Canceling a vacation is a tough decision. In many cases, people can lose a lot of money and miss out on a trip they’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
If you’re headed to Disney World for a vacation but can’t go, is it possible to cancel the trip and get a refund?
With very few exceptions, tickets to Disney World are not refundable and can not be canceled. If a guest decides to not visit the parks during their vacation, the tickets remain valid until their expiration date and then expire and can not be used anymore.
Disney World’s Ticket Cancellation Policies
Under most circumstances, all theme park tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Of course, there are some exceptions to these rules.
Neither theme park tickets nor vacation packages are refundable and they can not be canceled.
You can of course not show up, but unused tickets, park days, or hotel nights will not be refunded.
All theme park tickets have an expiration date, before which all entrances must be used.
In some cases, Disney allows guests to put tickets that have not been used or haven’t expired towards a future visit.
This includes old tickets that were purchased with a No Expiration Option. This option isn’t available on tickets anymore, however, Disney will still honor old ticket purchases and their older policies.
Any future tickets must be equal to or greater than the purchase price of unused tickets. To verify if you can use tickets for a future visit, you’ll need to contact Guest Services.
The one major exception Disney allows for vacation cancellations is when a hurricane is going to hit the Orlando area or your place of residence.
Most years, Florida sees several hurricanes between May and October. As this is a natural disaster, it isn’t safe for Disney to continue operations and they must close the parks.
If the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning for the Orlando area or your place of residence within 7 days of your arrival date, you can either change or cancel your vacation packages.
Check here for a full explanation of Disney World’s Hurricane Policy.
Generally, this allows guests to cancel packages booked through Disney without any fees or penalties.
It also doesn’t apply to any special events or services purchased through third-party providers.
What Does Disney Shut Down For?
Outside of hurricanes, Disney World rarely shuts down.
Inclement weather can shut down outdoor experiences and the water parks, however, this does not mean you will be refunded for those tickets.
Rainstorms during park days do not make guests eligible for refunds. While rain is a common afternoon occurrence in Orlando, most rain storms pass over fairly quickly.
While Disney World does prohibit guests from bringing quite a few personal items into the park, guests are allowed to bring umbrellas with them.
If lightning strikes within ten miles of the parks, Disney is obligated to shut down all outdoor rides.
However, just like when it rains, the parks themselves do not shut down completely and guests can not get a refund on their entrance tickets.
Outside of the very rare occasions when guests buy out the park, a pandemic hits, or when there is severe weather impacting the Orlando area, Disney essentially never closes its doors.
Can You Change the Name on a Disney Ticket or the Ticket Date?
As long as the tickets have not been used, you can alter the dates on your Disney Tickets.
You’ll need to log in to your My Disney Experience account, go to the My Plans tab, and select Change Tickets.
From here, guests can make all kinds of changes to their tickets including altering usage dates, ticket upgrades, and changing trip options.
Do note that ticket pricing is based on usage dates and you’ll have to pay any pricing difference that appears if you do change the dates for your tickets.
You not only can buy tickets for someone else, but you can also change the names on your tickets if necessary. Whether there’s a spelling error or you want to transfer the tickets, you’ll be able to do this in your My Disney Experience account.
While tickets are not transferable, this applies to tickets that have been used but still have unused days left on them.
If a multi-day ticket has not been used to enter a park yet, it can be transferred to someone else.
Once a ticket has been used, all additional park days must be used by the same person and the ticket can not be transferred.
Can You Cancel Reservations at Disney World?
In the aftermath of the pandemic, Disney World requires guests to make reservations at their theme parks when they plan to visit.
It’s also almost required to make reservations at restaurants in the resort as well if you want to sit down in one.
All tours, recreational activities, and special events require reservations as well. Purchases for upgraded park access or special events are not eligible for refunds.
Each of these can be canceled, though there are some fees associated with some of them.
The deposits on vacation packages and special events can be refunded as long as it’s 45 days or more until your vacation.
Park reservations can be canceled and there are no fees associated with cancellation.
Disney encourages guests who won’t be coming on that date to cancel reservations to open spaces for other guests waiting to get in.
Additionally, there is no fee for canceling reservations at restaurants and establishments in the parks.
Use your Disney account to make, view, and cancel reservations throughout the parks.
The My Reservations tab will be where you can make and see your restaurant, hotel, and park reservations.
While park reservations can be canceled at no fee, tickets can not be canceled and are not eligible for refunds.
Outside of very few, specific circumstances, tickets to Disney World are not refundable and can not be canceled.
Guests have the option to change the dates on their tickets as long as they haven’t been used, but unused days on used tickets will not be refunded.
The only time Disney allows true ticket cancellations is if a hurricane warning is issued for the parks or the homes of the ticket owners.