By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

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Category — a. When to Go to Walt Disney World

Disney World in 2023

DISNEY WORLD IN 2023

Elements of the Disney World fan community view the parks with a degree of disquiet, dismayed by prices increasing even more quickly than usual, previously bundled costs now being unbundled and charged for, and increasing complexity to managing a day in the parks. Some changes announced in January 2023 are welcome, but much remains troubling to some.

On the other hand, in late September 2022 I accompanied a couple of six year old children for their first visit to the parks, and their experience was magical. Their parents and grandparents had not been in the parks since the end of 2016, and they were astonished by the improvements at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and intrigued by and willing to be patient with what was going on at Epcot. The three best rides at Disney World—Flight of Passage, Rise of the Resistance, and Guardian of the Galaxy—have all opened since these folks last visited…

So while some repeat visitors may be dismayed, for first-time visitors and folks who have not been in a while, Disney World remains a marvelous, marvelous destination.

Cool image (c) Disney. Weak graphics by me.

Moreover, the increasing “day-of” complexity replaces what used to be “60 days before complexity.” As a result, first timers are on a more even playing field with returning visitors than I have seen since the days before FastPass+.

Of more long-term interest, Disney World is shifting from a strategy designed to extract a higher proportion of the total vacation spend of an ever-increasing guest count to a strategy that uses higher prices to yield a better overall experience for a smaller number of guests. This builds on and extends a strategy that began in 2014 to run the parks on a more commercial basis. As former Disney World exec Jim MacPhee notes, “this may seem like an obvious expectation of all senior business leaders. However, there was a much different philosophy that preceded these expectations.”

I’ll have more to say about much of this, I imagine, later.

WHAT’S NEW AT DISNEY WORLD IN 2023

  • Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration will come to an end, replaced with celebration of the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary.
  • All major attractions, and most minor, have re-opened. However, at Magic Kingdom Splash Mountain closes for a multi-year re-theming into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure January 23, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster closes February 20 for maintenance and will not re-open until sometime in the summer of 2023.
  • The transformation of Epcot will continue with changes to its entrance and what used to be known as Future World. The new-in-2021 evening show Harmonious will be replaced in 2023, first with a temporary  return of the show Epcot Forever on April 3, then with a new permanent show later in the year.  The barges that Harmonious brought to World Showcase Lagoon will be removed.
  • At Magic Kingdom, an updated version of the former evening show Happily Ever After will replace the new-in-2021 evening show Disney Enchantment on April 3, 2023, and the next day, April 4, the new ride Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom will open.

DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICING IN 2023

Disney World moved to date-based ticket pricing in 2018, and in 2020 added to its requirements the need to book in addition to tickets also park reservations. For current 2023 Disney World ticket prices, see this.

DISNEY WORLD RESORT PRICING AND DEALS IN 2023

Disney World uses a combination of complicated and changing room pricing, and, on top of that, deals, to keep its resort hotel occupancy very high. Typically, rooms are more expensive—sometimes much more—during the more attractive times to go to Disney World.

Mousesavers.com has specific material on nightly prices in 2023 by hotel and within them room types here, and I have easier to use but much less detailed information on 2023 Disney World resort hotel seasonal prices here.

Several hotel deals have come out for 2023, and cover most dates into mid-September. Find more on current Disney World deals here.

The simplest way to handle getting any deals that might be available is to make your initial booking through a travel agent, who will then–if a deal comes out for your dates–move heaven and earth to try to get you in to it.

I recommend Destinations in Florida, who has been the travel agent partner of this site for years. To book your vacation through them, contact them using the form at the end of this page.

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS IN 2023

Barring external economic shocks, I expect the Disney World parks to continue to see substantial demand in 2023. Moreover, a higher degree of resistance to taking kids out of school than before the pandemic will continue to particularly focus much of this demand into the traditional US school holidays:

Early January 2023 will be busy through the first full weekend, as lots of kids continue on holiday on break through January 3, 2023 and a full 20% through January 8. The rest of the month should be much better, with the Martin Luther King holiday weekend being the next worst dates in the month.

Presidents Day, February 20 in 2023, is late in its possible range. With Mardi Gras 2023 the very next day, the week that includes Presidents Day will be even worse than usual. (Tons of kids in the northeast have the whole week off and a much lesser number in a few southern states have breaks around Mardi Gras.)

Easter in 2023 will be about in the middle of it possible range, on April 9. The patterns of spring breaks in 2023 are not as monolithic as in some years-I’m not seeing week followed by week followed by week of really bad crowds. Rather, the worst crowds are particularly concentrated into the weeks beginning 3/11, 4/1, and 4/8.

The week beginning 3/11 sees most of Florida and most of Texas on spring break, as well as districts from Alaska to Virginia. While the sorts of annual passes Florida residents typically buy are blocked out this week, I’m still seeing it as a very bad week thanks to everyone else.

The weeks beginning 4/1 and 4/8 are the usual busy weeks before and after Easter. Many schools frame their breaks around one or the other of these two weeks, and those that don’t not uncommonly have a long weekend that includes Good Friday, Easter Monday, or both. If anything, this last trend is increasing, as many schools whose principal breaks are in March are adding two long weekends in April, one for Easter and one for Eid al-Fitr.

While still substantial, crowds are not as bad the two weeks beginning March 18 and March 25. Finally, the week beginning 4/15 sees minor crowding from some northeast schools with that week off, supplemented at the end of that week with increasing numbers of schools having a long weekend associated with Eid al-Fitr.

Summer 2023 crowds I expect to be substantially higher than the crowds in the years before COVID, as people continue to make up for missed holidays in 2020 and 2021, and overseas visitors come more fully back to Disney World. I also expect to see a spillover effect to the traditional holidays from parents being more resistant to taking their kids out of school…we newly cherish face-to-face time with teachers.

Kids start getting out of school in substantial numbers on May 27, 2023, are more than half out by June 10, more than 80% out by the next weekend, and fully out of school by June 28. Thus, as in most years, early June will be better than July—as will be later August, with more than half of kids back in school by August 17, and two-thirds back in school by August 21.

I expect the new Tron ride at Magic Kingdom opening April 4 to be a major spring and summer draw as well.

Thanksgiving, November 23, 2023, is early its possible range, yielding good weeks the three weeks after—the weeks beginning 11/25, 12/2, and 12/9.

Christmas is on a Monday in 2023.  The period from 12/23/23 through 1/1/24 will see the worst crowds of the year. Breaks the weeks before and after are a bit more scattered in the 2023-2024 holiday season than in some other years. The week beginning 12/16 will start OK but end very rough. This week has some 20% of kids out at its beginning, building to 30% out by Wednesday 12/20, 40% out by Thursday, and 60% by Friday. After New Years, school breaks continue, with almost half of kids on break through the weekend of January 6, 2024, and a fair number still out on Monday January 8, 2024.

See the links for more on 2023 at Walt Disney World:

My friends at Destinations in Florida, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book your vacation for you.  Contact them using the form below.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

 

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October 17, 2022   No Comments

2023 Disney World Week Rankings

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2023 TO VISIT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The rankings that follow are designed for first time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

For visitors on a return trip, less concerned about ride closures or the peak of the hurricane season, the later January, early February, later August, and September weeks would be ranked much higher. All weeks good for returning visitors are marked in green at the far right of the image below.

(Larger image.)

The rankings are in calendar order in the image above. In the discussion below, for each category, they are in rank order within that category.

These week rankings are based on my 2023 Disney World Crowd Calendar, on Disney World’s 2023 resort hotel price seasons, and on Disney World’s 2023 ticket price calendar.

Other factors are key as well–the holiday program, ride closure season and hurricane season in particular.

(For more on how I build these rankings–although it’s old, it still is how I do it–see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2023 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER

 

The eleven recommended weeks that follow are the best weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2023 for first time visitors who may never return. They are lower-crowd weeks that are not in the peak hurricane or ride closure seasons.

I divide them into two groups–the first group is weeks during the holiday season, and the second group weeks the rest of the year.

Among the four holiday season weeks, the first three have the full holiday program, and the last some of the holiday program.

  • 1: 11/25/23
  • 2: 12/2/23
  • 3: 12/9/23
  • 4: 11/11/23

Weeks 5 through 8 are mostly in the same 2023 later April–early May post-Easter stretch, and share lower crowds, moderate prices, and (especially in weeks 7 and 8) nice spring weather. There are only slight differences among these four weeks based on slightly varying prices.

  • 5: 5/6/23
  • 6: 5/13/23
  • 7: 4/29/23
  • 8: 4/22/23

Weeks 9 and 10 are in later October, after the peak of the hurricane season and between the Columbus Day and Jersey Week higher-crowd periods.

  • 9: 10/21/23
  • 10: 10/28/23

Week 11 is the last really good week before spring break, is much more expensive than weeks 5-10, and will likely be substantially cooler than them.

  • 11: 2/25/23

This completes the weeks in 2023 that are recommended for first-time visitors to Disney World who may never return.

2023 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 12-21 all have moderate crowd levels, with different prices and weather. I don’t particularly recommend moderate-crowd weeks for first time visitors, but if you have to pick one, with good plans they are quite manageable. They are also fine for returning visitors.

As always I rank these weeks first by crowd levels, then by resort hotel prices, then by ticket prices.

However, as in all these rankings, the levels I use for “resort hotel prices” is based on the simple average across all three resort types, so a week with high prices at the values, low at the moderates, and moderate at the deluxes would be evaluated the same as a week with low prices at the values, moderate at the moderates, and high at the deluxes.

So you might want to dig into the specifics (presented on the chart) to pick the best week for you based on where you are staying.

Weeks 12-15 see the lowest crowds of this moderate crowd group, with varying prices—week 15 in particular has very high prices

  • 12: 6/3/23
  • 13: 5/20/23
  • 14: 10/14/23
  • 15: 3/4/23

Weeks 16-18 will be a bit busier than weeks 12-15

  • 16: 6/10/23
  • 17: 4/15/23
  • 18: 3/25/23

Last in this group are its highest-crowd weeks

  • 19: 5/28/23
  • 20: 3/26/23
  • 21: 5/27/23

Weeks 22-29 have one thing in common: while low or moderate crowd weeks, they all occur during the peak of the hurricane season. Hurricanes are rare and even more rarely affect a Disney World vacation, but for first-timers who may never return, why not just avoid the risk? I’ve always thought this, and am completing this page while trapped in Orlando due to Hurricane Ian…reinforcing this recommendation even more…

For returning visitors, though, the low-crowd weeks that can be found among this group can be, with weather luck, wonderful times to visit.

 

These peak hurricane season weeks are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level by resort hotel prices, then ticket prices.

Weeks 22-25 have some of the lowest crowds and lowest ticket prices of the year, and generally nicely low hotel prices, except at the moderates.

  • 22: 9/9/23
  • 23: 9/2/23
  • 24: 8/19/23
  • 25: 8/26/23

Week 26 has low crowds and ticket prices that are comparable to weeks 24 and 25, but slightly higher hotel prices.

  • 26: 9/16/23

…and Week 27 is similar but with slightly higher crowds and slightly higher ticket prices.

  • 27: 9/23/23

Weeks 28 and 29 are the moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group.

  • 28: 9/30/23
  • 29: 8/12/23

2023 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

There’s two groups of weeks to avoid in 2023: high crowd weeks and weeks when some rides are often closed.

The first group, ranked 30-45, should be avoided because of crowds that traditionally range from high to unbelievable.

This group includes much of the summer–later June into early August. It also includes many of the busy March and April spring break weeks beginning 3/11/2023, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the weeks before and after Easter, Columbus Day week, Thanksgiving week, and the weeks around Christmas.

See the table above for exact rankings within these lousy weeks.

The next group includes the January and early February 2023 weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 46-52.

Some of these weeks have among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year. However, this is the peak time for ride closures at Walt Disney World, especially the January weeks.

If this may be your only family visit, why go when you know likely a few of the best of Disney World will probably be closed?

 

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October 2, 2022   3 Comments

Disney World Crowds in 2023

2023 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The chart lower on the page shows my current forecasts for 2023 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

I’m forecasting another busy summer in particular, as pent-up demand remains from the pandemic at the same time as parents are more resistant than ever to taking their kids out of school.

 

[Read more →]

September 19, 2022   4 Comments

2023 Disney World Ticket Prices in a Color-Coded Calendar

2023 THEME PARK TICKET PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

I’ve color coded the start dates of the various base ticket lengths from four to ten days in Disney World’s date-based ticket pricing system to indicate less and more expensive ticket dates in 2023, compared to prices in all of 2023.

The 2023 Disney World ticket prices I show are pre-tax, per ticket day, and rounded to the nearest dollar.

In what follows, compared to other dates for the same ticket length

  • The more and the darker the green, the better
  • The more and the darker the red, the worse.

Dates with text on a white background are everything else–you can think of them as “typical” or “average” for that ticket length. The technical details on how I color coded are at the end of the post.

I begin with an overview of the year see you can see the flow of 2023 price colors in one spot, and then move to two-month calendars.

The general pattern is the same as always: lower prices, indicated by more green, in the typical semester–beginning months of January, early February, and especially later August and September; and higher prices/more red during the concentrated school break periods of spring break, Thanksgiving, and especially the Christmas/New Years holidays. Various popular three day weekends also show as red.

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2023 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

MARCH AND APRIL 2023 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

MAY AND JUNE 2023 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

JULY AND AUGUST 2023 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER  2023 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2023 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

TECHNICAL DETAILS OF COLOR CODING

For each ticket length:

  • Ticket prices approximately in the bottom 10% have darker green fill and black text, with the very lowest bolded (you’ll find these bolded ones mostly in August)
  • Ticket prices approximately in the next lowest 10% have a green mixed fill and black text
  • The next approximately 10% of prices has the lightest green fill and black text
  • Dates with prices approximately in the 70th to 80th percentile have light red, almost orange fill and black text
  • Prices approximately in the 80th to 90th percentile have a red mixed fill and black text
  • Prices in roughly the top 10% for the year have a darker red fill and black text, with the very highest bolded (you’ll find these bolded ones mostly in December)
  • Every other price in between has white fill. Prices one dollar more than the last green-fill has green text; prices one dollar less than the last red-fill has red text.

Note that my work is based on the rounded per-day prices Disney publishes. As a result, the “10%” breaks are rarely exact. Prices shown are pre-tax.

You can find exact prices on Disney World’s ticket-buying pages.

 

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September 5, 2022   No Comments

2023 Disney World Resort Hotel Prices

2023 RESORT HOTEL PRICE SEASONS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The material below shows Walt Disney World resort hotel price seasons at different times of the year in 2023.

Resort prices can be almost twice as high during some periods as they are at others. The information on this page helps you identify lower and higher cost periods.

Ticket prices also vary by date. Much of the time, you’ll find higher ticket prices when resort hotel prices are also higher, but there are nuances to this, as the hotel market is more competitive, and for deluxes in particular, is affected by both the tourist and convention markets. I’ll be publishing similar material on 2023 Disney World ticket prices shortly.

In the below, I compare 2023 hotel prices over the year for each hotel class to that class’s lowest price of 2023, its “value season” in parts of January and February.

Grouping of dates is based on “price seasons,” a grouping tool Disney World no longer makes public, but which can be identified analytically, and named (sorta) based on past practices. Disney charges based on the actual price of the actual nights, so if your visit straddles price seasons, you’ll pay the prices of each price season.

The charts average prices over the next seven nights, by arrival date.  This eliminates what would be otherwise be incomprehensible bumpiness from Thursday/Sunday and/or Friday/Saturday upcharges. For exact prices by night by room type by date, see MouseSavers.com.

2023 DISNEY WORLD RESORT PRICE SEASONS: VALUE RESORTS

The lowest prices of the year–the value season–1/2 through 2/8/2023, except:

  • January 5-7– 15-30% higher from RunDisney event than lowest of the year
  • January 13-15– 20-30% higher for MLK holiday weekend than lowest of the year

Regular season prices 2/9 through 2/16 25-30% higher than the lowest of the year

Presidents Day holiday prices 2/17 and 2/18 55% to 70% higher than lowest of the year

Spring season prices 2/29 through 2/26 40-50% higher

Regular season prices 2/27 through 3/2 25-30% higher

Spring season prices 3/3 through 3/25 40-50% higher

Regular season prices 3/26 through 3/29 25-30% higher

Easter holiday prices 3/30 through 4/12 60-70% higher

Spring season prices 4/13 and 4/14 40-50% higher

Regular 2 season prices 4/15 through 5/25 20-30% higher

Memorial Day holiday prices 5/26 through 5/28 50-60% higher

Summer season prices 5/29 through 8/5 25-40% higher except

  • 4th of July holiday prices 50-60% higher June 30 through July 2

Summer 2 season 8/6 through 8/19 25-35% higher

Value 2 season 8/20 through 9/9 7-12% higher except

  • Labor Day holiday prices 9/1 through 9/3 30-35% higher

Fall season 9/11 through 9/30 20-30% higher

Fall 2 season 10/1 through 10/21  25-35% higher except

  • Columbus Day holiday prices 10/6 to 10/8 55-65% higher

Fall 3 season 10/22 through 11/30  20-25% higher except

  • Marathon prices 11/2 through 11/4 35-45% higher
  • Thanksgiving prices 11/18 through 11/24 45-50% higher

Winter season 12/1 through 12/7 25-40% higher

Winter 2 season 12/8 through 12/14 50-60% higher

Holiday season 12/15 through 12/24 70-85% higher

Holiday 2 season 12/25 through 12/31 80-90% higher

2023 DISNEY WORLD RESORT PRICE SEASONS: MODERATE RESORTS

The lowest prices of the year–the value season–1/2 through 2/8/2023, except:

  • January 5-7– 10-15% higher from RunDisney event than lowest of the year
  • January 13-15– 10-15% higher for MLK holiday weekend than lowest of the year

Regular season prices 2/9 through 2/16 20% higher than the lowest of the year

Presidents Day holiday prices 2/17 and 2/18 40-45% higher than lowest of the year

Spring season prices 2/29 through 2/26 30% higher

Regular season prices 2/27 through 3/2 20% higher

Spring season prices 3/3 through 3/25 30% higher

Regular season prices 3/26 through 3/29 20% higher

Easter holiday prices 3/30 through 4/12 40-45% higher

Spring season prices 4/13 and 4/14 30% higher

Regular 2 season prices 4/15 through 5/25 15-20% higher

Memorial Day holiday prices 5/26 through 5/28 25-40% higher

Summer season prices 5/29 through 8/5 10-20% higher except

  • 4th of July holiday prices 20-35% higher June 30 through July 2

Summer 2 season 8/6 through 8/19 25-20% higher

Value 2 season 8/20 through 9/9 10-20% higher except

  • Labor Day holiday prices 9/1 through 9/3 30-40% higher

Fall season 9/11 through 9/30 15-25% higher

Fall 2 season 10/1 through 10/21  20-30% higher except

  • Columbus Day holiday prices 10/6 to 10/8 35-45% higher

Fall 3 season 10/22 through 11/30  20-30% higher except

  • Marathon prices 11/2 through 11/4 30-45% higher
  • Thanksgiving prices 11/18 through 11/24 30-40% higher

Winter season 12/1 through 12/7 20-30% higher

Winter 2 season 12/8 through 12/14 30-45% higher

Holiday season 12/15 through 12/24 55-70% higher

Holiday 2 season 12/25 through 12/31 60-75% higher

2023 DISNEY WORLD RESORT PRICE SEASONS: DELUXE RESORTS

The lowest prices of the year–the value season–1/2 through 2/8/2023, except:

  • January 5-7 15-20% higher from RunDisney event than lowest of the year
  • January 13-15 10-120% higher for MLK holiday weekend than lowest of the year

Regular season prices 2/9 through 2/16 20-30% higher than lowest of the year

Spring season prices 2/17 through 2/25 30-50% higher

Regular season prices 2/26 through 3/2 20-30% higher

Spring season prices 3/3 through 3/23 30-50% higher

Regular season prices 3/24 through 3/29 20-30% higher

Spring season prices 3/30 and 3/31 30-50% higher

Easter holiday prices 4/1 through 4/12 40-60% higher

Regular 2 season prices 4/13 20-25% higher

Spring season prices 4/14 30-50% higher

Regular season 2 prices 4/15 through 5/25 20-25% higher

Memorial Day holiday prices 5/26 through 5/28 30-40% higher

Summer season prices 5/29 through 6/29 10-20% higher

4th of July holiday prices 6/30 through 7/2 15-25% higher

Summer 2 season 7/3 through 8/17 5-10% higher

Value 2 season 8/18 through 9/14 0-2% higher except

  • Labor Day holiday prices 9/1 through 9/3 15-20% higher

Fall season 9/15 through 10/30 15-25% higher

Fall 2 season 10/1 through 10/5 20-30% higher

Columbus Day holiday prices 10/6 to 10/8 35-45% higher

Fall 3 season 10/9 through 11/30  20-30% higher except

  • Halloween prices 10/27 through 11/1 30-35% higher
  • Marathon prices 11/2 through 11/4 40-45% higher
  • Thanksgiving prices 11/21 through 11/24 40-55% higher

Winter season 12/1 through 12/7 35-40% higher

Winter 2 season 12/8 through 12/14 40-65% higher

Holiday season 12/15 through 12/24 70-90% higher

Holiday 2 season 12/25 through 12/31 75-100% higher

OTHER KEY PAGES FOR WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD

 

My friends at Destinations in Florida, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book your Disney World vacation at any Disney World hotel!  Contact them using the form below.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

 

 

 

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September 4, 2022   No Comments

Walt Disney World in 2022

DISNEY WORLD IN 2022

Walt Disney World’s suite of attractions and hotels has largely re-opened, with only one significant attraction yet to re-open–Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Fantasmic is expected to open this summer.

Given that, I think it’s fine for first-timers who may never return to plan a visit to Walt Disney World in 2022, with the best time to visit being after Fantasmic has re-opened, but a great visit before then quite possible.

The implications of Disney’s new admissions and new wait management systems on the best ways to visit the parks are still in flux.  The value of the extra-cost components of some of these (Genie+ and the a la carte ILL rides with reservations available for individual purchases, all covered here) is in particular still up in the air.

What it seems like so far is that almost always valuable are

  • A la carte purchase of an ILL appointment time for Rise of the Resistance, Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot (Disney calls this “Individual Lightning Lane”)
  • Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios pretty much any day and at Magic Kingdom on at least one day

Moreover, Early Entry is a very helpful perks for those staying at an eligible hotel pretty much anytime, and especially on busier days

I’ve just published an itinerary that takes advantage of all these new tools.  It only works for those staying in hotels eligible for both Early Entry and 7a ILL purchases.

Of more long-term interest, Disney World is shifting from a strategy designed to extract a higher proportion of the total vacation spend of an ever-increasing guest count to a strategy that uses higher prices to yield a better overall experience for a smaller number of guests.

The merits of the new strategy, and the specifics of getting from one to the other, are wildly controversial in some quarters, and in addition operationally fraught, because the incentives don’t align. I’ll have more to say about much of this, I imagine, later.

WHAT’S NEW AT DISNEY WORLD IN 2022

  • Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration will continue all year.
  • Almost all major attractions, and most minor, have re-opened. Major attractions still missing in the beginning of 2022 are Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which will be returning in a yet-to-be-specified date in 2022), and the Walt Disney World Railroad at Magic Kingdom (no return yet announced). Other attractions still missing are some meet and greets  and some show-style attractions.
  • The transformation of Epcot will continue with changes to its entrance and what used to be known as Future World. Joining the new-in-2021 evening show Harmonious and the also new in 2021 attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is another new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which opened on May 27.
  • No other significant new attractions are confirmed to open in any park in 2022, although the Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom still has some rumors that it may open in 2022.
  • A new, totally different experience, the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, opened in March 2022.  While widely described as a hotel, I’d advise not thinking of it that way.  It is meant as a deeply immersive experience, not as a place to sleep/go to the pool/and relax while you otherwise spend most of your time at the parks.  While a component of the immersive schedule for Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser includes some time in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney Hollywood Studios, it is best thought of as something you do instead of, or before or after, a Disney World visit–kinda like a cruise–rather than as a lodging option for your Disney World visit.

DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICING IN 2022

Disney World moved to date-based ticket pricing in 2018. For current 2022 Disney World ticket prices, see this.

DISNEY WORLD RESORT PRICING AND DEALS IN 2022

Disney World uses a combination of complicated and changing room pricing, and, on top of that, deals, to keep its resort hotel occupancy very high. Typically, rooms are more expensive—sometimes much more—during the more attractive times to go to Disney World.

Mousesavers.com has specific material on nightly prices in 2022 by hotel and within them room types here, and I have easier to use but much less detailed information on 2022 Disney World resort hotel seasonal prices here.

While pre-pandemic deals were technically available for most times of the year (you’ll find any current Disney World deals here), the number and types of rooms available became more and more restrictive over the years leading up to the pandemic.

Post-pandemic, Disney is dealing with both high demand and with continuing resort hotel capacity issues. As a result of these supply and demand issues, I don’t expect to see a lot of capacity made available for deals in 2022.

The simplest way to handle getting any deals that might be available is to make your initial booking through a travel agent, who will then–if a deal comes out for your dates–move heaven and earth to try to get you in to it.

I recommend Destinations in Florida, who has been the travel agent partner of this site for years. To book your vacation through them, contact them using the form at the end of this page.

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS IN 2022

The major question for 2022 crowds at Disney World is the balance between Disney’s practical capacity, affected by staffing, its offered capacity though its theme park reservation system, and the effectiveness and usage of the new tools Disney World is offering that might let one avoid crowds, such as its paid line-skipping offerings and its daily early entry options for guests in eligible hotels. While I could–and probably will–say a lot more about these, frankly there is not enough experience yet, especially with the  paid line-skipping offerings, to make sensible judgments.

On the premise that whatever effect all these have, they will somewhat work over the course of the 2022, I offer the following observations:

Early January 2022 will be busy through the first weekend, but better after then, with the Martin Luther King holiday weekend being the next worst dates in the month.

Presidents Day, February 21 in 2022, is as late as it can possibly be. The week that includes Presidents Day will be bad as usual. (Tons of kids in the northeast have the whole week off.) Crowds for this holiday week actually begin the Thursday before. For some reason, the weekend before President’s Day–through Monday February 14th–is blocked out in the least expensive of Disney’s newest Annual Passes. I can speculate about this, but honestly don’t know why the weekend of the 12th is blocked off.  Until more specifics emerge, I’d avoid that weekend as well.

Mardi Gras in 2022 is March 1.  A few southern school districts have it off as a single or multi-day holiday. The impact of Mardi Gras-related visitors on Disney World is overrated, so don’t worry about it. (People mix up the effects from it and the effects of President’s day breaks–many years have seen the week of Mardi Gras also influenced by crowds from President’s Day breaks, which does not happen in 2022.)

Easter in 2022 will be late in its possible range, on April 18. The patterns of spring breaks in 2022 lead me to be forecasting heavy spring break crowds March 12 through April 24.

Summer 2022 crowds I expect to be substantially higher than the crowds in the years before COVID, as people continue to make up for missed holidays in 2020 and 2021, and overseas visitors come fully back to Disney World. I expect the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot, Cosmic Rewind, to be a major draw as well.  The current opening date for Cosmic Rewind is “Summer 2022.”

Thanksgiving, November 24, 2022, is in the middle of its possible range, yielding good weeks both the two weeks before and the two weeks after.

Christmas is on a Sunday in 2022.  That that some all schools that take two weeks off for Christmas will begin their breaks on Saturday December 17, 2022, and be off through Sunday January 1, 2023 or Monday January 2, and other two-week-break schools will be off December 23 or 24 through January 8. Schools with shorter breaks will largely be out Friday December 23 or Saturday the 24th through January 1 or 2. As a result, the period from Christmas Eve through January 1, 2023 will be especially crazy, but things will also be bad the weeks before and after.

See the links for more on 2022 at Walt Disney World:

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January 2, 2022   4 Comments