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First Trip to Disney Since 2019? We Are Here to Help!

If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World since the pandemic closed the Parks, there is a lot you need to update yourself on before heading down. Luckily, we are here to help you with all this new information.

We have some of the most significant changes at Walt Disney World that you need to be aware of if you haven’t visited since the Parks closed in 2020.

Magic Kingdom Castle with Fireworks
Credit: Disney

Park Pass Reservations

When planning your Walt Disney World vacation for the upcoming year, you want to ensure you know about Park Pass Reservations. Since reopening, Guests now need to have both a valid Theme Park ticket that they purchase as well as a Park Pass Reservation.

Park Pass Reservations are made through the My Disney Experience website. Guests sign into their account and select which of the four Disney Parks they want to visit each day of their trip.

This step is crucial because, without a Park Reservation, you won’t be able to enter the Park. We recommend booking these as soon as you have purchased your Theme Park tickets or your Disney Resort Package. Parks, especially Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, see their Reservations booked up. You don’t want to miss out on a Park because you haven’t booked your Park Pass Reservation.

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
Credit: Disney

New Experiences

If you are heading to Walt Disney World for the first time in a few years, there are so many new experiences you will enjoy while there.

New Rides

You will want to ensure you experience a handful of new rides during your trip. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a family-friendly ride that puts Guests right into the cartoon with Mickey and his friends.

Over at EPCOT, there are two fantastic new rides for Guests to experience. Like Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a family-friend trackless ride. Guests are shrunk to the size of Remy as they race through the kitchen, trying to help and stay out of trouble.

Those wanting a thrill will love Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This indoor coaster has reverse launch and rides vehicles that spin to keep Guests in action at all times. Currently, this uses Individual Lightning Lane and Virtual Queue to ride.


Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests will want to stop and enjoy the new Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond. An updated musical production of Finding Nemo. With all the fantastic songs, puppets, and outstanding Cast Members, you won’t want to miss this show.

steakhouse71 Disney


We love that Disney is constantly opening new dining locations for Guests to enjoy. Some popular table-service dining locations have opened since 2019. Finally, Space 220 at EPCOT welcomes Guests to an out-of-this-world dining experience. Steakhouse 71 opened at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and is a throwback to 1971 when Walt Disney World opened.

Guests will enjoy dining at the new Connections Eatery in EPCOT for quick meals. This is a good combination of traditional entrees and some unique flavors.

There are so many experiences that are new at Walt Disney World. Make sure you take time to enjoy them all when you visit.

Disney Genie+
Credit: Disney

Disney Genie, Genie+, Individual Lightning Lane

A significant change at Walt Disney World is the introduction of Disney Genie. Disney Genie is a free planning tool within the My Disney Experience app. Guests can use this feature to navigate through the Disney Parks when visiting.

As part of the Disney Genie, Guests can choose to add Genie+. Genie+ is a paid feature that starts at $15 per person daily. This feature allows Guests to bypass the standby lanes and save time in line throughout the day.

In each of the four Disney Parks, some rides aren’t included with the purchase of Genie+. If Guests wish to use the Lightning Lanes for these rides, they need to purchase them separately. These are called Individual Lightning Lanes. The four rides are Avatar Flight of Passage, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

We have a lot of information about these options on How to Disney to help you navigate everything they offer.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

Mobile Ordering Is Key

Before the Parks shut down at the beginning of 2020, mobile ordering was available at select locations throughout Walt Disney World. Now mobile ordering is widespread throughout both Disney Parks and Resorts.

Guests can find mobile orders in their My Disney Experience app. It is how they can avoid long lines at quick service locations. Through this feature, they can order their food through the app and then return during their window to pick up their freshly made food.

Take some time to browse this option to familiarize yourself with how it works. It is an extremely helpful way to order food and avoid long lines.

If you have had the chance to visit Walt Disney World since 2019, many things have changed or adjusted. We hope that by sharing some of these new experiences at Walt Disney World, you will be more prepared for when you can visit the magic.

From fantastic new rides and dining locations to new features to help you navigate the Parks, there is a lot of new magic to experience at Walt Disney World. Take time to read up on these new features to have the best vacation time. We hope you have a wonderful time during your 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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