PlanningThe ParksTips

Disney World Updates You Need to Know

Walt Disney World is constantly changing, and that means that there is always something that we need to keep up with. From new dining experiences to great new rides, Disney always brings new magic to the Parks and Resorts.

Don’t miss out on anything coming this fall by being aware of these updates. We hope you will be ready for a beautiful trip by sharing them with you.

Disney Dining Plan Logo
Credit: Disney

Dining Plans Are Back

If you missed it, a huge announcement came from Walt Disney World along with the 2024 packages. Disney dining plans are back! Guests can again choose from two different dining plans for their vacations beginning January 9, 2024.

Dining plans are great for those traveling to Walt Disney World to make their trip more all-inclusive. With the dining plans, Guests are given a set amount of meals and snacks based on their nights of stay at a Disney Resort.

We are thrilled that the dining plans are back for those heading to Walt Disney World in 2024. It is an excellent way to make a Disney trip less stressful.

Related: Here’s Why We Love the Disney Dining Plan

Disney Thrills Everest
Credit: DisneyParks

Park Reservations are Going Away

Since reopening in 2020, Walt Disney World has required Guests to make Theme Park Reservations. Once Guests have purchased a valid Theme Park ticket, they can make reservations for one of the four Disney Parks.

Disney stated that starting with Park visits on January 9, 2024, Theme Park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets. When booking your tickets, you will select a start date and are all set. You will no longer need to go into your My Disney Experience account and let Disney know which Park you will visit each day of your vacation.

Remember that this is only for date-based tickets (the standard ticket option sold). For other admissions, Theme Park reservations may be required. This will continue to help Disney manage attendance and help Disney continue to provide magical experiences for everyone.

Related: More Information on Theme Park Reservations

child on Main Street in the snow during Christmas party
credit: Disney

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Returns

Again, this holiday season will be Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Starting November 9 and running through December 22, this special ticketed event at Magic Kingdom will bring holiday magic to Guests.

Festive favorites such as Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will return in 2023. Guests will also enjoy the newest thrill ride in Magic Kingdom with a ride on TRON Lightcyle/Run, which will run a virtual queue throughout the party.

A brand-new Frozen-inspired show will occur before Cinderella Castle, featuring Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and the Snowgies. Frozen Holiday Surprise will illuminate the castle in a way we haven’t seen before.

This holiday party will be filled with so much magic you won’t want to miss out. Tickets for this special event will go on sale June 29.

Disney Jollywood Nights, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney

New Jollywood Nights Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We are thrilled that even more holiday magic is coming to Walt Disney World this year. Disney announced that a new holly, jolly event will occur at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this holiday season.

Disney Jollywood Nights will be a separately ticketed event on select nights from November 11 to December 20, 2023. The event will run from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and include a variety of holiday excitement.

Not only will Guests be able to enjoy some of their favorite rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they will also be able to experience great entertainment. Meet beloved characters such as Mickey Mouse, Miss Piggy, and Kermit the Frog. Dance to a mix of holiday songs played by the night DJ, and capture some fantastic holiday photos throughout the Park with magic shots and outstanding Photopass Photographers.

The evening will wrap up with a special showing of the beloved Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM nighttime spectacular.

Don’t miss this new epic holiday spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year.

Disney Genie+
Credit: Disney

Genie+ Adjustments

Another update that you will want to be aware of revolves around Genie+. Genie+ is the paid option that Guests can choose to add to their Park Ticket. With this purchase, they can bypass the standby lines for select attractions in all four Parks, saving time.

Guests stated they were working on ways to help them plan with Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes before their trip. One of the frustrations with Genie+ is that Guests feel like they are constantly on their phones during their trip.

Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes are excellent features for bypassing long standby lines in Walt Disney World. Guests can add Genie+ throughout their trip for quick access to some of the top rides and attractions throughout Walt Disney World.

We don’t know many details about this update, but we are hopeful that Disney will continue to make Genie+ more user-friendly for Guests.

We love that Walt Disney World is constantly changing and adjusting to create the most magical experience possible for Guests. With all those changes, keeping up can take a lot of work. Right now, heading into the rest of 2023 and the beginning of  2024, these are the significant updates you need to be aware of before you head down to Walt Disney World.

Know that things are constantly changing, so as your trip gets closer, check back here at How to Disney to see what other updates you might need to know about before you vacation.



Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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