On the heals of the news that in the last week 2 people have tried…
With Walt Disney World reopening, one of the biggest announcements recently has been the creation of a new Disney World Park Pass Reservation system. It’s going to change the way you visit theme parks and who can visit.
At least during the reopening period (July 11 through January 14, 2022), all visitors to The Walt Disney World theme parks will need to use the new Park Pass reservation system in order to secure a place in the parks. No reservation means you aren’t getting in.
NEWS 7/30/21 – We take a look at the updated more Park Pass reservations for guests in August, September, and October. We look at the latest dates available for the Disney parks including Hollywood Studios which has been very difficult to get reservations for up to this point.
Read in the “NEWS” section for more on these latest updates.
The “Disney Park Pass System” is NOW ONLINE and reservations can be made!
In this post, we will explain everything we know so far about the new park reservation system coming to Disney World including why Disney is using it, and how it works.
We’ll also share with you who can make reservations to the Disney World parks, how to make reservations and how long Disney might continue using this system.
We’ll try to answer any questions you have about Disney World parks reservations in the post, but if we miss something you can ask a question down below and we’ll do our best to find out the answer for you.
Before we get started, we wanted to tell you we know how frustrating this whole process is, and how difficult it’s becoming to travel to Walt Disney World right now. There are so many changes happening, and more updates keep coming out almost on a daily basis.
Try to hang in there and be patient. Disney is still trying to figure out a lot of the details, and as the weeks go on and we get closer to the Disney World reopening, things will become clearer.
Besides just making these new reservations, here are some links to other articles that we think you will find helpful during this time while planning your trip:
- Disney World Reopening Guide – FAQs, Updates, Details
- All the New Safety Guidelines, Procedures & Changes in Disney World
- Face Masks at Disney World – The Complete Guide
- Is Disney World Safe to Visit Now?
If you want to get notified immediately when Disney makes changes to the new reservation system, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter There we’ll make sure you’re up-to-date with all the changes!
(NEWS 7/27/21) Latest Park Pass Reservation Updates for August, September, and October
Since the launch of the Park Pass system, reservations have been selling out very quickly, with many days filling up weeks and sometimes even months ahead of time for the various Reservation Tiers.
That’s why it’s important to check the Park Pass availability calendar before making plans for Walt Disney World and why we continue updating you with the latest info.
When park reservations first opened, Annual Passholders were usually been the first group to sell out. However, that has changed with the last few updates and guests in the “Theme Park Tickets” and “Disney Resort Guests” groups are selling out just as quickly, if not even more quickly.
The increase in out-of-town visitors to Walt Disney World during the Spring and Summer has affected Park Pass distribution so far in 2021, whereas before the majority of passes were going to annual passholders.
This latest park pass update starts in August and continues through October. Right away you will notice that despite the parks being much fuller, there is more park pass availability than ever. Disney has continued to release more reservations to the parks, which likely means they’ve continued increasing capacity.
These additional park pass reservations are most welcome since some dates have been hard to come by in recent months.
Thankfully, with the latest park capacity increase, Disney continues adding additional park pass availability for all distribution groups, including more availability for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the other parks, even around the 50th Anniversary dates.
Hollywood Studios has been the hardest park to get reservations for since it’s the smallest park in Disney World and the extreme popularity of Rise of the Resistance. Whenever Disney adds more availability, it sells out almost immediately.
Let’s take a look at the park reservation inventory for all 4 parks from August – October.
The earliest Annual Passholders can get a Park Pass Reservation as of this writing is:
It’s been rare to find availability for all 4 parks for tomorrow. In recent weeks you’ve had to wait days, if not weeks until the next open reservation, so it’s nice to not have that problem right now. This is consistent with Disney continuing to release more passes in waves.
Here is what availability for Annual Passholders in August 2021 looks like now:
Every day is still open as of this writing.
Usually, the most popular days of the month sell out for all 4 parks, and there isn’t a ton of availability left. Whenever Disney adds additional availability to the inventory, most of it disappears immediately.
The weekends tend to fill up quickly, and we recommend making your reservations as soon as you can. Also book Hollywood Studios right away since it continues to be the park that sells out first. The next most difficult is the Magic Kingdom which usually sells out next.
During the weekdays in August is when you are most likely to find availability for the 4 parks, especially in the second half of the month.
Out-of-town guest demand coming to Walt Disney World has been strong, though annual passholders still make up a very large percentage of the guests.
We don’t expect more annual passholder availability for August any time soon, at least not until the current inventory is almost gone.
Here’s September 2021:
Right now, the majority of days in September are still open for all 4 theme parks, including Hollywood Studios. Even though kids are back in school in September, things should start filling up as we get closer and closer to the 50th anniversary on Oct 1. Just how packed it gets remains to be seen.
Lastly, we look ahead to October 2021:
Everything in October is completely free right now except for October 1 and 2. October 1st is the exact day of the 50th Anniversary celebration and naturally people want to be at the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT for all the new shows and rides.
For the rest of the month we recommend making your plans as soon as possible, especially on the weekends.
Theme Park Tickets
Things are no more difficult for “Theme Park Ticket” guests right now and it should remain the same through the rest of the summer. During Spring Break and into the summer months, more non-APs did come to Disney World, and there have been big crowds ever since.
In August things are quiet for now, with most of the month still available after the update.
The hardest park to get for Theme Park Guests has once again been Hollywood Studios with every day filled. The Magic Kingdom is also popular but no dates are sold out yet. After that, things are quiet for the other 2 parks with availability left for most of the dates up to this point.
September is still empty too, both on weekdays and weekends. Expect the weekends to start filling up soon, again with Hollywood Studios selling out first. We expect crowds to be slower in early September and getting busier at the end of the month.
October is only starting to fill up o the first 2 days of the month.
Disney Resort Guests
Availability for Disney Resort Guests in August is almost identical as it is for “Theme Park Tickets.” All the parks, including Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom are available for all the days already.
September is also very open right now, and Hollywood Studios hasn’t even started selling out yet. Again, the crowds should increase in the back end of the month closer to the 50th.
Like the other ticket types, October is selling out on the 1st and 2nd ahead of the 50th.
As Disney replenishes the Park Pass inventory, many people are wondering where the new dates are coming from? This has been possible due to a number of reasons.
For one, Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently said they have increased theme park capacity beyond 35%. That certainly helps and gives a lot more guests the opportunity to visit the parks. We’ve seen slow and steady growth in attendance from last Summer through the Fall and the Holidays, the Spring and into the Summer.
Winter attendance was down, but that was to be expected given the circumstances.
Disney has also been good at shifting around park pass inventory from one group to the other based on who needs it more. In the first few months that meant taking unused inventory away from Disney World Resort Guests and Theme Park Ticket Guests and giving them to Annual Passholders.
As Disney gets better at understanding the current theme park demand across the 3 groups, more passes should be made available. With more people coming in from out of state in the Spring and Summer, a greater part of the inventory will continue to be allocated to that group over Annual Passholders.
Remember, Annual Passholders can only make 3 park reservations at this time, unless you are staying at a Disney World Resort.
Even though things are going better, be aware that there are still some bugs to work out with the system. We’ve seen some dates available in the calendar but then not actually available when going to book them. We urge you to have patience and keep at it until you find the dates you are looking for.
(NEWS) Disney Park Pass Reservation System Here to Stay, Extended Into 2023
Even though we had some good news recently about safety procedures going away in 2022, it doesn’t look like park reservations are going anywhere. Recently we found out that the Disney Park Pass reservation system has been extended into 2023.
Previously, reservations online the Disney Park Pass system were only available through January 14, 2022.
However, today if you log on to the Park Pass availability calendar you can see park pass reservations available from now through January 13, 2023.
Months ago Josh D’Amaro made comments about all of Disney’s new technology advancements they have been using since the parks reopened. He then commented many of them will be here to stay for the long-term, hinting at future use of the Park Pass system.
Since then, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has confirmed this news and said that technologies like Park Pass Reservation system and Virtual Queues are here to stay.
How long will the reservation system be around? Is it staying permanently? It’s tough to say if it will stay around FOREVER, but after these latest comments, it’s clear Disney plans on using it for the next couple of years minimum.
We’ll update you with more on the Park Pass system as soon as we have news. Follow the instructions below for details on how to make Park Pass reservations…
How Does It Work?
The first question you are probably wondering is “What is this new Disney World reservation system anyway? How does it even work?”
With limited theme park capacity during the reopening phase, all guests are required to make reservations in advance to enter the parks. The Disney Park Pass Reservation System is how guests make those reservations and it is limited in number.
Only guests with an existing park ticket or Annual Pass can make park reservations and they are made Online at DisneyWorld.com.
In planning, it means guests will have to decide ahead of time which parks they want to visit each day and then stick to that schedule. There is no changing idea at the last minute. You can’t just decide that morning which park you want to go to, it all needs to be planned out ahead of time.
Things to Know
It’s important to note that a Disney Park reservation does not replace theme park admission, both are required. Disney has confirmed this: “To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date is required.”
Here are some other things you’ll need to do before you can get a Disney Park Pass:
- You’ll need a My Disney Experience account, as this is where your Walt Disney World Resort plans are stored and managed.
- Link your valid theme park ticket or Annual Pass to your My Disney Experience account.
- If you have a Disney Resort hotel reservation, you MUST link it to your My Disney Experience account before making reservations.
- All reservations must be acquired prior to going to the theme park. You can’t show up to the park entrance and get a reservation.
Why is Disney World Implementing a Theme Parks Reservation System?
So know that we know what it is, just why exactly is Disney World using a theme park reservation system anyway?
In order to allow guests to keep a safe distance from each other, the Walt Disney World Theme Parks are running at limited capacity with much lower attendance than usual.
The number of guests in the parks each day needs to be limited. Keeping a low capacity will help protect the safety of both guests and Cast Members.
The Park Pass Reservation System does just that.
Since the parks are operating at a lower capacity, you run the risk of guests showing up and then being turned away at the gate if that park is already full for the day. The theme park reservation system eliminates that problem since everyone knows ahead of time if they can get into a certain park on a given day.
How Much Do Reservations Cost?
The good news is that Disney Park Reservations are FREE of charge. These park reservations do not replace your theme park admission but go along with it. You need to have a valid park ticket first, and then you can book a reservation in the parks.
New Disney Planning Priority
With the Park Pass System, your priority when booking your Disney vacation changes quite a bit from what you are used to. Normally when planning a trip you book your airfare first, followed by your hotel package and tickets.
With the Park Reservation System, park availability becomes the first priority when making the decision to go or not.
Here is the recommend order when planning your Disney World trip:
- Check Availability for Reservations – If you plan on going to the theme parks you first need to make sure there is availability, otherwise, you’ll have to choose another date.
- Book Hotel Package + Tickets – Once you see park reservations are available, select your hotel package, including park tickets if you don’t already have them.
- Make Park Reservations – Once you have your hotel and tickets linked to your My Disney Experience account, make those park reservations ASAP!
- Book Airfare – What was usually the first priority has now become the least important booking of a Disney World vacation.
Checking Park Availability
Before you can even think about making park pass reservations, or buying tickets, you need to first check the dates you want to go and see if there is availability in that park.
Log in to My Disney Experience on DisneyWorld.com prior to purchasing your tickets. There you’ll have access to a calendar of available reservation dates for each theme park. Reservations are limited and availability can change up until the moment your reservation is confirmed.
Availability can be filtered by:
- Theme Park Tickets Guests
- Disney Resort Guests
- Annual Passholders
Here is the link to the Disney Park Pass Check Availability Page.
Each of the three groups above have a DIFFERENT inventory of park passes and they are not part of one big pool of passes. That means if you check a specific day and there are no more passes left for Annual Passholders for example, there might still be some left for theme park tickets guests or for resort guests.
Make sure you’re filtering by the right group otherwise you might not be getting an accurate reading of which parks are available. We’ve had multiple readers think the parks were all sold out when really they clicked the wrong group.
Here is an example of the same month of August, on the left it looks like a bunch of dates are already sold out.
In reality, there are a limited number of passes available, but only for Annual Passholders. Instead on the right side, you can see all 4 parks have availability still for resort guests.
What happens to the unused reservation inventory?
Since all three groups have a different ticket inventory, when you check a specific date some groups could be sold out of passes while others still have inventory left available to book. Right now as each date gets closer, Disney is park passes from groups with a lot of inventory left over to groups that are sold out.
Disney essentially combines inventory and make passes available to anyone. This has been done multiple times so far for Annual Passholders since they are the group selling out reservations the quickest. We’ll have see how Disney continues to adjust in the future when more Resort guests start showing up.
The Calendar Sometimes Lies
I’m sure it wouldn’t do that to you on purpose, but at times we’ve noticed that certain dates are unavailable on the calendar, but then when we actually go into the system and try to book a pass, there is availability left.
For that reason, if the park isn’t available on the calendar, ALWAYS double-check by trying to book the date as you might get lucky.
This happens more often now that Park Hopping is back in Disney World. In fact, same-day park pass reservations can now be made, even at times when the reservation availability calendar says there are none available.
Make sure to read the Disney Park Pass System page on the Disney World website. Here you will find all the updates, availability, and any important information.
Who Can Make Reservations and When?
One of the most important details with the new reservation is who can make reservations. Not everyone who wants to go to the Disney World theme parks will be able to get a reservation, at least not right away.
Disney is separating guests into groups depending on if they are staying at a Disney World hotel and what kind of ticket they have. Each group will be given a specific date they start making park reservations.
Guests with existing Disney World hotel reservations, get priority over annual passholders and the regular public.
When Can I Make a Reservation?
All Walt Disney World Guests with a valid park admission can make a Park Pass reservation at this time.
Can I Make a Same-Day Reservation?
Yes. If there is availability, park pass reservations can be made on the same day you want to go to the park.
What if I Don’t Have a Park Ticket Right Now?
That’s ok. Park tickets are now on sale. Once you buy a ticket, you can then make your reservation.
If you have a multi-day ticket, you will need a reservation for each day of your ticket.
How Far Out Can Park Reservations Be Booked?
Right now you can make a Disney park reservation for any date from Now to January 14, 2022. Of course, your park ticket dates must align with the dates you are trying to make a park reservation for.
What Ages Need a Park Pass Reservation?
All guests ages 3 years and up need a park reservation for entrance to the Disney World theme parks. Children 2 years old and young do not need a reservation.
2021 Disney World Resort Guests
Who Counts as a “Disney World Resort Guest?”
Any guest staying in a Disney World-owned hotel including Disney World Hotels and DVC Resorts counts as a Disney World Resort guest and therefore can make park reservations.
- REMEMBER: You need a valid theme park admission along with your resort reservation to make a park reservation. Make sure everything is linked properly to your My Disney Experience account.
What if I Am Staying at a Disney World Resort AND Have an Annual Pass?
That is perfectly ok. The important thing is that you have a valid theme park admission. If so, you will be able to make a park reservation.
Besides the Disney-owned hotels, there are some other hotels in the Disney World area that will have access to the park reservation system including the Disney Springs-area hotels.
The following Non-Disney hotels are participating in the Disney Park Pass system:
- Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
- B Resort & Spa
- Best Western
- DoubleTree Suites
- Hilton Buena Vista Palace
- Hilton Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn
- Wyndham Garden
If you have a reservation for any of those resorts AND a valid Disney theme park admission, you are eligible to make Park Pass reservations now.
With the way Disney allocates park pass inventory, Disney is giving priority to 2021 Resort guests over any other type of ticket holder. They obviously want guests who are spending the extra money to stay at a WDW Resort Hotel to be able to get in the parks, so usually, you have a better chance in that case.
I Have a Hotel Room-Only Reservation for 2021
To make park reservations you need to upgrade to a vacation package with park tickets. Call the Disney Reservation Center or call your travel agent to upgrade. Once upgraded, make your park reservations ASAP.
Disney World Annual Passholder can now start making Park Pass reservations, but since reservations are limited they are not guaranteed entrance to the parks.
While Disney allocates a certain amount of park passes for annual passholders, they are not the top priority on the list, unless you are also staying in a Disney World Resort hotel. For this reason, it can be very hard to get reservations on certain days.
Thankfully, Disney has slowly been releasing more park pass availability to annual passholders as a group when it’s clear that the remaining inventory for the other groups isn’t selling out.
The last group of people that will need the park reservation system is the general public. This would include guests who want to come to Disney World for the day, or people staying off-site in a non-Disney hotel (that already have a valid theme park admission).
Regular guests with an existing theme park admission can book a park reservation starting June 28.
What If I Don’t Currently Have Theme Park Admission?
As Disney promised, all of these groups will get a chance to make Park Pass reservations before Disney starts selling new tickets to the general public. If you are currently without theme park admission it is impossible to make a park pass reservation.
If you don’t have theme park admission, 2021 hotel packages and ticket sales are now available.
What about More 2021 Hotel Packages or Tickets?
Disney has resumed sales of 2021 Disney World Hotel packages and park tickets. How many tickets they sell, however, depends on park capacity for the coming weeks and months.
It should start getting easier once Disney starts increasing the park capacity, but we don’t know when that will be. We suggest you keep an eye on the reservation system and wait for instructions.
How to Make Disney World Park Reservations
Now that you know the basic rules, it’s time to make your park reservations!
What Do I Use?
At this time, Disney Park Reservations can ONLY be made Online on The Walt Disney World website. They CANNOT be made in the My Disney Experience app.
Reservations are open for booking each day 24 hours per day, so you can make a reservation any time you like.
Make sure that BEFORE you get started making park pass reservations you:
- Sign up for and set up a My Disney Experience account
- Link your park admission to your account
- Link any Disney World Resort reservations to your account.
- IMPORTANT: If you don’t have these set up first, you won’t be able to make park reservations.
Once you are ready to make your Disney park reservations follow these simple steps:
- Log in to the Disney World Website with your My Disney Experience account.
- Select the “My Disney Experience” drop-down menu.
- Click the “Disney Park Pass System” button.
- Create your travel party from other friends and family on your list.
- Select the date
- Select the theme park
- Select the arrival window
- Review your Park Reservation details, agree to terms and conditions, and Confirm your selection.
Making Disney Park Pass Reservations Tutorial
Those are the simple steps to make reservations. The steps below go into a bit more detail:
Making Disney Park Pass Reservations – Step-by-Step Guide
- Link Your Reservations
The very first step is to sign up for a My Disney Experience account online if you don’t have one already. You can’t do anything without that account as it holds all your reservation information.
Then make sure your park admission tickets are linked to all members of your party.
If you have a Disney World Resort reservation, make sure that it is linked to your accounts as well.
- Log in to the Disney World Website with your My Disney Experience account.
The Park Pass System works on a computer web browser ONLY at this time and not the My Disney Experience app. Make sure you are online and logged in before making reservations.
- Select the “My Disney Experience” drop-down menu.
- Click the “Disney Park Pass System” button.
This brings you to the landing page with more information about the Park Pass system. Click the blue button on the right side “Make a Disney Park Pass Reservation.” This brings you to a page where you can add all members of your party.
Click here for the shortcut there.
- Create Your Party
You should see your friends and family listed here. Select all the members of your Park Pass Reservation party.
If you don’t see someone, add them as a “Guest” for now.
You may need to make more than one reservation for your party depending on your admission types.
- Select the Date
Once you’ve selected all the members of your party, select the date you want a reservation for.
- Select the Theme Park
Choose between Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom theme parks. Remember, you can only choose one park per day.
- Select the Arrival Window
These are the park hours. There are no set arrival times and guests can arrive at the park at ANY TIME during the operating hours.
- Review your Park Reservation Details, Agree to Terms and Conditions, and Confirm
Double-check to make sure your selection is correct. You then must agree to the terms and conditions in the liability waiver that explain the health risks of visiting Walt Disney World during this time.
If you accept the terms, click “Confirm” and you are finished.
- Make More Reservations
If you have a multi-day ticket, you can make as many reservations for your stay as you have days on your ticket.
Read the “When You Arrive” section which will what you need to do when you arrive at the parks. Don’t forget your MagicBand or your Key to the World card with your account info or your won’t be getting into the park.
Once finished, just click “Make Another Park Pass” to repeat the same process until you make reservations for each day. Or click “View My Plans” to see which reservations you have already.
From there, you’ll see a screen that explains how to use your reservation when you arrive at the parks. Make sure to bring your MagicBand or card that’s linked to your My Disney Experience account. Once you feel comfortable with the info, you can either “Make Another Park Pass” or exit to “View My Plans.”
Make Reservations Quickly – Your Park Pass Reservations are not secure until you FINISH the booking process. That means if you choose the dates but don’t complete the process quickly enough, you can still lose those dates.
Expect Difficulty – With the parks having limited capacity for the foreseeable future, expect park reservations to be hard to get. You’ll need to be online sharply at 7:00 am when the system opens in order to get reservations.
Expect Technical Issues – Disney is known to have technical issues with their reservation software from time to time (ok, often), and the Park Pass system is no exception. We found extremely long waits and many broken pages so be prepared and have patience for potential delays and other issues that might come up when booking your Park Pass reservations.
Can I Link Reservations With My Family & Friends?
Yes, Families and friends can link their tickets together and arrange theme park reservations at the same time. Make sure to have anyone you want to link to already linked to in your My Disney Experience account.
Does Everyone in My Party Need a Hotel Reservation?
It depends. If you are staying at a Disney World Resort with a tickets package, then everyone in your reservation party must have a hotel reservation. If they don’t, you will need to make separate Disney Park Pass reservations.
What If I Don’t See My Friends or Family in the List?
If there is someone you don’t see on your Family & Friends list, just add them as a “Guest” to the reservation. Disney says other adults may need to have a My Disney Experience account, so in our opinion, it’s better if they do that before trying to make reservations. No word yet if you can switch someone from Guest to a MDE account after the fact.
Can My Travel Agent Make Park Reservations For Me?
Guests have to make reservations for themselves and not travel agents due to the guidelines and liability waiver the guest must agree to upon making the reservations.
Adding a Guest
If you don’t find other members of your party when you get to the “Create Your Party” screen, you can add them as a Guest. There are three ways to add Guests:
1. Find through my connected contacts – You can search for friends through other friends you’re connected with if you haven’t added them as a friend.
2. Import through my connected Guests – If the person is listed on your hotel reservation you can import their info here.
3. Enter their name and age – If there is no record of them anywhere, the last option is to manually add them as a guest inserting their info.
Park Pass Reservation Rules
How Many Parks Can I Visit in One Day?
With Park Hopping now possible again, guests can visit multiple parks per day. However, they only need to make one park reservation per day. Guests are only guaranteed entrance to one park per day (the one they have a reservation for), however, it is now possible to hop over to another park after 2:00 pm.
Can I Get a Refund for My Park Hopper Ticket?
Guests with existing tickets that include the Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option have options available to them for ticket modifications and cancellations and can visit DisneyWorld.com/Updates for more information.
Can I Exit and Re-Enter the Same Park on the Same Day?
Yes. If you have a reservation for a specific park, you can enter and exit that park as many times that day as you like.
What is the Maximum Number of Park Pass Reservations I Can Have at One Time?
The maximum number of park reservations is tied to the number of days you have on your theme park admission. If you have a 2-Day ticket, you can make 2 separate park reservations. If you have a 5-Day ticket, you can make 5.
How Many Passes Can an Annual Passholder Have at Once?
Annual Passholders are limited to 3 park passes at one time. It doesn’t matter if they are spread out over 3 days or 3 months, only 3 at any given time.
What if I’m an Annual Passholder Staying at a Disney World Hotel?
In that case, you are limited to 14 days at once. However, Annual Passholders are eligible to make theme park reservations for up to 3 days at a time on a rolling basis, BEYOND their Disney World Resort stay. That means if you are staying at a Dinsey Resort for 5 days, you can make 5 reservations for that trip, but you also have 3 additional days besides those.
What is the Maximum Number of Guests I Can Have in My Party?
The most guests you can make park reservations for at one time is 12.
The best change to the Park Pass system in 2021 is the ability to go to more than one park per day. Thankfully, park hopping is back at Disney World making this now possible. This is a big deal since many people love to spend the morning at one park and then head to another one in the afternoon and evening.
We cover all the basics in our guide to Disney World Park Hopping in 2021.
Checking Your Existing Park Reservations
Anytime you want, you can check the status of your existing park reservations. We recommend you do this immediately after booking your Disney Park Passes to make sure everything is correct.
There it will show you the Date, the Park chosen, Arrival Time, and Members of your Reservation Group.
You can check the status of your Disney Park Reservations by either:
- Go Online to the Disney World Website and check under “My Plans” in the “My Disney Experience” Menu.
- Check “My Plans” in the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device.
Can I Modify My Park Reservations?
Yes and no. Disney has said that “no modifications will be allowed to existing park pass reservations.” We have not found that to be entirely true so far.
Guests are not allowed to modify the reservation, changing the park from one to another for example. If you book the Magic Kingdom and don’t want that park anymore, you have to cancel the reservation and start over selecting the park you want to visit. There is a risk though any time you cancel and you aren’t guaranteed to get the new date you are trying to book.
On the other hand, we have been able to add new friends and family to our existing reservations. You just need to make sure there is availability for that park on that date for this to work.
At some point, if you decide that you aren’t going to use the park reservations you made you need to cancel them. Not only will you put them back into the system to give others a chance, but you will be penalized if you keep a park reservation and don’t use it.
If you are a no-show for 3 Park Pass Reservations within a 90-day period, you will be blocked from making any new park reservations for 30 days. To avoid a penalty, cancellations must be made up to the end of the day prior to the date of your reservation.
To cancel a Disney Park Pass reservation, just go to “My Plans” on the Disney website and find the reservation you want to cancel.
Click “Cancel this Park Pass.”
Select the guests you want to cancel the reservation for and click “Confirm.”
Arriving at the Park
What Time Do I Have to Arrive at the Park?
Even though there is an “Arrival Time” listed in your reservation, that is essentially the park’s operating hours that day. There are no individual arrival times and you can show up to the park any time during the park’s operating hours.
What Do I Show to Get Into the Park?
When showing up to the entrance turnstiles you will need to scan your MagicBand or Key to the World Card to gain access to the park.
We know anytime Disney drops something new that needs to be booked with an online reservation system, it is never smooth sailing and there are always technical issues and huge delays. Sure enough, the Park Pass system didn’t disappoint…
So far with our experience in making reservations we’ve found that it takes forever to get to the actual page where you create your party. Most of the time you are stuck behind the pink castle, or the “Almost into Orbit” screen.
After much practice, we did find a workaround that might help you get into the reservation system more quickly.
- First, you need to open an incognito window in your browser. We were using Chrome, but we later tried it in Safari and it worked there too. The only problem with an incognito window is that the Disney World website will no longer have you automatically logged in.
- If you try clicking on the menu and going to the Disney Park Pass System link like normal, we often were stopped at the pink castle and never moved past it. Instead, what you need to do is go to another page on the Disney site that requires you to log in first.
- Pretending to make a fake dining reservation will work fine. Go to any restaurant and move forward in the dining reservation process until it makes you log in.
- Once you are logged in, click this link which will bring you directly to the “Create Your Party” page. If there is a wait you will be put in the queue with a countdown and you shouldn’t have any problems getting in. Try that and let us know if it works for you!
Here are a few of tips that we’ve found helpful:
- Use a desktop computer – We have found that a desktop computer works better than mobile, so try from your computer for the best results.
- Use the right browser – Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge seem to get the best results for us. Safari and Internet Explorer have more problems loading the reservations.
- Go Incognito – You get get a long wait time when making Park Pass reservations, try using an Incognito window on your browser. If this doesn’t work, try clearing your cookies in your browser.
- Be Patient – If none of the above tips work, be patient and try again later. This is a new system with bugs in it so it will take a while for Disney IT to get them all resolved.
Annual Passholder Park Pass Rules
Here are the most important points to know for Annual Passholders:
- Reservations are now available for Annual Passholders.
- Annual Passholders have a separate pool of Park Pass reservations to pull from and may sell out before the other groups.
- Annual Passholders are not guaranteed entrance to the parks on certain days during the reopening period due to the limited park capacity.
- Annual Passholders are limited to a maximum of 3 reservations at one time on a rolling basis, beyond any additional days during a Disney World Resort Hotel stay.
- Some types of Annual Passes will have blockout dates during the reopening. Check your pass before booking.
- Some pass benefits and features will not be available during periods of limited capacity.
If you are an Annual Passholders reading this now, you already have had a chance to make park reservations. While Disney is giving Annual Passholders a chance to book them, they aren’t at the top of the list. Disney is still giving first priority to Resort hotel guests.
Secondly, so far there has been a big demand from passholders and it is difficult to get reservations on some days. This of course will be harder in the beginning when we expect the parks to be at their lowest capacity, but it should improve as the months go on after reopening.
How Many Park Pass Reservations Can an Annual Passholder Have?
It’s important to note that Annual Passholders have a limited number of reservations they can make at one time. Right now the maximum is 3. That means you can’t just make a reservation every day for a whole week, there will be a cap on it.
This also brings up some interesting strategy for APs because park reservations are going fast. Annual Passholders might have to wait long periods of time in between park visits it some weeks are sold out. You’ll ahve to choose the dates you REALLY want to go to the parks to make sure you get those days.
What about Annual Passholders Staying in a Disney Resort?
The only exception to the 3 pass limit is if an Annual Passholder is staying at a Disney World Resort hotel. In that case, they can make park reservations for the duration of their stay, up to 14 days.
Can I Get the Length of My Resort Stay, PLUS 3 More Days to Go When I Want?
One of the biggest questions we’ve got has been what if you are an Annual Passholder staying at a Disney Resort in July, do you still have your normal 3 reservations to use for other dates? The answer is YES.
If Annual Passholders are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel you can have park passes for the length of your stay AND have the original 3 days for other dates when they are not staying at a hotel.
Disney has a dedicated phone number for Annual Passholders and you can call V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277. Options to manage your annual pass continue to be available during the closure period.
Is Having an Annual Pass a Good Value Right Now?
This is a complicated question, and we’ll say it’s definitely less valuable than it was before the closure. Before, you could go to a Disney park any day you wanted to, with was convenient if you are a local. Now you aren’t guaranteed to get a reservation for the days you want, and in some cases you might have to wait weeks.
While the frustration is there, we think Disney has been trying to fix this by adding more availability for annual passholders and they should continue to do so. Out-of-state annual passholders have the biggest problem right now with the current travel restrictions, so in that case, it might not be worth it.
If you aren’t happy with the current system, Disney has made getting a refund possible for the remaining days on your pass which might be the right choice, especially if you live out of state.
What Is Park Capacity Right Now?
The Disney World theme parks have been running at a reduced guest capacity since the parks reopened. Disney has confirmed they started at 25% but have now increased it to at least 35%.
Whatever the capacity for the parks is, it needs to be enough to promote distancing between guests.
Bob Chapek has said that the number of people Disney allows into the park will be a function of the CDC’s 6-foot social distancing rule. So don’t expect the walkways to be jammed with people like usual.
Is It Difficult to Get Park Reservations?
From our experience with the Park Pass system, it was hard to get reservations for the first few days of the system being online, but it has gotten progressively easier. On the first day especially, the system was plagued with technical issues keeping some guests from getting reservations.
This was largely due to the extremely high number of guests all trying to log into the Park Pass system at once.
The hardest reservations to get are for Annual Passholders. Disney has three separate inventories for park reservations, with the priority going to Disney Resort guests. In fact, passes for Annual Passholders are often the first ones to sell out.
Though it can be difficult to get Park Pass reservations for Annual Passholders, if you are staying in a Disney Resort, it is much easier.
Disney likes to keep a large amount of inventory available for Disney World Resort guests, so even if they decide to book a trip not too far in advance, they still have a chance at reservations.
For that reason, it has been difficult for Annual Passholders to get Park Reservations at times. Things have improved greatly, however, with Disney better-allocating park passes across the three groups since the initial opening and by moving inventory between groups.
APs can also sometimes find last-minute park passes when there are cancellations.
Weekends and holidays are harder to get park reservations for and they have been filling up more quickly than weekdays (especially for annual passholders). When making reservations, always put the priority on those dates and try to secure them weeks or even months out if you can.
Disney Park Pass Forecast
What do we expect to see from Park Pass availability moving forward?
In general, in 2021 it should be a lot easier to get park passes than it was in 2020. We are expecting low crowds in the early part of 2021, and Disney should also be increasing park capacity as the year goes on. Those two combinations are favorable for getting a reservation.
You will see spikes if any new attractions open this year, but expect to find DVC members, Annual Passholders and Orlando locals making up a large percentage of attendance for the first half of the year.
Whenever there are holidays is when you can expect it to be much more difficult to get a reservation as there will be more guests from out-of-town. This is especially true around Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Also, once the Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration starts, expect there to be another bump in attendance, making it more difficult to get a park pass.
If you are going to Disney World in 2021, we recommend you making your park pass reservations ASAP. Especially with the 50th Anniversary coming up later in the year, you don’t want to wait until the last minute as many dates will be sold out.
Which Parks Should You Prioritize?
Some theme parks are harder than others to get park pass reservations for, and you need to make those the priority when booking.
- Since launching the park reservation system, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been by far the hardest to get a park pass for. This is due to the park’s smaller size and demand for Rise of the Resistance.
We would prioritize the parks in this order:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- EPCOT (unless you’re going on the weekend)
Figure out which days you want to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios on your trip, and then plan out your other days after that.
If for some reason you can’t get a Hollywood Studios reservation, don’t despair. Just stay on the lookout and hope that Disney makes more availability for that park at some point before your visit. This has already happened multiple times so there’s a good chance more will be available.
Other Reservation Changes for Reopening
Besides Disney World instituting a reservation system for the theme parks, there are also a bunch of other changes they’ve recently made that are important to know about during the reopening phase.
- Dining Reservations – Disney had canceled all existing dining reservations from May 28, 2020, through the first few months of the reopening. Guests can now re-book reservations for their vacation, but they have to start all over with the slate wiped clean. Read more in our Disney Advanced Dining Reservations Guide.
- FastPass+ – Disney has currently suspended the FastPass+ program for the Disney World reopening. There is no telling how long it will be down, or if it will come back at all. Read our guide to all the FastPass+ changes for more info.
- Disney Dining Plan – All upcoming Disney Dining Plans have been canceled.
Again, these changes were all tough decisions for Disney to make, but they had to be done in order to accommodate the new distancing guidelines and lower park/restaurant capacity.
Disney released this new video explaining what the Disney World experience is like:
What to Do If You Don’t Get a Reservation
If you can’t get a park reservation, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You have a few options.
Try Again – Just because today says there are no more reservations available, doesn’t mean more reservations won’t be released in the future. Keep trying. It’s possible that the day you tried for is full, but Disney World could increase the capacity for the parks between now and when you are trying to go.
Be patient and try again another day.
Choose a Less Busy Time – For sure, like any normal time visiting Disney World, holidays are going to be busier than non-holidays, and weekends busier than weekdays. Try going on a weekday when crowds are at their lowest.
Check out our Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar for more tips on visiting Disney when the crowds are low.
Get a Disney Resort – One thing that will definitely help you get a reservation is having a Disney World Resort hotel room since those guests have priority with the reservation system. If you really want to go to the park and don’t have any luck, book a hotel.
How Long Will Disney World Use a Reservation System?
Now that you know everything about the new parks reservation system in Disney World there is to know so far, the only question left is “How long will Disney use it for?”
We honestly have no idea how long Disney plans on using the Park Pass system for reservations, but it now looks like that might be longer than we originally hoped.
Originally it looked like the park pass system was created only due to the current health crisis, and that once that is over, Disney World would then go back to normal. However, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, recently made comments indicating park passes could be here to stay even after the current situation is over.
It looks like the Park Pass system was an idea that Disney was always hoping to bring to the parks, and that now was put on the fast track.
Officially, the Park Pass system has been extended through at least January 14, 2022, and maybe longer.
Looking on the Disney website, you can see Park Pass reservations are available in January 2022 for all three ticket groups:
This move is in line with recent comments made by Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, when he hinted at the system being “here to stay,” even after the current health crisis is finished.
In a recent interview with The Dow Report, Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, gave some interesting insights into the technology that Disney has quickly implemented in the parks out of necessity, and how that technology is “here to stay.”
Here is a quick transcript on what what said in the interview:
ROGER DOW: I Know you’ve had to quickly act and bring technology to bear, what are the things that you’ve done, and how many of those things are here to stay?
JOSH D’AMARO: “We figured out a way to really push hard on technology, really accelerate some of the ideas we’ve had for a long time. So you think about things like reservation systems in the parks that we can manage capacity and therefore the guest experience a little better. It’s working exceptionally well for us.
Things like Mobile Order, Roger. So you can walk up to a restaurant, have your meal ready for you when you arrive.
Things like queue reservation systems that we’re executing in different ways. Or even how you might pay for merchandise, but without transacting with a credit card.
And this technology, it doesn’t only help us during a time of a pandemic, but I also think it actually leads to a better cast and guest experience. And so these are things that are helping us now, but I think they’re here to stay.”
While there were no follow up questions to D’Amaro’s comments and he didn’t give any other information about the Park Pass system specifically, it clear that the technologies mentioned are all candidates to stick around in the parks once things are back to normal.
Of course, we all thought that the Park Pass system would go away once the parks get back to normal operation, but from this interview, it looks like this was something Disney was planning on integrating anyway.
The Park Pass system is definitely more advantageous to Disney than it is to guests. It helps them know ahead of time exactly how many guests will be visiting the parks each day and how many Cast members are needed. This helps them save money big-time, and we know that will be especially important in the coming years.
For the guests, the park pass system offers zero benefits, however. It’s just one more thing in a long line of plans and reservations the guest has to make to visit Walt Disney World. That’s not what frustrated guests want to deal with.
Of course, these are only comments and nothing has been written in stone at this point. D’Amaro was emphasizing the fact that these new technologies are working extremely well for Disney and that some of them are likely to stick around.
We understand the current need for the Park Pass system, but we certainly would be upset if the little spontaneity that was left in a Disney Vacation were now completely taken away for good.
Does that mean it is sticking around forever? It’s always possible that they decide to get rid of the Park Pass system when the crisis is over. It’s probably something that even Disney doesn’t know at this time.
Personally, we don’t think it’s a good idea to use park reservations long-term and wonder if something just can’t be worked into the date-based ticket system instead without needlessly complicating everyone’s lives.
Our guess is that Park Passes will stick around through 2021, but it will be much easier to get reservations when the current park capacity limits are no longer in place. There are very few days throughout the year when the parks actually reach “capacity.” So as long as you aren’t visiting in those few days, getting reservations shouldn’t be as complicated as it is now.
Right now, officially, Disney has made Park Pass reservations available through January 14, 2022. Anything could happen and that doesn’t necessarily mean they will stay until January 2022, but Disney certainly is preparing in case it has to continue that long.
We think that if you are planning a trip in the coming year, you should be aware there is a very good chance you will still need reservations then.
With the time and money being spent on this system though, it’s not a short-term solution that will only be around for a month or two. We fully expect the guest reservations to stick around in Walt Disney World at least through early 2022 and perhaps beyond.
We’ll look-out for more updates on this matter and let you know about any changes. Stay tuned…
Due to lower capacity, Disney World now requires a reservation to enter the theme parks, and also your regular theme park admission.
Reservations to The Walt Disney World theme parks are free.
It can be difficult to get reservations, but it depends on which group you fit into. Reservations are easier for Resort Hotel guests and Theme Park Ticket Guests, while it’s been more difficult for Annual Passholders who don’t have a hotel reservation.
The number of park reservations a guest can have at once is limited to the number of days on their theme park admission ticket. A 5-day ticket gives you 5 park reservations. Annual Passholders can have a maximum of 3 reservations at once.
Anyone age 3 years and older needs a Park Pass reservation. Children 2 years and younger do not.
We know all this can be very confusing, and it will take some time to get used to this new guest theme parks reservation system. We’re sure it is going to have some bugs in it at first, but ultimately we think it’s the only fair way to let guests visit the Disney parks at this time since there is such low capactiy for them.
This is only the beginning, and you should expect more changes in the coming weeks. We don’t blame you if it all seems too complicated. Already a Walt Disney World vacation was extremely complicated to organize, and this just threw us all for a loop.
We will continue to update you to the best of our ability here as Disney makes more changes and give us more info on these park reservations. If you are contemplating going to Disney World this year or next, read our post on “Should I Visit Disney World in 2020 or 2021?” That will help you weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision.
Stay tuned for more soon!
I want to know what you think about the new Disney World parks reservation system…
- Are you looking forward to these reservations?
- What else can Disney do to improve it?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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