2022 Walt Disney World vacation packages and hotel reservations are now available for booking through July 1, 2022, with pricing out through December 31, 2022. In this post, we’ll take a look at some details, price increase analysis, what to expect, and what’s not back…yet.
Early Theme Park entry is a new perk that will allow Walt Disney World resort guests to enter any of the four theme parks 30 minutes early each day. This is the permanent replacement for Extra Magic Hours and although it doesn’t have an official start date, Disney has indicated it’ll arrive before the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration on October 1, 2021.
There are a couple of other known changes that should debut prior to January 2022. Although no new details have been revealed since last summer, Walt Disney World has announced a “new offering” that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart phone. This could be part of the My Disney Experience app, or it could be the Disney Genie standalone app that was previously promised to debut late last year.
As a quick refresher, Walt Disney World announced the new app features because it retired complimentary MagicBands for guests booking hotel reservations. (Worth the reminder since this will remain true for 2022, and you might’ve missed it.) MagicBands will still be available to purchase at a discount, via the MagicBand Upgrade Program, which now has 50+ designs, including the anniversary “Castle Cake” and various color trends, starting at $5 each.
Additionally, Park Hopping is back at Walt Disney World. This is also as of 2021. Annual Passholders and guests who buy Park Hopper tickets can now visit Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and/or Animal Kingdom all in the same day.
At present, Park Hopping does not begin until 2 pm each day. Walt Disney World has noted that this is subject to change, and our expectation is that some parks might soon allow Park Hopping earlier in the day (not later). We’re hopeful that by 2022, Park Hopping is entirely back to normal, but that really depends upon Disney Park Pass and attendance caps.
Turning to 2022 Walt Disney World vacation packages, let’s just quickly run through the basics, followed by brief commentary. Bookings are available for arrivals beginning January 1, 2022 and running through July 1, 2022. Normal terms and conditions for final payments, cancelations, and change fees will apply for all 2022 Walt Disney World vacation package bookings.
At present, 2022 Walt Disney World package bookings are available for the following resorts:
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas — Kidani Village
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
This means that the following resorts are not available for booking:
Disney’s All Star Music Resort
Disney’s All Star Sports Resort
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — Riverside
Note that it might appear that Jambo House appears on both lists. However, the first entry is the Animal Kingdom Villas, whereas the second is the regular hotel rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Confusing since they’re in the exact same building, but that’s how Walt Disney World has been doing it for the last year.
The remaining resorts will go online as demand dictates. In other words, we are not expecting all of these resorts to remain closed through December 2022. Rather, it’s likely that Walt Disney World simply isn’t offering reservations yet because their status as of January 1, 2022 remains uncertain. The very same thing happened this year, so don’t fret too much. We’re expecting almost all of the currently-closed resorts to reopen by mid-2022.
Turning to the rundown of what’s not available yet, the Disney Dining Plan still isn’t back for 2022 Walt Disney World vacation package bookings. This might raise red flags for some of you, but it’s probably more a matter of uncertainty about when it can be brought back in light of physical distancing and capacity caps.
As we explain in our When Will the Disney Dining Plan Return?post, we do not expect that offering to be gone forever—and certainly not through the end of December 2022. That post breaks down what needs to happen for the DDP to come back, why Walt Disney World wants it back ASAP, and when that’ll probably occur. Our guess is still this year.
Next up, FastPass+ or virtual queues. Even before the parks reopened, we predicted that FastPass+ won’t be back, and instead will be replaced by a different form of virtual queue—likely something like MaxPass that can be given to on-site guests as a perk, along with an up-charge component. This is covered in What Will Replace FastPass+ at Walt Disney World?
I’m less confident in that prediction than I was at the time it was made. Walt Disney World is trying to juggle a lot right now, and investing in new tech infrastructure seems increasingly unlikely. I’d give it a 50/50 shot at this point, with equal likelihood that Disney will just restore FastPass+ once physical distancing requirements are relaxed. That could still occur in late 2021, but 2022 seems more likely.
Finally, there’s the thing guests would like to go away but Disney would like to keep around. Along with the new dates for booking resort hotels, Walt Disney World has also quietly extended the Disney Park Pass reservation calendar through January 14, 2023. (It previously ended exactly one year earlier.)
Honestly, we wouldn’t read anything into any of these ‘temporarily unavailable’ things or the extension of Disney Park Pass into 2023. With the 2022 package release, it’s as if Walt Disney World’s reservations center wanted to drum up business and start accepting new bookings, and rather than trying to prognosticate how things would change come 2022, they froze options at today’s status quo.
We already know this doesn’t comport with Disney’s internal goals or expectations. In last week’s earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek was questioned about how Walt Disney World could increase attendance and profitability. He called vaccinations a “game-changer” and predicted that things would be very different in terms of current practices by 2022.
Accordingly, we wouldn’t treat any of these 2022 Walt Disney World vacation package details as indicative of what’s on the horizon. Basically, the only thing they offer is a glimpse at changes in rack rates at the hotels.
Speaking of which, one of this blog’s pastimes things on Walt Disney World vacation package reservation “drop day” is price analysis of rack rates. I’ve only had a chance to take a cursory look at this, but it looks like there are modest across the board increases. Per usual.
Above is the rate chart at Disney’s Pop Century Resort for November and December 2021. Below is the same thing, for November and December 2022.
If you haven’t paid rack rates in a while, those prices all might be startling. Once you get past the initial shock, that’s a pretty insignificant increase as compared to normal years.
Most nights are increasing by $5 to $10. You’d still have to be crazy to pay $200+ per night for a motel room—even at Pop Century—but it’s good to see the increases slowing.
Above is the same thing this year for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, our Moderate of choice thanks to the Disney Skyliner gondola service.
Below is Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort for November and December 2022:
Pretty much the same story for Caribbean Beach.
We’ll spot check other hotels once we have time, but our expectation is to find similar results. Nothing major will be added amenity-wise (like an aerial transportation system) between this year and 2022 to justify dramatic spikes anywhere.
As a quick aside since it’s a common question, you can find the rate calendar by searching for availability on DisneyWorld.com. Select “room only” (rather than a vacation package or discounted rate) on the far left, then click the “Rate Details” button on the resort/room combination that interests you. (See above.)
From there you’ll see a weekly breakdown. For the calendar view, click “View Rate Calendar.” (See below.) Hope that helps!
As always, this pricing analysis ends up being rendered somewhat meaningless since few readers of blogs like this one end up paying rack rates. You’re savvy, and between discounts that are released throughout the year and money-saving hacks, “sticker price” is less relevant.
There’s also the unanswered question of the travel recovery. Will we see the phenomenon of “Revenge Travel” at Walt Disney Worldand excitement for the 50th Anniversary or will bookings be depressed in 2022? It’s entirely possible that the answer is both. The market for leisure travel is already shaping up to be hot, but conventions and events will be slower to return or lost entirely.
In one specifically big blow, Walt Disney World already lost Pop Warner. That’s bad news for the company, but good news for consumers and the prospect of discounting to entice more tourists to visit. There’s also the reality that Walt Disney World still has several resorts that remain closed entirely due to lack of demand, and occupancy rates are not so hot at several of the hotels that are operating.
Accordingly, the true test is going to be in terms of what discounts end up being released. If bookings are down because of the lingering effects of a recession, travel fears, and who knows what else, these rack rates could end up being like Kohl’s sticker prices. That’s to say, totally meaningless, as discounts are so ubiquitous that no one is paying full price.
Although it doesn’t directly answer those questions, it is interesting to note that 2022 Walt Disney World vacation packages are being released in February 2021, rather than in the summer.
Reservations may not be made more than 500 days in advance, which is why vacation packages for the following year are normally released between June or July–so they encompass the entire following year. (To my recollection, packages have been released in either of those two months every year for the past decade.) That same rule is also why you’re only able to book arrival dates through the beginning of July 2022 right now. Since pricing for the entirety of 2022 has been posted, expect more travel dates to gradually open.
As with most Walt Disney World “drop days,” the phone lines will be jammed and the online system will likely slow to a crawl at peak times, with Stitch eating the occasional page here and there. Hopefully you received our email heads up at ~7:30 am and were able to book things smoothly before the mad rush. (If not, you can always subscribe for free future notifications here.)
If you’re at all flexible about your resort choice or room preferences, consider waiting until later this evening when things calm down a bit. You might save yourself some headache and frustration. Alternatively, it’s always a good idea to use a fee-free Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (travel agent) to do the work for you.
That’s pretty much all of the commentary we have about Walt Disney World’s release of hotel reservations through early July 2022 and pricing through December 2022. Even with all of the above said, our advice is to book Walt Disney World vacation packages when they go on sale to lock-in ticket and component pricing as a safeguard against the inevitable price increases. That’s especially true if there’s a certain hotel or room type that’s a must-have for your trip.
While we remain of the belief that prices will drop thanks to the release of discounts, that’s not a sure thing. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the course of the last year, it’s to expect the unexpected. As you can see from the previous several paragraphs, there are still a ton of unknowns, fluidity, etc. to the Walt Disney World experience both this year and in 2022. A ton is changing on a weekly basis, and it’s truly impossible to say today what things will look like in Fall 2021 and beyond. From a financial perspective, it never hurts–only helps–to get something locked in now. Plus, there’s the excitement and optimism of having something to look forward to. After a tough year, I think we could all use a little of that!
Have you booked a 2022 Walt Disney World vacation package? Notice anything interesting about hotel room or package prices? Anything surprise you? Is there anything you must have–FastPass+, Disney Dining Plan, nighttime spectaculars, rules rescinded–before you’ll book a 2022 trip? Will you be booking soon, or taking a wait and see approach? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments here? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!