If you’re considering cancelling or postponing a trip to Disney, you may be wondering if your Disney tickets are refundable. Let’s find out!
Are Disney tickets refundable? We’ll explain Disney’s cancellation policy.
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Cancelling your Walt Disney World vacation is a sad moment, to say the least, and not something anyone wants to do if they can avoid it.
And what is even more painful than not visiting with your favorite Disney characters? Not getting your money back!
The cost of a Disney vacation is nothing to sneeze at, so you don’t want to loose that money.
Before you call to cancel or try to change your reservation, learn a bit about how Walt Disney World handles refunds and how likely you’ll be to get one depending on the situation.
Consider this your complete guide to Disney cancellation and refund policies (including some stuff Disney doesn’t want to tell you!).
Disney Hotel Reservations Cancellation Policy
Hotel reservations have a very specific cancellation and refund policy.
If you planned a Walt Disney World trip and booked a hotel reservation that you need to cancel, keep the following policies in mind.
Cancellation 30 Days Before Reservation
If you cancel your reservation 30 days or more before the reservation date, Disney will refund the price for the reservation.
But if you booked through one of Disney’s Good Neighbor Hotels, which are technically a third party, there may be cancellation fees deducted from your refund.
In addition, certain purchases are non-refundable.
If you bought non-refundable runDisney race registration or a non-refundable travel protection plan, this will also be deducted from the refund.
Cancellation 2 to 29 Days Before Reservation
Once you pass the 30-day mark, the refund policy gets more complex. There’s a penalty for canceling this close to the reservation date.
You will be refunded the amount paid, minus non-refundable purchases like runDisney race registrations and travel protection plans.
But, there will also be a $200 cancellation fee.
In the unlikely event that your reservation was less than $200, Walt Disney World will not refund anything. And they may even charge you the difference to cover the cancellation cost.
So if you had a $150 reservation and canceled it a few days before, they may try to charge your payment method an extra $50 inconvenience fee.
Cancellation 24 Hours or Less Before Reservation
If you had something sudden and tragic happen that prevents you from honoring your reservation, and you either cancel 24 hours before the reservation or are a no-show, you cannot receive any refund.
Once you enter the 24-hour window leading up to your Walt Disney World resort reservation, the entire package and payment become non-refundable.
Disney is more flexible about changing reservations than you may think.
If you need to change your reservation dates, such as arrival date or departure date, the number of your party, or other details, you can typically do this with ease.
As long as the new package you want is available (keep in mind special events and crowded seasons can be difficult to move to a different date) and you pay any differences in pricing, they can change it with 30 days’ notice or more.
However, if you want to change anything within 30 days of the upcoming reservation, you may be subject to a $50 change fee.
In addition, if you change your booking and the new price paid would turn out to be lower, they typically do not issue a refund for the difference.
Disney Theme Park Tickets Refund Policy
Disney’s refund policy on theme park admission tickets is that they are not refundable under any circumstances (excluding hurricanes, which I will discuss later on).
If you neglect to make a theme park reservation or there is something out of your control that causes the park to close, you cannot get a refund for your Disney ticket.
You also cannot receive a refund for inclement weather at Disney or similar issues that are out of Disney’s control. This includes tickets to the water parks!
This not only goes for standard tickets but the Park Hopper pass and the Park Hopper Plus too. These are both non-refundable, even if you can’t gain entry to all of the parks due to capacity limitations.
In general, the admission ticket policies are the most strict, as these affect reservations, park capacity, and many other factors that could make a Disney theme park not run smoothly.
So, if you’re hoping a refund for your theme park ticket will be an easy process, you will more than likely be sorely disappointed.
Disney Dining Reservations Cancellation Policy
Dining reservations at Disney have the most forgiving cancellation and refund policies.
When you make a reservation at a Disney restaurant, you have to give them your credit card information. This is because they do have a cancellation fee.
Most of the table-service Disney restaurants will charge $10 if you cancel the day of your reservation or if you do not show up.
There are some less-forgiving exceptions.
If you make a reservation at one of the following restaurants, you will be charged the full amount for the experience if you do not show up or do not cancel early enough:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Hoop Dee Doo Revue
These restaurants are in high demand and wasted reservations will be charged fully because it takes the experience away from other guests (and decreases how much Disney makes in a day!).
In general, Disney does try to keep the dining reservations more flexible and policies more lenient so people can change their vacation plans as they enjoy Disney and find other things to do.
When booking dining reservations, you should check the specific policy of each restaurant to ensure you’re aware of their cancellation policy and possible cancellation fees.
The good news is, there’s a workaround for avoiding the $10 fee at most table-service options.
If something comes up and you know you won’t be able to make your reservation, you can choose to change it to a later date further in the future within the My Disney Experience app (you can currently change reservations without paying any reservation change fees), then cancel that reservation.
That way you aren’t charged a cancellation fee.
Disney park tickets, hotel bookings, and dining reservations are certainly not the only expenses that go into a Disney vacation. So here’s a quick list of other purchases’ refund policies.
Merchandise: Merchandise, like t-shirts and other souvenirs, can be returned within 30 days of the purchase. The merchandise must be in new condition in original packaging and you must have a receipt.
Travel Insurance: Any travel insurance purchased through Disney for your trip is always non-refundable. They’re pretty strict about this one.
Show/Performance Tickets: Tickets purchased for live shows and experiences vary a lot. Most tickets can be refunded if you cancel within 48 hours. In many cases, you will not receive a refund but will be offered a voucher or credit for another show or experience.
Exceptions to the Policy Rules
When you look at Disney’s refund and cancellation policies online, they sound super strict and inflexible.
However, there are a few exceptions to the rules that could apply to your vacation cancellation.
Disney World Hurricane Policy
Disney’s Hurricane Policy is the only published policy that allows for full or partial refunds within a few days of the reservation.
If there is a hurricane warning in Disney’s area in Florida, or a hurricane warning in your area of residence, you can cancel and receive a refund within seven days before your reservation.
Of course, your airline reservation may or may not be refunded, depending on the airline’s policy.
The key to this refund policy is that the hurricane warning must come within the week before your vacation, so you should closely follow the National Hurricane Center for updates.
If there is a hurricane warning eight days before your vacation and you call to cancel, you will have to adhere to their standard cancellation and refund policies, meaning there will be a $200 cancellation fee.
The reason Disney has to have this policy is that Walt Disney World is smack dab in the middle of hurricane territory.
The Florida hurricane season is six months long, running from June 1 to November 30. Some of the cheapest times to go to Disney fall within this window.
Although Disney rarely experiences park closures due to hurricanes, since the Orlando area is located further inland, it does happen occasionally. More likely, a hurricane will bring rain for a number of days.
Maybe a great reason to adjust your travel plans and book at Disneyland instead of Disney World!
There is nowhere in Disney’s policy for refunds and cancellations that says they will refund or waive fees for tragic and unavoidable situations, like a sudden serious illness or injury. So there is no guarantee, but there is hope.
Disney is known for its impeccable customer service. After all, it’s supposed to be the happiest place on earth!
If you can call Disney and speak with an employee or ‘Cast Member’, they can likely make the cancellation process easier and increase the chances of you getting some sort of refund.
If you have a personal emergency, death in the family, or other extenuating circumstances causing you to sadly cancel your trip, explaining the situation with a Disney employee and making a refund request can sometimes result in them working their magic and getting you money back or accommodating any last-minute changes, or helping you avoid cancelation fees.
Disney employees know that people don’t want to cancel their Disney vacations. It’s often heartbreaking for the guest, so the employees try to make the cancellation process as painless as possible, to retain the guest as a potential and loyal customer.
There have been instances where unused tickets can be extended to a future date. If you have a ticket with unused days, it’s worth asking. They might be willing to give you a new ticket with a different start date.
But there are no guarantees that refund requests will be granted. And even if they offer some sort of allowance, you may not get a full refund.
Disney’s Cancellation Policy
Disney tries to present a very strict and unwavering no-refund policy, but in reality, their cast members are all about making guests and Disney lovers happy.
Many people have successfully gotten refunds and fees waived against the official policy. So when you have to cancel, even at the very last minute, it’s always worth calling a Disney employee (and maybe telling a bit of a sob story to get some money back!).
Working with a travel agent may be helpful as well, since they may be able to do some of the legwork for you.
Below are some frequently asked questions from Disney guests concerning refunds and cancellations:
No, you cannot get a refund. If you book a ten-day trip and only stay for one or two nights, none of the package or hotel reservations will be refundable.
Same as leaving early, Disney will not refund if you miss the first day or two of your reservation. You will still pay for the full reservation no matter how many days you stay in the hotel.
You cannot transfer or sell Disney tickets to other people.
You also cannot change unused tickets to new dates unless you have No Expiration tickets (tickets without expiration dates), which is a ticket type that can’t be purchased anymore.
The same is true for annual passes.
Some people that book through My Disney Experience can change the date of their ticket, but this is rare and depends on how you book your vacation.
More Disney Planning Resources:
- Disney Packing List – What to Bring
- What Age is Best for Disney World?
- How to Stay Cool at Disney World
- The Best Shoes for Disney World
- Top 10 Disney World Tips Every Park-Goer Should Know
Be sure to save this to your Disney planning board on Pinterest!