When Can 2023 Disney World Vacations Be Booked?
“When can I book a 2023 Walt Disney World vacation package?” and “will WDW release rooms for dates next year?” are becoming increasingly common reader questions, especially among planners. We’ll try to answer based on historical precedent, while covering recent anomalies and quirks to how this works.
We’ll preface this by noting that in the 2 years since the closure and reopening, Walt Disney World has not followed a totally predictable schedule. Discounts have often been released much later than they would in a normal year (or not at all), special event ticket sales have been delayed, and other add-ons have been slow to return. About the only thing that has happened on schedule is price increases. Disney does those like clockwork.
This is to say that what you read here concerns when 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages would be released in a normal year, and the last couple of years have been anything but normal. If you want to save yourself the time, you can subscribe to our free email newsletter for instant alerts about the release of vacation packages, discounts, and everything else. For now, here’s everything you need to know about when 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages might be released.
So there are a few quirks to this. The first is recent versus historical precedent. In mid-February of last year, Walt Disney World released 2022 vacation packages for arrivals beginning January 1, 2022 and running through July 1, 2022. This also excluded 6 resorts that were closed at the time and didn’t yet have “firm” reopening dates.
The balance of the year was released in mid-June. Normal terms and conditions for final payments, cancellations, and change fees applied for all 2022 Walt Disney World vacation package bookings.
Going back another year actually brings us to when Walt Disney World’s theme parks were still closed. Despite this–and despite the fact that 2020 packages had been temporarily suspended at that time–Walt Disney World released 2021 vacation packages on June 24, 2020.
Impressive as it was that Disney stuck to schedule, this release came with a ton of asterisks. It only went through September 27, a variety of add-ons were unavailable, resorts that wouldn’t end up reopening on time were bookable, and more.
The year before that is when we received the most questions about vacation packages, by far. This was back when hype was building about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there was still excitement about the prospect of Free Dining, and hotel availability was first becoming an issue. (Everything that happened in late 2019 and early 2020 is a blur now, but Walt Disney World was starting to see the sky-high demand that we’re now calling “pent-up.”)
Anyway, 2020 Walt Disney World vacation packages were released on June 18, 2019. That was a totally normal release, in a totally normal year.
The story is the same for every previous year in this blog’s recorded history–packages have gone live for booking around the 3rd or 4th week of June in normal years. While I’m sure it has happened at some point, I can’t find any instances of packages being released before June 18 or after June 24 in the last decade.
Whether this year is a normal year or abnormal one from the perspective of package releases is anyone’s guess. This isn’t the type of thing that’s rumored or worth speculating on. The information above is literally everything I know about Walt Disney World vacation package releases, and now you know it.
Accordingly, your guess is as good as mine about when 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages will be released. Just because I oddly enjoy this type of thing: my guess is June 22, 2022. (With a chance of it happening one day earlier.)
But wait, there’s more! While the online booking tool on Disneyworld.com doesn’t offer this option, Walt Disney World resort hotel reservations can be made up to 499 days in advance. This can be done only by calling (407) 939-1936 or via an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
In order to book this room-only reservation, you’ll pay a deposit of one night’s rack rate with the balance due upon check-in. By contrast, Walt Disney World vacation packages require a $200 deposit with the remaining balance of the package due 30 days prior to arrival.
This is actually a good option for those who want a room-only reservation, as you can potentially lock-in a rate that’s lower than 2023 Walt Disney World rack rates. If you’re going to purchase discounted tickets from an authorized third party and don’t care about the Disney Dining Plan (assuming it returns by 2023), we’d recommend doing this.
You’ll still have the option of applying discounts retroactively, assuming your reservation qualifies (e.g. dates, resort, room category, etc. are among what’s offered in the discount). Or, the special offer might end up being not so special, in which case you can simply stick with what you’ve booked. No harm, no foul.
If you plan on “converting” the room-only reservation to a vacation package, it can be easier said than done. Like all things Disney and technology, the backend system for doing this is archaic and complicated–it’s not simply a matter of the call center Cast Members checking a modify box on your existing reservation to add tickets or whatever else. Because of course it’s not easy.
What we’ve been told is supposed to happen, especially with “rare” room types (e.g. special suites) is that a new package reservation is created and then the room from your existing reservation is moved over to that. (I don’t know the mechanics of how this works, so my description might not be 100% accurate. Regardless, that’s the idea.)
In reality, what often/usually happens is that the call center Cast Member cancels your existing room-only reservation and books a new vacation package reservation. This is apparently the easier way to do it, but one not without “risk” given that the cancelled room returns to the bookable inventory for at least a few minutes.
During that time, another guest could theoretically swoop in and take it out from under you. However, most of the aforementioned “rare rooms” are not bookable online, so this would require someone else calling at the exact same time and inquiring about one of those specific rooms during the same window of time yours is released. Pretty unlikely, but not impossible.
If you’re just looking to book a standard room at Pop Century, there’s no real reason for concern. Although demand is higher for those rooms, so too is supply. It’s not some special suite that is literally one-of-a-kind. When one person books that for specific dates, it’s gone. When one person books a standard room at Pop Century, there are still (literally) over 2,000 more.
This is why we typically 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 Yosemite Suite at Wilderness Lodge). Otherwise, there’s little to gain by booking so far in advance.
It’s more of a hassle and you’re essentially giving Disney an interest-free loan via your deposit, so why bother? There are probably other specific scenarios where booking a room and “converting” makes sense, but they’re all case-by-case. For most normal guests, normal room v. special suite is the key distinction. (I also feel obliged to offer the grandmotherism: “don’t wish your life away!”)
Ultimately, that’s just our perspective on whether it makes sense to book a room now versus waiting until packages are released. It also probably depends on your own peace of mind, excitement of having a trip “officially on the books,” and willingness to hassle with the call center.
Of course, your mileage may vary. As someone with zero tolerance for talking on the phone and being very laid back with trip planning, I’m probably not the ideal person to offer advice to people already asking the titular question. Also, my time is very valuable, and is better spent on highly important tasks, such as watching reruns of The Office on TBS for like the 6th time. 😉
Regardless, hopefully this is useful history on what’s happen in the past that provides the basis for when 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages might be released. While things aren’t still totally back to normal at Walt Disney World, this strikes us as one thing that’s more likely to return to past precedent. We’ll keep you posted and give you a heads up when 2023 packages are bookable!
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!
Have you booked a 2023 Walt Disney World room-only reservation? Do you typically book a room and “convert” that to a package, or wait? Predictions of your own about when 2023 Walt Disney World vacation packages will be released? Think the Disney Dining Plan will be bookable when they’re released? Will you be booking right away when packages come out, or will you take a wait and see approach with discounts, normalcy, etc? 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!
Hi, in the past week for Ireland & UK people, Disney have offered a deal for 2023 which includes up to 1200 dollars for dining credit. Unfortunately there is no mention of Disney Dining Plan. However to get this deal we need to book by 27th July. So could this mean they testing the water with Dining Credit? as myself and a lot of people i know would not consider going to Disney World from this side of the world without a DDP offer.
It sounds like this is applicable to room reservations as well, perhaps? My wife has been checking regularly for the ability to make a room only reservation for a stay that begins on 1/1/23. One can book for a stay starting 12/31/22 though.
Thank for this as it’s informative context.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the irony of someone who self identifies as “being very laid back with trip planning” running such a thorough and informative planning resource? 😉
Thanks for all you do, Tom!
When I started this blog, I was much more zealous about planning everything “perfectly.” Over the years, I’ve learned that that’s a fool’s errand–things will always go wrong, and it’s better to find beauty (or whatever you want to call it) in the spontaneous. If you’re more laid back and let vacations unfold as a matter of discovery, that leads to unexpected memories and far less disappointment. I’ve stressed this mentality in a number of posts here, but few seem to listen.
Now, some might claim that since we’ve experienced Walt Disney World so many times, the stakes are lower for us. That would be fair, but this philosophy applies everywhere we travel. One of my favorite travel memories is forgetting to book a hotel room one night in Switzerland, and making an unplanned detour to Zermatt because we found a last-minute deal. Watching the sunrise over the Matterhorn when we were supposed to be nowhere near it is a memory I’ll never forget.
Since then, we’ve “forgotten” to book many hotel stays and make a priority of “getting lost” in new places. It’s not for everyone, but works incredibly well for us.
I’m just teasing you, Tom. I really appreciate your philosophy on planning and totally agree, no matter how much you plan something *will* go wrong so might as well take a more laid back viewpoint to begin with. It’s unfortunately that Disney has structured WDW in such a way that extensive planning feels almost mandatory, especially with Disneyland existing as proof that it doesn’t *have* to be that way.
In 2023, I’m planning on graduation from College & to celebrate, my family & I are going to Walt Disney World.
UK packages for 2023 are now available via the WDW website.
If you’re hoping to rent DVC points, does it still make sense to put your request in with one of the booking sites you recommend, 11 months in advance? Thanks!
Yes, you’ll want to put in your request right at 11 months out for a DVC room to have the best chances of getting what you want. Their inventory is managed differently than the standard inventory, so you won’t run into the same problems with rebooking ‘packages’ since you’ll have to purchase your tickets separately anyway.
I hope your article is correct about ticket purchases around mid June is correct. I’m planning a vacation for my best friend and myself in April and want to get our tickets and park reservations taken care of.
Special suites! I had no idea this was a thing. Is there a list somewhere of special suites at each property?
Another blog lists Presidential and Vice Presidential suites at Disney Resorts that can be found easily with Google search. Average nightly cost is $2,000.
I don’t have a list and this isn’t something I regularly price out, but there’s no way the average is $2,000 per night anymore. That part of the list is probably (at least) a few years out of date.
The article is dated January 2021, but wouldn’t be surprised if prices increased considerably due to unprecedented demand and pricing power.
Thank you for the link; these aren’t really the special rooms I meant (I was more curious about things like the Yosemite Suite at each hotel)…and mostly because for a family of 6 we are always paying a lot for a villa anyway.
No worries Johnny and Tom-probably never going to book such a room anyhow!
(Might be a fun blog post if things ever slow down-maybe Disney will let you stay in one of the rooms for research purposes lol)