PlanningThe ParksTips

Why We Think Disney Planning is Hard Right Now

We love the planning part of a Walt Disney World vacation.  From determining where we want to stay to what to eat and what rides to focus on, planning is part of the fun for us.  Right now however we feel that the planning for a Walt Disney World vacation is even more complicated than previous years.

By sharing why we think planning is hard right now when it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, we hope to help you be prepared and ready for these difficulties.

Disney Genie+
Credit: Disney

Disney Genie, Genie+, Lightning Lanes- Oh My

Let’s jump right in with Disney Genie.  This new planning feature was added to the My Disney Experience app in October and is a free service Guests can choose to use during their Disney vacation.  Disney Genie will provide suggested touring plans as well updated, projected wait times.

Along with Disney Genie is both Genie+ as well as Individual Lightning Lanes or Individual Attraction Selections.  These features are ones Guests can choose to add on to their Disney vacation.

By purchasing these features, Guests are given access to the Lighting Lanes (the actual path to the ride) instead of the standby line. N This is for Guests to save time in line therefore giving them more time to experience other things in the Park.

Did you keep up with all of that?  Even though we are grateful for a way to bypass the standby lines, it is extremely complicated to figure out all the different steps and options.  It is also hard as you can’t do anything until the morning making it difficult to have an actual plan.

If you need more information on Genie+ and all it is, we have lots of information on How to Disney to help you out.

Epcot Beacons of Magic
Credit: Disney Tips

Park Passes

Another area that is making Disney planning harder right now are park passes.  Since reopening in 2020, Disney has been asking Guests to make Park Pass Reservations for one of the four Theme Parks each day of their ticket.

We highly recommend that Guests make their park reservation as soon as a Park ticket is purchased, which is often before you know a lot about what events are coming or even what the Park hours will be for the Theme Park.

Although we have seen the ability to switch Park Pass Reservations to be a lot easier as Park capacity has increased, there can still be days when Disney’s Hollywood Studios has limited availability.

Park reservation can be confusing when planning your Disney vacation, as you might not know exactly where you want to be each day. To make it easier on you, select those Park Pass Reservations soon to ensure you can get into a Theme Park and then know you should be able to adjust as you make more concrete plans as your Disney vacation gets closer.

EPCOT Garden
Credit: Disney

Park Hopping Is Different

For Guests that like to hop between Parks to get the most out of their Ticket their time to do so has changed.  Park hopping is now only available between the Parks after 2:00pm.

This means that if you do hop, you will have less time in the Disney Park you are hopping to.  Make sure when you are planning meals, you are making those dining reservations according to which Theme Park you can be in during that time.

This can make planning a little more difficult, but you should be good to go if you plan. If you are in Magic Kingdom for your Park reservation, this is the Park you will need to have your dining reservation in if you choose to do so. You can choose to have a dining reservation in the evening at another Theme Park, but always keep in mind that you won’t be able to hop when a Theme Park reaches capacity.

Woody's Lunch Box
Credit: Disney

Mobile Ordering

Mobile ordering is a function found within the My Disney Experience app where Guests are being asked to order their food at Disney quick service locations.  This is how Disney is controlling how many people are in the place at one time.

This can be a great option; however, it does make planning difficult as you don’t know when your boarding group will get called exactly, and there is no guarantee you will get one. Luckily most Guests are securing a boarding group to ride Remy’s, so this shouldn’t be too stressful.

Another thing that has gone digital is ordering food. At quick-service dining locations throughout the Disney Resort, Guests are being asked to use mobile ordering. Guests log into their My Disney Experience account and order their food through the app.

As times are limited, it can be difficult to find food if you haven’t planned. Don’t run into this issue but instead think about placing your mobile order early on in the day to snag a pick up time that works for you. You can always modify your order, but at least this way, you have time secured. This can make a huge difference in your Disney World Vacation.

Credit: WDW Cast and Community Facebook

Change Is Constant

Finally, the fact the Walt Disney World is constantly changing makes it hard to plan a Disney vacation right now.  From what rides and dining locations are opened to masks requirements, everything seems to be changing.

Because of the constant change, Guests will want to make sure that they stay up to date on Disney’s policies on their Know Before You Go site.  This provides Guests with everything they need to know.

We still love planning our Walt Disney World vacations, but there is no denying that some aspects of the planning have become harder and less magical.  We hope that bringing these to your attention will help you have an evening better 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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