If you’re going to be visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for an upcoming trip anytime in 2022 or 2023, you’re going to want to know about Disney’s Park Pass System.
The Park Pass System was originally implemented during COVID-19 to help manage park goers and limit the number of guests allowed into the parks. While many thought this system was temporary, Disney has decided to keep it around and now requires all guests to make a park reservation for each day of their visit.
This new reservation system is integrated into their existing My Disney Experience system which shows guests plans including hotels, tickets and dining.
There are 4 major parts of the Park Pass System that you’ll want to be aware of:
Tickets/Hotel – Guests with existing tickets and a hotel reservation currently have priority for booking a Park Pass Reservation which opened June 22nd. If you don’t currently have tickets for a 2020 visit, be sure to buy them now as they are limited. AP holders can start booking June 26th.
Party – Anyone who you will be making a Park Pass Reservation for needs to be listed as a guest in your MDE account, have a valid ticket and if you have a resort hotel, they need to be listed on it.
Dates – For most guests these were already chosen when you bought your tickets or booked your hotel.
Parks – You want to know ahead of time which park you’re going to visit on which day. There is no park hopping available at this time.
Step 4. This will load either a holding page or the actual booking page. The booking page will first ask you to select all the guests in your party.
Step 5. Choose the date you want to make the reservation for.
Step 6. Choose which theme park you want to visit on that day.
Step 7. Select the time slot you want to enter the park that day.
Step 8. Confirm your plans by clicking the “Agree” box and confirm.
That’s it! Just repeat these steps for all the other days you need reservations for.
After making reservations you will be able to load your My Plans page again and see each days reservations and if needs be, modify them.
Be sure to check out the timeline for when the Park Pass System opens up for guests. June 22nd was the first day it opened but there are still other days for annual passholders and ticket holders to check.
There Are Limitations To Park Pass
Keep in mind that there are limitations to the number of reservations you can make.
Annual Passholders are limited to 3 days at a time unless they have a hotel reservation.
Ticket holders are limited to the days their tickets are valid for.
Guests with tickets and a hotel reservation are also limited to the days their reservations run for.
The Park Pass System is based on availability so when you go to make a reservation, some parks may or may not be available, along with some theme park times.
Why Do I Need A Park Pass Reservation?
Disney is using the Pass System to keep track of and limit the number of guests who visit the parks each day. For guests, it’s not great as it’s one additional step to take in order to visit the parks. For Disney, it’s fantastic because they can limit the number of Cast Members needed to operate the parks and track exactly how many guests are visiting.
The way they are limiting park capacity is by offering a limited-number of reservations per day, per park for guests. So lets say Animal Kingdom is open on Sept. 5th. The Park Pass System may have 5,000 open reservations for the park that day. Once it’s full, no more reservations can be made, thus Animal Kingdom is maxed out at 5,000 guests.
This means that guests who do not have a park pass reservation are not allowed into any parks, even if they aren’t at their capacity. You must have a reservation to access a park.
What If I Forget To Make Park Reservations?
You’re on this page so hopefully you don’t forget to make them! However, there are people who don’t plan ahead and just show up to Disney World without a park reservation or tickets. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic completely. The park pass system is broken up into 2 different categories: Ticket holders and Annual Passholders.
Both groups have a select amount of park pass reservations available to them on any given day. AP’s have less than ticket holder. Disney does this on purpose because ticket holders are more valuable to them than AP holders.
So if you need to buy tickets and get park reservations, there’s a decent chance that some are available day or or a few days before your visit.
The Park Reservation System is ever-changing as people make and cancel reservations so keep checking frequently for the park or day you want. Remember Park Hopper guests only need to choose their first park and then they can hop after 1pm to any park of their choosing.