We all look forward to our Walt Disney World Vacations once they're booked. However sometimes 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. There have been some changes and updates since we first published this piece, so our regular guest blogger Holly L. took a closer look to keep us up to date with all you need to know about changing and canceling your Walt Disney World Resort reservations in 2016.
Disney Room Only Reservations:
In order to cancel a room only 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 have booked your Walt Disney World Hotel reservations through a private travel agent, you will need to contact them with enough time 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.
Vacation Package Reservations:
Changes or Cancellations in your package reservation made with the Walt Disney Travel Company can be made without penalty up until 31 days in advance of your trip.
If you cancel your reservation 30 days or less in advance, there will be a cancellation fee from Disney of $200. In addition to that you will lose any nonrefundable elements, such as travel insurance and possibly airfare.
For cancellations made 1 day or less prior to Guest arrival, the full price of the package is non-refundable. Absolutely no refunds will be given to no-shows.
Changes to reservations that result in a lower rate, 30 days or less prior to arrival, will be subject to a $50 fee.
Disney Vacation Club Points Reservations:
31 Days or more before check-in existing points reservations can be changed or canceled without penalty. Any excess points not used for a new reservation will be returned to the vacation account in the use year for which the reservation falls. They must be used during that use year, so be aware of the new timeframe on your points if you have banked or borrowed points for the reservation being changed.
When canceling a DVC points reservation 30 Days - 1 Day before planned check-in all of the vacation points will be placed in a holding account that must be used in the same use year which the reservation falls. If a new reservation uses fewer points than the original, excess points will remain in that holding account until it expires at the end of the year.
Finally, when you modify your reservation on check-in date, if the new reservation uses fewer vacation points than the original, the remaining points on the original reservation will be forfeited. If you cancel completely on your check-in date, all vacation points used to make the reservations will be completely forfeited. In this case it seems like it's better to rebook to a later date using the full amount of points on your original reservation, even if you don't know you'll use it. That way you at least keep the points in play while you figure out what you need to do.
If you have made your DVC reservation using cash, other restrictions may apply, so be sure to check with member services.
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!