Disney World has changed a lot in the last few years, but some changes aren’t popular with theme park fans.
We’ve heard from many of our readers that they hope Park Pass reservations are gone or Magical Express is back. This made me wonder which of Disney’s biggest changes were temporary and which were here permanently.
Here’s a list of 10 changes to Disney World that are supposed to be permanent.
Of course, keep in mind that Disney may change their minds at any time and decide to remove some of these changes. Based on how long the adjustments have been in, these are 10 things that seem to be part of Disney World.
Many fans don’t like the park pass reservation system, but it’s been around for a long time, and Disney executives say it’s likely to continue. Of course, with Bob Iger back as his Disney CEO, it’s possible he’ll do away with this system, but he’s yet to show any indication that he’s making any changes.
Before Park Passes were introduced, guests could purchase a park ticket and then enter any of the four Disney World theme parks. However, now you need to make a reservation for the park you want to go to.
Park ticket holders can make reservations for free. You cannot enter the park without a park ticket. The only exception is if there is a park his hopper which starts after 2pm every day. If you have scanned in to the park you reserved, you do not need to make a reservation for the hopping destination park.
park reservation can Especially on busy days like Halloween and Christmas. As such, your options for parks you can visit may be limited.
It is recommended that you book your Park Pass as soon as you have booked your Park Ticket. Park passes usually don’t start running out more than two weeks before him (even during peak season), so as long as you plan at least a month in advance you’ll be safe.
Click here for the Park Pass Reservation System.
Genie+ is a new way to skip lines at Disney World with one big difference from FastPass+. It costs money. Disney World’s Genie+ currently operates on surge pricing, which starts at $15 per person per day and can go higher during busy periods. The fee is $29 per person per day.
With a Genie+ purchase, you can reserve Lightning Lane all day using the My Disney Experience app. Only one reservation is allowed at a time (with some exceptions). Lightning Lane allows you to book:
This system can be a little confusing to use. That, coupled with the price, makes this a less popular modification. However, he’s been around for over a year now, so it’s possible he’ll be around longer than this. Since Genie+ is a popular add-on (used by nearly 50% of Disney guests in Q3 2022), Disney doesn’t really have an incentive to remove it in favor of free alternatives. .
Researching Genie+ tips and tricks beforehand can make Genie+ worth paying for — check out our complete guide for all the tricks you need!
Check out the ultimate guide to Genie+ here.
Park hopping after 2pm
We’ve already briefly mentioned that park hopping has changed. Currently, hops cannot be parked before 2pm every day. So if you want a quick stop at EPCOT before going to the Magic Kingdom at 10am for the rest of the day, you’ll need to reconsider that plan.
You don’t need a park pass reservation for the park you plan to hop off from, but you do need a reservation for the first park you visit. You will not be able to hop on to another park until you have scanned in to the reserved park.
Disney made this change when the parks reopened after pandemic-related closures, and it’s still in effect more than two years later.
Find out more about park hopping here.
Dining at Disney World has changed a lot as restaurants have reopened, buffets have returned, and characters have returned in some restaurants. However, there are some trends that can be seen in many new or reopened restaurants.
The first trend is family-style dining. Many buffets originally reopened as family-style restaurants, but most have reverted to buffet style. However, some restaurants offer family-friendly fare, such as the Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Could there be more family-style meals in the future?
We also saw many prefix menus at reopened and new restaurants such as Space 220 and Monsieur Paul’s.
The change seems to be popular and more restaurants may offer these menus in the future.
For Disney World restaurants, click here.
Speaking of food, the number of shops that accept mobile orders has increased! While this is convenient for some people, it can also be a problem if the ordering window at the place you want to eat is all occupied.
To use Mobile Order, open the My Disney Experience app, select restaurants that have the Mobile Order option, choose what you want to eat, and order. They will call you when your order is ready so you can skip the line and go straight to the counter to pick up your food.
Disney World is no longer limited to just food; mobile ordering is now possible. Several parks were even using this system for their hot products. The 50th anniversary Minnie Mouse sippers were so popular at the time of their release that restocks could only be purchased via mobile order while stock lasted.
Simply select your arrival time slot, press ‘I’m here, have your order ready’ when it’s time, and pick up your sippers just like you would any food.
Learn more about how to use mobile ordering here.
This change will start in 2021 and has stalled to some extent. Certain Disney World merchandise is limited to two identical items per person.
For a while, this applied to all merchandise at Disney World, but this was likely due to supply chain issues (Disney had a hard time keeping its shelves stocked). However, now it mostly only applies to new collections or very popular items.
This rule makes it less likely that Disney will sell out as quickly as it used to, so more guests can get their hands on hot items.
Early morning admission and evening extension
Extra Magic Hours didn’t return when Disney World reopened in 2020. Early entry to the theme parks is available to all Disney World Hotel guests. This means you can enter any of the four parks 30 minutes before they officially open.
With respect to extended evening hours, the benefit is only available to Guests of Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Disney World Hotels. Extended night hours allow guests to stay late at certain theme parks. Usually about 2 hours after the park closes to other guests.
Extended nights are only available on certain nights and have so far only been seen at EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom.
A complete guide to early theme park entry can be found here.
This is a new feature for some Disney World Stores and it’s really cool! You can scan and pay with the app.
Bags are installed at the mobile cash register, so you can put items in the bag. All that’s left is to present a cast that proves the purchase at the exit. It also removes any security tags attached to the item.
Find out where you can use Mobile Checkout here.
For a while, Rise of the Resistance was the only ride at Disney World with a virtual queue. Then I switched to a standby line (with the option to purchase individual Lightning lanes and skip that line). Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has since embraced virtual cues, but that process will end in January 2022 with a new ride. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind now uses virtual cues in his EPCOT.
A virtual queue means you cannot wait in queues for attractions. Instead, hop on the My Disney Experience app when the virtual queue opens (usually 7am, but double check before traveling) and join the queue on your phone. If you win a spot (must be fast!) you will receive a number that will be called at some point during the day. When it’s time to return to that ride, you’ll receive a notification on your phone and within the next hour, you’ll be back on your ride.
If you can’t get a boarding group, you can use Disney Genie+ to purchase Cosmic Rewind’s Lightning Lane, but it’s likely to sell out.
We also see virtual queues being used for hot product releases. Just like rides, you can purchase new releases by reserving a specified time. This sometimes happens with super-popular releases, such as his one-day merchandise for his 50th anniversary of Disney His World.
Disney appears to be using virtual queues for a limited amount of time when popular new rides open, and those rides will later shift to standby lines once demand has subsided. As TRON: Lightcycle Run opens in the Magic Kingdom, we expect the Cosmic Rewind virtual queue to end.
Learn more about TRON: Lightcycle Run here.
Hotel limited housekeeping
It was standard practice for housekeeping to clean your hotel room every day unless you said otherwise. Now housekeeping he only cleans the room every other day and does only light cleaning. However, they clean the room thoroughly before arrival.
According to Disney, alternate-day services include:
- Removal of garbage and used towels
- Replenishment of towels and amenities throughout the room and bathroom
- Wipe clean the dressing table and counter surface
- vacuum if necessary
Click here to see how housekeeping has changed at Disney World.
These are some of the major changes stuck at Disney World! Stay tuned to AllEars for more Disney news, tips and information.
Click here to see 10 ways Disney World will change in 2023.
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Which changes in Disney World are you happy with? Let us know in the comments!