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Disney World to end park reservations, bring back dining plans in 2024

The new changes will take effect Jan. 9, 2024.
Credit: AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File
FILE - People visit Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on April 18, 2022.

ORLANDO, Fla. — With families flocking to Disney World year-round, the park is always working on ways to make the guest experience more magical. 

That's why the company is planning to bring back some fan-favorite features and introduce some entirely new ones for 2024.

Here are five major changes rolling out on Jan. 9, 2024, at Disney World.

1. No more reservation requirements

A tool used to control park capacity during the pandemic is officially coming to an end. Those who purchase standard park admission tickets will no longer have to reserve their visit on the park's calendar ahead of time. 

2. "Good-to-go" days for annual passholders

After pausing the sale of annual passes in November 2021, Disney made three new types of annual passes available for purchase last month. Starting next year, those annual passholders — along with Disney cast members — will be able to visit the parks on specified "good-to-go" days that won't require a reservation. 

This will be an expansion of the recent update which offers passholders the opportunity to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing reservations.

3. The return of Disney dining plans

Those who stay at Disney Resort hotels will once again be able to pre-pay for their meals and snacks through the purchase of either the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan. 

Both plans will give families flexible options for food and drinks across Disney World. 

4. Extended hours are sticking around

Those who stay at Disney Resort hotels will continue to have the option of extended hours across all four parks. Families can get a jump start on their day or keep the fun going once the park closes to the masses as long as they show a resort ID along with their standard admission ticket. 

5. A simplified Genie+ experience

In 2021, Disney ditched its Fastpass options and replaced them with the Genie+ service to allow parkgoers to hop in virtual queues for rides and map out their park itineraries in an app.

Next year, Disney plans to simplify this service by allowing people to plan their Lightning Lane selections before they arrive at the park. 

"Our goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family," the official Dinsye Parks Blog reads. "While we are not yet able to share specific details, we look forward to sharing more information at a later date."

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