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  • Writer's pictureMahra Pailet

Disney in 2023? Yes, please! Here’s what you need to know!

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the only sure things in life are death, taxes and that Disney World is constantly changing. Heck, we travel to the Most Magical Place on Earth many times each year and things always look different than the last time we visited.

With Disney World having just released its 2023 packages on June 8th (happy dance!), Castle Coaches Travel has all the experience, knowledge and skills to make your future vacation as stress-free as it will be magical.

Let's look at some of the more recent changes and clear up some possible sources of confusion going into a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. As always, Castle Coaches Travel is here to provide you with a multitude of services, including:

  • GENIE+ tips and tricks

  • Advanced Park Pass reservations

  • Early Theme Park Entry strategies

  • Promotional discounts

  • New Technology

  • Optimal Vacation Planning

GENIE+ Let's review - GENIE+ is a paid service that saves you time in line by utilizing a newish queue called the Lightning Lane that bypasses the longer stand-by lines. Over 40 experiences are included for selecting the next available time to arrive at an attractions Lightning Lane. Additionally, there are a la carte (additional fee) entry options for up to two high demand attractions not included in the price of your GENIE+ service.

As of June 8th, you can no longer add GENIE+ to your resort package. Whereas you used to be able to buy GENIE+ in advance as an add-on to your multi-day tickets or vacation package, Disney has suspended this option. For the foreseeable future, GENIE+ can only be purchased through the My Disney Experience app on the morning of your park visit for $15 per person per day at Disney World.

Additionally, Disney has declared that GENIE+ will be "subject to availability". We interpret this to mean "limited supply." So, we strongly suggest that you buy your GENIE+ pass shortly after midnight for the day you want to use it. We also recommend that you log into GENIE+ at 7:00 am to secure your first Lightning Lane attraction of the day because they fill up fast.

PARK RESERVATIONS When Disney Parks reopened after the 2020 pandemic closures, they introduced a Park Reservation system as a means of crowd control. This system is still in effect. After purchasing your tickets and linking them to your My Disney Experience app, you must make a daily reservation to the park you want to visit in order to enter. Park hopping is still permitted after 2 pm until park closing but you need to have a reservation for your first park of the day.

Don't worry if this system seems confusing to you. That's what we're here for! Parks do sell out some days, so it’s very important to create your My Disney Experience account and have us assist you in making those Park reservations as soon as you book your package so that you have the best chance of getting into the parks you want, when you want.

MORE PARK TIME Extra Magic Hours may have been retired but the Early Theme Park Entry scheme that Disney debuted as a 50th Anniversary perk is here to stay (for now), and Resort hotel guests will be able to enjoy the benefit throughout 2023. Whereas morning Extra Magic Hours were offered on select days and at select parks, Early Entry is offered at all 4 theme parks every single day, allowing all Disney World Resort hotel guests admittance up to thirty minutes early every day of the week (remember - you must have a valid ticket and Park Reservation to enter the park of your choice.)

It's important to note that not all Walt Disney World attractions are available during Early Theme Park Entry. Only certain lands in each park are open to start the morning.

Moreover, the Early Theme Park Entry schedule and available attractions are subject to change without notice. Again, Castle Coaches Travel will create itineraries and touring plans that best utilize the Early Entry system so that your time is better spent having fun and making memories.

MORE MONEY

A trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth can come with a big price tag. Our experienced Castle Coaches are highly trained at working with a wide range of budgets. We know it's important to prepare for how much you are likely to spend during your trip, and we keep an eye out for price changes and increases that may affect your vacation planning.

When looking at the 2023 prices, we found that this price range has stayed the same, with all 1-day, non-Park Hopper tickets falling between $109 per day and $159 per day. However, there seem to be more days that cost above $109 per day than in 2022. Multi-day tickets will still lower your price per day, which is a good thing. If your travel schedule is flexible, we can work with you to find the most economical days to visit.

Throughout the year, Disney will often surprise us by dropping package and room-only promotions that may significantly lower the cost of your vacation. You should not wait for a discount to be announced before booking your trip. Should a new promotion happen to fall during your travel dates, we will reach out to Disney and do our best to have the promotional discount applied to your vacation! It is always better to book your vacation far enough in advance so you have the best chance of getting the resort you want and the park days you want. Let us negotiate your discount after its release, if applicable.

MAGICAL ENHANCEMENTS

No matter when you plan your Disney vacation, there is a strong likelihood that some rides and attraction may be temporarily closed for refurbishment. Refurbishment details are very much subject to change at the drop of a hat, and in some cases we are unable to predict reopening dates because Disney has not yet specified completion dates.

To provide you with the best possible service, our Castle Coaches Travel team will keep you up to date on attraction and restaurant closures during your travel dates and create your custom trip plans around such obstacles. We build your magical vacation from the ground up, so you can go about your days without ever noticing a closure.


MAGICAL EXPRESS

2022 saw the demise of Disney's Magical Express, the complimentary motor coach service between Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World Resort. It has not been replaced with another free mode of transportation, and there hasn't been any indication that it will. There are two bus services on which you can buy passage - Mears Connect and The Sunshine Flyer. However, depending on the size of your travel party you may prefer to use Uber, Lyft or a car service to shuttle you to your Resort hotel. Your Castle Coaches Travel specialist can assist you in deciding which form of transportation is right for you and make your reservations.


There are lots of things to know and consider when planning a Disney vacation; we've barely scratched the surface in this post. We are impatiently awaiting the return of Dining plans, Minnie Vans, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and certain Magical Extras. Know that when the announcements of new additions to Disney offerings are made, you can count on us to have the most up to date information and the expertise to fulfill your most magical vacation wants and wishes! Vacation quotes are free and our Concierge Travel Planning services are always complimentary with your Package Booking. Reach out TODAY for your 2022 and 2023 vacation planning needs to Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris or Disney Cruise Line. Let's make magical memories together.

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