Changing and Cancelling Your Walt Disney World Reservations

We all look forward to our Walt Disney World Vacations once they're booked. However sometimes (especially for early planners) things don't go quite right and life rears it's ugly head, making for a trip that needs to be canceled or postponed. It's the worst-case scenario, but if you know what you need to do in advance it doesn't need to be difficult or fraught with drama.

Disney Cast Members Are There to HelpDisney Cast Members Are There to Help
Disney Room Only Reservations:
In order to cancel a reservation and receive a full refund of your deposit, notification of cancellation must be received at least 5 days prior (6 if you book online) to your arrival date. To cancel or modify an existing reservation, you must call the Disney Reservation Agents at (407) W-DISNEY.

If you booked your reservations through a private travel agent, please contact them with enough tome to facilitate your cancellation.

If you would like to change your reservations rather than cancel them, you may be subject to new room rates. Any additional deposit will need to be paid on the new room reservation within seven days of booking.

Walt Disney Travel Company PackagesWalt Disney Travel Company Packages
Vacation Package Reservations:
Changes or Cancellations in your package reservation made with the Walt Disney Travel Company can be made without penalty up until 45 days in advance of your trip.

If you cancel your reservation less than 44 days in advance, there will be a cancellation fee of $200. In addition to that you will lose any nonrefundable elements, such as travel insurance and possibly airfare. Absolutely no refunds will be given to no-shows.

Changes to reservations that result in a lower rate, 45 days or less prior to arrival, will be subject to a $50 fee.

Cancellation or refund policies and procedures can vary depending on how and where you book your vacation, they are also subject to change. Be sure that you understand which apply to you at the time of booking. No one ever wants to have to cancel a Disney vacation, but knowing what the policies are in advance can save surprises and money if it needs to be done.

Have you had to change or cancel one of your Disney reservations? I've had the unfortunate luck that saw me doing just such a thing over the past couple of years. Do you have tips or tricks that could make the cancellation process the process go more easily? Leave a comment below and share your tips & tricks!

Source: Walt Disney Travel Company Rules

JeffC wrote on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:00:

JeffC's picture

We've had to call and change our vacation reservations not too long ago - we had to delay our September 2011 trip to April of this year.

I think, to the point of your whole article, knowing the change and cancellation policies in advance makes it a whole lot smoother. And knowing exactly what you want when you call. For us, I already had the new dates in mind, so everything just moved over to the new dates.

The only bummer was I lost all my ADRs and had to wait until 180 days to make them all again.

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:51:

Kristen K.'s picture

I love changing reservations with DVC, they make it really easy because I never have to worry about moving money around or getting my deposits back. As you mentioned I always try to call with a couple of options in mind.

Katie wrote on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 00:29:

Anonymous's picture

I'm unfortunately having to cancel our dream trip/ belated honeymoon to Disney World for financial reasons and am totally heartbroken, so thanks for letting me know exactly what to expect so I'm not in tears with the castmember when I call. I'm especially bummed out because we had every single prime reservation during free dining I could ever want. Hopefully in a couple years we'll be able to swing it :(

Steve wrote on Wed, 12/12/2012 - 04:25:

Anonymous's picture

Hey, Katie. Try going through a travel agent. They aren't any extra money and often can get you deals that aren't open to the general public.

Christine wrote on Tue, 08/13/2013 - 16:14:

Anonymous's picture

I had an awful time dealing with the Disney Guest Services people in cancelling our Disney World vacation. My son died unexpectedly after heart surgery and I first called Disney FOUR MONTHS BEFORE our scheduled vacation, at which time the pleasant representative told me since I was cancelling so early it would be no problem and we would get 100% of our deposit back. After 3 weeks and hearing nothing, I called again at which time another perky employee promised a complete refund within two billing cycles. I called TWO MORE TIMES and kept talking to these Stepford people who promised a complete refund. It was so strange and unnerving that I felt compelled to WRITE A LETTER via Fed Ex to the CEO of Disney as well as the woman in charge of Disney World in Orlando. As a result of my letters, they had more Guest Services reps call me to ask if I needed help in filling out the insurance claim (because now it's within the 45 days of cancellation)! When I asked WHY would all those previous people make promises to me about a complete refund they would not answer but instead shift the conversation. Now I am being charged a $200 fee. There is something unethical going on here and no doubt Disney gets a cut of the fees. What a bad taste in my mouth about Disney World.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 08/13/2013 - 21:52:

Kristen K.'s picture

Oh Christine that is just awful, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. There is no reason that you should be having such a difficult time with Disney in canceling your vacation and getting a refund, especially at this difficult time. The only advice I have is to stick to your guns and to document everything that's been happening. I'd try sending another letter as well. I hope that they can offer a resolution soon.

mary wrote on Tue, 10/15/2013 - 14:20:

Anonymous's picture

now in 5th day of trying to cancel a reservation due to medical reason. was told 5 days ago that I would receive a cancellation notice in 24 hours and a credit to my credit card for $200.00 deposit in 48 hrs. I'm back on phone. NOW I'm told "we do not send cancellation notices" and "refunds can take two billing cycles to be posted". amazing how disney can post a charge in 30 seconds but take 60 days to return it! our airline insurance requires written cancellation notice from disney for medical claim of cancellation. So now we have lost $1830.00 because disney will not help us.
THINK.....NOT AS SWEET AS YOU THINK IN DISNEY
CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!

Mary wrote on Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:15:

Anonymous's picture

Made reservations with AAA months in advance to meet my daughter and her family at Wilderness Lodge for a couple of days. When my daughter had to cancel today about 2 pm, I called AAA and because I did not cancel before noon today, which would have cost $25, I had to pay the one day fee of $309, which is outrageous! They have 5 days to book that room! I will never ever book far in advance again at Disney. I may never go to Disney again at all!

Cindy86488 wrote on Thu, 10/09/2014 - 18:08:

Anonymous's picture

If I make reservations for a party of 6, but one person can't make the trip, can I cancel only their reservation and will I receive a refund for their portion of the vacation?

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 10/11/2014 - 13:49:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hi Cindy - I believe that you can, however depending on when you cancel the reservation there may be a penalty. I am not a travel agent, nor do I work for Disney so my best advice is that you give Disney a call and ask them for an official answer.

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