Home Disney Planning Tips Dear Disney will you PLEASE consider losing the Park Pass System?

Dear Disney will you PLEASE consider losing the Park Pass System?

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Dear Disney will you PLEASE consider losing the Park Pass System?
Credit: Disney

Ok Disney, we’ve had a chance to try out your Park Pass system and we are ready to say “see ya!” Here’s why we hope you’ll consider losing your Park reservation system.

Park Pass Reservation System

We understand why you created the Park Pass Reservation system when you initially reopened Disney World in July 2020. Back then, you were operating with severely reduced capacity in your Theme Parks. We understand you were using it because it was important tool that helped you to control capacity in the Parks.

With this system, you were able control attendance in the parks in order to comply with local guidelines. We appreciate that there are three different categories of ticket holders when choosing Park Pass Reservations. Resort Guests, Theme Park Ticket holders, and Annual Passholders each have different passes, allowing some of us a chance to actually book a reservation.

Initially, you only had Park Pass Reservations through September 2021, so we thought this was temporary. Although we didn’t love it, we understood. But then when new 2022 packages were released, we noticed you extended out the Reservation System through 2023!

Working in your favor

It appears this new system is working in your favor! It helps you determine staffing needs on busy days making for better Cast Member and Guest experiences.

We know you’re planning to keep it around for awhile since Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro stated, “One way to manage the returning crowds…will be to continue requiring that ticket holders also book a reservation for the day they want to use their tickets.”

But here’s the thing, Disney. We are all ready to get a little magic back in our lives by visiting your resort. So let’s just expect every day to be busy from here on out, ok?

It’s not working for us

The Park Pass Reservation system really needs to go. This reservation system is massively unpopular with your Guests. Reserving an advance park pass reservation offers us virtually no advantages beyond being guaranteed to actually get into a Park-a Theme Park that we paid money to get into.

The Park Pass requirement creates so many planning issues for us. Gone are the days of deciding “spur of the moment” which Park you’d like to attend. In fact, Park Passes book up so quickly for some dates, you have to try to grab the Passes you want months in advance!

Guests with Theme Park tickets and Resort Guests have faced frustration as they cannot get park pass for their vacation dates. Or, they feel the system is too rigid, as changing plans can be nearly impossible with completely booked parks.

Annual Passholder concerns

Annual Passholders are impacted by this reservation system, too! With so many busy days, many Passholders are shut out of Parks even on days when there is still availability for Resort Guests and Theme Park ticket holders.

And what is with the limit on Park Passes for Annual Passholders? Unless we have a Resort Reservation, we are limited to only so many advance reservations.

This forces us to stay on property if we want to get any use out of our Annual Passes. I know this benefits you, but it does remove a lot of the value of the Pass for us!

Yes, we are planners, but…

While it’s true that many of us love the planning aspects that surround our Disney vacation, this is one area that causes us unneeded stress. We don’t want to make an additional reservation just to visit a Theme Park that we already bought a ticket to attend!

This is a whole new level of advance planning, and honestly, it just leaves a bad taste in our mouths. It feels incredibly rigid and inflexible, leading to an unenjoyable experience before we even arrive for our vacation!

What if we want to change our plans?

Changing our vacation plans is nearly impossible with the rigidity of these Park Pass Reservations. Sometimes, things happen and we need to change our plans.

A dining reservation we’ve been waiting for might pop up. If it’s in a Theme Park, we need a Park Pass Reservation to get in there, but if they’re full…well, we’re out of luck.

What about when you change the Park hours and they fit our needs better? We can’t switch our plans unless there is availability left.

We’ve tried it, but we don’t like it

Disney, we gave it a good try! It’s been over a year since you implemented you Park Pass Reservation System. We understand its initial need, but now that most of your restrictions have been lifted, we’re ready for this one to lift too.

Should Disney say goodbye to the Park Pass Reservation System? Let us know on Kenny the Pirate’s Facebook page, or join our crew and continue the discussion!




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34 COMMENTS

  1. They are. We went to Disney over Halloween and previously would have never dreamed of going to UO (felt like cheating). We did for 4 days and LOVED it. I had no idea how nice it was and Harry Potter is the same or above anything Disney has done.

  2. It was a problem then too. But you could easily give up your scheduled fast passes and go to another park and even get a few passes there.

  3. We visit once a year, due to daughter cheer competitions, however, I do not want to make a reservation, we need to have spur of the moment access, due to daighter cheer schedule. I am not paying hundreds of dollars, flying across the country, to not be able to get in at a moment notice.

  4. It’s the only way Dinsey can control the crowds, I think they are letting less people in than before the park pass system even though there are no restrictions and gene plus is a way to make up that lost revenue. Long queues are their biggest challenge, you don’t want to spend hours in line and Disney doesn’t want you to either. Every minute you’re standing in line your not eat, drinking or shopping.

  5. My last comment :
    That is a very true thought and I hadn’t thought about it that way.

    is for INDY in response to: “So where were all these complaints when you had to choose Fast passes months in advance.”

    So, were lots of people just throwing away the reservations they had made in advance for FP in a certain park when they got up in the morning and decided to change parks?

  6. It’s time to dump the reservations at Disney world we pay for annual passes and it’s not fair that we do not get to go when we want to I understand the crowds and I love the crowds but after the pandemic and all that the rules have been lifted I feel that annual passes should be exempt from this reservation deal and I’m not rich I’m common retired person who loves to go when we decide to go I love to walk around and sometimes I don’t even go on the rides and I don’t even mind standing in line for the rides I just love being at Disney thank you

  7. You have got to be kidding! How can you compare a Fast Pass ride to your entire vacation having to be reserved? With some of the parks there is no need to do a fast pass, especailly if you are not planning to go on those rides. Visitors who go often may just want to leisurely go to the parks on the day they feel like it.
    If you had a fast pass then could not make it – you lose nothing. No extra fees for it and if you decide to go a different day to the park – you could have tried to make a fast pass if not – so you go extra early for that specific ride.

  8. This can’t be true! They add this park pass reservation so they can INCREASE the price over $200.00 per ticket???? Disney has gone crazy. Looks like Universal will be haivng increases in their visitors.

  9. I so agree. We usually stay at the Beach Club. We like to go to the Magic Kingdom early then take the monorail to Epcot, ride a few rides, have lunch then walk back to the hotel. Our exact trajectory depends on our mood, energy level and the weather. Serendipity is a huge part of the Magic. It is lost when we have to make reservations for parks. Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous $200+ cost of attending the Christmas Party this year – with less events and decorations. We canceled our much-anticipated trip. Paying nearly $500/person for a full day of admission to Disney is just too much. Then add in the resort hotel price and over-priced-un-decorated restaurants making a trip for a single mom and teenager the cost of a year in college. We’ve made a dozen visits over the past decade. Doubt we’ll be back for a while.

  10. As a DVC member, AP holder and frequent visitor, the park reservations haven’t hurt or slowed a single vacation down for us. Never had an issue getting into the parks we wanted, even when changing park reservations the day before. I hope they keep it, just to combat locals. If you are staying on property for a vacation at WDW, it won’t effect your vacation. That’s why you pay for Disney rooms, and those who don’t… you have to dealt with your decisions.

  11. Dump the park pass or open it up at 11 am not 2 if you need to know where you morning crowds will be. Also BRING BACK THE PARKING TRANSPORTATION

  12. With our new Park Entry+ program, guests will be able to go to any park on any day for an additional fee of $199.95 plus tax per person per day. We are very excited about this new program that we are sure will enhance the guest experience!
    – Disney Resorts.

    The new form of Disney magic! Give it up people! Stop going to Disney Parks, low attendance is the only way to get Disney to change. Go to Universal instead.

  13. So where were all these complaints when you had to choose Fast passes months in advance, thus already deciding which park you were going to visit on which day. Only now you’re complaining about having to decide on a park way in advance?
    Come on, you can’t have it both ways. Either you were okay with a reservation system in the guise of FP, or you aren’t.

  14. Definitely agree with getting rid of park passes – way too much stress even for those of us who always enjoyed the planning previously! Forget trying to plan a last minute trip or just go with the flow. It’s ridiculous that you are paying this much money for rooms and tickets, yet have to worry you may not be able to go to the parks you want unless you have reserved the days far enough in advance. And while we”re at it, let’s also eliminate the hopping restrictions as well – one of the best things was being able to split the day as you wanted between 2 parks(especially if you scored a FP for a ride over there!), but now since you can’t hop till after 2, you are limited for things like getting in a Virtual Queue if you didn’t have a pass for that park in the morning, and can’t be there for the 1pm second try either!

  15. I do not like the unavailability of park hopping until 2 pm – after the second chance at virtual queues. If I want a chance at the virtual queue for Remy, I have to reserve EPCOT which means I lose at least 2 hours of park time, because it opens so much later than other parks.

  16. Been holding AP certificates since 2018. Believe we may hold them a little longer and get a USO AP instead for December and 2022.

  17. Yes Ian I am mad. I hate the park pass for all the reasons Jamie gave especially losing all the spontaneity it takes away. So YES I want them to do away with the passes. And I am a Nunn NOT a Nun. There’s a difference.

  18. We want as we have always have, decide which park we want to visit when we are in Orlando, not many months in advance. Our days change on our mood for the day. As others have said, booking a park a day so far in advance takes all the magic of our Disney holiday. If we booked Magic Kingdom for a particular dy, and decided we would rather go to Animal Kingdom that day, ,could be impossible if AK was not allowing any more visitors. Let us go back to the 3 fast passes and let us just turn up at the park of our choice, creating the experience we all love at Disney.

  19. Julia – how far in advance do you make your reservations? How long, in the future, do you think this won’t control crowds? Disney will still have the reservations – just will add the amount of people.
    Please remember non annual passholders come 1000’s of miles and make reservations months sometimes over a year in advance.

  20. It isn’t serving any purpose at this point. The parks at WDW this past week were so crowded (MK and EPCOT) we could hardly move through the massive crowds of people…I don’t believe at this point any park capacity is being limited. It was as busy as I’ve ever seen it. So why the park reservations? Just another anti-magic decision made by those in power at Disney…

  21. It appears that some of the annual passholders don’t mind the pass reservations. Naturally, if they live close to the park there is not a problem to cancel and re- reserve for another time. What about families coming 1000’s of miles and when they arrive they are stuck with certain days to the parks. When we plan our trip, it is months and months in advance. Do we know what the weather will be on our reserved day? Do we know how hot it will be? Do we know how our small children will feel on the 2nd or 3rd day of our pass? In the past I would plan for my family certain days for certain parks however, often last minute changes were inevitable. When you are going to Disney with 4, 5, 6 people or maybe more – things change!

  22. I too am an Annual Pass holder, and while I don’t love the Park Reservation system, I understand it. Very rarely is there a day with no Park Passes, and even if there are no available reservations, you can just keep checking and it’s likely you’ll get one. Sometimes your preferred park isn’t available, so you’ll have to choose another park, and then hop after 2 pm, which you can do with an annual pass. I do wish the “hopping time” was earlier – like noon. On crazy busy days, like Christmas, you could often be turned away from a park once it filled up. If you have a reservation, you are assured of getting in. There are pros and cons. Hardcore Disney fans don’t like change, but we have to remember that Walt promised ongoing change.

  23. I agree with Greg L. I am an Annual Passholder. I have no problems getting park passes. I am a planner, so picking my parks in advance is not a problem. And if you are making dining reservations in advance, what’s the problem with getting the park pass also. I like that the crowds can be controlled. I say keep the park passes. If those who do not like it do not come, that is their decision.

  24. I think they do not care if people like it, the purpose is to discourage AP purchase & use by Floridians and those staying off property; if people keep buying AP’s, more decisions will be made to make it less palatable. Disney management simply does not care if Disney fans go to the parks. They feel they have an endless supply of new “once in a lifetime” trippers so…why bother catering at all to repeat guests? Those “new” Disney fans do not know how much of the Customer Service they are missing these days. I just cancelled a deluxe resort stay, chose not to buy a new AP, and booked Portofino Bay. I will miss many things but it just is not worth it to me right now.

  25. As an annual passholder I’ve had no issues getting a park pass, usually 24 hours in advance and often the same day. I see advantages to Disney and no problems for me. I prefer less crowded parks.

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