping before 2 will return as well? Hope so

  • Amazing news! Thank you for all this!

    One question – we are UK based and arriving on January 17th 2024. We have the UK dining credit on our booking already – will we be able to switch to the dining plan instead?

  • Hello. Our family is extremely excited about the 2024 Park Updates, however we have a few questions. We are a Military family and would like to know how will the no park reservations needed affect the Military Salute Ticket? Will we still be required to make park reservations when we purchase our tickets? Also will there be a Military Discount offered for the Disney Dining Plan? Thank you so much and we look forward to our 2024 park visits.

  • Really pleased to hear about many of these changes. I’m particularly happy to hear that the Genie+ experience will be changing in the future. I go on vacation to escape my phone and it’s been frustrating being wedded to it during park days to arrange attraction experiences etc.

  • Fantastic update! Any word on whether Tables in Wonderland may be making a return in the future?

  • Although these changes are long overdue, I am very disappointed that Disney is continuing to implement its caste system by denying extended evening hours to resorts guests who aren’t staying at the Deluxe resort hotels and villas. The extra half hour given to all resort guests every day can hardly be compared to the extra two hours given to other resort guests on select evenings. Do better for ALL of your paid guests staying at ALL of your resorts Disney!

  • These are all promising changes. Thank you!! But – when are you bringing back resort parcel shipping? I really miss that!! Carrying heavy packages around all day is not ideal. Even park front delivery would be welcome!! Thanks!!

  • My first impression is that requiring annual pass holders to have reservations some days (except after 2 pm) is yet another slap in the face of those of us who spend a lot of money for the ability to visit at will. I live several hundred miles away, so can’t just drop in whenever I want. Our family has to plan vacations well in advance. It was crazy trying to plan a 10 – 14-day vacation when we couldn’t be sure we’d get into the parks every day. And some days we didn’t get in, as hard as we tried, constantly searching for reservation openings. Or at least didn’t get into the park of our choice. It added a lot of stress to the experience when we had vacation time and travel costs committed with only a few days in the parks guaranteed.

  • Disappointed that the Deluxe Dining Plan is not returning.

  • Thank you for these returning to normal updates in 2024, but what about families that made reservations for 2023. What kind of incentives will you offer to guests to keep current reservation dates for less benefits, and not re schedule for 2024. It seems like a benefit for only those that waited and were not going to return to the parks. The folks that stood with Disney and respected all of the rules get less?

  • With park pass going away for date based, does that mean park hopping is still limited to 2 pm?

  • Now bring back Magical Express and luggage service.

  • This is all wonderful news!!! I appreciate you guys listening to all of the feedback regarding the DDP and the Genie+.

    We went in October and not having the dining plan and having to be on my phone way more than I was in 2019 were my only two complaints.

  • Will there still be a 2pm park hopping restriction in 2024?

  • Will the dining package be available to DVC guests as well?

Comments are closed.