Your Disney World Trip Has Been Cancelled – What To Do Next

If your Walt Disney World trip has been cancelled there are some very important steps to take, to not only potentially get your money back, but also to set you up for success on your next Walt Disney World trip and to help cope with the depression you’re experiencing because of a cancelled trip.

Now a disclaimer, at the time of publish, COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds. If your trip is affected by COVID-19 these tips can still be helpful to you but just know that Disney has many different offers available that are outside their typical procedures for select arrival dates affected by COVID-19. So seek out those offerings from Disney themselves. 

No matter the reason for your trip being cancelled, whether it’s a global pandemic, weather issue, a member of your party getting sick whatever it is, these tips will help with any trip. In fact, I recently had an epic trip planned that needed to be canceled. And these are the same steps I took once that occurred.

Getting Your Money Back

We’re going to talk about some happy moments but first thing is first, you need to make sure you can get any money back that you can. 

Room Only Reservations

If your trip has a room only reservation, you have until 5 days prior to check in to get your money back. A room only reservation requires a deposit when you book that is equal to the amount of the first night’s stay. The rest of the balance of the stay is due at check in. If you cancel anytime before 5 days prior to your check-in you will get that deposit money back. 

If you have a room only reservation and you cancel within 5 days of check in you will lose that deposit. Keep in mind that if you book through a third party, like Expedia, Travelocity, etc., they might have different cancellation policies. And in all honesty I highly highly recommend that you book your room only reservations through Disney themselves. It just makes things easier. 

Vacation Package Reservations

Now, if you book a vacation package through Disney, which is something that has your room, tickets and maybe even a dining plan combined, that is a different cancellation process. Initially your vacation package only requires a $200 deposit. Then 30 days prior to your trip you are required to pay the remaining balance of the package. If you cancel or modify your trip at any point before 30 days prior to your check-in, you will not incur a penalty and you will be given back that deposit.

If you cancel your reservation 29 days to 2 days before your arrival date you will be charged a cancellation fee of $200. But that other money, the balance you paid on the 30 day prior to check in, will be given back to you. 

If you cancel your reservation only one day prior to your arrival, you will be charged the full package price. So, if you can cancel your trip before then if you have to. 

All of this is to say, if you know you have to cancel your trip contact the Disney Reservation Center or your travel agent and they will be able to assist you. It’s just important for you to actually cancel your reservation if you know that’s going to happen. You want to get as much money back as you are entitled to. So be sure to contact them and cancel as soon as the trip has been cancelled. 

Cancel All Other Reservations

The next step is to make sure all other reservations are cancelled. 

Airline Reservations

Contact the airline you are flying on and see what options are available. 

Note: If you purchase airline tickets with your Disney Vacation package those are typically non-refundable. You’re better off booking flights on your own. But contact the airline. 

Car Rental Reservations

Cancel your car rental if you have one. 

Disney Dinning Reservations

If you have any Disney Dining reservations be sure those are all cancelled too. When you made those reservations Disney probably asked for your credit card, right? That’s because if you cancel less than 24 hours before your reservation you are typically charged a fee of $10 per person. So if a family of 4 cancels within 24 hours they get dinged for $40. That’s why you want to make sure all those reservations are cancelled. 

FastPass+ Reservations

Now you don’t technically have to cancel your FastPass+ reservations. But if you want to be a kind soul, cancel those as soon as you know you won’t be able to use them. This will allow those FastPass+ reservations to be re-added into the system and maybe someone else might get them. So be cool. Cancel those FastPasses. 

Start Planning the Next Trip

Now for the fun stuff!

Cancelling a Disney World trip can really suck. A Disney trip is something you could be looking forward to for years. And cancelling it can send you into a funk. But there are some ways to get you out of that slump. 

To get out of that funk what you want to do is, immediately and I mean immediately after you cancel your trip, start planning the next trip. For me and probably for you too, planning a trip is half the fun. Planning gives you something to look forward to. It keeps Disney on the top of your mind. And it allows you to continuously daydream about it. 

You can’t control what happened in the past. The only thing you can do is hope to look forward and plan for the future. What happened in the past, with a cancelled trip, that’s over. There’s nothing more you can do. But planning for the next one, that’s a great next step you can take. And it can help you get over the depression of a cancelled trip. 

Bring the Magic to You

This next tip is all about bringing the magic to you to help you cope with the potential depression of a cancelled trip. For me, absorbing Disney related content is a great way to transport me to the magic, even from the comfort of my home.


A great new way to accomplish this? Binge watching everything on Disney+.

Ok maybe not watching everything on there but, the Disney theme parks were inspired by the classic Disney films, right?. So if you can’t get to the place filled with magic, the next best thing is to watch the magic unfold on your TV.  Maybe you miss the castle and Fantasyland so you watch the classic princess movies, or maybe you were really excited for the Slinky Dog Dash coaster so you watch the Toy Story films.  Or maybe you wanted to see Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, so you fire up Phantom Menace…

I’m just kidding I know you’re not going to turn that movie on! But you can watch A New Hope or Empire. 

If you want to see the parks in all their splendor, then check out the Imagineering Story. It’s my favorite thing on Disney+ and it’s the story about how the parks were built. Any of these options though, will help you experience the magic. 

Blogs, Videos, Podcasts

Another great way to relive the magic is by watching videos, reading blogs or listening to podcasts about Disney World. Those can help you get excited for your next trip. And you know who has great videos, blogs and podcasts about Disney? WDW Opinion, of course.

Check out this post here about our favorite Disney Documentaries on Disney+. I hope your trip to Walt Disney World never gets cancelled. But if it unfortunately does, I believe this tips can help you overcome and start planning for the next one.

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