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Bonus Park Passes May Now be Useless for You

Bonus Park Passes May Now be Useless for You

Disney World releases “bonus reservations” as a “perk” for Annual Passholders. They are becoming increasingly common lately, and soon most guests won’t even need one. Here’s why they may now be useless for you as well.

Bonus Reservations

Credit: Monica

When the parks reopened in 2020, Disney implemented Park Pass Reservations. Along with a valid park ticket or Annual Pass, guests need to secure a park pass for the park they wish to visit each day.

In the early days, parks “sold out” often, which led to a lot of frustration for Guests planning last minute trips or wanted to re-arrange park days. Disney heard our concerns, and beginning January 9 most tickets won’t require a park pass.

Credit: screenshot of My Disney Experience

Depending on the Annual Pass, Passholders only have a finite number of park passes to use without a Resort reservation. This was frustrating for locals who maybe only had 3 park passes available at any one time.

Disney has since made some adjustments which allow Passholders to visit the parks in the afternoon without a park pass. Read more about that HERE.

More Bonus Passes Available

Credit: KtP

Another way Disney helps out Passholders is by offering bonus passes. These are not included in your pass allotment (based on your Pass type). These were few and far between a while ago.

However, now they are becoming more and more frequent. As it stands, several days in October have some type of bonus pass. For a very busy month, this is quite surprising.

  • October 5, 12, 15, 20, 25 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • October 6 – EPCOT (not surprising there is only one day this month due to Moana, Journey of Water opening)
  • October 8, 11, 14, 22, 26 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • October 10, 17, 25 – Magic Kingdom

Why These are Useless

Credit: Susan

If you look at the availability calendar, every park on every day for the foreseeable future is green. That means Passholders don’t really need to conserve their passes for popular dates too far in advance. The only time they may need it is for special events or attraction openings.

The calendar used to be a really great way to predict crowd levels, but that is not the case anymore. As we all know, fall break at Disney World is very busy right now.

In addition, Passholders can enter any park on weekdays after 2:00 pm. So, in reality the only time a Passholder without a Resort stay needs a park pass is if they want to visit Magic Kingdom on the weekend or enter a park before 2:00. I’m sure with Park Hopping changes coming in January that will also change.

Credit: Susan

To me, it’s obvious Disney should also get rid of the park pass system when they do away with it for other ticket types in January. It’s just a formality at this point. With the amount of bonus reservations lately there is not really a park pass limit based on the Passholder’s pass type.

What do you think? Are these bonus reservations useless? Do you think Disney should do away with the system altogether? Let us know in the comments below – we would love to hear your thoughts! And, be sure to share this post with a friend so they can weigh in, too.

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Friday 20th of October 2023

I don't think they're useless. So, right now, the reservation system is green. That can change quickly. And, in a month or two, I'm really going to love it if we get free days.

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