One of the most significant changes when Walt Disney World Reopened in 2022 was the introduction of the new Disney Park Pass System. It was initially expected that this park reservation system was only a temporary measure, but it appears it is here to stay.
Your Disney Park Pass is the most critical booking you must obtain as soon as you get your theme park ticket. To access your first park each day, you must pre-book a reservation online through the Disney Park Pass System.
To access a park, guests must present their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry. Disney Park Pass allegedly allows better park capacity management. You will also need a reservation if you only plan to dine in a park restaurant.
Guests planning to Park Hop still need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for their first park each day, and they must enter this park before trying to enter another. Guests can then enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours. The same rules apply if guests plan to attend Early Theme Park Entry or Extended Evening Hours.
During peak periods, reservations do run out, so it is essential to reserve your parks early. However, we found, during the summer of 2022, parks that were previously full did have last-minute availability.
How to make your Disney Park Pass Reservation
Before buying your park tickets, Disney recommends checking the Theme Park Reservation Availability on the Disney World website.
Once you have your tickets, booking your Disney Park Pass is straightforward.
- Step 1: Link Your Admission to Your Disney Account
- Step 2: Create Your Party from your Family & Friends List
- Step 3: Select a Date and Park.
- Step 4: Review and Confirm Your Plans
Guests who book a Walt Disney World Vacation Package can book their Disney Park Pass Reservation once their reservation is confirmed and linked with their Disney account.
Changes for Annual Pass Holders
From April 18th, 2023, changes are being made to Disney Park Pass reservations for annual pass holders. If they arrive at their first park later than 2 pm, they will no longer need a Disney Park Pass. However, a reservation will still be required if they plan to arrive earlier or visit the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday or Sunday.
Will Disney Park Pass stay?
It looks like the unpopular reservation system will be staying permanently. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a recent interview:
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.Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
So, if you plan to visit Walt Disney World, you had better book a reservation.
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on Walt Disney World.