Thinking about a Disney World vacation in 2022? Get all the best info about planning, booking, what’s opening and what’s happening here:
Planning a Disney World trip can be a lot of things: exciting, overwhelming, fun, frustrating. I’m one of those people where planning my trip is half the fun! But if it’s your first time or you haven’t been in awhile, there is a lot to consider when planning for Disney World. I’m hoping this guide for a trip in 2022 will be helpful to anyone in that position. I’ve aimed to include anything and everything I can about a Disney World vacation in 2022 and I will update it as we learn more!
Planning your 2022 Disney World trip
How to plan a Disney World vacation in 2022
Since there is a lot that goes into Disney World vacation planning, I’m going to cover some of the best tools and resources that you can use here (and you’ve already found this guide which will give you a ton of info!). If you’re looking for how to plan your Disney World trip in 2022, research is key!
Figure out the basics
It can seem like an overwhelming thing to even try and start when you’re looking at a Disney World trip – that’s why I suggest starting with the basics. I tell people there are several things you need to figure out first, but once you’ve settled on those details you can figure out a lot of the other stuff later. Here’s what you’ll want to decide first:
- What dates or time of year you’re looking to travel, and if your dates are flexible
- How long you want to stay
- How many people will be in your travel party
- Which resort you want to stay at
- What your maximum budget is
If you get your reservation booked on the dates you want at the resort you want, almost anything else can be added, adjusted, or changed later.
Tools for planning for a 2022 Disney trip
With so much that goes into planning a Disney trip and so much constantly changing, having an expert who knows all the ins and outs of Disney is a huge benefit. Plus –
Using a travel agent is free.
A lot of people don’t realize that but I’m trying to get the word out! You don’t have to pay a travel agent anything (they get paid on commission from Disney) and the price is the same as through Disney. You get the benefit of their expertise so it’s really a win-win. A vacation planner specializing in Disney can help you pick out the right dates and resorts, book your trip, find the best prices, help you plan dining, itineraries, transportation, and more.
I am currently open to taking new bookings with potential clients thinking about a Disney World vacation in 2022 – hopefully you can see from this comprehensive post and others on my website that I am very knowledgeable about all things Disney!
Vacation planning printables
If you like to stay organized like me, consider using vacation planning printables. These are typically a series of worksheets or papers that you can print out and put into a binder. They contain information about the parks and tools to help you plan things such as dining reservations, budget, and more.
Like staying organized? Consider vacation planning printables – 41 pages of trip planning, including a budget worksheet, guide to visiting during COVID-19, trip comparison worksheet, info about the new Disney Genie system, daily itineraries, packing checklist, and much more.
My Disney Experience
Disney’s app and website is another great planning tool for your Disney World vacation in 2022. I use Disney’s website for all of the basic information. Especially when it comes to things like park hours, restaurant menus, etc. you can find all that on the website. The mobile app will also give you a peek at what’s happening in real time, such as current wait times for attractions.
Once you’ve booked a reservation you can link your confirmation number to a Disney account and then Disney will create an itinerary for you based on what you’ve booked, showing all of your hotel reservations, dining reservation, park pass reservations, and more.
Best Disney planning websites for 2022
Disney in your Day
Of course I have to mention my own website after all the time and effort that has gone into it! I created Disney in your Day 8 years ago and there is lots of good content here. This page you’re on is great for 2022 information, but you can also head to the Disney World planning section for details on resorts, theme parks, dining, and more.
Disney World website
Of course Disney is the official source and they have lots of great info for planning. I personally like the fact that they have menus for all of the restaurants so you can figure out the best places you want to eat!
Disney Food Blog ebooks
Speaking of food, Disney Food Blog’s ebooks are my go-to resource for anything restaurant or food related. They have guides to restaurants, snacks, food festivals, holiday snacks, and more. I love having them in an ebook form because it makes everything much easier to find and learn about this way.
Disney Tourist Blog
This is my favorite Disney blog if you want some really in-depth, thoughtful looks on a number of Disney topics. Tom is very on top of things and provides the latest information with commentary, but he is very careful with rumors and only shares facts and makes it clear when he is just speculating or making a prediction.
If you want a really in-depth analytical look at things like wait times and crowds paired with a good dose of sarcasm, Josh at EasyWDW is your man. His day to day theme park touring posts are very useful too.
Booking your 2022 Disney trip
All about 2022 Disney World vacation packages
A Disney World vacation package is a booking that includes a resort stay and theme park tickets. If you buy the two separately that is a “room only” reservation. There are some differences between the two:
|Disney World packages||Disney room only reservations|
|Deposit of $200 due at time of booking||Deposit of first night’s cost due at time of booking|
|Remaining balance due 30 days before check-in||Remaining balance due at check-in|
|Can add on the dining plan||No dining plan option|
|Tickets purchased through a package are cancellable and refundable up to 30 days before the trip||Tickets purchased separately cannot be refunded (though the dates of the tickets can be changed)|
|“Magical extras” included||No magical extras|
|If you cancel less than 30 days before there is a cancellation fee of $200||If you cancel less than 6 days before there is a cancellation fee of the first night’s room rate|
Included in a Disney World vacation package
Your package will include your resort stay and tickets. You will also have the option to add on other components, such as the dining plan (when available) and memory maker. If you have a room only reservation you cannot add the dining. However, you can convert a room only reservation to a package with the room and dining (no tickets) if you wish to do that – in that case it will follow the same rules in terms of deposits, etc. as above.
Disney package guests also receive “magical extras.” You can check Disney’s page for the latest, but they usually include discounts and freebies for various things, including free tickets for mini golf, discounts at Disney Springs restaurants and shops, and more.
All stays at a Disney World resort, whether it is a package or room only, receive special benefits such as early theme park entry, complimentary transportation, the option to purchase discounted magic bands, and priority fastpass+ selection (when available).
Package vs. room only
You may be wondering which one is best for you. I typically recommend packages to people for the following reasons:
- More flexibility if you need to cancel (when you purchase tickets outside of a package they are non-refundable)
- You have the option to add the dining plan
- You are eligible for more possible discounts (things like free dining or get 2 free ticket days)
- You want things to be easier to manage
However, a room only reservation might be better for you if:
- You have an annual pass or tickets already
- You think there is a strong possibility you might cancel the room 5-30 days before your trip
- You have Tables in Wonderland (available to passholders and FL residents) and no interest in the dining plan
When you can book Disney World for 2022
In many cases you can start booking your Disney World vacation for 2022 now.
Booking has opened for 2022, and Disney allows you to plan a vacation 499 days ahead of time. That means a good portion of 2022 is available for booking now, and if you’re looking at later in the year you can contact a travel agent to discuss options so you’ll be ready to book as soon as your dates are available.
What day is 499 days from today?
As of the writing of this post, 499 days from today is August 21st, 2022. So anyone looking to travel to Disney World between now and July 2022 can start making their reservations.
Tip: just Google the phrase “499 days from today” to get the exact date booking is open through!
When you should book your 2022 Disney vacation
Out of all the advice and information I give, I think one of the most important things to know is when to book. The best time to book your Disney trip is:
As soon as possible. There are a few reasons why I recommend booking your Disney World vacation in 2022 far in advance and as soon as you can. The biggest one is that with packages being fully refundable and only requiring a $200 deposit, you have nothing to lose to by booking now. You can make sure you get the best price, the resort and room type you want, and your park pass reservations set by booking as early as possible.
You will not save money by waiting to book.
One thing many people don’t realize about Disney is that you can apply discounts to an existing reservation even after you book it. Discounts are typically released just a few months beforehand and you don’t want to wait for a discount because you lose a lot of planning time and availability that way. If and when a discount is released a travel agent can apply it to your existing reservation if it qualifies. If the discount isn’t at your current resort and you want to move locations, you can do that too as long as it’s available.
If anything, waiting to book your trip means the resorts or rooms you want could fill up or all park pass reservations will be filled before you get the chance to book.
Walt Disney World 2022 tickets
Whether you are booking as part of a package or buying ticket separately, you have some options when it comes to ticket types available in 2022. I’ll go over the basics below.
When it comes to just getting into the main theme parks, you can get “base tickets” for anywhere from 1-10 days. These tickets gain you admittance to one park per day. Pricing starts at $109 for a one a day ticket, though the price per day decreases the more days you buy. Pricing depends on your travel dates and tickets must be used within the time period that they were purchased for.
You have the option to add on park hopping to any length of base tickets. Park hopper allows you to go to more than 1 park in a day. Currently Disney is allowing park hopping beginning at 2pm – Guests must make a theme park reservation via the Disney Park Pass reservation system for the first park they plan to visit. After entering that first park, Guests will be able to visit the next park starting at 2 PM until each park’s regularly scheduled closure. You can visit a third (and even fourth) park after that if you wish to. Park hopping is added for the length of your ticket purchase and ranges from an additional $65-85 total.
Water park and sports option
With these tickets you can visit one theme park per day, plus enjoy an equal number of visits to a sports or water park location. For example, if you get a 3 day ticket with the water park and sports option you get entry into the theme parks for 3 days, plus entry to a water park or golf experience 3 times (you can go to a theme park one day and a water park the next day, or you can do a theme park in the morning and a water park in the afternoon).
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (Currently Unavailable)
- NBA Experience (Currently Unavailable)
- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Currently Unavailable)
- Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
- Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course
- Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course (Currently Unavailable)
Park hopper plus option
The park hopper plus option is the same as the above water park and sports option but also allows for park hopping between theme parks.
Water park tickets
If you are only looking to spend a single day at one of the these extra experiences, 1 day water park tickets are available for purchase. They range from $64-69 per adult.
Disney has currently has halted the sale of annual passes with no word yet on when sales will resume. When they are available, if you plan to visit Disney World multiple times within a calendar year than an annual pass might be an option. Florida residents can normally buy a few different tiers of annual pass with block out dates.
Park pass reservations
As of right now Disney is still requiring park pass reservations to get into the theme parks. In order to enter a theme park, you must not only have a valid ticket but also a park pass entry. You can book your park passes as soon as you purchase tickets by using Disney’s online park pass reservation system. Without a reservation you will not be allowed in the theme park, even if you have a ticket. No word on when this will no longer be required.
What kind of ticket should you get
Wondering which of these options might be best for you? There are a few things to think about when making your decision. Since everyone’s vacation style is different it’s hard to say definitely what type you should get, but there are a few things to consider:
- If you’re wondering how many days to spend in the theme parks, I typically recommend a minimum of 4 – one day for each park. I wouldn’t really do less than 3 and even then I think you’re missing out. If you can only do 1 or 2 park days I’d consider planning a trip when you have more time. I think you could easily spend 6-7 days in the parks if you don’t visit Disney often.
- The more days you go the more affordable it is per day. The price difference between 5 day and 6 day tickets is only a little bit more. Whereas the price difference between 2 and 3 day tickets is a lot.
- Park hopping is good for both shorter trips and longer trips for different reasons. If you’re going for 3 or fewer days, park hopping gives you the opportunity to visit all 4 parks. If you’re going for 5+ days you’ll be able to head back to the parks you enjoyed the most, or take advantage of one park in the morning and different one in the evening.
- If you’re considering a water park and you have park hopper tickets it’s worth it to add the water marks and more park hopper plus tickets. If you’re doing base tickets and want to do one day at a water park and at least one other activity listed above (or two days in the water parks) then it’s definitely worth it.
- Out of state annual passes are almost always worth it if you’re planning to take 3 or more trips within a year. If you’re going once it’s definitely not worth it. I know some people think it might be an advantage for discounts but the discounts you get with an annual pass aren’t going to make up for the cost of it for one trip. With 2 trips in a year you might break even or save a little but it will depend on when you’re visiting and for how long.
What is the 2022 Disney World cancellation policy?
Disney has a very generous cancellation policy. If you cancel your package (room and tickets) 30 days or more ahead of time you get a full refund on the deposit or any payments you’ve made. You can also make changes 30 days or more without penalty, so if you book a trip for February but then decide you want to go in April you can make that change based on availability and you’d only pay if there’s a difference in price. No change fees. The deposit for packages is only $200, and for room only reservations it’s the cost of 1 night, so you don’t even have to pay the full amount at the time of booking.
- If you have any questions about your specific situation, you can call the Disney Reservation Center at (407) 566-4985 or contact your travel agent.
- Packages (including room and tickets and/or dining when available) can be cancelled without any penalty and fully refunded 30 days or more before travel.
- Room only reservations can be cancelled without any penalty and fully refunded 6 days or more before travel.
- Ticket only purchases through Disney or your travel agent can be changed or rescheduled but not refunded. Tickets purchased through a third party website cannot typically be changed or refunded.
- Dining reservations must be cancelled at least one day in advance. Any reservations or no-shows the day of the reservation are subject to a charge of $10 per person.
- Packages can be modified at any time to change travel dates, resort type, ticket type, etc.
- Please note that cancellation fees imposed by third-party suppliers, including airlines and rental cars, as well as non-refundable products like travel protection plans purchased through the Walt Disney company will be deducted from your refund amount.
Did the price at Disney World increase in 2022?
If you read my blog often or you’re on my email list, you hopefully know I’m honest about things – I don’t see any point in beating around the bush because it’s just not helpful to anyone. The answer to this is not necessarily as straightforward as it sounds, but if you want a yes or no then yes, the prices at Disney World increased overall in 2022.
But there are some exceptions. Disney has moved to a more dynamic form of pricing, meaning that everything is more date-dependent than it used to be. This has been the case for the resorts for a long time, but a few years ago they switched their ticket pricing system so that prices vary based on your dates.
Just taking a quick snapshot of June 2021 vs. June 2022 we can see the prices have changed slightly, usually just by $2-3 dollars. This is pricing per day for a 4 day ticket so the difference in pretty negligible. You’ll see about the same for other months and dates, though there may be rare occasions where the 2022 price is a few dollars cheaper.
Resorts are more or less the same when you’re looking at the “rack rate” (the price before any discounts). Discounts are what really make the difference and Disney typically releases those a few months ahead of time so they can adjust based on how they are selling. So overall the pricing for 2022 is about the same as 2021, but I expect fewer discounts to be offered in 2022 due to more people feeling comfortable traveling again.
Experiences at Disney in 2022
Once you figure out more of the logistics of planning, like the tickets, resort, and transportation, you may be wondering about more of the “fun” stuff! What experiences will be happening during your Disney World vacation in 2022? What will the theme parks be like?
Is Disney going back to normal in 2022?
It depends what people mean by “normal” when they ask this question. Some things will never be the way they were and that’s often because they were improved for a better. But usually when people ask about things being “normal” there are a few things they’re wondering about. Obviously I don’t have any insider information or a crystal ball, but I can present the information that’s been given to the public and some of my own personal speculation.
Masks and social distancing. I think a lot of this will be gone by 2022. My prediction? Social distancing will be eliminated before masks. The distancing is a bigger factor affecting what Disney can and cannot offer so they’ll want to try and get rid of it. Masks will probably be optional for some time. But the hope is by 2022 neither of these things are required. Disney has already loosened the mask policy by allowing them to be removed for outdoor photos. I base these guesses off of a quote from Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who said in an earnings call in February 2022 that “do we also believe that we will be in the same state of six-foot social distancing and mask wearing in ’22? Absolutely not.”
Fireworks, parades, and nighttime spectaculars. As soon as that distance requirement is gone Disney will feel more comfortable bringing this back. It’s hard to have a big firework show where people are used to packing in like sardines on Main Street to be able to see when you still have to be 6 feet apart. I believe Harmonious at Epcot will be the first one, since Epcot has more space and could potentially happen even when social distancing is required.
Character meet and greets. This all depends on the social distancing mentioned above. You can’t get close to a character when you need to stay 6 feet away. Once that’s gone I think character meets will be slowly reintroduced. My guess is the “face” characters will be last – the princesses and people whose faces are exposed, rather than characters like Mickey with a full costume.
Live entertainment. This is actually more about the performers than anything and there are two considerations: if they have room to distancing in backstage areas, and if Disney thinks paying them is worth the return. Festival of the Lion King is already scheduled to come back in summer 2021, so I think more shows will follow, especially as Disney starts making more money and getting more bookings (and frankly, needing to provide more activities for guests who are attending).
Disney World 50th anniversary celebration
One exciting thing happening throughout all of 2022 is Disney’s 50th anniversary celebrations. While they haven’t announced all of the details, we know they will have special merchandise, food items, costumes for the characters, and other little things throughout. It’s also extremely likely that a number of new attractions, restaurants, and entertainment options that have been in the works will make their debut, probably at various times throughout the year.
Is it worth going to Disney World in 2022?
At the end of the day, this is a question only you can answer based on your preferences. I personally am confident that things will look more similar to how they were by 2022. But even that I love just the atmosphere and so many things that Disney has to offer that I don’t mind going even if not all attractions are open, or I can’t do character meets. I could relax at my resort, visit the animals at Animal Kingdom, eat and drink around Epcot, and have a few citrus swirls and call that a great vacation.
Since there is a great change policy where you can make changes without any fees up to 30 days before, you can always start planning your trip and then push it back if it seems like everything that you want won’t be there (though I would wait to book flights). I have found it’s not typically a good idea to wait until the next big thing opens though – Disney introduces new things all the time, so if you’re always waiting for what they’ve announced most recently you may be waiting forever!
Disney World tips for 2022
I have lots of good tips about traveling to Disney and trip planning elsewhere on this website (start at my Disney World Planning page for more) but I’ll quickly highlight my top 5 tips for planning a Disney World vacation in 2022 specifically:
- Plan ahead and plan early. People have been home long enough, many of them have stimulus checks, and they are ready to travel. Revenge travel is real so stay ahead of things by booking early.
- Use a GOOD travel agent who specializes in Disney. It doesn’t have to be me, but book through someone who really knows their stuff. Things are constantly changing at Disney World right now and even stuff I wrote 2 months ago can be outdated. I do my best to keep the website updated but if you want to be sure to have all the firsthand info booking your trip through me or another agent so I’m only an email away is the best way to stay up on it all.
- Consider visiting during the summer. I know, it’s hot. But if lower crowds are a priority the summer is actually going to be a decent time to go. The past few years it’s been getting less crowded in favor of better weather months like October and March. Combine that with the fact that this past year many people (and companies) realize their jobs are more flexible and they can work remotely and even some kids have switched the homeschooling or virtual school. Also in the past few years we’ve seen the year round school calendar become a more popular option. There are fewer people who are locked into visiting during July and August now.
- Rent a car or have a plan from the airport. You’ve got time to figure it out, but in 2022 Magical Express will not be offered. So look into other options for getting from the hotel to your resort.
- If you’re thinking about a value resort, check the moderates too. Lots of people love the value resorts to save money, but due to their popularity the prices have gone up. The moderates are also larger, so you’ll find more rooms available at Coronado Springs or Caribbean Beach. Even though at first glance they may look much more expensive, they often get much better discounts too. It may not be that much more for a moderate.
When to visit Disney World in 2022
When it comes to picking the best time to visit, there are a few factors in play: are you limited to certain dates due to work or school? Do you care more about crowd levels or the weather? Are there any other reasons you’re planning a trip?
Picking your dates
I have a full blog post on the best months to visit in the year, but in general you need to prioritize one thing over others for your Disney World vacation in 2022. It might be that you have certain dates you want to travel (you’re a teacher, you want to go for a special event, you want to take a birthday or anniversary trip). You want to lowest prices and the lowest crowds. You want the best weather. These things aren’t always compatible so decide what is most important to you.
How long to stay
The other big question when picking your dates is how long you want to stay for. Is a 4 night trip enough? Are you looking for a full week? Even longer? I would recommend a minimum of 4 days in the parks, and ideally 5 full days plus your arrival and departure day. If you also prefer to take it easier, relax by the pool for awhile, and have nice sit down meals, you may want to factor in extra time for that.
Disney World resorts
Once you’ve decided when you want to go, your next big decision is where to stay. You can get a detailed look at the Disney resort options and planning advice in general over on my Disney World resorts page, and if you’re thinking about staying off site I had a guide to staying off property at Disney as well.
Resorts available in 2022
There are still a few Disney resorts that are not available for booking in 2022 yet. There are also some that only have part of their resort open – the DVC or Disney Vacation Club section. You can book these rooms even if you’re not a member, but just keep in mind that the room types, layouts, and prices tend to be a bit different.
As of this update there are still no opening dates for the following:
- All-Star Music
- All-Star Sports
- Port Orleans Riverside
- Port Orleans French Quarter
Benefits of a Disney resort
There are definitely some perks to staying at a Disney World resort for your Disney World vacation in 2022 rather than off Disney property. If you’re debating here are a few of the benefits of being on property:
- Transportation to and from the parks. Disney’s resorts all have continuous transportation options that are free and easy to use.
- Free parking at the theme parks. If you have a car you still have to pay for parking at the resort (like many area hotels), but you can park for free at the theme parks. If you stsay off site you have to pay $25 a day for parking.
- Early theme park entry. While they haven’t yet introduced this, they did announce and it and expect to see it come before 2022. Disney resort guests will be allowed into any of the 4 theme parks 30 minutes before opening time each morning.
- Family accommodations. Disney has a number of places to sleep families of 5 or more, including family suites, villas, cabins, and connecting rooms.
- Ability to purchase a dining plan (hopefully). Disney has not yet brought back the dining plan, but when they do it is an option that only resort guests can add on.
- Early Fastpass+ booking (maybe). We don’t know when Disney will bring back fastpass or if it will look the same, but I suspect resort guests will get some sort of extra perk.
- The themeing and magic. The Disney resorts are truly magical and you feel like you’re somewhere special there. The service is top notch and whether you’d like to be surrounded by larger than life Disney characters or relaxing on the French Riviera there are so many great resort options.
The “Star Wars hotel”
The other big question about Disney resorts is when the “Star Wars hotel” will be opening. Disney had originally said 2021, so if it doesn’t open this year it almost certainly will sometime in 2022. By the way – it’s actually called Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort – but I know that’s a bit of a mouthful! Upon the last update Disney had filed some additional permits for work on the resort, and the deadline was end of January 2022. While this can always change it’s probably a good sign that they are looking to open it in the first half of 2022.
I also want to note that this isn’t really a hotel in the traditional sense. Disney is advertising it as a 2 day “immersive experience.” Don’t think of this as a place you can stay while you go to the theme parks, think of it as an additional 2 day adventure you could add on to trip.
Dining in 2022
A majority of dining locations reopened in 2021, and as long as crowds are up I expect mostly everything to be reopen by 2022. At this point most of the table service restaurants in each park are reopened, with the exception of Epcot which still has several closed. The resort restaurants are mostly open as well aside from the resorts themselves which have not yet reopened or have only partially opened.
Currently Disney is allowing guests to make dining reservations 60 days before their trip. Disney resort guests have the opportunity to book reservations for their whole trip when they reach 60 days before their check-in day. Off site guests can make their reservations 60 days before each date they wish to dine on property (so if you were going for a week starting May 1st and staying off site you could make your reservation for May 1st on March 2nd, and then make a reservation for May 2nd on March 3rd, etc. Disney resort guests can do them all at once up to 10 days).
While certain character dining locations are offering a character experience right now, it is currently a modified character dining meal. The characters typically parade around the room, stop near each table (6 feet away) and pose for pictures and wave, and then move on. They will not currently do closer photos or autographs. Character dining is currently available at Garden Grill Restaurant, Hollywood & Vine, Topolino’s Terrace, and Chef Mickey’s.
The dining plan
At this time dining plans cannot be added to reservations. If/when dining plans are made available I will update this post with pricing, if I think it’s a good deal, and my thoughts on whether or not free dining will be offered.
The theme parks
Of course at the heart and soul of Disney is the 4 theme parks. Here’s some information about what you can expect visiting the parks in 2022.
Disney World 2022 crowd calendar
As of right now (April 2021) it’s still hard to speculate about what crowds might be like next year – Disney is still at reduced capacity and there are 50-60k new cases of COVID per day in the country, which might make people hesitant to travel. Restrictions and slower vaccinations in other countries also affect crowd levels. I’m hoping to be able to share some crowd calendars in the coming months when we have a little bit more reliable information, so stay tuned!
Disney World’s new attractions for 2022
Prior to the shutdown Disney had announced a number of news attractions that they planned to have open before the 50th anniversary in 2021, but many of these got pushed back. While we don’t have opening dates for these attractions yet, I am pretty sure we will see them sometime in 2022 or even 2021:
- HarmonioUS (the new fireworks show coming to Epcot – Epcot is the best place to at least socially distance a bit while watching fireworks so I think it will be the first one to bring them back. They have also started testing this show after the parks close).
- TRON coaster (they’ve been seen doing a lot of construction on this and it’s one of the things they’ve been touting the most so I think they’ll make it happen)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (this is another major one for them so it might be close, but I think they’ll put in the effort and money to get it done)
- Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant (this was supposed to open in “winter 2019,” so if it doesn’t open at SOME point in 2021 I’ll be shocked)
For guests planning a Disney World vacation in 2022, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will also be a fun new attraction that will have just opened October 1st, 2021. In addition you can experience the still-pretty-new attractions of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (2020) and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (2019).
Fastpass+ in 2022
Disney has temporarily suspended fastpass+ due to COVID-19, so we don’t know yet whether it will come back looking exactly the way it was or if the system will be changed. My personal guess is that it will come back in a different form – maybe with an element where you can pay for more advantages, maybe somewhere where Disney resort gets get an advantage of have it included with their stay while other guests have to pay, kind of similar to Universal’s Express Pass system. Time will tell on this one and I will update as we learn more.
Previously fastpass was free for everyone, but Disney resort guests could book fastpasses 60 days before their trip while off site guests had to wait until 30 days before.
Memory Maker and Photopass
Memory Maker is available in 2022 for a one day purchase, and advance purchase, and purchase during or after your trip. Disney’s photographers will take your photo at various locations around the theme parks and then you scan your magic band and all of those photos go into your account. You also get all of your on-ride attraction photos. Currently there are just a few things that are different about memory maker – you must wear a mask in all of your photos, photographers will not handle personal devices, and not all photopass locations are open. However, magic shots are still available!
One day purchase:
Advance purchase (length of trip):
Purchase after trip:
MagicBands and MobileMagic
A MagicBand is a wristband created by Disney that has an RFID chip in it, so you can access everything you might need easily just by tapping your band. Your MagicBand is able to work as your park ticket to scan you into the parks, your room key at your resort, a way to charge purchases to your room if you have a credit card linked, and your fastpass+ when that’s available.
MagicBands will still be in use in 2022, but now guests will also have the option to use the app MobileMagic to do many of the same things that a magic band does. It will be accessible on phones and Apple smart watches. They are rolling out the features in 2021 so everything should be available by 2022. If you prefer the MagicBand those will still be available. They start at $5 for Disney resort guests if you order in advance or $15 in the parks or on ShopDisney and have fun Disney designs and are a good option for kids or those who prefer the wristband.
Whether you’re planning how to get to Orlando, how to get to your resort, or how to get around to the theme parks I’ve got some information for you.
Booking your flight
If you’ve heard advice and tips on the best time to book a flight (7 months in advance, do it on a Tuesday) forget all of that because it’s outdated. Especially for 2022, when airlines are still getting back on their feet, the approach will be different. What I’ve generally found is that booking sooner will have better fares, as just like the hotels if they see the flight is starting to sell out they’ll raise the prices. On the other hand, if it’s not selling well they may have sales. My guess is that 2022 will be a busy travel year with people eager to get out there safely, so airlines are more likely to sell out and raise prices than lower them when you get closer to your dates.
The day you arrive or leave is more likely to affect price as well – typically arriving on a Tuesday or Wednesday is going to be the most affordable option, for example.
Renting a car
You certainly don’t need to rent a car if you’re staying at a Disney resort, but if you prefer to do it you have options. The Orlando airport (MCO) has many car rental companies, but the ones that are actually in terminal and don’t require a shuttle ride just to get to the car rental location are:
Car rental prices can vary a lot depending on when you’re traveling and for how long. 2021 is seeing a big increase in pricing for car rentals because many of the companies sold off a number of their cars during the pandemic and are now scrambling to accommodate travelers again. Hopefully by 2022 they have been able to rebuild their fleets. For now here are some of my quick suggestions when looking at car rentals.
- “Pay later” instead of pay now. Yes, you will save money if you pay now, but unless your trip is really soon you can make changes and find cheaper prices if you pay later.
- Book early and keep checking prices. Book using pay later and then keep check back to see if prices have changed. If they do you can always adjust your reservation or cancel and book at a different rental company.
- Stick with an in terminal company. The ones listed above are typically more reputable as well as easier to get to.
- Join the company’s loyalty program. Almost all of the car rental companies have loyalty or rewards programs that are free to join and will get you some perks – typically things like 5% off or the ability to bypass the regular line when you arrive at the airport.
|Theme Parks (free for Disney resort guests)||$25|
|Disney value resorts||$15|
|Disney moderate reosrts||$20|
|Disney deluxe resorts||$25|
If you are renting a car or will have a vehicle with you, parking fees are something else you need to factor in. You may have to pay at the resort, the theme parks, or both. If you’re at a Disney resort you have to pay for the resort parking but theme park parking is free. If you’re off site your hotel may or may not have a parking fee and you will also have to pay for theme park parking. These are the current prices for 2022 but are subject to change. Prices are per day. Prices may also vary based on vehicle type.
Transportation from the airport in 2022
If you’re planning to fly in to Orlando and you won’t be renting a car, you’ll need to get from the airport to your resort.
Disney’s Magical Express will no longer be available in 2022.
Unfortunately, the free option Disney used to offer to get from the airport to your Disney resort will be discontinued in 2022. They may or may not introduce something else (that could be included or could be an extra fee) but for now you’ll need to look at other options. If you’re not a renting a car you could use a rideshare like Uber or Lyft, a shuttle company like Mears, or hire a private car service. The best option for you will depend on your budget, the size of your family, if you need a car seat accommodated, etc.
Planning a Disney trip on a budget in 2022
There is so much that goes into planning a Disney trip on a budget and I could honestly write a whole book about it (and maybe someday I will). But I’ll just give a couple of quick tips and general guidelines here if you’re hoping to go to Disney in 2022 but you need to stay within a lower budget.
How much to budget
There are SO MANY factors that play into this, including how many people are traveling, when you’re going, and how long you want to stay. You can definitely plan a vacation at Disney for under $3000 for a family of 4 if you’re flexible. You can also easily spend twice that and budget $6000 if you want a longer trip, a hotel in a prime location, traveling during spring break or Christmas, etc. The best way to figure out your ballpark pricing is to contact a travel agent and start working with them.
5 tips for lower prices
- Book as soon as you can. Disney packages only require a deposit of $200 and can be changed or cancelled, so book early to lock in the lowest rates – if a discount comes up later to you can apply that discount to an existing reservation.
- Go during an “off season.” And the off season may not be when you think. October has become one of the most popular months to travel to Disney and is priced accordingly. Typically the lowest price times for 2022 seem to be the first half of January, the first half of February, and September.
- Rely on Disney transportation. Some people get frustrated with waiting for buses, but even waiting 30 minutes for a bus will save you a lot more money than bringing a car or paying for a rideshare everywhere. Disney includes free transportation to all 4 of the theme parks and Disney Springs from their resorts.
- Don’t rent a car. By the time you factor in the rental price and the resort parking fees you have a pretty big extra expense. Your best bet is to take a shuttle to your resort and then rely on Disney transportation as described above.
- Stay at a Disney value resort. My favorite is Pop Century but the All-Star resorts are also fun. Disney value resorts typically have good pricing and are worth paying just a little bit more for rather than choosing an off site hotel.
On site vs. off site
You might be thinking about staying at a non-Disney hotel to save some money while planning a Disney World vacation in 2022. It can be a great option for some people but there may also be extra expenses or inconveniences at these hotels you haven’t considered. Make sure you’ve thought it all through and check out my detailed guide on staying off site while at Disney World.
Feeling overwhelmed? A travel agent can help you book and plan your trip – and it doesn’t cost you anything! I’ve helped hundreds of people plan their magical vacations – contact me today to get started.