1. Park Reservations Required
In an effort to manage the capacity of each park, guests 3 years and older must have a park reservation in addition to a ticket to enter any Walt Disney World theme park. Disney implemented this new system in 2021 and it looks like it is here to stay. Capacity for each park is limited so it is important that you first check availability for each park prior to making your reservation. Be sure to secure your park reservation as soon as your vacation is booked. Just having a ticket does not guarantee you entry into any park, you must also have a Park Reservation.
2. Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Replaces FastPasses
Disney Genie+ service is the new paid-for service that will allow you to skip longer attraction wait times. The cost is $15 per person per day per person. You can either add this service in advance to all your park days or you can opt to purchase individually on the day you are going to take advantage of the service. Using Disney Genie+ you can choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance (avoiding the longer standby line). You can make one selection at a time, throughout the day. Individual Lightning Lane is an additional service that can be purchased either with Disney Genie+ or separate from it. This service is only for the two most popular attractions at each park. Prices for this service will vary, but right now does not exceed $15 per person per attraction.
3. 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Continues
“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in honor of the 50th Anniversary continues through all of 2022. This 18-month long celebration includes special activities and decorations. New experiences are at all four parks plus new attractions are under construction with plans to open during the 50th Anniversary. This is a popular timeframe to visit so be sure to secure your plans early for the best availability of resorts and dining options.
4. Face Masks are Currently Required
Face masks are now optional in outdoor common areas. This means you can now walk around outside at the parks and resort areas without wearing a mask. Face coverings are required for all guests ages 2 years and older upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters, and on transportation. Disney-themed masks are sold throughout the resorts and parks however we found that the lightweight, disposable masks work well for warm weather days.
5. Download the My Disney Experience App
Be sure to download the most recent MyDisneyExperience App on your phone prior to your trip. With the launch of the Disney Genie system, having the My Disney Experience app on your phone is a must. From the app, you can view your reservations, as well as attraction wait times, maps, and view photos from the convenience of your phone. You will also use the MDE App to place your Mobile Food Orders and check in to your dining reservations. Be sure to download the app and play with it prior to your trip.
6. Dining Reservations are a Must
One of the recent changes at Disney is the timeframe that you can book dining reservations prior to your trip. Now you can make reservations beginning 60 days prior to your first vacation day beginning online at 6:00 am or calling (407) 939-3463 at 7:00 am. It is beneficial for family’s to have at least one dining reservation per day. Dining reservations are a great time for families to unwind and enjoy downtime together and to avoid the hustle and bustle of the quick service locations. (Pro Tip: Book your vacation through Castle and Cruise Adventures and we will make your reservations for you!)
7. Characters are Everywhere
While the traditional Character Meet and Greets are paused, for now, there are still plenty of opportunities to see all your favorite Disney characters. Character Cavalcades, Motorcades, and Flotillas are a great way to see characters. These mini-parades will make their way through the parks as well as waterways featuring all your favorite characters and princesses. Social distanced character meet and greet with Mickey Mouse and many of the Disney princesses have recently returned. Returning in 2022 is Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. This delightful parade is a great way to see many of your favorite Disney characters.
8. Enjoy More Time (and Less Crowds) by Staying at a Disney Resort
Disney resort guests are able to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry for all the parks. The parks open 30 minutes early every day to resort guests only. While at first glance this may not seem like much time, it really is surprising what a great advantage this gives to resort guests. Early park entry allows resort guests to be first in line to some of the most popular attractions at each park which is a really nice benefit, especially during higher crowd-level days. Deluxe resort guests receive an additional benefit. On select evenings, families staying at a Deluxe resort can take advantage of two extra evening theme park hours. During this timeframe rides and shops are open only to these guests.
9. Memory Maker Makes a Great Souvenir
Memory Maker is one of the best souvenirs you can purchase from your trip. This photo package includes all the digital Disney PhotoPass photos captured at hundreds of locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. If you are interested in Memory Maker you will want to purchase this three or more days before your trip at a cost of $169. If you wait to closer to your trip or purchase after your trip the cost will increase to $199. (Pro Tip: Remember to ask for Magic Shots!)
10. New Fireworks and Evening Shows (and return of a favorite!)
As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Walt Disney World, both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT launched brand new evening fireworks shows. Be sure to stay around each evening for Magic Kingdom’s Disney Enchantment and EPCOT’s Harmonious. Both of these shows feature special projections, Disney music, and fireworks. Returning to Hollywood Studios is the popular Fantasmic! This show will join the currently running Wonderful World of Animation.
Planning a Walt Disney World vacation on your own can be overwhelming and stressful. When you are ready to plan your 2022 Walt Disney World vacation be sure to reach out to Castle and Cruise Adventures, LLC and we can help you put together a trip that is perfect for your family. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.