After a temporary closure in 2020 due to COVID-19, Walt Disney World Resort reopened its theme parks with new procedures in place, including a park reservation system to manage daily attendance and prevent park hopping initially. Since then, park hopping has returned and Disney extended the ticket reservation window to Jan. 18, 2024, so the park reservation system is sticking around for a while.
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If you wish to visit the parks before Jan. 18, 2024, you will need valid admission AND a Disney Park Pass reservation for the same park on the same day. Even people with a resort hotel reservation will need to make a theme park reservation. If you're looking to park hop, you'll only need to make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park you will be visiting. As more people are now hopping back to the parks, it's especially important to make park reservations ASAP. The first step is to purchase tickets. This post will walk you through all of the specifics so you can reserve your spot at Walt Disney World Resort!
All of the Details on Disney World's Theme Park Reservation System
As mentioned above, Disney limited capacity in its parks when it reopened. As more people are returning to the parks, capacity has increased. While capacity remains open at most parks most days, Disney's Hollywood Studios has been the most likely to hit its limits. New Year's Eve generally fills up quickly at EPCOT too! And for busy times, such as the holidays and spring break, reservations can go fast. What this means is that we highly recommend you purchase your tickets AND make your park reservations as soon as you purchase.
We've made it easy to do both of those things on Undercover Tourist, and you can feel confident buying through us because …
- You can see current park availability when purchasing.
- You can choose between physical or E-ticket delivery.
- Once you receive your E-ticket or physical ticket IDs, you can link your ticket immediately on My Disney Experience and make your theme park reservation. (If you prefer physical tickets, we will provide your ticket numbers in advance of shipping.)
Who Needs to Make Disney Park Pass Reservations?
Short answer: Everyone (ages 3 and older) ... for now!
Walt Disney World revealed in January 2023 that "beginning in the next few months", Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will not need to book a theme park reservation to visit the parks after 2 p.m. There is one exception, though! Reservations will still need to be made for Magic Kingdom Park on Saturdays and Sundays (regardless of the time of day you visit). Pass blockout dates will continue to apply. Bookmark this blog because we'll update as soon as we know a start date for this change!
That being said, since the Park Pass system was implemented, Disney has set aside a limited number of reservations for three separate groups: guests with Disney Resort hotel reservations, guests with theme park tickets and annual passholders.
Park reservations will be available through Jan. 18, 2024, based on your resort stay and ticket eligibility or ticket eligibility window. If you've booked a vacation package through Disney, your ticket eligibility is tied to your package's travel dates. To make a park reservation for a different date, you'll have to modify your vacation package dates. All guests are now able to book new Disney Resort hotels and Walt Disney World theme park tickets through 2023 and make their park reservations.
What to Know Before You Make Your Disney World Reservation
Before you make your Disney World reservation, there are a few important things to remember:
- Linking your tickets to My Disney Experience does not void Undercover Tourist's return policy.
- Reservations are limited and subject to availability, and not guaranteed until a reservation is finalized.
- If your ticket or pass includes the Park Hopper option, you will only need a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park you wish to enter. Once you've entered the first park for the day, you are able to hop to another park at 2 p.m. (though entry is still subject to capacity limits). More on this below!
- A park reservation must be made for each day of entry. If you have a multi-day ticket, you must make a park reservation for each day of your visit.
- If you have previously linked your theme park tickets or hotel information in My Disney Experience, we recommend that you log in and double-check that the information looks correct in the system.
- If you have not already linked your hotel reservation or tickets in My Disney Experience, you'll want to make sure they are linked ASAP. They are required before you can make a reservation in the new system.
- Annual passholders without a hotel reservation are limited to a set number of park passes at a time (depending on the level of their pass). Once you use a park pass, you may obtain a new one.
- Guests ages 2 and under do not need a Park Pass.
- You can view a Disney Park Pass Availability calendar here.
- If you are looking to reserve in-park dining, you will also need a Disney Park Pass reservation for the same park, on the same day; a dining reservation does not guarantee you entry to the park. (If, for example, you'd like to dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney's Hollywood Studios, you'd also need a valid ticket and Disney Park Pass, all for the same day as your dining reservation.) Dining reservations can be made 60 days in advance. If you're planning to park hop to your dining reservation, note that it still does not guarantee you entry into the park — and that you won't need a Disney Park Pass to enter.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using the Disney Park Pass System
1. Register or Sign in to StartYourDisneyExperience.com and Link Your Admission
If you haven't already, you will need to register for an account at StartYourDisneyExperience.com and then link your park admission. (If you've already linked your tickets in My Disney Experience, you'll just need to log in to My Disney Experience, press the plus sign and navigate to Make or Modify Park Reservations.) Press "Make Theme Park Reservation." If you're using the app, you may be prompted to log in on a browser.
2. Create Your Party
Then, you'll be prompted to create your travel party based on eligible tickets. Check those in your group you'd like to make a reservation for.
3. Select a Date and Park
Choose the date and the theme park that you'd like to visit.
4. Review and Confirm Your Plans
That's it! You'll be able to see your Park Passes in My Plans in My Disney Experience at any time.
5. Need to Cancel a Reservation?
It's easy-peasy to cancel a reservation if your plans change. All you have to do is view the specific pass under My Plans in My Disney Experience and click on View Details. There will be an option that says Cancel This Reservation. What if you don't want to cancel the reservation for everyone? No problem! Before you confirm the cancellation, it will ask you to select the guests that you wish to remove from the Park Pass reservation.
How Does Park Hopping Work with the Disney Park Pass Reservation System?
As of Jan. 1, 2021, the Park Hopper option is back, with some slight modifications. Guests with passes or tickets that include the Park Hopper option must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit and enter that first park prior to visiting another. At this time, a park reservation is not required after the first park (subject to change, but it has not ever hoppened in our experience). Additionally, there are specific Park Hopper hours. Park Hopper hours start at 2 p.m. each day and end at the park's scheduled close time. Be sure to check DisneyWorld.com/ParkHours and the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date Park Hopper hours, as they could start earlier at a later date depending on the day and park.