There is no doubt that when it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, there are definite advantages to booking your trip early. But how far in advance can you book a Disney vacation and when will the 2024 dates be available?
In this post, we are going to answer those questions. We’ll explain how far into the future Disney allows guests to book their vacations, when new dates are usually released, and the status of the upcoming 2024 dates.
(UPDATE) – 2024 Walt Disney World packages, resort room reservations, and theme park tickets are NOW available for booking with arrival dates beginning January 1, 2024.
We’ll cover when you can book vacation packages, room-only reservations, tickets, and special events for this year, next year, and beyond into the future.
The thing is, Disney doesn’t even release everything all at the same time. In the past, they used to have a 499 Days rule, but now they are no longer doing that. Guests now have less time to book vacations for next year and if you are among the first guests to do so, you’ll have a big advantage over the others.
In most cases, you will pay less, and you’ll have a better choice of resort hotels to stay at. That’s why it’s important to figure out when the next set of dates will be released and book your trip as soon as it’s possible for you.
Once you know your dates and where you want to stay, we suggest reading our post How to Book a Disney World Vacation or contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel (our top recommendation.)
Before we get started, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we will let you know immediately any news on booking your 2024 Walt Disney World vacation and we’ll bring you the latest secrets to saving money in the parks as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!
(UPDATE) – 2024 Disney World Vacation Packages and Rooms On Sale NOW
We know many have been waiting to book your 2024 Walt Disney World vacation, and now you don’t have to wait any longer. 2024 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages, Room Reservations, and Park Tickets are available for booking NOW!
The dates released are for Walt Disney World vacation packages, rooms, and tickets with an arrival date of January 1, 2024, or later.
Disney has also announced that guests can book vacation packages, resort room reservations, and theme park tickets through December 2024. This is further into the future than they did last year when the original block of dates ended in September.
Releasing dates all the way through December 2024 means all dates for next year are getting dropped all at once. Keep reading for more details about 2023 & 2024 Disney World booking dates.
How Far in Advance Can You Book a Disney World Vacation?
While a vacation to Walt Disney World brings about limitless fun, it can also bring about needless stress and anxiety for many families. With its constantly evolving booking windows, park reservation system, ride reservation system, etc, it can be stressful to know exactly ‘WHEN’ to book a Disney World Vacation in 2023 and 2024.
In this article, we will cover the logistics and timeframes of booking a Disney World Vacation, including when you can and should make your reservations. We’ll also consider what things you will likely need to consider when figuring out the best booking window for your family.
So the question remains “How far in advance can you book a Disney World Vacation?”
The specifics of how far out you can book depend on the type of trip you book. Here are the exact booking windows for a Walt Disney World vacation:
- Disney World Room Only Reservations: Up to 19 months in advance of your booking date
- Disney World Vacation Package Reservations: Up to 19 months in advance of your booking date
- Disney World Ticket Only Orders: Up to 19 months in advance of your booking date
- Disney World Park Reservations: 365-499 days in advance of your booking date
- Disney World Dining Reservations: 60 days in advance of your dining date
Now that you know when you CAN make reservations, when SHOULD you book your Disney World trip?”
We almost ALWAYS recommend guests book a Disney World vacation at LEAST 6 months in advance. That is 6 months PRIOR to the start of your vacation. For instance, if you’re planning on visiting on June 1st, I’d recommend booking your trip prior to January 1st.
And while 6 months is a great rule of thumb, our family typically books between 7 and 11 months prior to our trips. We find this to be the perfect timeline for us and it works for us.
It generally gives us the best combination of price, resort choice, and planning time. But for your family, you might think more or less time is necessary.
If you have more flexibility with your schedule and are planning on visiting for less than a week, you COULD feasibly get away with planning a trip in under 6 months.
When Can I Book a Disney World Vacation in 2024?
With families beginning to plan their 2024 Disney World Vacation, many are wondering when they can begin booking their rooms and vacation packages. Just like we thought, the release date is coming up REAL soon. How soon?
The 2024 Walt Disney World vacation packages and hotel rooms became available for booking beginning on May 31, 2023, with arrival dates starting on January 1, 2024.
This is exciting news since that means you can now begin officially booking your 2024 Disney World Vacation Package!
Also, Disney is releasing all the 2024 dates at once so you will be able to book vacations, resort rooms, and tickets for dates from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2024.
Last year they dropped the following year’s dates in waves, the first wave being through September, then they released October through December at a later time. We are happy that this year we have access to all the 2024 booking dates at once.
The good news is with only a $200 vacation deposit you can begin booking your 2024 Disney World Vacation! Keep checking back here or sign up for our newsletter and we will tell you immediately whenever new booking info comes out!
Historical Disney Vacation Package Release Dates
One reason we were so sure of the 2024 Walt Disney World vacation booking dates is that Disney has been fairly predictable for many years when their vacation packages are going to be released.
They have mostly followed the same pattern of releasing the following year’s dates in June.
Here is a look at the historical release dates instance:
- On May 31, 2023: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2024 went on sale
- On June 8th, 2022: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2023 went on sale
- On February 16th, 2021: Walt Disney World vacation packages for dates January 1st, 2022 to July 1st, 2022 went on sale
- On October 15th, 2020: Walt Disney World vacation packages for dates through December 31, 2021, went on sale
- On June 24th, 2020: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2021 went on sale
- On June 18th, 2019: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2020 went on sale
- On June 19th, 2018: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2019 went on sale
- On June 20th, 2017: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2018 went on sale
- On June 21st, 2016: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2017 went on sale
- On June 22nd, 2015: Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2016 went on sale
This year we are one day earlier than June with booking starting on May 31.
Disney World Vacation Packages
For guests visiting Disney World that want to book a room PLUS park tickets all together, you’ll need to book a Disney World Vacation Package. Vacation packages include:
- Room at a Disney World Resort Hotel
- Theme Park Tickets (1 Park Per Day, Park hopper, Water Park Option, Etc)
However, they do NOT include transportation to/from the airport anymore so you’ll have to figure that out yourself. Despite that, vacation packages are still the absolute best way to book a Disney World Vacation.
Due to the popularity of these vacation packages, it’s best to book them as soon as possible. If you can do it when they go on sale, that’s the best-case scenario.
If you DO call to book your vacation package immediately when the booking window opens up, be prepared for long phone waits through Disney! Sometimes we’ve been on the phone for 3-4 hours or more on the first day they go on sale.
That’s why we recommend using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You The World Travel. They’ll handle all of this for you! And they won’t charge you an extra penny. The time and stress savings is immeasurable!
The only thing you’ll need to book your entire package is a $200 deposit to put down on your vacation package.
So when can you do this? As mentioned above, the dates for new vacation packages are typically released in May or June of the previous year. Both 2023 and 2024 dates are now ALL available for booking!
However, that has not always been the case. There have been a few outliers such as in February 2021 or October 2020, but those were different due to the pandemic happening at the time. So while we can’t 100% guarantee it’ll happen in June every year, we’d more than venture to guess it’ll be then more times than not.
How Far Out Can I Book Disney World Vacation Packages?
Once the next year’s booking dates are available, you can book a Disney World vacation package up to 16 to 19 months in advance. That’s because dates for the next year are typically released in June and go through September or December of the following year.
In years when the first booking dates are only through September, dates for October through December of the following year will be made available at a future date.
This is new and a change from how Disney used to do it. In the past, it was always the 499 days rule. New vacation packages and hotel reservations used to be released as much as 499 days in advance, but with the latest change, it’s capped out at about 19 months.
For 2023 packages that went on sale on June 8th of 2022, you were able to book vacation packages up to September 2023. 16 months in advance. Dates for October through December were then made available later.
2024 Disney World Vacation Packages came out on May 31 and are bookable from January through December 2024, the entirety of next year all released at once.
Can I Book 2023 Disney World Packages?
Yes, you can! Guests traveling to Disney World in 2023 can absolutely book Disney World Vacation Packages! They went on sale on June 8th, 2022, and are available for arrivals anytime until the end of the 2023 calendar year.
Right now, guests can book Disney World Vacation Packages for 2023 and 2024 through the end of 2024 (December 31, 2024).
Can I Book 2024 Disney World Packages?
Yes! Walt Disney World vacation packages became available for purchase on May 31, 2023, and you can book packages up to 19 months in advance which means through December 2024.
If you are looking for a vacation package for dates past December 2024, you will have to wait until next year when Disney releases them.
When to Book Your Resort (Room Only)
For guests looking to purchase JUST the room and not an entire vacation package, you can begin making a Disney World hotel reservation up to 19 months ahead of time. This gives families more than enough time to reserve the specific room or the exact Disney World Resort that they prefer.
If visiting during busier times of the year, rooms can sell out quickly! That’s why we almost always recommend booking your room as soon as you know when and where you want to visit. Certain Disney World Resorts are much more popular than others and are quick to sell out (Polynesian, Beach Club, Grand Floridian).
Remember though that room-only bookings do NOT include Disney theme park tickets or any additional experiences other than the actual hotel room of your choice.
And IF choosing to make a room-only reservation you will NOT be able to later upgrade to a Disney Vacation Package if you decide to go that route. Instead, you’ll be forced to cancel your reservation altogether and rebook a Disney World Vacation Package.
- TIP: Don’t be quick to give up your room-only reservation. Only do this if you know your dates and resort choices are still available when booking a vacation package, you don’t want to risk canceling your room-only reservation if you can’t get your first choices on the dates you want and the resort you prefer.
Can I Make Room-Only Reservations in 2024?
Just like vacation packages, Walt Disney World room-only reservations go on sale to the public up to 19 months in advance.
Just like with vacation packages, 2024 dates for the Walt Disney World Resort hotels went on sale on May 31, 2023. Disney almost always releases them in June, and this year we are one day early.
They are available for dates through December 2024, and just like with the vacation packages, you won’t have to wait to make room-only reservations for dates from October through December 2024. You can make them all at once.
If you book for 2024 in June or July, this will give you a big advantage over most guests and you should be able to choose the resort you want at almost any date.
Again, just keep in mind, you will have to purchase your park tickets and any add-ons separately.
Unfortunately, guests wanting to cement their dates for a Disney trip beyond 2024 still have to wait as they are not yet available for booking.
Resorts that Sell Out Quickly
When it comes to booking your Disney World resort and worrying if your favorite hotel will sell out quickly, a good rule of thumb is: the Deluxe Resorts sell out the quickest.
Even more so, the Disney Monorail Resorts go VERY quickly. So if you want to stay at the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, or the Polynesian, you need to make reservations quickly.
A few other popular ones that sell out quickly are Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.
When to Buy Park Tickets
If you’re NOT purchasing a Disney Vacation Package, you’ll need to purchase your Disney World theme park tickets separately. There isn’t as much expediency needed when purchasing park tickets as there is when it comes to booking your room, so you have a bit more time.
You can officially purchase Disney World theme park tickets up to 19 months in advance. Just like with Disney World Vacation Packages, tickets typically are released in June for the following year.
The main thing to keep an eye on when it comes to tickets and which might cause you to purchase your tickets sooner is the fact that Disney sometimes raises ticket prices twice a year!
It would be frustrating if you waited a few extra weeks but then had to pay significantly more money just because you held out.
Normally, Disney raises theme park ticket prices in February and then sometimes again in October. For a complete list of ticket DOs and DON’Ts, check out our comprehensive guide to Disney World Theme Park Tickets.
And while vacation packages make your trip easier to plan, they aren’t necessarily always the cheapest. Why? Because sometimes you can save even more money on Disney World Park Tickets than going with the standard rate that Disney will charge you with a vacation package!
I invite you to check out my article on the BEST ways to save money on park tickets. In most cases, if you follow one or two of my suggestions, you’ll save even more money!
Disney World Park Pass Reservations
For guests that haven’t visited any of the Walt Disney World parks since 2020, you’ll be surprised to know you need to make a ‘park reservation’ to visit the Disney Parks.
*Park Pass Reservations are required through January 8, 2024. Starting January 9, 2024, most ticket types will not need to make park reservations.
This means in 2023, you need a park pass PLUS a park reservation. Don’t worry park reservations don’t cost any additional money, they just require you to take a minute or two to do it.
For example, if you want to visit the Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to have a reservation made for the Magic Kingdom on the day of your visit. Not just you but everyone in your family or group needs a reservation to enter the park.
That’s why I recommend booking your park pass reservation immediately when you purchase your park tickets. That’s the easiest way to do it. And you can always change your park pass reservations later if your plans change.
The timeframe for making theme park reservations is a little different from when you can buy your theme park tickets. In fact, park pass reservations were made available in 2024 before tickets went on sale. This is mostly for Annual Passholders whose tickets expire a year or more from now.
If you’re visiting during a holiday time or a busier time (such as summer), there is a chance that the park reservations can sell out in the months prior to your trip.
For the most part, as long as you make your park reservations at least 90 days prior, you’ll typically be fine. But it’s safer to do it sooner if possible, so book them right when you have your actual park tickets.
For more info including step-by-step instructions for making park reservations, check out our Disney Park Pass Reservations Guide, it’s extremely simple.
While you used to be able to make dining reservations up to 180 days prior to the start of your Disney World Vacation, it’s now down to 60 days prior. This changed following the pandemic reopening of the parks in 2022, and has remained that way ever since.
That means that 60 days prior to the start of your trip, you can reserve your dining reservations on the My Disney Experience app or by visiting the Disney World website and signing into your account, and clicking on ‘Reserve Dining.’
While the official time is at 6:00 am EST at the 60-day mark for when guests can reserve their reservations, we find that you can often start at 5:45 am. Get on there quickly and I recommend using the website over the app, which can be glitchy at times.
If you can’t snag the reservations you want, you can try (2) other things:
- Attempt to visit the restaurant as a walk-in (which still can be done especially if visiting at an off-hour time or with a smaller group) OR
- Use the new walk-up dining feature on the My Disney Experience app which enables you to put your name in for a particular restaurant, and you’ll be notified when the table is ready
We suggest reading our Advance Dining Reservations Guide where we tell you all our best tips including how to book those hard-to-get restaurants (and there are a lot of them).
Booking Special Events
While all special events at Walt Disney World can have slightly different timelines for when tickets go on sale, the general rule is that tickets usually go on sale a few months prior to when the event is happening.
Larger events such as the holiday parties (Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) go on sale even earlier.
But things such as dessert parties and After Hours events sometimes go on sale only about 60 days prior to the event.
Pay close attention to official Disney announcements to see for sure, but there isn’t always a ‘definitive timeline’ for special events like there is for other things.
When to Book Genie+
Perhaps you remember the days of booking your Fast Pass selections at the 60-Day mark prior to the start of your trip. This has been replaced with the paid add-on service Genie+ and the Lightning Lane system.
*(There is still a free version called the Disney Genie, which will help you with booking reservations and making itineraries for your families, but it doesn’t help skip the lines or anything)
So if you want to make specific ride reservations that enable you to get on rides sooner, you’ll need to pay for Genie+. Unlike FastPass selections which were available 60 days prior, Genie+ ride selections are made the day of your visit.
And rather than getting your set 3 rides each day (FastPass) with Genie+ you can only reserve one ride at a time. But you can make as many reservations as you can fit into one day.
You can begin making your first reservation at 7:00 am on the day of your visit to that theme park. Once you’ve utilized your first reservation OR your booking window opens for the next ride, you can make your next reservation.
You should book Genie+ prior to 7:00 am on the day you choose to purchase it. I recommend at least a few minutes prior to 7:00 am so that at 7:00 you can immediately reserve your first ride.
If it sounds complicated, it kinda is. That’s why I recommend you read my guide on How to Purchase Genie Plus. It’ll explain it to you in an easy-to-digest way for even Disney newbies.
And if you want to book the most popular attraction in each park, you’ll need to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for it instead of Genie+.
Airport to Disney World Transportation
Even with Disney World Vacation packages, transportation to/from the airport now must be purchased separately. Gone are the days of the complimentary Magical Express service for Disney World Resort guests.
So what can I do to get back and forth to the Orlando International Airport (MCO)?
You’ll have several options, some are quicker and some are slower. The prices you pay will vary depending on the options you choose.
Your main options are:
- Renting a car
- Taking a shuttle service
- Hiring a private town car or limo service
- Utilizing a ridesharing service (Lyft or Uber)
- Hiring a taxi driver
They all have positives and negatives depending on what you and your group is looking for. Count the cost for your trip and see which makes the most sense.
For a complete list of available options and prices, check out my Orlando Airport to Disney World article here.
Why Booking Early is Best
As we’ve repeatedly mentioned throughout this article, we are BIG FANS of booking a Disney World Vacation early. Whether you’re booking a vacation package or just a room, it almost always makes sense.
Here are some of our favorite reasons:
- Planning a trip is fun – One of the biggest excitements, arguably half the fun, is the planning process. Why not start early so you can have more time to plan and talk about your trip? Talk about it with your family and fellow travelers to pick the perfect itinerary
- More time to pay for it – With time payments, you can slowly pay off your trip in the months ahead as opposed to needing larger lump sum payments which can be financially taxing all at once
- Most available options for rooms and resorts – If you want a popular room type say a Savannah Room at Animal Kingdom Lodge OR a particular resort like The Contemporary, by booking sooner you can get your 1st choice for everything
- Save more money – Locking in your prices for both your room and your park tickets will ensure you get the cheapest price. Prices go up all the time, and by booking sooner you’ll get the best conceivable rate. And if prices go down at all, an authorized Disney Travel Agent will make sure you save even more money
The only real negative of booking early is sometimes things come up in life, and when you book that far in advance, you could potentially need to cancel.
But with Disney’s generous cancellation policies, you likely won’t have to worry about losing money at least!
What To Do While You Are Waiting
If the dates for your upcoming vacation are not yet available for booking, you may need to wait a little while before being able to make your reservations. So what should you do in the meantime?
The first thing you can do is choose how you are going to book your trip which we cover in our guide to the Best Ways to Book at Disney World Vacation. Our preferred method is always using an Authorized Disney Travel Agent like Show You the World Travel, but you’ll have to decide which way is best for you.
Besides that, you can start doing research immediately. By reading through the material on Disney planning sites such as this one, it will get you better prepared to handle what you need to know before going to Disney World.
Anything from the best attractions, restaurants, and resorts, to how to make Genie+ reservations and coming up with a touring plan for each theme park. You’ll need to know those things if you expect to have a successful trip and get done the top things on your list.
Booking Disney World Vacations at the Last Minute
During slower times of the year, Disney will sometimes offer additional special offers or discounts to guests to sell rooms. Though nice when they happen, they can change from moment to moment, and generally shouldn’t be relied upon.
You can check the latest special offers for Disney World trips here.
You’ll often find availability for some of the Value Resorts at reasonable rates even at the last minute. These resorts are massive and have considerable room quantity, and don’t necessarily always sell out.
It’s rare that you’ll find great deals on the Deluxe Resorts at the last minute since many sell out months in advance, but it’s not entirely farfetched.
And while you might be able to find a Disney World Vacation Package or a Room at the last minute, generally prices on airfare and other travel expenses will be more expensive at the last minute. So you probably won’t be saving much money in the end.
Applying New Discounts to Already-Booked Trips
Guests often wonder if they book their Disney World Vacation early if a better rate comes out. This happens frequently, and it’s not something you should worry about.
If you are trying to apply a new discount to a Walt Disney World vacation you have already booked, you have 3 main options:
- Modify your reservation – Simply log in to your My Disney Experience account and locate your reservation. Once you do, you’ll be able to see if the current reservation is eligible for a better discount.
- Have your travel agent modify it – We are big fans of using Authorized Disney Travel Agents to book our trip due to the fact that they can do this for us! This can save you significant amounts of time.
- Cancel your trip and rebook it – As long as it falls within the free cancellation guidelines, you can simply cancel your trip and rebook it with the better-discounted rate!
How Far in Advance Can You Book Disneyland California?
For those wanting to visit Disneyland California, vacation packages and room-only packages typically go on sale in the summer prior.
We expect 2024 Disneyland Vacation Packages to go on sale sometime between August and September, as that’s historically been the case.
You can make park reservations in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure within 120 days of your visit.
How Far in Advance Can You Book a Disney Cruise?
One of our absolute favorite things to do is go on a Disney Cruise! Even more so than a visit to Walt Disney World, a Disney Cruise should be booked even further in advance!
We typically recommend guests book a Disney Cruise AT LEAST a year in advance. New itineraries are normally released 15-18 months in advance and if you book them as early as possible, you’ll get the best selection of staterooms and prices.
Disney Cruises are incredibly popular, and many of them sell out in the months prior, so get started on the planning process as soon as possible.
Best Times to Go to Disney World
While there certainly is never a “bad time” to visit Disney World, there are better times than others based on a number of factors. If you have kids and don’t plan on taking your children out of school, you’ll be more limited in options than others.
Also, another huge factor to consider is the weather. The summer in Florida can be completely off the table for many guests as walking around the parks in July and August can be completely miserable.
There are a number of deciding factors for families and we consider taking a balanced approach to the best time of year to visit Disney World. Considering things that can be very family-specific and more important or less important depending on your interests or availability such as:
- Park Hours
- New Ride Openings
- Special Events
- Entertainment Options
- Seasonal Offerings
This can be challenging from one person to the next and it really depends on what’s important to your family. Factoring in all of these things, we would say our two favorite months are January and September. They have the best mix of low crowds, manageable weather, and seasonal offerings.
But we understand if these months don’t work for your family. And as I said, there truly is no bad time to visit Disney World. For a closer in-depth look check out my article on the Best Times to Visit Disney World.
How to Book a Disney Vacation
There are two main ways you can book your Disney Vacation. Either directly through Disney OR by using a Disney Travel Agent.
Directly Through Disney – This is the most direct option and it’s easier for people who have been to Disney World a million times and know exactly what they want, and that don’t need any additional help. You can book your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel directly on the Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-4357.
Disney Travel Agent – This is the most straightforward way to book your entire Disney Vacation, whether it’s a room-only reservation or a vacation package. A pleasant Disney vacation planner will help you during every step of the process, they will respond to any questions about your necessities, and help you decide which resort is best for your family.
We highly advise using René Cittadino and her amazing team at Show You the World Travel for your Disney World Vacation needs.
They are the indisputable BEST, and I’ve used them numerous times to book my own hotel reservations and packages. Trust me, her incredible team will give you the best treatment around and help you have your most magical vacation ever!
The experts at Show You the World Travel will also help you with dining reservations, booking special events, and more. The best part is that they are 100% FREE and it doesn’t cost you any more money to use them than it does to book directly through Disney.
They are even great at getting additional discounts when new promotions come out to save you money after booking so give them a try!
That wraps up our look at the best ways to book a vacation at Walt Disney World. We hope that we gave you some good tips you can use to save as much time and money as possible when booking your trip!
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.
- Disney World Vacation Planning Guide
- Disney World Crowd Calendar
- When are the Best Times to Visit Disney World?
I want to know how far out you like to book a Disney World vacation…
- Do you book immediately or wait a few months?
- Which is your favorite way to make reservations?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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