• BIG Changes at Disney World

    BIG Changes at Disney World

    Ben A.

    Created: Jan 05, 2024

    Last Updated: Jan 05, 2024

    BIG Changes at Disney World

    BIG Changes at Disney World

    Hello, friends that love everything related to Disney. We have some awesome news for you all! Disney has decided to bless us in the first few weeks of January with not only one, or two, but several amazing news that makes visiting each park in Disney World a better experience overall. 

    These changes will be taking place on January 9, 2024 and they are here to stay (at least for now). They're all about giving us more freedom and choices when we want to visit Disney World. Here is a quick list of what's changing this January:

    • Quick Service Dining Plan and Disney Dining Plan are back, available to Disney Resort Hotel guests.
    • Theme Park Reservations are no longer needed for most guests (Annual Park Passholders still have to make park reservations).
    • Park Hopper Tickets can be used at any time of the day, so you don't have to wait until 2pm anymore.

    Those are all great news, especially for people that love to plan their trips in advance. The initial batch of changes was an answer to the Covid-19 outbreak and a way for Disney to have control of the number of guests in each park in advance. Covid-19 is (thankfully) mostly under control now, so we go back to the traditional rules that will make your trip even more magical.

    Let's check each change in detail now.

    Why is everyone talking about January 9, 2024 at Walt Disney World?

    You might have seen this mentioned in a few reels or posts on IG... when Disney World makes a positive announcement, well any announcement, people are sure to react and add their comments. We think that this day is so popular because of the types of changes coming. Want a sneak peek? We have a whole video here!


    What exactly is changing at Walt Disney World on January 9?

    There are 3 main things changing on January 9, 2024 and we could not be happier:

    • Quick Service Dining Plan and Disney Dining Plan becomes available
    • Theme Park Reservations are no longer needed (for most guests)
    • Park Hopping rules go back to all-day status

    Let's cover each of them in more detail below.

    Dining Plan (re)-Introduction

    Disney Dining Plan is coming back! This option is perfect to give families some peace of mind, as meals are pre-paid and all you need to do is use your MyDisneyExperience account or MagicBand when ordering a meal. Keep in mind that this option is only available to Disney Resort Hotel guests, so you need to book a vacation package which includes a stay in a Disney hotel, then also opt for a Disney Dining Plan. 

    Side Note: your Famvia Travel Advisors are standing by ready to help you plan the best trip possible... and help you figure out whether it is worth it or not to add either of the Disney Dining Plans to your vacation package. Request a quote today!

    Is this option worth for you and your family? It depends, honestly. If you are someone that loves to eat in theme parks and pre-plan your vacation to the point that you know where you are going to have dinner weeks before you get to Magic Kingdom, then this might be a good option. If you aren't a fan of eating inside Disney parks/hotels and prefers to catch a fancy restaurant in Orlando, then you are probably better without this service. Families with toddlers and young kids that have a very specific diet might also want to skip this one.

    There are two choices of Dining Plans, by the way:

    • Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan: for families that want a quick meal, this option is all about quick-service restaurants, with over 100 options available for you to choose. It costs $57.01 per adult, per day, and $23.83 per child (ages 3 to 9), per day.
    • Disney Dining Plan: Let's you enjoy some table service restaurants and fancy options across Walt Disney World. It costs around $94.28 per adult, per day and $29.69 per child (ages 3 to 9), per day

    As you can see, it's not cheap! But it can be a good deal if you prefer to pay everything before your trip and also if you want to have all your meals in Walt Disney World.

    So, what do you get with a Disney Quick-Service Dining plan?

    • Two Quick-Service Meals per night.
    • 1 Selected Snack item per night. Those include ice creams and beverages in food carts.
    • Resort-Refillable Mug, which can be used to refill your favorite drinks while you are at a resort.

    What do you get with a Disney Standard Dining plan?

    • One Quick-Service Meals per night.
    • One Table Service Meal per night.
    • 1 Selected Snack item per night. Those include ice creams and beverages in food carts.
    • Resort-Refillable Mug, which can be used to refill your favorite drinks while you are at a resort.

    We have a full strategy guide available here, our Disney Dining Plan Strategy guide.

    Theme Park Reservations Going Away

    Finally, we are very, very happy to see this change. This was just an extra and unnecessary step when buying tickets, which required you to not only choose the days of your visit to Disney Parks, but also select which specific parks you wanted to go in advance. So, let's say you had tickets to visit Disney from July 3rd to July 7th. You had to go online, pick the days you wanted to visit Disney, and then specifically set up which park you wanted to visit on said day. Yep, you had to choose something like Animal Kingdom on July 4th, Hollywood Studios on July 5th and so on. That's a lot of extra steps just to set up something that should be fun, like visiting a theme park.

    This was especially bad since it's always hard to know if a fan-favorite ride will be open on the day of your visit. Let's say you are going to Animal Kingdom on July 4th, and you wake up that day only to find out that Avatar Flight of Passage is on maintenance and won't be open the entire day. Tough luck, you had to go to Animal Kingdom either way. Now, though? You can just change your destination on the spot, and visit Hollywood Studios or something else!

    This is a very good change that gives us extra freedom to plan our park time. The park reservation system started as an answer to Covid-19, and is now saying goodbye alongside other changes like the restrictions to Park Hopper tickets.

    Park Hopping Rules Change

    More good news, friends! Park hopper restrictions are going away on January 9, 2024. Don't know exactly what I am talking about? Well, Park Hopper is a ticket option that lets guests visit more than one Disney park on the same day. So, you can arrive at Magic Kingdom early in the morning and later on hop to Epcot. This way, you can experience attractions like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin' and Test Track in a single day!

    Since 2021, though, there was a restriction in place, where guests with the Park Hopper option could only visit another park after 2pm. This meant that, even if you had done everything in, say, Magic Kingdom, you had to wait until after lunch time to move to another park. Not anymore, friends! Starting on January 9, you will be able to move to another park with your Park Hopper ticket any time you want. Did you just arrive in Magic Kingdom at 9am and now you want to go to Epcot at 9:15am? Sure, you can do this. The choice is yours.

    The previous restriction was made in response to Covid 19, and a way for Disney to have more control over the quantity of guests in each park. The best perk about this news is that you can finally try to visit two rides from the Virtual Queue Lineup in the same day! Since the Virtual Queue opens during two different times - at 7am and at 1pm - this gives you the perfect amount of time and flexibility to go to Magic Kingdom's Tron Lightcycle Run during the 7am timeslot, then book a place in Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot around 1pm. Since there are no restrictions taking place, this makes planning your itinerary way easier.

    Ready to book your next trip to Disney with us?

    Request a Quote

    Visit Disney World's page on famvia.com or send an email with your preferred travel dates to [email protected] and one of our Travel Advisors will reply with personalized quotes and guides for your trip!

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