2023 Disney World Vacation Packages Coming Soon!
Walt Disney World has announced 2023 vacation packages and resort reservations info, including what will and will not be included. This post offers dates and details about hotels, tickets, and what’s not back…yet.
Let’s just get the big “not back” things out of the way at the outset. Despite a lot of wishful thinking from fans, Walt Disney World indicated zero intention of creating a competitor to Mears Connect or the Sunshine Flyer. There is absolutely no reason to believe Disney’s Magical Express will return in 2023…or ever. (Although, never say never. Enough of an economic downturn or Universal siphoning off attendance could change the equation. Just not by 2023.)
Next, there’s no indication of any restoration of Extra Magic Hours. Although originally billed as offerings for the 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World confirmed in this announcement that Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours will stick around through 2023. It’s our expectation that these are offerings are permanent, with no end dates in 2024 or beyond, either.
Although not directly addressed, almost certainly sticking around is the MagicBand Upgrade Program. This is despite being plagued by inventory shortages due to supply chain disruptions that have led to readers questioning whether it’s being phased out.
To the contrary, our expectation is that this will be expanded to include the MagicBand+ when that launches later this summer. Regardless, there’s no reason to believe the MagicBand upgrade program is ending in 2023. Nevertheless, it’s worth proactively addressing since Walt Disney World did retire complimentary MagicBands for guests booking hotel reservations with one recent release of vacation packages. (More likely, Walt Disney World is about to embark on a concerted push of the MagicBand+ products.)
Although it was one of the first things to return as normalcy was restored, Park Hopping at Walt Disney World still is not back to its pre-closure form. There’s no indication that this will change come 2023, either.
At present, Park Hopping does not begin until 2 pm each day. We’re hopeful that at some point in the not too distant future, Park Hopping is entirely back to normal. That really depends upon Disney Park Pass, attendance caps, and whether Walt Disney World actually wants to revert to earlier Park Hopping. We’re not holding our breath.
On a similar note, there’s the thing guests would like to go away but Disney would like to keep around. Walt Disney World didn’t directly address the Disney Park Pass reservation system nor did the calendar get extended, but it already went through January 18, 2024–so no reason to do that for next year’s vacation packages.
The park reservations aid Disney with staffing, other resource allocation, and crowd distribution. Given how CEO Bob Chapek and CFO Christine McCarthy spoke of the reservation system on the most recent earnings call, we’re not expecting it to be retired anytime soon. Still, it would be nice if it were rolled into the ticket buying flow by next year, which doesn’t seem like too much to ask. (See When Will the Disney Park Pass Reservation System End? for more thorough commentary and recent updates.)
Also nothing on Annual Passes for Walt Disney World.
Not that this would be expected during the 2023 vacation package announcement, as the two products are aimed at very different audiences. Still, throwing this out there because readers keep asking–better to proactively address it than answer a bunch of comments individually. (See When Will Walt Disney World Resume Annual Pass Sales Again? for more.)
On the final ‘not available/no updates’ front, the Disney Dining Plan isn’t mentioned in the announcement about 2023 Walt Disney World vacation package bookings.
Our expectation is that it will not be available for booking when the packages are released on June 8, 2022. We’ll cover the ‘why’ of this in a separate post. (For now, see When Will the Disney Dining Plan Return?)
With all of that out of the way, here’s what we know: bookings will be available for theme park tickets, resort hotel stays, and 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages beginning June 8, 2022 for arrivals dates January 1, 2023. Bookings will be available for check-in dates up to 499 days in the future on a rolling basis (meaning you can only reserve through late October 2023 as of mid-June, but that’ll slowly move to November 2023 by later this month).
Normal terms and conditions for final payments, cancellations, and change fees will apply for all 2023 Walt Disney World vacation package bookings. Essentially, all of the standard rules apply.
We wouldn’t read anything into any of these ‘temporarily unavailable’ things or what hasn’t been announced yet. With the 2023 package release, it’s as if Walt Disney World’s reservations center wanted to drum up business and start accepting new bookings. Rather than trying to prognosticate how things would change next year, they’ll freeze options at today’s status quo.
We’re unconcerned because this is precisely what has happened for the last two years. Resorts that had not yet reopened, ticket options that hadn’t yet returned, and water parks were all treated similarly with previous 2021 and 2022 vacation package releases. All of those things were restored gradually, and became available to book following official announcements of their return. We’d expect nothing different for 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages.
In short, nothing is set in stone. Don’t treat any of these vacation package details as conclusive of the totality of what will and will not be available for the duration of 2023 at Walt Disney World. Heck, it’s not even indicative of what’s on the horizon for the remainder of 2022. Basically, the only thing they offer is a preview of what’ll be bookable in a couple of weeks.
One final little thing that I find interesting about this announcement is the timing, which is happening about one month earlier than historical precedent. Now, it’d be pretty easy to wave that away with the point that things have been atypical for a while now with Walt Disney World, and are not occurring on normal timelines. That’s a reasonable and fair assessment.
However, I can’t help but look at the recent disappointing earnings results of companies like Walmart and Target, and wonder if Disney’s parks & resorts analysts are thinking: that’s going to be us in 6-9 months–let’s get future revenue locked in ASAP!
It’s beating a dead horse at this point, but we’ve been saying for months that there’s likely to be a spending slowdown in the not too distant future. Pent-up demand among domestic visitors could fizzle out, inflation on necessities might result in reductions to discretionary spending, and the same could also happen due to depleted household savings and stimulus money. Inflationary pressures and the rising cost of travel due to oil prices could bring the party to a premature end, too.
When all or some of that happens, consumers will return to being more cost-conscious and price sensitive, and things will normalize to at least some degree. There don’t appear to be any signs of those things happening anytime soon, but Walt Disney World’s goal in announcing and releasing these packages a bit early could be to get ahead of that slowdown and reach consumers while they’re still thinking about spending big on travel. Or maybe I’m simply reading too much into this!
One final word of warning for those already itching to book a 2023 Walt Disney World vacation package bright and early on June 8, 2022. 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.
If you’re at all flexible about your resort choice or room preferences, consider waiting until later in the evening (or even June 9-10) when things calm down a bit. You might save yourself some headache and frustration. Alternatively, it’s always a good idea to use a travel agent. We recommend requesting a quote from Be Our Guest Vacations, a no-fee Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, well before the booking window opens so they can do the work for you. The agents there will book your vacation and help take the stress out of planning.
That’s pretty much all of the commentary we have about the announcement of 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages. Even with all of the above said, our advice is to book Walt Disney World vacation packages when they go on sale on June 8, 2022 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 two years, 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 2023. A ton is changing on a weekly basis, and it’s truly impossible to say today what things will look like in Fall 2022 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 help build anticipation!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Will you be booking a 2023 Walt Disney World vacation package? Notice anything interesting about hotel room or package prices? Anything surprise you? Is there anything you must have–Disney Dining Plan, all-day Park Hopping, Fantasmic, no Park Pass–before you’ll book a 2023 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!
So…I currently have Fort Wilderness room only reservations for March 2023. On June 8, will I be able to convert this to a package online? If I need to call instead, any reason I can’t just wait a week before I call? Thanks to anyone who can help.
“but wait, there’s less,..”
variation on the tv ad ‘but wait, there’s more!’ because that seems to be the trend with less of what I want and more of what i don’t,..
I am really surprised how saddened I am by the loss of what I loved for decades to share with my family,.. now we will just be chasing ghosts of our former joys,..
Was hoping the dining plan would be included when packages become available. I’d rather know my full cost up front vs months later, or at this point not until vacation is over.
Does anyone have any thought on the wisdom of buying a package now vs. waiting and buying discount tickets from an authorized seller later? I’m wondering if price increases outweigh any savings from the discount?
Usually, there’s a window of time when discount ticket sellers have next year’s tickets BEFORE the price increase.
So you can theoretically save from them on tickets, book a room directly from Disney, and then apply a room-only discount (if available/eligible) later.
The only risk is if the discounts later require the purchase of tickets, as is the case with something like Free Dining. No deals released in the last year-plus have required tickets (to the best of my recollection), but it doesn’t mean that won’t change.
Any thoughts on AP’s coming back around the same time?
This would be a good time to put out crowd calendars, even though not accurate. That and special days for crowds in 2023 or a link to latest would help me plan. Why is there a rush to do first day available?
I’ll work on some crowds stuff between now and then, but probably just best months and weeks to visit. The more granular crowd calendars will inevitably be wrong if I were to make them now–it’s just too far out and there are too many unknowns. Even if I offer paragraphs of caveats and disclaimers, people will still be upset if/when they’re inaccurate.
As for the rush to book, I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily a “rush” this year unless you have a high-demand room or resort. With that said, for the last 2 years, it has been advantageous to book early due to a lack of discounts and subsequent price increases. I hope that isn’t the case again in 2023…but better safe than sorry?
Tangentially related–many Disney fans have reported online that they are unable to cancel or modify their resort-only reservations. We have Caribbean Beach booked for March 2023–I know we would not be able to modify online, but when I originally made the reservation, I had the option to cancel through MDE. Now that button has disappeared. Do you think this loss of function is in any way related to Disney trying to sell hotel guests on vacation packages (by forcing them to call to make changes), or is it just Disney’s IT department up to its usual tricks?
Very disappointed in Disneyworld. We went in August of 2021 and found a lot of things we were not happy with: no Magical Express, where your luggage was taken care of; no DDP,; paying for everything that used to be included in packages; no refillable mugs because of no Dining Plan; Nothing to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Hoping to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, not a chance,; ride reservations ridiculous, no fast passes. Not the vacation we had previous times. We have been there several times, but not planning on booking again any time soon. Also, rooms were not cleaned daily, no fresh towels daily, unless you caught the maid and asked. Prices are too high to have Disneyworld fall down like this. Also, too woke. No need to ruin a good thing. Thanks
I agree 100% There is no reason not to clean the rooms everyday with fresh towels. You are so sweaty from the humiduty alls you want to do when you get back to your room is take a shower, put cleans pjs on and turn the ac on
The packages for 2023 for U.K. guests are available to book on March 25th – they include Memory Maker PhotoPass. 14 day park hopper and water park tickets for the cost of 7 days and up to $1200 credit for dining and merchandise plus a $200 gift card for booking early. It will be interesting to see what they’re offering their domestic guests!
Where have you seen this? I can’t see these details on Virgin hols or WDW website?
Disney Hokidays sent me a. Email directly. I’ve had another over the weekend to say they’ll be adding 2 Drawn to Life tickets per booking to the deal as well. I’m sure it will be all over the travel agents sites when it’s launched later this week.
I really expected the dining plan to be brought back with 2023 package bookings. Just like you mentioned with G+, people are more likely to purchase a dining plan if they do it at the time of booking, as opposed to if they have to add it on at a later date.
And one would think Disney is confident enough in reopening, hiring and capacity changes, that they could anticipate being ready for the dining plan in Jan 2023.
The longer this goes on, the more I believe the old DDP will never be “turned back on.” The DDP was constantly evolving, with generally small changes year to year — But the 2019 plan looked VERY different than the 2009 plan.
I do believe having a dining plan is hugely profitable and advantageous to Disney. So I do expect to see a dining plan come back at some point. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up looking very very different than the 2019 dining plan. And it seems Disney certainly isn’t in any rush.
“And one would think Disney is confident enough in reopening, hiring and capacity changes, that they could anticipate being ready for the dining plan in Jan 2023.”
Don’t overestimate Disney’s desire/ability to anticipate things.
(Agree with everything else you wrote, but I was not expecting it to be included in today’s announcement. I did expect another sentence saying the Disney Dining Plan won’t be available “at this time,” though.)
Thanks Tom for your article, it comes at a perfect time for me, as I was looking to book a Feb 2023 trip and was waiting on pricing. Love all of your input!
Thanks for the update and heads up Tom. As always, you continue to hit home runs and are a daily read and referred to on a first name basis in our family: “Did you see what Tom said yesterday about the Virtual Queue for GOTG?” etc. We will be at WDW May 31 through June 9. Are there still bounce back opportunities offered to book while we are on property? I have read your posts about this in the past (Go Constanza go!), but haven’t ever had the luxury of planning our next trip while still there. However, with the new vacation packages release happening, it looks like our timing may work out to book a trip for March 2023 while we are there in a few weeks. Did the pandemic or any seismic leadership paradigm shift kill this program or is it still a thing? Thanks for all you do!
Bounceback offers are dead and I’m personally not expecting them to come back anytime soon.
I have not heard that from any credible sources, but what I have heard is *absolutely nothing.* That alone is fairly telling, as there have been rumors about a number of other things. My guess is that a small team was behind them and it’s gone. Doesn’t mean a similar idea won’t be ‘reborn’ down the road, though.
Been waiting for this article, thanks for being on top of things as always!
Date correction here:
With all of that out of the way, here’s what we know: bookings will be available for theme park tickets, resort hotel stays, and 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages beginning June 8, 2022 for arrivals dates January 1, 2023 and running through December 31, 2022.
Agreed I noticed this mistake too. 🙂
What time do you think it would come online in the morning?
I’d like to know this as well!
In previous years, they’ve just silently loaded packages really early (~5 am) and announced they were available later in the day. That’s the smart approach, as it spreads demand out and results in less strain on their servers.
I’m sorta surprised they didn’t do that this year. I know that doesn’t answer your question, but that’s mostly because I don’t have an answer. My hope is that it goes live at like 4 am EST, as the waits or crashes could be bad if they wait much longer than that.
That is super helpful! I would not expect a precise answer. But that helps me decide when to check.