Many thinkers and philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries have said that an ideal world should be based on cooperation and coordination, not competition. Disney World, too many, is an ideal world, a dream world.
It is a go-to place in the world of dreams, imagination, and childhood fantasies. However, there is a darker shade to this magical world that remains hidden beneath its sparkle of magic. Thus, let’s show you the darker side of the vacation: a competition with several players and limited returns.
Does this remind you of the film The Hunger Games? Well, competition inside Disney World might not be a life-and-death situation as in the case of Hunger Games. But, wanting to spend some blissful days inside Disney World comes at the price of inner peace!
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Entering the world of competition
You can be heartbroken at several points during the entire vacation and the planning period. It might so happen that you are not an early riser but woke up too early to book your favorite dining spot only to find it already booked.
Maybe you are already at 7 AM and steadfast to book Sinky Dig Dash Lightning Lane but then find out that all the tickets have already been sold. Another tricky part is getting into the virtual queue.
Thus, Disney World is undergoing many changes, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with them.
Reasons for competition
The Disney World vacation is not a rejuvenating retreat. But why is the competition so huge in this place? Let’s have a look.
Most of us have grown up watching Disney cartoons and animations. So, Disney World is where dreams come true, and characters from television come alive.
Thus, there is a huge demand from tourists worldwide for this place. There is not a single time when Disney World is not crowded. Whether a weekend, a weekday, or a holiday, Disney World is always buzzing with tourists worldwide.
In the 2022 Q3 Earnings Call, Disney reported that available park pass reservations were falling low compared to consumer demand. That means, even after this competition, not everyone is being able to get into the land of dreams.
Park Pass reservations run out very quickly. Thus, consumer demand is now more than the available passes. No tickets are available for most of the days in the next month. That is also because October is a Halloween month. But, on other occasions or regular days also, you need to be very fast regarding park reservations.
The park officials have confirmed that there has been an unabated demand in the park since its reopening after the pandemic. Along with that, guests are willing to spend more during their vacations.
In the third quarter of 2022, Disney World earned $7.4 billion. This is a huge leap in the revenue sector compared to last year. The increased spending of the guests is one of the reasons behind this.
Prices for tickets, dining, hotel reservations, merchandise, and many others have noticeably increased. As the demand is huge, automatically, there is a price rise. As long as demand doesn’t end, there is no sign of an end to the price rise.
Thus, even if many have complained about Disney World’s price rise, the number of guests is not seeing a downward spiral. So, getting reservations and bookings at Disney World will reduce your night’s sleep. The scenario is not going to change any time soon!
The more demand rises, the harder it will be to maintain a steady supply flow. In Disney World, demand is more than supply.
Even after park pass reservations are sold out, requests for further reservations keep swarming. Also, this is not the only thing that runs out of stock in the face of increased demand. There is other stuff on the list too.
Genie+ Lightning Lane Reservations, Dining reservations, hotel rooms, and merchandise are also limited supplies. Thus, in this time of huge demand, the price of these commodities has automatically increased. The price doesn’t dissuade Disney-crazy visitors from visiting Disney World.
Do you want to know the hack to break through this huge demand? Money won’t matter here because everyone wanting to get inside Disney World is sitting with a truckload of money to spend during their most awaited vacation.
Instead, the one thing that matters here is the survival of the fittest. This competition will be based on how well-informed and well-researched your entire plan is. If you know about all the nooks and corners, benefits, strategies, reservation timings, and policies, you should be able to make it through.
Thus, you will need to know the timing of dining reservations and the lucrative hotel packages, and you also can navigate through the My Disney Experience App well. If you garner all these skills and techniques, cracking the Disney code isn’t that hard.
However, if you want the utmost luxury and fun in these 3-4 days of your vacation, you will have to pay for at least 2-3 months of research to earn it.
How to be on the winning side in the Disney game?
Everyone hopes high that they will spend some of their best days in Disney World, at least once in life. For too many Disney fans, a Disney World vacation is like a pilgrimage. Thus, if due, for some reason, you cannot get through reservations and bookings, that is heartbreaking.
So, how can you be on the winning side in this game and gift your family trophies of tickets and passes?
Park Pass reservations
The key thing in park pass reservations is booking your tickets at the earliest. Before the park pass reservation dates open, plan the park you want to visit each day. You should have a detailed itinerary ready before booking the tickets.
Even if park pass reservations get sold out very quickly, if you are too steadfast and determined, you will not miss it.
Until you do not wait till the last moment to make your bookings, there is a high possibility that you will get through it. If you book at least a month or two early, your chance of getting the tickets is guaranteed.
Moreover, you will also have to decide when you want to visit the parks. Is it during the holidays, weekends, or normal weekdays? Is it during summer or winter?
So, after you have made sure about the timing of your visit, you will have to act accordingly. This is because the rate of tickets getting sold out varies from time to time.
If you plan to visit the park during summer or any holiday season, it is best to book the earliest as those are the busiest times in Disney World.
It might happen that you haven’t booked your passes, and tickets have also been sold out. In that case, you have one more option left for you.
However, for doing that, initially, you will have to scan the park pass reservation in the allotted park. After that, you can visit the park you wish to visit.
After the park passes reservations, dining reservations rank second in the fast fill-up of slots. If you want to dine in any table service restaurant, you can book your seats 60 days before your trip. Staying at a Disney property hotel will also allow you to book the tables for your entire trip 60 days prior to the first day of the vacation.
However, you will have to book the slots 60 days before each day if you are not staying there.
The reservations start at 6 AM or earlier. So, rise early, probably before the sun, and sit before your computer to make your bookings.
If you are not staying at any Disney property, chances might be that you might not get the reservations in the place you want. This is because those staying at the Disney hotels will get access to the seats before you as they can make reservations for their entire stay before 60 days of their vacation.
Apart from this, in the case of dining reservations too, you will have first to chalk out where you want to g for your dining experience.
Also, have some backup options because the moment you see the slots are all booked, you will not have time to decide on the others. So, while you should be all ears to tap on the restaurant you want, make sure to have other options in case seats are filled out!
It is particularly helpful if you have flexibility regarding meal times. Usually, the reservations for the peak meal hours get sold out fast.
Change in Disney park hours might also affect your reservations. If the opening hours are extended, it becomes easier to get reservations.
Also, remember to look for the reservations on the individual restaurant page instead of searching on the Walt Disney World Dining Reservations site. This will save you some time. Instead of scrolling through all the restaurants, you can directly visit the restaurant’s page and make your reservations there.
Usually, hotel reservations open 499 days before your trip. However, now the time window has changed. Right now, you can make reservations till 2023 end. So, it is usually opened when Disney announces next year’s vacation package.
Rooms aren’t that difficult to get. However, don’t be spontaneous about hotel booking too. The prices are dynamic, and the closer you are to your stay, the higher the prices.
The newest replacement to FastPass+ is Genie+. Using this, you can skip the long lines at certain attractions. You will have to pay $15 for each day, and after buying it, you can make your Lightning Lanes reservations. Around 50 percent of the visitors now buy Genie+, so you might also consider buying one.
You should purchase the Genie+ at 7 AM. If you are staying at the Disney World hotel, you will get access to the tickets at 7 AM. However, if you have a park hopper ticket, all reservations of lightning lanes will have to wait till 2 PM.
The virtual queues are the last thing to master while executing a Disney World trip. The crowd is getting so high in Disney World that it is coming up with new crowd management systems. In some new rides, Disney World has launched the concept of virtual queues.
To understand the mechanism of virtual queues, you must know how to navigate the My Disney Experience App. The button for joining the queue will be there. Presently, the virtual queue is applicable only for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The queue also opens at 7 AM and again at 1 PM.
This is also a very hard place to get in, and places get filled up quickly. Thus, hit the “Join Queue” button when the clock strikes 7. By any chance, if you miss it in the morning, you will again have your chance at 1 in the afternoon. However, buying a Lightning Lane Pass for backup is best.
Thus, as you may see, it is not easy to get into Disney World and win this game. However, if you have a clear strategy, you can steer through it. To be a Yout is a low expectation bar. Also, to be a little more spontaneous, focus on what you w and have a well-planned trip!