Since Walt Disney World reopened, one of the biggest additions has been the creation of the new Disney World Park Pass Reservation system. Since implemented, it has changed the way you visit theme parks and who can visit them, but now Disney is shaking things up once again.
At least for the rest of 2023, most 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) – Walt Disney World has just announced that theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets starting on January 9, 2024. This is a HUGE change and it means most guests will not need a park reservation in 2024. We’ll explain more about that in a minute.
Read in the “NEWS” section for more on these latest updates.
However, Walt Disney World theme park reservations are still required in 2023, so if you are going to visit in the next few months you still need to know what to do before the new changes are applied.
In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about the park reservation system at Walt Disney World including why it’s being used, how it works, and the latest park pass reservation availability.
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.
Throughout the article 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 has been since the parks reopened now 3 years ago, and how difficult the theme park reservation system has been at times. There have been so many changes over the past few years and more updates keep coming out almost on a daily basis.
Try to hang in there and be patient. Things have improved dramatically since the reopening, and with the theme park reservation system being eliminated for most guests in 2024, things are getting better and better.
If you want to get notified immediately when Disney makes more changes to the new reservation system, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter here: You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter! There we’ll make sure you’re up-to-date with all the changes!
Table of Contents
(NEWS) Walt Disney World Removing Park Pass Reservations for Most Ticket Types in 2024
The Park Pass system has been a hot topic in the Disney community since it was installed in 2020, and with old CEO Bob Chapek leaving the company and being replaced by fan-favorite Bob Iger, some fans were hoping for some of the more annoying additions like park reservations to go away.
Now it finally looks like guests are going to get their way as Walt Disney World is removing the theme park reservation system for guests with date-based tickets in 2024.
This is a massive change from what we’ve had to get used to over the last 3 years, and it means if you have a date-based ticket you no longer will need a park pass reservation before entering the theme parks each day.
Walt Disney World is removing the theme park reservation requirements for date-based tickets starting on January 9, 2024.
It’s important to note that theme park reservations will still be required for all tickets through January 8, 2024. So if you are visiting between now and then, you will still need a park reservation on top of your regular theme park ticket if you want to enter.
You’ll notice that Disney World is dropping the park reservations for “date-based” tickets starting January 9, 2024, but there are still going to be some ticket types that guests will need to make park reservations for even after that date.
So which ticket types need a park reservation in 2024 and which ones won’t?
No Theme Park Reservation Required
- Date-based 1-Day Tickets
- Date-based Multi-Day Tickets
- Vacation Packages with date-based Tickets
Theme Park Reservation Still Required
- Annual Passes
- Student Group Tickets
- Sport and Convention Tickets
- Cast Members
- All Other Ticket Types Not Mentioned Above
You can always check which admission types require reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com/ThemeParkReservations before you purchase your tickets.
If your ticket type still requires a park reservation, you can check the theme park reservation availability on Disney’s website. As usual, once you purchase your ticket, you can then make your theme park reservations.
One thing that has also remained the same is the 2:00 pm rule for annual passholders. Even at this time, theme park reservations are not required for annual passholders at any of the 4 WDW theme parks after 2:00 pm (except Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park).
This has been a welcome addition these last months and has made it much easier for APs to make visits at the last minute. That will continue throughout 2023 and into 2024. So even after January 9, 2024, annual passholders don’t need to make reservations as long as it’s after 2:00 pm.
After hearing all this news, we have to say we are thrilled with these changes and are happy to see that Bob Iger and his leadership team have recognized that the Disney park experience needed to be streamlined and made easier than it has been these last few years.
Even though Disney has always claimed it to be a mutually beneficial system for both the company and park guests, it’s hugely unpopular and mostly a burden, just one more thing to think about on a long and complicated list that comes with planning a Disney World vacation.
The Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro did an interview with Theme Park Insider a while back about his thoughts on the theme park reservation system and what effect they have on the overall guest experience.
“It’s a guest experience issue. This all starts with guest experience, and having been in this business for as long as we have been, we know what constitutes a great guest experience. We know that there are certain attendance thresholds that can potentially deteriorate the experience.
So the reservation system change that we’ve made is completely premised on wanting to deliver [you] the best experience I possibly can. And to do that, I’m asking my guests to make reservations, which is change. Change isn’t easy, particularly for Disney, where everybody watches every single move that we make, and if you change something that’s tradition, or the way that it’s always been, it’s hard.”
Disney executives have been saying for years now that many of Disney’s new technologies like the Park Pass Reservation system and Virtual Queues are here to stay. It would now seem that since they are eliminating the park reservation system for most ticket types, they have changed their thinking on the matter.
While Disney continues to say that the Park Pass Reservation system is mutually beneficial for both the company and guests, it’s not the real reason Disney implemented the Park Pass system, nor is it why they are continuing to use it.
The real reason Disney is still using it is that it allows Disney to save money by staffing the park correctly for that day, as well as ordering the right amount of supplies needed.
How long will the reservation system be around? It’s tough to say definitively what Disney will do with it. It’s quite clear now that it won’t be used in normal circumstances for the majority of guests. Since it is very useful to Disney to understand park demands for guests without date-based tickets, there is a good chance it will stick around in a reduced capacity for some time moving forward.
One change we were really hoping for was to allow guests to make park pass reservations in the My Disney Experience app on mobile devices. Alas, that change has not come yet and you will still need to make the reservations through the DisneyWorld.com website.
The good thing is that it shows Disney is actually listening to its guests and getting rid of park reservations for most goes a long way in mending fences. This is the first of many changes coming to the Park Pass Reservation system in the coming months so stay tuned for more soon!
Keep reading for more updates and follow the instructions below for details on how to make Park Pass reservations as it is currently set up…
(UPDATE) Latest Park Pass Reservation Updates for January, February, and March
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 the first group to sell out. Guests in the “Theme Park Tickets” and “Disney Resort Guests” groups were selling out just as quickly, if not even more quickly.
Things have gotten drastically better so far in 2023, and even though a lot of days do sell out, they don’t sell out nearly as fast as they did when the park pass system first launched. It also helps that more park pass reservations are made available on a regular basis, so even if a park “sells out” there may be more availability released at a later date.
This latest park pass update covers Winter 2023, starting in January and continuing through February and March, just in time for Spring Break. This will give us a quick look at how things are shaping up with park reservations so far in 2023.
Right away you will notice that despite the parks being much fuller and with long wait times almost every day of the week, there is an abundance of passes available.
Disney has been increasing the theme park capacity all year since it often still feels like holiday-level crowds. These additional park pass reservations are most welcome since some dates have been hard to come by in recent months.
We have no idea what theme park capacity might be at right now, but it’s definitely well over 50%. If we had to guess we would say it’s somewhere between 75% and 90%.
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 during the holiday 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. Thankfully, they aren’t selling out nearly as fast as they were a few months ago.
In fact, for the most part, Disney’s Magic Kingdom has taken over as the most popular park recently and usually sells out more quickly than the others. If you are going there, make it a priority to lock in your reservations early on.
Let’s take a look at the park reservation inventory for all 4 parks from Janaury to March.
The earliest Annual Passholders can get a Park Pass Reservation as of this writing is:
- Magic Kingdom – Full Availability
- EPCOT – Full Availability
- Hollywood Studios – Full Availability
- Animal Kingdom – Full Availability
It’s been rare to find availability for all 4 parks within only a few days of the current date. As of this writing, there is availability for all 4 parks without waiting at all! There are 0 days sold out in the coming 3 months which has been very rare in the history of park reservations.
This was getting more common toward the end of last year with some parks available 1-2 days out most of the time. Obviously, things fill up more quickly during holidays and on the weekend, but a mid-week park pass isn’t hard to find even on the morning of your visit.
Availability has improved drastically, and it’s rare to get shut out of park passes if you book ahead of time. This is consistent with Disney continuing to release more passes to the parks in waves.
Here is what availability for Annual Passholders in January 2023 through June 2023 looks like now:
It’s pretty crazy to see green on almost EVERY DAY of this calendar. The only day that is somewhat booked up at the moment is April 4, 2023, opening day for the TRON roller coaster. But even that is only booked at the Magic Kingdom, where the ride is located.
Usually, the most popular days of the month sell out for all 4 parks, especially when there is a holiday or special event taking place. Whenever Disney adds additional availability to the inventory for those days, most of it disappears immediately.
The weekends tend to fill up quickly, so even though there is availability now, we recommend making your reservations as soon as you can. The most difficult right now is the Magic Kingdom which usually sells out first. March should be big when Spring Break crowds arrive in March and at least until the week after Easter. Expect some of those dates to start disappearing soon.
Also, book Hollywood Studios right away since it continues to be one of the parks that sells out first.
During the weekdays is when you are most likely to find availability for the 4 parks, especially away from the holidays. 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.
Remember, Annual Passholders can only make up to 5 park reservations at a time unless you are staying at a Disney World Resort, in which case you can make reservations for the length of your stay.
Theme Park Tickets
Things have been pretty easy for “Theme Park Ticket” recently, and the next 3 months are totally open at this time and you can make a reservation for any date you like.
In January, the long weekend around Martin Luther King Day (January 16) will be crowded, but there are still plenty of park passes left, surprisingly.
In February, the busiest time is during President’s Day Weekend (Feb 17-20), but again, no dates in that range have sold out yet. During the last week of the month, look out for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend which will also be busy.
In March, Spring Break crowds arrive around March 10 and stick around until after Easter in Mid-April. This is one of the busiest times of the year and we expect these to sell out sooner than later.
If you are going to Disney during any of those days, we recommend to start booking park passes now while there is still time.
One of the hardest parks for Theme Park Guests has once again been Hollywood Studios, but at least not every day has filled to this point. The Magic Kingdom is also popular, with many days already sold out.
Disney Resort Guests
Availability for Disney Resort Guests in January, February, and March is almost identical to the “Theme Park Tickets” category and right now everything is wide open for the entire year actually.
However, many of the parks, including Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom will sell out, especially around President’s Day weekend and Spring Break/Easter. So make those reservations as soon as you get your park tickets.
How Do Park Reservations 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 your My Disney Experience account.
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. You can’t just decide that morning which park you want to go to, it all needs to be planned out ahead of time. There is no changing idea at the last minute unless there is still availability at another park.
*Theme park reservations will no longer be required at Walt Disney World for date-based tickets starting on January 9, 2024. This is a HUGE change and it means most guests will not need a park reservation in 2024. Park reservations are still required for all ticket types through January 8, 2024.
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 should be acquired prior to going to the theme park. It’s possible to show up at the park entrance and get a reservation, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
- Reservations are limited and subject to availability and are not guaranteed until a reservation is finalized.
- In some situations, Annual Passholders do not need a park reservation (before 2:00 pm, except on weekends).
Why Did Disney World Implement a Theme Parks Reservation System?
So now that we know what it is, just why exactly is Disney World using a theme park reservation system anyway?
The main reason Disney implemented a theme park reservation system is to have more control over how the parks are run and be able to better staff them according to how many guests are coming on a given day.
It also allows Disney to evenly distribute guests between the parks each day which helps manage crowds. If a guest wants to go to Hollywood Studios on a particular day but it’s full, they will make a reservation for another park that day and go to their original selection on a less crowded day.
With these barriers in place, you won’t get an overwhelming number of guests at one park while the others are half empty. You can see why this would be beneficial to Disney and why they are planning on keeping it around.
The original reason Disney gave for using the park pass system was to allow guests to keep a safe distance from each other since 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 needed to be limited to help protect the safety of both guests and Cast Members, and the Park Pass Reservation System does just that.
Since the parks are operating at a lower capacity, you ran 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 eliminated that problem since everyone knows ahead of time if they can get into a certain park on a given day.
As we mentioned though, safety is no longer the reason guests still must use park reservations and it has conveniently remained which is of great benefit for daily operations planning.
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 recommended 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.
We break down all your options in our article How to Book 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.
The Theme Park Tickets Guests and Disney Resort Guests share the same inventory of park passes, while Annual Passholders have a DIFFERENT inventory. Up until recently, there were three different pools, but they now combine two of them together. This still means that 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 October but with two admission types. On the left, it’s showing Resort Guests and so far there are 8 days with some parks not available.
Instead, on the right, you can see that up to now, there is full availability at all 4 parks for every day of the month, again only for Annual Passholders.
Annual Passholders have a different style calendar to go along with the different inventory or passes which is why the images don’t look like the same type. This should give you a heads-up if you are looking at the wrong one.
What happens to the unused reservation inventory?
Since there are two groups of 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 to 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 for every date.
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 is 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 any 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 18, 2024. 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.
2023 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 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:
- Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
- B Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Orlando – (Disney Springs Area)
- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
- Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando
- Shades of Green
- Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista
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. Check the Full List of Disney World Resort Hotels for more info.
With the way Disney allocates park pass inventory, Disney is giving priority to 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
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 Passholders can make Park Pass reservations, but like the other ticket types, reservations are limited they are not guaranteed entrance to the parks on every date.
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, especially near holidays.
Thankfully, Disney has been releasing more park pass availability to annual passholders as a group, and reservations are not even required after 2:00 pm (except on weekends).
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 at any time.
What If I Don’t Currently Have Theme Park Admission?
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, resort hotel packages, and ticket sales are now available. Read our Disney World Ticket Guide for ticket options, prices, and how to save money.
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 the 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.
- Click the “Theme Park Reservations” button from the My Disney Experience menu.
Go to the drop-down menu from the Walt Disney World website and select “Theme Park Reservations.”
- Click the “Make or Modify Theme Park Reservations” 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 or Modify Theme Park Reservations.” This brings you to a page where you can add all members of your party.
Click here for the shortcut there.
- Select Reservation Type
On the next page, select whether you want to book a park reservation or a park reservation for a hotel guest with an Annual Pass. If you aren’t an Annual Passholder, just click the “Book Park Reservation” button.
- Create Your Party
You should see your friends and family listed here. Select all the members of your Park Pass Reservation party that you want to include in the reservation.
If you don’t see someone, make sure they have a valid park admission and are connected to your “Family & Friends” list in My Disney Experience.
You should be able to include all members of your party in one reservation even if you have different 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, but you can visit a second park later if you have the park hopping option on your ticket.
- 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 – While park pass reservations have become more abundant than at the beginning, expect them to be difficult to get around the holidays, when there are special events going on, or other busy times of the year.
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. At times you may experience long waits or 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. You can make park reservations for a maximum of 30 people per party. 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?
No, they don’t. The people in your party may have different ticket packages and still be on the same Park Pass reservation.
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.
Park Pass Reservation Rules
How Many Parks Can I Visit in One Day?
With Park Hopping 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. Our Disney Tickets Refund Guide goes into more detail. You can also 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 5 or 3 park passes at one time (depending on the annual pass type they hold). It doesn’t matter if they are spread out over 3 days or 3 months, guests must stick to the given limit for that ticket. If you cancel or use one of those reservations, you can then make another until you max out again.
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 3-5 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 3-5 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 30.
One of the best things about the park reservation system 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.
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, you can. Guest can now modify their existing reservations instead of having to cancel them and completely rebook them all over again.
This is a huge change over Disney’s original policy which stated: “no modifications will be allowed to existing park pass reservations.” With the old policy, if you booked the Magic Kingdom and didn’t want that park anymore, you’d have to cancel the reservation and start over by selecting the park you wanted to visit.
I’ve canceled reservations in the past because I had to make a change to them thinking there were reservations available since the calendar still showed availability, only to find out there was no availability left after canceling. This is extremely frustrating and will be avoided with this change.
So this is a huge change by allowing guests to modify their existing reservations instead of having to cancel and completely rebook them. So many times I wanted to swap out a guest on my existing park reservation for another but was not able to since there were no more reservations available.
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/s you want to cancel.
Select the guests you want to cancel the reservation for and click “Continue.”
On the next page click “Confirm Selections” to cancel the reservations.
Arriving at the Park
What Time Do I Have to Arrive at the Park?
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…
We must say though, the park pass reservation process has gotten much smoother over the last couple of years, and we haven’t experienced nearly as many issues. Though from time to time there still can be some problems.
To avoid as many problems as possible, 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 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 available for Annual Passholders.
- Annual Passholders have a separate pool of Park Pass reservations to pull from and may sell out before or after the other groups.
- In the coming months, Annual Passholders are NOT required to make park reservations after 2:00 pm, except on Saturdays and Sundays.
- 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 5 reservations at one time on a rolling basis, beyond any additional days during a Disney World Resort Hotel stay. The Pixie Dust Pass is the only one that is limited to a max of 3 reservations, again, besides any additional days for staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel.
- 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.
Do Annual Passholders ALWAYS Have to Make Park Reservations?
No, they don’t, not all the time. Walt Disney World Annual Passholders do not have to make park reservations after 2:00 pm. The only exception is on the weekend (Saturdays and Sundays).
Passholders still need to make reservations before 2:00 pm, but at least it’s a move in the right direction for more freedom.
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 5, but it depends on the type of annual pass you have. The Pixie Dust Pass is limited to 3. That means you can’t just make a reservation every day for a whole week, there is a cap on it.
Annual Passholders might have to wait long periods of time in between park visits if some weeks are sold out. This used to be a bigger issue, but more reservations are now available to APs, and you can usually get next-day reservations at most times of the year.
What about Annual Passholders Staying in a Disney Resort?
The only exception to the 5 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 5 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, do you still have your normal 5 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 5 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, it may take days.
While this was quite frustrating for some time, Disney has been trying to fix this by adding more availability for annual passholders and not requiring reservations after 2:00 pm.
Once Annual Passes are available again, they will have more value after these changes than they did in the past couple of years and are likely a good value if you plan on visiting often.
What Is Park Capacity Right Now?
The Disney World theme parks have been running at a reduced guest capacity since the parks reopened. At first, Disney started at 25%, and they then increased it to 35%, and 50%.
At first, they needed the capacity to be low enough to promote distancing between guests.
We are now a long way from that. Disney has not specifically stated the current theme park capacity at Disney World, but it is well over 75%, and probably 90% on most days. We see very little difference in the number of visitors on a given day now than before 2020.
Moving forward, this will only continue to increase until it reaches 100% and days of low wait times are likely gone forever.
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 months 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.
Historically, 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.
This has gotten much easier, and most days it’s a non-factor (unless going on around a holiday). 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.
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 priority on those dates and try to secure them weeks or even months out if you can.
Check out our Disney World Theme Park Capacity guide for more info.
Disney Park Pass Forecast
What do we expect to see from Park Pass availability moving forward?
In general, in 2023 it has been a lot easier to get park passes than it was in the past three years. Disney has increased park capacity drastically over the last couple of years which has made it much easier to get a reservation.
You will see spikes when any new attractions open this year, but expect to find things pretty open for most 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, now that the Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration has ended and the holiday crowds have eased up, expect there to be lower attendance for a while, making it easier to get a park pass.
Still, if you are going to Disney World in 2023, we recommend you make your park pass reservations ASAP. Even though there will probably be plenty of availability, you don’t want to put it off, because once the parks sell out, there is no guarantee more will open up.
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
- EPCOT (especially if you’re going on the weekend)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
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.
Keep in mind that if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom when one of the hard ticket events is running (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party), park passes run out much more quickly than normal so book these far in advance.
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 at one of our favorite Disney World Resorts.
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 for most guests, they won’t need to worry about it anymore in 2024.
Disney has announced that the Walt Disney World theme parks no longer require park reservations for date-based tickets starting January 9, 2024, and beyond. That means if you have a 1-Day ticket Multi-Day ticket or a Vacation Package with date-based tickets, you won’t need to make park reservations once January 9, 2024, comes around.
However, that doesn’t mean that all guests are off the hook. Guests with non-date-based tickets will still have to make park reservations beyond that date. This includes annual passholders, cast members, student group tickets, sport and convention tickets, and any others not previously mentioned.
At this point, there is no telling how long Disney might want to keep utilizing the park reservation system for those ticket types.
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, 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 May 31, 2024, and maybe longer. Again, that’s only for non-date-based ticket types like annual passholders.
Looking on the Disney website, you can see Park Pass reservations are available in May 2024:
This new move in eliminating park reservations for most ticket types is in contrast 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.
Of course, we all thought that the Park Pass system would go away once the parks get back to normal operation, and now it finally looks like that is happening.
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 is especially important as Disney tightens the purse strings.
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.
Does that mean it is sticking around forever? It’s always possible that they decide to get rid of the Park Pass reservation system completely in the next couple of years. Or since non-date-based tickets are more unpredictable, they just may stick around for good. 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 we are happy that date-based tickets no longer need to use them. Since theme park tickets have a specific date range to use them, keeping park reservations would just be needlessly complicating everyone’s lives.
If you are planning a trip in the coming year, you should be aware that you will still need reservations during your visit. However, in 2024 you are free to come and go without them (except for non-date-based tickets).
We’ll look out for more updates on this matter and let you know about any changes. Stay tuned…
Walt Disney World now requires a reservation to enter the theme parks, which is in addition to your regular theme park admission. If you don’t have a park reservation, you cannot enter.
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 5 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 has taken some time to get used to this new guest theme parks reservation system. It has had some bugs in it over the past few years, but we think that Disney has gotten much better at making passes more available and that guests are very used to them at this point.
We don’t blame you if it all seems too complicated. Already a Walt Disney World vacation was highly complex to organize, and we don’t blame you if this throws you for a loop.
At least you know that most guests will only have to put up with the park pass reservation system through 2023 as it’s being discontinued for most ticket types in 2024. If you aren’t going until then, you don’t even have to worry about park reservations except guests with non-date-based tickets.
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 2023 or 2024?” 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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