As we head into the New Year, we’re reflecting back on what the past couple of years at the Walt Disney World have been like. Several new attractions, shops, and restaurants have opened around Walt Disney World since 2020, but there are some amenities and experiences that are still missing as we head into 2023.
Here’s what we’re missing most at Walt Disney World, and what we are hoping will return soon after the New Year.
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Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan has been one of the amenities Guests have been hoping to see return to Walt Disney World most since the theme parks and Resorts reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the Disney Dining Plan remained unavailable because staffing challenges caused so many restaurants to remain closed.
Since the majority of restaurants around Disney Parks and Resorts have now reopened, fans are wondering when the Disney Dining Plan will return. Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro briefly mentioned the Dining Plan in a long list of things that would eventually return last year, but Disney has not shared an official update since then.
Currently out of state Guests are still unable to purchase new Annual Passes for the Walt Disney World Resort. (On the West Coast, Annual Passes briefly went on sale earlier this year, but sales ended within only about 24 hours.) Disney did confirm earlier this year that Annual Pass sales will resume, likely in the beginning of 2023, but we have not received an official update since then.
It is possible that Disney is planning to revamp the theme park reservation system before launching sales of new Annual Passes, especially since some Passholders opted to sue the company under the belief that the reservation system goes against Passes with not blockout dates. In any case, we will continue to monitor changes to the Annual Pass program and will report back when we have updates.
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For Guests looking to purchase souvenirs in Walt Disney World, package pickup has been deeply missed. In the past, Guests were able to purchase items at most locations around the theme parks and Resorts and have them sent either to the front of the Park to pick up when they exited or back to their Disney hotel.
Again a consequence of staffing challenges, package pickup has remained unavailable since Disney World reopened in 2020. In some instances, like in the Magic Kingdom, the retail locations where Guests would go to pick up packages have remained closed as well.
Resort Airline Check-in
In years past, Disney Resorts offered Guests the chance to check in luggage and print boarding passes during the last day of their stay. While this may also be tied to the removal of Disney’s Magical Express, it is yet another amenity that has yet to return since 2020.
On a more positive note, 2023 is already shaping up to be an incredible year at Walt Disney World, and especially with the return of Bob Iger as CEO of the company, we are looking forward to several changes for the better over the coming year.