Answers to Frequently Asked Disney World Questions
There are a lot of frequently-asked questions about Walt Disney World, and in this FAQ post, we’ll try to answer the most common questions we receive about Walt Disney World. We understand that a vacation to Walt Disney World is complicated, and some information about it is hard to find and regularly changing.
This is why we try to regularly update popular posts as soon as new info is available. Given the organization of this blog (or lack thereof) those updated posts are not always easy to find. Despite our best efforts to avoid them (our ‘Contact’ page is meant for lucrative sponsorships, such as Totino’s Pizza Rolls; gotta keep my options open so I can cash-in and leave this blog behind! 😉 ), we receive numerous emails per day from readers with questions.
So, my goal with this post is to further reduce those emails by answering some frequently asked Walt Disney World questions. The idea is to make this a growing ‘database’ that I can revise based upon new questions, which we can then direct readers towards when they have a question that someone else has asked. To that end, you could say this post is a bit selfish, but hopefully it’s also helpful to you!
Let’s dig into the Walt Disney World questions and answers…
When will Free Dining be released for 2022?
Free Dining probably won’t happen in 2022. Although it had been offered for fall and winter travel dates every single year since 2005 through 2019, but Disney Dining Plan still hasn’t returned since the parks reopened.
There are two “waves” of Free Dining: the bounce-back offer which is available for guests while at Walt Disney World this year (which will give some insight into Free Dining dates for next year), and the general public dates are typically released in the same spring. Here’s more info about Free Dining, plus the likelihood of 2022 or 2023 dates.
If you want a heads up when it’s released–or when the DDP returns, subscribe to our free email newsletter. We offer regular updates about Free Dining in that so readers are apprised of the latest (legitimate) rumors.
Every year, we send out details about Free Dining rumors we receive from insiders, and give our subscribers a heads up the day before it’ll be released. The last 3 years, we’ve correctly predicted Free Dining dates in advance of their release.
What refurbishments are happening during my trip?
Check out our regularly-updated Walt Disney World Refurbishment Calendar for info on that.
When will Halloween or Christmas Party tickets go on sale?
Typically, Walt Disney World releases Halloween and Christmas Party tickets between May and July. Sometimes, tickets for both events are often released on the same date.
Disneyland is a bit more…let’s say “relaxed”…when it comes to releasing dates and selling event tickets. At least in part, this stems from it being more of a locals’ park that does not necessitate nearly as much planning. Tickets often go on sale to the general public in late July or early August.
When will park hours be released?
The answer to this is tricky, and depends upon whether you want the short answer or the long answer. Short answer: about 2-3 months in advance on the Park Hours page of DisneyWorld.com.
The monkey wrench is that the hours on those calendars are usually “wrong” at first. Those calendars regularly get released with tentative hours, and park hours are extended as the dates approach. (Park hours rarely, if ever, are reduced once released). In other words, don’t freak out if Magic Kingdom is currently scheduled to close at 8 p.m. every night of your visit 6 months from now–there’s a very good chance those hours will be extended.
When can I book a 2023 Walt Disney World room?
Right now! Well, sort of. Walt Disney World resort hotel reservations can be made up to 499 days in advance, but only via phone by calling (407) 939-1936 or via an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Pricing will change for those bookings, though, if you end up turning it into a full package (tickets and/or Disney Dining Plan) once vacation packages are released.
If you’re wondering when a vacation package can be booked, it’ll likely be in late June. If historical trends from the last couple of years hold, vacation packages for all of 2023 will be released the third week of June. (As with the above, we’ll alert email subscribers when vacation packages are released.)
To be frank, I don’t recommend booking prior to the vacation packages coming out unless there’s a very specific suite you must get (say you want to treat yo self with a stay in the Yellowstone Suite at Wilderness Lodge). Otherwise, there’s little gain by booking so far in advance.
I read your post about X, but my trip is really important, so what other advice do you have?
“I’m pretty indifferent to the trip that cost me thousands of dollars,” said no one ever. Walt Disney World vacations are really important to everyone. They are also fairly high-stakes as far as vacations go: a lot of planning goes into them, parents stress out that things won’t go according to plan, and there’s the fear that the rite-of-passage trip that is so important to their kids will be ruined.
I totally get this. If I didn’t, I would not have hundreds of thousand-plus word blog posts on a site devoted to helping people have better visits to Walt Disney World and other Disney Parks. In this collection of posts, I don’t hold back any “secret” tips. This site is not a ploy to get you to buy an eBook or pay a membership fee for the “best” tips or hidden ones you won’t find anywhere else. Everything I know, I share with you freely. Sometimes, you might disagree with my advice or my tips not be the easiest information to find but whatever I have is here on the blog…somewhere.
I understand that some readers might benefit from personalized advice. Unfortunately, that’s well beyond the scope of this blog. My time is finite–updating and writing new posts here consumes almost all of my free time and that’s the best I can offer. (I joked about it at the beginning of the post, but I do not respond to reader emails. Time literally does not allow. I hope you understand.) If you want advice tailored to your party’s needs, preferences, etc., I’d recommend requesting a quote from a fee-free Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. They will book your trip for you, and provide myriad customized pieces of advice.
What kind of camera did you use for that photo?
This used to be the #1 question we received by far, but now it’s barely on the list–I guess I’m losing my photographic touch! In any case, there’s really no easy answer to this question. I use a variety of camera and lens combinations, and what I used for a particular shot also depends upon when it was taken. If you’re wanting to learn more about taking better photos in the parks, read my Ultimate Guide to Disney Parks Photography. That’s a long, rambling post that contains a ton of info.
If you’re more of a beginner and want a succinct/easy answer, the point & shoot camera I recommend is the Sony RX100. I’ve been recommending this line of cameras for the last ~5 years. It’s on its 5th generation, with each new version offering additional features and improvements, but the original is still excellent. (With that said, get the best version your budget allows.)
If you’re curious as to what camera settings I used on a particular photo, I recommend installing an EXIF data plugin for your browser. (Here’s a list of various options.)
Where did Sarah get her outfit in that photo?
I rarely know where my own clothing comes from, let alone Sarah’s. You’re welcome to ask about a particular item she’s wearing via the comments section in the pertinent post.
If you’re looking for more generalized ideas of what she wears, why, and whether it’s actually comfortable, she has a What to Wear to Disney post that goes over a lot.
That covers some of the most frequently-asked questions about Walt Disney World that come to mind right now. If you have other questions to which you cannot find the answer elsewhere on the blog, please feel free to post them in the comments below.
Even if you do not have a question, but know of a particular common question that is not (yet) addressed by the blog, please feel free to pose that below, too. I’ll pull the best/most common questions up from the comments and add to this post, or I’ll write entirely new blog posts to address other questions.
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!
Whole whole point of ‘growing’ this as a Walt Disney World FAQ ‘database’ is you asking additional questions, so please, post anything else you think we don’t cover below in the comments! Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Think a FAQ is missing? Share any questions, tips, or additional thoughts you have in the comments!
I was wondering if once you’ve used all three fast passes in one park, you can book more on the same day for the day after in other theme parks.
Yes, immediately after you hit the tap-style at your 3rd FP location, you can access attraction availability at ANY of the parks to use your 4th FP (as long as you have either Annual Pass, a Park Hopper or some other ticket). You do not need to enter that other park to do so and tiers no longer matter as long as there’s availability.
My question: I’ve been honored to be chosen God Mother to 6 children recently. Can I bring them all together for free with my paid ticket to WDW while they still appear to look under 3yo?
My answer to your question: Yes, I’d actually want to do that 😀
We’re going to Disney World summer and will have a dining plan. I realize that at QS places you can use a QS credit for 3 snacks. My question is when using mobile ordering, can you indicate that you want to use a QS credit for 3 snacks or do you have to tell a human?
We’re trying to decide if we should purchase the Memory Maker package. Do you have a blog about the pros/cons of this? Thanks!
It’s well worth it, just make sure you find the people taking the pictures to get as many as you can. If you only get 1 or 2 done, then it’s not worth it. We ended up getting over 20 done and they were fantastic, especially with the extras they include in your pictures
Using it for 7 trips now, we get 50-100 photos a day. Total package count will depend on trip length and party size. Around 10% will be fantastic shots worthy of framing, and 50% album worthy.
$1, $2 or even $5 per quality shot all feel valuable to me, especially compared to the whole trip cost. Plenty of photographers are out (some better than others), set up around perfect views, ready to go for the light setting, and non-character lines are typically less than 2 or 3 families waiting. Go hit all 5 spots down the middle of Main St on your way in and out of MK because it only takes minutes to do, lol. It’s easy to utilize, has many awesome locations, extremely convenient for ride photos and there really isn’t a better method to document the whole park experience. Personal pics are free and a great addition but don’t offer equal coverage to this package.
Can you have visitors when camping at Fort Wilderness. For example kids are camping. Grandpa and Grandma want to come for supper
your site is wonderful! Thanks for doing this!
I am considering visit Orlando on 2018 September, and i read everywhere that it’s gonna be hot and rainy…
Ok, of course there’s a pattern, of course we can predict with some good accuracy, but my problem isn’t exactly if its gonna be hot and rainy..but HOW hot and rainy will be!
Is it unbearable? Rains all the time? And, more important since i dont mind standing in the rains (i kinda like, actually): does the attractions closes during the rain?”
I really appreciate your help! And sorry for the possible writing errors (i am from a non english country!)
Do you have a post or link to a list different tours or events and their description that are available in the different Disney world parks? I have never been on any of them. Also, information on cost. I think that I heard that there is an underground tour of Disney world and a Star Wars tour at Hollywood Studio’s.
I read from a couple sources that Disney is considering breaking with tradition about having President Trump as a speaking robot in The Hall of Presidents. I sincerely hope this is not true. If you have accurate information on this matter it would be greatly appreciated.
I was there in January and, without meaning to, caught the show the last day before it was shut down for refurbishment – they told us they were closing to add President Trump’s robot so I strongly suspect it is just a rumor. Plus, Disney (usually) isn’t that political so as not to completely alienate its patrons/fans.
I read that Trump won’t be getting a speaking role and that it will perhaps be taken back to it’s pre-1993 format and just let historical figures speak in the presentation. I sincerely hope that this is true. At this point it would be the best choice to not endorse the things that he says.
Hi Tom. I love your blog! Thanks for everything you do on this blog – so much helpful information.
Do you have any idea when they will announce the Hallowishes Dessert Party for 2017? Last year, I believe the dates were released in mid May.
How can you find out when they are taping the Christmas Day Disney Parade? I have heard it is taped some time in November?
I think this post was made ten times better (at least) by that Tupac shirt. !!!
Do the parks allow you to bring in a hand-held stabilizer for your phone so that you can take video’s on rides, etc?
Check out this list for prohibited items at the parks. Selfie sticks ( if thats what you are referring to) are no longer allowed!
I always enjoy your blog and appreciate your opinions. Your photos are really nice.
I agree with Patrick below! It would be so useful to have the date a Blog was written displayed on it! I often Google “Disney Tourist Blog” before whatever information I am looking for and there is no way to tell when it was written.
” I rarely know where my own clothing comes from, let alone Sarah’s “. Funny! I’m rarely certain what I’m even wearing at any given moment unless I look down to check.
Tom, do you know if rides going through a refurbishment ever opened sooner then their announced dates? I know there are usually soft openings for new stuff but was wondering on the refurbishments because Splash Mountain is announced at being down from August 28th thru November 16th. We will be there until November 15th and I’d hate to miss one of the mountains again, we missed Big Thunder last year.
Yes, it definitely happens, but it’s very hit or miss. Generally, you just need to find yourself in the right place at the right time. Sometimes an attraction will be open sporadically for a few hours in the days leading up to the return from refurb.
I agree with you Josh does know a heck of a lot about crowd calendars it’s just too bad that he’s gotten a little tired of doing them, in my opinion. I go to both of you for what’s going on new there. Thanks for all you do
I appreciate the updates. I helps me know that information has probably not passed it fresh date. However, it would be even more useful if the dates of the original posts and the most recent updates were published. I know that would make really out-of-date information obvious, but we passive consumers of your knowledge have no room to gripe, and there would be real value in knowing if something was written in 2011 or last week. Just a thought. Thanks again for everything here.
Tom is pretty good at updating posts regularly. When he does, he puts the date it was updated. If there isn’t a date, it probably doesn’t have any info that is time sensitive or very out of date. If you have a more time sensitive question, you could try asking it in the forum or his face book page