What is No Longer FREE in Disney World in 2022

Believe it or not, there are still some things that are “free” in Disney World.

Magic Kingdom

For example, there are the free celebration buttons that Disney gives out for guests visiting for birthdays or other special occasions, extra time in the park for guests staying at Disney World Resort hotels, Disney transportation, and more. But, some of the perks that were once complimentary for guests have changed already or are changing soon. So, if you’re heading to Disney World in 2022, here’s what you need to know!

Disney’s Magical Express

Perhaps the biggest change in perks coming to Disney World in 2022 is the discontinuation of Disney’s Magical Express, which has provided guests staying at Disney World Resort hotels with complimentary transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) since 2005.

Disney’s Magical Express

Disney made the announcement that the transportation option would be unavailable after January 1st, 2022 at the beginning of the year, and even started to phase out some of the benefits associated with the service already.

Disney’s Magical Express check-in area at MCO

So, with no complimentary way to get between MCO and Disney World hotels, how much will it cost? Well, there are quite a few options that all have varying prices associated with them.

If you’re looking for something that closely mirrors the experience provided by Disney’s Magical Express, Mears (which is the company that has operated Disney’s Magical Express) announced that they will be introducing a new shuttle service called Mears Connect on January 1st, 2022.

Mears Bus transportation at the Swan and Dolphin

It’s important to keep in mind that prices for Mears Connect will vary based on when you’re traveling, which Disney World Resort you’re staying at, how many people are in your party, and which level of service you choose (Standard or Express). But, introductory rates currently indicate that you could pay anywhere between $16 for one adult one-way or up to $200 for a family of four using the Express Service.

©Mears

Other options include rideshare services like Uber and Lyft (which could you anywhere upwards of $60 for your entire party one way depending on surge pricing), renting a car (though you’ll also need to pay for parking at your Disney World hotel), booking a private car service (we recommend using Happy Limousine), or reserving Disney’s Minnie Van service (when it is operating). The pricing on all of these will vary, however.

We’ve been breaking down all of the new options, pricing, and more, so be sure to check out our posts below to help you plan your 2022 trip:

Skipping The Lines at Popular Attractions

The ability to “skip the line” at popular attractions throughout Disney World has already returned — but it’s not known as FastPass+ anymore, and it’s not free.

©Disney

Disney announced that they would be retiring FastPass+ in August 2021 and introduced two new PAID ways to skip the line known as Disney Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection (IAS). And, while the basic ability to bypass the standby line during a designated 1-hour return window remains the same, guests have had to adjust to paying for the service as opposed to receiving it for free with park admission.

Lightning Lanes are the new FastPass+ lane!

Genie+ is priced at $15 per person, per day and includes access to new Lightning Lanes (aka the old FastPass lanes) at over 40 attractions across all four parks. And, Individual Attraction selections range anywhere from $6 to $15+ per person, per ride

Some rides are pricier than others!

There are a lot of new things to learn about these services if you’re planning on using them during your 2022 visit, so be sure to check out some of our posts breaking down Genie+ and IAS below to get a head start:

MagicBands for Resort Guests and Annual Passholders

Another perk that Disney no longer provides for free to Disney World hotel guests or Annual Passholders is MagicBands. Each guest used to receive a complimentary MagicBand during their stay or with their purchase of an Annual Pass, but this was discontinued in 2021.

MagicBands

Instead, Disney hotel guests and Passholders now have the option to select MagicBands at a discounted rate when purchased in advance online. But, they aren’t safe from price increases. Back in May 2021, MagicBands got a BIG bump in pricing, and that even included the discounted ones. So, now the cheapest MagicBand option for guests purchasing with the discount is $10.

MagicBands

Plus, there will be an even pricier option coming in 2022, when Disney rolls out the new MagicBand+. These new bands will feature new technology that allows guests to interact with the parks like never before with “color-changing lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition.” But, they’ll likely come at an additional cost, though Disney hasn’t revealed the price just yet.

Learn More About the NEW MagicBand+ HERE!

PhotoPass Downloads for Annual Passholders

Lastly, in 2021 Disney World overhauled its Annual Passholder program, replacing the previous tiers with four brand NEW options — the Disney Incredi-Pass, the Disney Sorcerer Pass, the Disney Pirate Pass, and the Disney Pixie Dust Pass. And, the passes come with some MAJOR changes to perks depending on what level you’re purchasing.

Annual Passholder cards for the 50th Anniversary

Under the previous Annual Passholder program, those who purchased Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Plus-level Annual Passes would get the Memory Maker add-on included with their passes, and the Platinum Plus Annual Pass even included admission to the water parks and sports activities. Disney World. However, now, all Annual Passholders need to pay an additional fee for Memory Maker or access to the Water Parks and Sports Complexes.

Disney PhotoPass Photographer

The cost of the Memory Maker Add-on is $99 per Annual Pass and the Water Park and Sports option is also an additional $99.

Learn More About the New Annual Passholder Program HERE!

So, you’ll want to keep these changes in mind when budgeting because your 2022 Disney World trip will likely cost you a little bit more than it did before. But, we’ll continue to bring you all the latest updates and the best tips and tricks to master your Disney vacation planning, so be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for more!

Check out The Dates You NEED to Know for 2022 in Walt Disney World HERE!

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23 Replies to “What is No Longer FREE in Disney World in 2022”

  1. None of these were free. They were included in resort or ticket prices. Disney has taken those costs out of and is now charging them separately.

  2. “What Will No Longer Be Included In Your Room Rate Or Price Of Admission”. There, I fixed the headline for you. Let’s be very clear, none of these things were ever free. Disney as a company is smarter than that. They were included in your room rate, like Magical Express and Magic Bands, and allowed them to easily justify spending a premium on their room rates over an off-site room. Photopass/Memory Maker was always built into the price of an Annual Pass. That made the value of the pass higher and increases in such easier to justify in the budget. Did no one every watch Stacey and the Must Do’s? She always, always said “included in your ticket price” when talking about fastpass. Never did she say free. So since price of admission and price of rooms have not gone down since removing these included benefits and expecting people to pay extra for them out of pocket, the value of a Disney vacation for the dollar subsequently goes down. And THAT is what most people are upset about and why many of us are and will be taking a break from Disney until that value for the dollar comes back. Universal, beaches, other theme parks and other vacation destinations will surely benefit. Hopefully Disney will too, if in the long run they see that they need to become the standard bearer again and make the necessary changes.

  3. These changes are ridiculous! Enjoyed the parks when the magic was still there, but sadly it is now gone. They have no idea how to treat guests anymore. They only want money. I wont be back!

  4. This is so sad, makes it so unattainable for a working class family to even think about going anymore. Shame on you Disney, this isn’t what Walt would have done.

  5. They sure are not hiding their desire for money. Not that they need to do all this garbage they practically print their own money due to all the properties both physical and intellectual. Their past standards of maintaining their parks and keeping the immersion was enough to get people to go now they are trying to drive people away it seems or to make them into one time customers.

  6. We’ve been annual passholder for years. We won’t be going back with all these ridiculous changes. I’ve never seen so many rides broken down since the new idiot started running the parks.

  7. We’re done. Had been looking forward to taking our kids back another time when they were teens…it’s hard to lose that dream…but I’m not playing their game with my money.

    1. Totally. It was still great when I was there back in 2013, but now I’ll just go to universal studios instead when I get the chance that is.

  8. We are going to Disney World from January 25th to the 28th doing MK and HS. We’re staying at Caribbean Beach resort. This will be my 11 year old daughter’s first trip. It’s been her dream ever since she was 3 years old. We couldn’t be more excited!! We’re big fans of Molly and hope we see her during our trip! We’ll be the family screaming “fiddle faddle!”. 😋

    1. I hope you all have a great time! Remember to stay hydrated because it’s easy to forget (I had a kidney because of dehydration once.)

  9. I booked my holiday in June 2021 for January 4th 2022 but all the extra price hikes from disney make me wonder if I should have booked a holiday with disney I won’t book going to Disney again as its left a sour taste in my mouth just a big money making racket shame on you disney

  10. Well, if you cut off someones legs, then offer them a discount on a prosthesis, as a consolation, all will be forgiven !

    It is the same concept as removing free perks, then to stem the tide, offer a discount for the same service, at a later date, or make it appear like an add on or a limited time offer. Make it appear like you care about the customer as consumer increases are implimented in the low season, when attendance is lower. So it will not be as noticable.
    Then later, pretend it’s just an acceptable practice “everyone else” has accepted so you might as well too.

  11. I’m still very bitter about the free parking at hotels going bye-bye especially now that they also took away transport from MCO! Aren’t prices for their hotel rooms enough they can throw in the parking for free? I guess having things included in their high prices would take away from the nickel and diming that is the new Disney magic. But can we really be shocked with Bob Cheapskate running things? I still like the parks and staying at the hotels, but the magic is gone!! Next year will probably head to Gatlinburg, at least the nickel and diming there doesn’t require taking on a second mortgage!!

    1. I’ve been to Gatlinburg, it was great. No overcrowding, beautiful scenery and I didn’t feel like I was under a broiler.

    2. They increase prices or add cost on to things like parking at hotels to discourage people from doing it. They’re not trying to nickel and dime people but rather weed out the people whom they feel they don’t make as much money on. If losing a free shuttle ride or having to pay for Fastpass is a deal breaker then they see that person as someone whom is less likely to spend money in other areas as well. The money they generate from resort parking or the money they spent running magical Express is such a small piece of revenue. It’s overall an attempt to stem low profit guests in favor on ones that spend more. Just like when they raise ticket prices. It’s not to make more money from admission but rather make the same amount with less people. Price hikes always happen when park attendance is way to high and they want to bring in fewer people while ensuring those who do come are more likely to spend money.