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Walt Disney World 2022: Things to know before you go

Are you planning a visit to the most Magical place on Earth in 2022? Well you better slow down and be prepared. 2022 is an important time at Walt Disney World. Did you know The Magic Kingdom turned 50 back on October 1st, 2021?

That’s right the Magic Kingdom is 50 years old and do you know what that means? Crowds! Lots and lots of Crowds. People from all over will be visiting Magic Kingdom and the other theme parks that make up Walt Disney World this year. However, should that stop you from planning your visit?

Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. It really depends on what you are looking for and how much you want to spend. The cost of a Disney vacation has massively increased the past couple of years. A few years ago a $2,500 budget could have gotten you 10 nights at POP Century resort, 8 day park hopper tickets, free transportation from Orlando airport (MCO), free fast pass, a dining plan (during free dining promotion), and photopass for two. Now that same budget will get you 6 nights at an All Star Resort, 4 day park hopper tickets, and Disney Genie +. No meal plan. No transportation from MCO, and no photopass.

If you haven’t visited in a couple of years or this is your first time going to WDW. We have some things to know before you go listed below. We feel it will really help you make the right decision if a Disney Vacation is right for you.

Theme Parks

The four Disney World Theme Parks

Walt Disney World is made up of four theme parks. They are Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Each park has it’s own unique look and feel. I would make sure that you visit each one at least once during your vacation. However, if you are really short on time and need to skip one. Check out our different post on EPCOT or Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, or Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. You should always visit Magic Kingdom.

One thing to note about visiting WDW in 2022 would be that Disney is still using a reservation system for the theme parks. Not only do you need a valid ticket to enter the theme parks you will also need a reservation. Most of the parks had no reservations during President’s Day weekend and spring break weekends are going fast too.

Not only do you need a reservation but the park hours are still somewhat limited. However, the park hours are increasing so hopefully by the summer they will be back to their normal hours. Now if you plan on park hopping (visiting one park in the morning and another one later in the day). You will not be able to enter the second park till after 2pm and only if they have availability.

Just make sure you check the Disney Website for the latest hours.

Rides

Walt Disney World is packed full of rides and shows. If visiting in 2022, you are in luck. The Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Coaster is set to up in late spring. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opened in late 2021. Plus the Walt Disney World Railroad in Magic Kingdom has finally reopened.

Some of the other hot rides at Walt Disney World include Rise of the Resistance. Slinky Dog Dash, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios. Test Track and Frozen Ever After in EPCOT. Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom. Plus almost everything at Magic Kingdom.

If 2022 is going to the last time you visit for a couple more years make sure you check out Spaceship Earth at EPCOT and Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom. Both might look completely different when you return in a couple of years.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is not just a zoo. Sure this amazing theme park is loaded with Animals but it has some of the best rides in all of Walt Disney World. Of course, we are talking about Flight of Passage and Everest.

Disney Genie and Disney Genie +

One thing to remember is Disney Genie is FREE. Disney Genie + is NOT FREE and will cost you $15 per day per person. This is an added cost on top of your tickets. So for a family of four with a four day park ticket will cost you an additional $60 a day and $240 for those four days.

Disney Genie

This free service is used within the Disney app. Here you will find recommendations for experiences and attractions based off of what you like. It also provides real time touring strategies. You will also get dining tips within the app.

Disney Genie is said to help you make the most out of your time at the different theme parks. PRO TIP: Set up your Disney Genie before you go. This way you can start getting recommendations first thing in the morning.

Another thing to note: You don’t need Disney Genie + to book individual Lightning Lane attractions. Disney will take your money without paying for the Disney Genie + service.

Disney Genie +

Like we already have gone over. Disney Genie + is a paid service that cost $15 a day per person. With this paid service you have the chance to reservation ride times. It is similar to the old FastPass system. However, you can only book on Lightning Lane at a time.

Almost every ride at Walt Disney World has a Lightning Lane. Only very few rides do you have to pay an additional fee. Those rides include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and most likely Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Coaster at EPCOT, Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, and Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios. Between now and August 8th 2022 the following rides will not be a part of the Individual Lightning Lanes and can be booked with Disney Genie +. Those rides are Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Frozen Ever After, and Space Mountain.

The cost of the Individual Lightning Lanes range anywhere from $7 to $15 per ride. It all depends on the day, time, ride, wait times, and how much more money Bob Chapek thinks he can get you to cough up. Another thing to note is you can only pay for two rides per day and they can only be done one at a time.

Resorts

POP Century Resort

Did you know that there are over 20 different resorts to pick from? They range in price from under $100 for a campsite to well over $500 depending on the resort and day. Staying at a Walt Disney World resort does have some benefits (although, not as many as before) for paying the added cost compared to some of the other area hotels.

Check out our post on the Perks of staying at a Disney Resort to learn about everything that you do get when you book a Disney Resort.

Disney Genie +

Sadly, Disney Genie + is not free when you stay at a Disney resort. You will still have to pay the $15 per day, per person fee. However, you are able to start booking your rides at 7am instead of having to wait to be in the park if you were not staying at a WDW resort.

Magic Bands

Again, another item that use to be included with your resort reservation. Now you have to pay out of pocket if you want a magic band. They run anywhere from $10 to $30 depending on the one you want. One good thing to note is you do get a discount on a magic band if you order them 10 days before you arrive.

Just remember you DO NOT need a magic band to enter your room or the theme parks. However, I do find that having one makes things much easier and enjoyable. Plus you can charge things to your room with your magic band.

Early Theme Park hours

If you are staying at a Disney resort you can enter the theme parks a whole 30 minutes before the general public. Unlike before when it would only be one or two of the theme parks. The new early theme park hours are for all four theme parks.

This means if Magic Kingdom is scheduled to open at 9am. You, as a resort guest can enter at 08:30am. While I must admit this isn’t a lot of extra time. You could get two rides down before the park opens for everyone else.

Parking

If you are a resort guest and drove a car to the resort you will have to pay for parking. The cost per day depends what level of resort you are staying at. Value resort parking fees are less than deluxe resorts.

Now you do get “free” parking at the theme parks. Of course, it’s not really free since you are paying at the hotel. Now just remember even if you did have to pay to park at the theme park to keep your receipt. If you park hop over to another theme park that day you will not need to pay a second time.

Dining Reservations

Resort guest can book dining reservations 60 days in advance like everyone else. However, you can also book an additional 10 days. You won’t need to go back on the website or call everyday to book your dining reservations. You can book them all in a single session (if the website wants to work that day).

Disney is NOT….

Walt Disney World is not Universal Studios. You will not find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at any of the four WDW theme parks. This fact confuses a lot of people.

You can not purchase Universal Orlando tickets with your Disney World hotel package. You can still visit Universal Orlando while visiting Disney. They are about 20 minutes away from each other. However, you will not find a bus at your resort that will take you to Universal. You will need to find another way there.


Disney World is an amazing place to visit but it can be a lot. There is so many things that you need to know. Hopefully, now you won’t be going to Walt Disney World blind. Now you have a better idea of what to expect.

Are you planning a trip to WDW in 2022. Let us know in comments below. Do you have something everyone should know before they visit? Leave that in the comments below too.

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