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Disney World Modifies Cancellation Policy for Resort Hotels

It’s always disappointing if you have to cancel or postpone a trip to Walt Disney World for any reason, but it’s even more frustrating if you lose out on money you have paid for the trip at the same time. Disney World has made some big changes to their cancellation policy recently, and we are here to fill you in on all the modifications.

looking across Crescent Lake at sunset at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Starting January 1, 2025, the Walt Disney World “Room-Only” reservation cancellation policy is changing and guests must cancel their room 8 days before their arrival date in order to get a full refund without penalty. This is an increase from the current 5-day cancellation window.

Now, it’s important to know that these changes apply to “Room-only” reservations at Walt Disney World Resort hotels and not Vacation Packages. Vacation Packages will continue to have the same cancellation policy at this time.

It’s also important to remember that this change goes into effect starting January 2025, so if you have a reservation in 2024, you don’t need to worry about it, you will still get a full refund if you cancel within 5 days of your arrival.

two bedroom villa at Disney's Riviera Resort

Here is the current cancellation policy for Walt Disney World in effect through 2024:

“In order to receive a refund of your deposit, notification of cancellation must be received at least 5 days prior to your arrival date. To cancel or modify a reservation, call (407) 934-7639† or you can cancel or make changes to many reservations online by visiting and signing in to your Disney account.

If your reservation can be cancelled or changed online, it will have a Cancel or Modify Reservation link next to it. Just select the link to start the cancellation or change process. If you don’t see the Cancel or Modify Reservation link, please contact us at (407) W-DISNEY (407-934-7639).

Additionally, if you are holding any other types of reservations, such as dining, those reservations will not be cancelled unless you cancel them or advise us to cancel.”

guest room and beds at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort

So naturally, the question comes up: “Why is Disney changing the cancellation policy now?”

At this time Disney has not given a reason for the change, and we do not have any insider info on the matter. However, thinking about potential changes coming to the parks in the near future can give us a hint, and it has to do with Genie+.

One of the biggest complaints with the new Genie+ service and comparing it to the old FastPass+ (besides the price) is that guests cannot make ride reservations ahead of time and it must only be done on the day of your visit, and it’s like this every day you want to use Genie+.

looking at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from Riviera Resort roof

However, back in May 2023, Disney responded to guest complaints, and giving us hope that soon we may be able to make Genie+ reservations ahead of time. Here were their comments about it at that time:

“We have heard from guests that they would like ways to plan with Disney Genie+ service and individual Lightning Lane selections before the day of their park visit, and we want you to know we are working on ways guests may do this for visits in 2024.

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. While we are not yet able to share specific details, we look forward to sharing more information at a later date.”

So let’s say Disney actually goes through with Lightning Lane reservations in the old FastPass+ style and you can make them 30-60 days ahead of time, things could get really messy when it comes to last-minute cancellations.

guest room at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

The more time Disney has to put ride reservations back into the system, the easier it will be for guests to book those attractions. Or maybe it won’t even be 30-60 days out, maybe you can make them only 5 days out, or on your resort arrival date.

In both those cases, it would be a lot easier on the Genie+ reservation system, which is already complicated enough.

No matter the reason, the resort cancellation policy has now been changed to 8 days, so if you have to cancel or postpone your trip for any reason, make sure you do it within the timeline if you plan on getting your money back.

In any event, having to cancel your trip is the worst and it can be very stressful, especially if there are extenuating circumstances that are forcing you to make that decision.

Tiki statue with flower lei at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

That’s one of the reasons why we always recommend using an Authorized Disney Travel Agent. They make the entire booking process so much easier and limit the amount of stress you will have making reservations, booking restaurants, and planning every detail of your trip.

A good travel agent will make sure you know when your cancellation window is closing and will make sure you don’t lose any money if something comes up. They will also keep you updated about all the latest ticketing information to make sure that you maximize every one of your dollars for your Disney trip. 

Here at Ziggy Knows Disney we highly recommend Rene Cittadino and her team at Show You the World Travel. We personally use them for our trips and they have bailed us out numerous times when we need to change our plans.  Plus they are 100% FREE to use, so there is absolutely no downside!

Rather than having to worry about ‘when’ your cancellation window is ending and having to re-book your trip at another time, let them worry about it! 

Also, if you need to change or adjust your trip, you can just reach out to your travel agent and inform them. Then they will do the hard work of canceling and adjusting your trip while making sure you lose the least amount of money.

You can Request a Free Quote Here.

That wraps up our look at the Disney World cancellation policy changes. We hope it was clear so you know have a better understanding about the timeline for cancelling your trip if need be. At least this way you won’t lose any money!

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the new Disney World cancellation policy changes…

  • Do you think the current policy is fair?
  • What changes would you like to see made to it?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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