Key Dates to Keep in Mind When Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation

Navigating Disneys New 2025 Cancellation Policy 2

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be a magical experience, but it also requires some careful preparation to ensure you make the most of your visit. We have compiled an updated list of key dates and deadlines you will want to keep in mind, including the upcoming updates to Genie. Read on to learn all about what dates you should be circling on your planning calendar!

Related: Big Changes Coming to Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane this July

Polynesian Village Resort Walt Disney World

1. Booking Your Disney Resort

  • Date to Remember: As soon as possible
  • Why: Disney resort hotels can book up quickly, especially during peak seasons. Reserving your stay early ensures you get your preferred accommodations and access to on-property perks.

2. Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR)

  • Date to Remember: 60 days before your check-in date
  • Why: Popular dining locations like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, and other character dining experiences fill up fast. Make your dining reservations as soon as your 60-day window opens to secure your spots.
Walt Disney World Ticket 2

3. Park Reservations

  • Date to Remember: As soon as you have your tickets (if required)
  • Why: With the recent changes, date-based tickets no longer require park reservations. However, some ticket holders, including annual passholders and certain other ticket types, will still need to make park reservations. Availability can vary, especially for popular parks like Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, so book your reservations early if needed.
lightning lane updates

4. Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Selections (New Names: Lightning Lane Multi Pass and Lightning Lane Single Pass)

  • New Updates in July: Starting in July, Genie+ will allow guests to book select attractions in advance.
  • Date to Remember: 7 days before your visit if staying on property; 3 days before if off property
  • Why: With the new Genie+ updates, guests can now plan their day with even more precision. Making your selections as early as allowed ensures you get access to the most sought-after attractions.
  • What: With Multi Pass You will be able to make up to three reservations in advance, one from a Tier 1 Ride and 2 from Tier 2 Rides, like with the previous Fast Pass + System (note there are no ride tiers currently at Animal Kingdom). Attractions that are not available as part of the Multi Pass can be purchased as a Single Pass; there are typically one such attraction per park. Park Hopping: You can book for 1 park in advance, and can then book for a second park after using your first Lighting Lane of the day, subject to availability.
stage show mickeys not so scary halloween party 2024

5. Special Events and Tickets

  • Date to Remember: As soon as tickets go on sale
  • Why: Special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are extremely popular and often sell out quickly. Keep an eye on ticket release dates and purchase them as soon as they become available.
magicband lead

6. Final Payment for Vacation Packages

  • Date to Remember: 30 days before your check-in date
  • Why: Ensure your vacation package is paid in full by this deadline to avoid any last-minute issues.
genie mk
genie mk

7. Planning Your Itinerary

  • Date to Remember: At least a month before your trip
  • Why: Take the time to plan out which parks you’ll visit each day, make a list of must-see attractions, shows, and parades, and consider the new Genie+ selections. Having a rough itinerary can help you maximize your time and enjoyment.

8. Transportation and Arrival

  • Date to Remember: 1-2 weeks before your trip
  • Why: Confirm your travel arrangements, whether you’re flying, driving, or using Disney’s Magical Express (note: Disney’s Magical Express service ends in 2022). Arrange any necessary transportation from the airport to your resort and finalize any last-minute details.

Related: Complete List of Characters Appearing at 2024 Disney’s Jollywood Nights

genie LL updates

Tips for Genie+ and Lightning Lane

  • Utilize the My Disney Experience App: Keep the app handy for making Genie+/Lightning Lane selections, checking wait times, and mobile ordering food.
  • Stay Informed: Updates to Genie+ and other services can happen, so stay informed through official Disney channels and trusted Disney planning websites like the Chip and Co website and social media feeds!

Planning a Walt Disney World vacation involves many steps, but keeping track of these key dates can help ensure a smooth and magical experience. With the new Genie+ updates, you have even more tools at your disposal to create the perfect Disney day. Happy planning and see you at the parks!

Key Dates to Keep in Mind When Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation 1

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