Credit: Disney

Disney Planning Is Tough Right Now

Many of us love planning vacations to Walt Disney World; however, it can be extremely difficult right now. There is so much to know when it comes to Disney planning and with things constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up with it all. Don’t worry though; we have what might be causing Disney planning to be difficult and how you can overcome the challenge and have a magical Disney World vacation.

Credit: Matthew Cooper –

Park Passes

The first thing Disney Guests are required to do for their Disney vacation is make a Park Pass Reservation to visit a Theme Park. This can cause Disney planning to be difficult as you have to predict what theme Park you want to be in each day of your vacation. A Park reservation often needs to be made as soon as a Park ticket is purchased, which is often before you know a lot about what events are coming or even what the Park hours will be for the Theme Park. Although we have seen the ability to switch Park Pass Reservations to be a lot easier as Park capacity has increased, there can still be days when Disney’s Hollywood Studios has limited availability. Park reservation can be confusing when planning your Disney vacation, as you might not know exactly where you want to be each day. To make it easier on you, select those Park Pass Reservations soon to ensure you can get into a Theme Park and then know you should be able to adjust as you make more concrete plans as your Disney vacation gets closer.

Park Hopping is Different

Another part that you have to take into consideration when planning your Park days is Park Hopping. Although Park Hopping is back in the Disney Parks, it doesn’t start until 2:00 pm. This means that when you are planning meals, you need to make sure you are making those dining reservations according to which Theme Park you can be in during that time. This can make planning a little more difficult, but you should be good to go if you plan. If you are in Magic Kingdom for your Park reservation, this is the Park you will need to have your dining reservation in if you choose to do so. You can choose to have a dining reservation in the evening at another Theme Park, but always keep in mind that you won’t be able to hop when a Theme Park reaches capacity.


All the Dates

Right now, there are so many dates to keep track of when it comes to the Walt Disney World Resort. Restaurants, Resorts, entertainment are all coming back, which we are thrilled about, but it is also hard to keep track of when it is all happening. The fact that the Disney Resort is constantly changing the reopening dates can also cause problems when planning, as you never know if the scheduled dates will come through. Along with the reopening dates are also all the refurbishments that are happening throughout Disney World. Luckily Disney keeps track of all this information in one spot, making it easier to find it out making your planning easier.

Not Everything is Opened

If you hope to experience some of the new attractions on your Disney World vacation, it can be hard to plan. There are a lot of experiences coming to the Walt Disney World Resort that haven’t opened and haven’t been announced either. If you want to do something, such as ride Tron or stay at All-Star Sports, this might be hard to do as we have no specific timeline. You can wait to plan a trip until Disney announces when things are to open, but even that isn’t a guarantee. Instead, focus on all the available magical experiences and plan to enjoy those; everything else will be a bonus during your Walt Disney World vacation.

Menus are Changing

Not only are we getting new dining options opening, but we are also getting menus that are constantly changing right now in Disney, both at the Theme Parks and in the Resorts. This can make it hard to determine which dining location you want to choose, as your favorite dish might not be there anymore. For example, Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom recently switched back to a buffet. If you had hoped to experience this dining location without the buffet, this might impact your dining reservation. We also see new food options added to quick service menus, so this is a good thing. We like that more options are being offered as it gives us more choices. Keep checking those menus on the My Disney Experience App to know what options you will have at the different dining locations throughout the Disney Resort.

Credit: Tricia Kennedy

Virtual Queues And Mobile Ordering

Even trying to ride an attraction or get food can be difficult right now in Disney. Recently, Guests were to use a virtual queue to ride Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now that has transitioned away from Rise of the Resistance over to EPCOT where Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is now using a virtual queue. This means at two different times throughout the day; Guests have the opportunity to hop onto My Disney Experience to secure a virtual boarding group. This allows Guests to enjoy the rest of the Park while virtually waiting in line. This can be a great option; however, it does make planning difficult as you don’t know when your boarding group will get called exactly, and there is no guarantee you will get one. Luckily most Guests are securing a boarding group to ride Remy’s, so this shouldn’t be too stressful. Another thing that has gone digital is ordering food. At quick-service dining locations throughout the Disney Resort, Guests are being asked to use mobile ordering. Guests log into their My Disney Experience account and order their food through the app. As times are limited, it can be difficult to find food if you haven’t planned. Don’t run into this issue but instead think about placing your mobile order early on in the day to snag a pick up time that works for you. You can always modify your order, but at least this way, you have time secured. This can make a huge difference in your Disney World Vacation.

Genie, Genie+, Lightning Lane and More

The new planning service Genie will be coming to Guests on October 19th, but it still has many of us confused. Genie includes three different aspects, all created to help Guests have a better experience in the parks. Genie is a free planning tool available to all Guests through the My Disney Experience App. This tool will provide suggestions and ideas of what Guests should do in the parks based on preselected options. Genie+ is a paid aspect where Guests can choose to pay $15 per day per person for access to the Lightning Lanes (old FastPass+ lane) by-passing the stand-by lines. Genie+ is available for select attractions in all four theme parks. There are two rides in each of the four theme parks that aren’t part of the Genie+ offerings. These rides, such as Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, will be part of the Individual Attraction Selection. This feature will allow Guests to purchase access to these very popular rides on the day of their Theme Park visit. We will be learning more about this new system, and hopefully, it will become less confusing as time moves forward. We know it will change our experience in a Disney Park but are excited to adjust and learn along with Disney.

Planning a trip to Disney World can be extremely overwhelming right now. We hope that addressing some areas that make planning difficult will help you be better prepared and ready to have a magical Walt Disney World vacation.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.