With 2023 tickets, hotels, and packages available as of June 8th, you might have planning your 2023 Disney World vacation on your mind!
Well, HANG ON! Before you book those finalized Disney decisions, there are some things you need to know before heading to Disney World next year. From closures to ways to save, to new offerings; we’re taking you through EVERYTHING you need to know before booking Disney World in 2023!
Now, we do have some tried-and-true tips for planning a Disney World vacation — no matter the year! You can check out our ULTIMATE guide to planning a Disney World vacation and if you want to be a REAL pro, take a look at our DFB Guide ebooks too! But in this post, we’re going to talk about the new and next things that will be especially important for 2023 Disney guests. Let’s dive in!
When To Go
Deciding what time of year to go on your Disney trip can be tricky, and there are a few things that will factor into the decision for 2023.
Dates to Know
Disney World crowds and ticket prices can fluctuate depending on the time of year. Though crowds have been moderately unpredictable in 2022, you can certainly expect some busier times around any major holidays, Spring Break, and any major events — like the first day of EPCOT Festivals, ride openings, and more.
Beyond that, some times of year are CHEAPER than others. In the last year or so, we’ve seen cheaper ticket prices and hotel rates in late January, early February, late August, and September — and you can even find some cheap dates in the first weeks of December. When fielding dates, make sure to check out how hotel rates and ticket prices change if you travel at a different time!
Click here for our regularly updated MONTH-TO-MONTH guide to Walt Disney World!
Speaking of cheaper times of the year, you’ll also want to consider planning your Disney trip around discounts! Disney regularly releases hotel and ticket discounts throughout the year — often in late winter/early spring and sometimes into the summer and early fall.
We make sure to share the latest Disney discounts here on DFB so you can keep an eye on them. And, if you happen to book and a discount comes out later that would apply to your trip, don’t panic! You can call Disney to modify your reservation and apply a discount you would otherwise have missed.
Want to see the current Disney discounts? Click here!
Alright, this next one is a BIG one. Disney World is already expensive, and it’s pretty standard for Disney to raise prices on park tickets, hotels, merchandise, and more. We’ve traditionally seen price increases at all times of the year, but in recent years the biggest have taken place in the early months of the year.
In 2022 for instance, we saw ticket prices increase subtly in February 2022 and hundreds of food and beverage price increases hit in January. As a rule, Disney World just gets more expensive as time goes on, so traveling in early 2023 could mean you miss some of the big increases.
To learn more about current ticket prices, click here!
Disney Park Passes
Finally, you’ll want to keep Disney Park Passes in mind before you book for 2023. Disney Park Passes are Disney World’s theme park reservation system and you need valid park admission AND a Park Pass to enter a park on a given day.
Before you book, keep in mind that these tend to book up around holidays and events and you NEED to book them right after you buy admission — so that there’s no chance you’re locked out of your desired park during your trip.
Click here to learn more about Park Passes!
Genie+ and Perk Updates
Recently, there have been some changes to perks for Disney guests and you’ll want to make sure you know what to expect.
Genie+ was introduced in October 2021, but updates remain a regular occurrence. Genie+ is the paid replacement of the complimentary FastPass+ system and allows guests to skip the standby line at some attractions through the use of a Lightning Lane. If you are headed to Disney World in 2023 and haven’t used Genie+, you’ll definitely want to learn how it works. Don’t worry, we can help with our step-by-step guide!
And there’s a BIG change to the service that will be relevant to 2023 guests. Genie+ costs $15 and you used to be able to buy it in advance as an add-on to multi-day tickets or vacation packages. However, as of June 8th, 2022, Genie+ will only be available to purchase through the My Disney Experience app on the day of your park visit (one day at a time). Guests will not be able to buy it in advance for dates in 2023.
Want to make sure you know EVERYTHING about Genie+? Click here!
Extra Theme Park Hours
If you’re planning on staying at a Disney World Resort hotel or Good Neighbor hotel, you’ll also want to be aware of the extra theme park hours perks. Most Disney World hotels and good neighbor hotels offer Early Theme Park Entry to guests where guests can enter the parks 30 minutes ahead of park open with a valid Disney Park Pass. Deluxe-level resort hotels also offer Extended Theme Park Hours on select nights.
And, there’s an update that’s particularly relevant to 2023! Early Theme Park Entry was initially introduced as a part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration but will now extend PAST the celebration’s end date and into 2023.
To learn more about extra theme park hours, click here!
And, if you haven’t been to Disney World since 2021, you’ll want to be aware of a big shift in airport transportation perks for Disney World hotel guests. The Magical Express, a complimentary airport shuttle service, has been discontinued — so airport transportation is a little trickier.
Now, you’ll need to take rideshare, rent a car, get a taxi, book a shuttle bus or van, use a private car service, or book a new shuttle option like Mears Connect or The Sunshine Flyer. These options vary in cost but you WILL need to pay to get to your Disney World hotel from the airport and back now.
Click here for tips on travel between Disney World and the airport!
Disney World has a habit of refurbishments and changes and some could affect your 2023 Disney World trip.
End of the 50th Anniversary
Disney World’s 50th Anniversary was actually on October 1st, 2021, but it kicked off an 18-month celebration! If you’re planning a trip for 2023 and you want to catch the celebration before it ends, you’ll want to make it to Disney World before the party wraps up around March.
The celebration features limited-time decorations, entertainment, exclusive food and drink, and merchandise.
Want to see more about the 50th? Click here!
Closures and Refurbishments
Closures and refurbishments are pretty much the norm in Disney World. At any given time, your favorite ride could get some TLC for a few months or the pool at your go-to hotel could shutter for a bit. You’ll want to keep an eye on refurbishments and closures here on DFB so you don’t get caught unaware.
We already know of a few refurbishments for 2023! The Feature Pool and Whirlpool Spa will be closed for a few months at Disney’s Contemporary Resort beginning January 9th, 2023, and some pools over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are also set to close in early 2023. Additionally, expect a short closure of the main pool at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort!
To keep up with refurbishments and closures, click here!
Though some offerings will be unavailable, some NEW offerings might crop up in 2023 too!
EPCOT is still under a LOT of construction too and it should look PRETTY different come 2023. Walls are still up throughout the center of the park and we’re looking forward to the new Festival center, theming, and Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana walkthrough attraction.
Though many aspects of the transformation do not have an opening date, there’s a chance these changes will be wrapped up prior to EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary in October 2022!
Click here to see more about the EPCOT transformation!
TRON Lightcycle Run
We’re anxiously awaiting the opening of Magic Kingdom’s new TRON-themed rollercoaster, TRON Lightcycle Run. The motorcycle-style, indoor/outdoor coaster has been under construction for some time and we still don’t have an opening date.
BUT, we can certainly be on the lookout for a pre-2022 or 2023 opening! Keep an eye on DFB for the latest news! Plus, as TRON gets closer to completion, we might get the beloved Walt Disney World Railroad back.
Want to see more of TRON Lightcycle Run? Click here!
Ahead of 2023, we should see some new technology offerings in Disney World too! Specifically, the new MagicBand+ and Hey Disney! offerings will debut in 2022 and could affect your 2023 trip. MagicBand+ is the new iteration of Disney’s wearable tech that will add interactive features that respond and react to elements within the theme parks!
Hey Disney! will be a new feature in Disney World hotel rooms. The tech works with Amazon Alexa to provide a virtual assistant that can answer questions, tell jokes, and more!
To see more of MagicBand+, click here!
Finally, we gotta let you know about some potential dining changes. We ARE Disney FOOD Blog, after all!
New and Returning Restaurants
2023 might have some new and returning restaurants! We’re waiting for news of the 2022 opening date for Roundup Rodeo BBQ, Toy Story Land’s upcoming quick-service spot and there could be other new spots announced as well. Keep an eye on DFB for all the latest!
Returning restaurants are certainly a potential too! We already know that Victoria and Albert’s will reopen soon and we’re waiting on news of other favorite spots like Takumi Tei and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
Click here to see more about Roundup Rodeo BBQ!
Disney Dining Plan
Plus, the Disney Dining Plan COULD return prior to or in 2023. Disney shared that the offering WILL return…they just haven’t shared when.
Don’t worry, though, we’ll be sure to bring you all the details! And, in the instance that it returns after you book, you’ll likely be able to get it added to your booking if you want(much like a discount!).
Want to learn the latest on the Disney Dining Plan? Click here!
And that just about does it for what you need to know before you get ready for Disney World in 2023. Remember to follow along here on DFB for all the latest updates so you know EXACTLY what to expect!
Click here for the ULTIMATE guide to planning a Disney World vacation!
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Got questions about your 2023 vacation? Ask them in the comments!
The post EVERYTHING You Need to Know Before Booking a 2023 Disney World Trip first appeared on the disney food blog.