Walt Disney World’s Disney Park Pass system is now in full swing. Soon-to-be Resort Guests, pre-existing ticket holders, and Annual Passholders can all now claim their spot in the theme parks among the limited capacities.
We at Inside the Magic have already shared with our audience that each of those three groups has their own allotment of Park Passes that Disney makes available, and recent circumstances actually allowed Disney to divert more park passes to the Annual Passholders.
But people are still wondering, “How easy is it for Annual Passholders to secure Disney Park Passes these days?” Well, that depends on a few factors.
Annual Passholder Blackout Dates
There are different tiers of Walt Disney World Annual Passes, and some include blackout dates. Guests who have the Platinum Plus and Platinum Passes had no blackout dates before the closure, and after the closure they could select park passes on any day of the year. Guests with lower pass tiers, however, are not so lucky.
The only Annual Pass that has no blackout dates besides the Platinum Plus and Platinum tier is the EPCOT After 4 Pass, which is only valid for EPCOT after 4:00 p.m.
Please be aware that Annual Passholders can still make Park Pass Reservations for valid days even if they are currently in the middle of a blackout period.
Here is a list of the blackout dates according to each Annual Pass.
Walt Disney World Gold Pass Blackout Dates
Walt Disney World Passholders with a Gold-tier Pass do not have any blackout dates until December 18, 2020 – January 2, 2021, then March 27 – April 9.
Walt Disney World Silver Pass Blackout Dates
Walt Disney World Passholders with a Silver-tier Pass have endured blackout dates since the theme parks began reopening. They will remain blacked out until August 7. Their next set of blackout dates will also be December 18, 2020 – January 2, 2021.
Walt Disney World Theme Park Select Pass Blackout Dates
For Walt Disney World Passholders with the Theme Park Select Pass, the number of blackout dates is unique to each theme park.
Magic Kingdom Select Pass Blackout Dates
Passholders with a Magic Kingdom Select Annual Pass, every Saturday for the rest of 2020 is unfortunately blacked out. The earliest these Passholders were able to book a park pass was August 9, 2020. Thanksgiving Week and the Christmas Season is also completely blacked out.
EPCOT Select Pass Blackout Dates
Annual Passholders with this tier who chose EPCOT have fewer blackout dates. August 20-23, and 27-30 are blacked out, followed by every Saturday in September and October. November 5-8, 14, and 21 are also blocked off, along with December 27-31.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Select Pass Blackout Dates
For those Passholders who selected Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you have the most blackout dates of them all. Only August 24-27, and 30 are available in that month, as well as only Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and some Mondays in September. Most of October, November, and December are blocked off too.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Select Pass Blackout Dates
Annual Passholders to Disney’s Animal Kingdom have the least amount of blackout dates in this group. Only the last weekend in July, the first weekend of August, and the Christmas season blocked off from making park pass reservations.
Walt Disney World Weekday Select Pass Blackout Dates
As the name suggests, this Annual Pass is only valid on Weekdays. All weekends are blocked off. The only weekdays Passholders with this tier cannot make a park pass reservation are August 3-6 and every remaining weekday of 2020 after December 17.
All of this information is available on the Walt Disney World website where Disney also states the following disclaimer:
All information, including, without limitation, blockout dates and times of operation are subject to change without notice.
From time to time, existing blockout dates for the Disney Theme Park Select Pass may be lifted.
“What is Left for Annual Passholders Right Now?”
Once Passholders have determined when they can visit based on any possible blackout dates, it is time to go into the reservation system to see what is available and when.
Regardless of Annual Pass level, the first weekend any Passholders looking to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the weekend of October 3-4. If you can visit on a weekday, the earliest availability — at this time — is September 1.
The only days any parks are available this month currently are July 29, 30, and 31. All theme parks are completely booked on the weekend of August 8, and only EPCOT is currently showing as being available for every weekend day between August 15 and August 31.
Park Pass Tips for Annual Passholders
It is important to remember that the Annual Passholder group created for the Disney Park Pass System is only for those Passholders not planning to stay on Disney World Property. If you want to get to a certain park faster, the easiest way is to book a hotel room.
Consider Staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel
If you do not want to wait two months to visit your favorite Disney World theme park, consider staying at a Resort Hotel on-property. Once you make your hotel reservation — using your Passholder rate, of course — you will then be able to make park pass reservations as a Disney Resort Guest rather than an Annual Passholder.
As this article is being written, Park Passes saved for Disney Resort Guests are still available for every theme park on every day of August and September. In short, that means that Labor Day Weekend trip to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is still a possibility.
If you decide to go this route, you must follow through with your reservation. Disney World has confirmed with us that any hotel cancellations will result in park pass cancellations as well.
Remember, too, that Annual Passholders can make rolling park pass reservations. While you can only make three reservations at a time, you do not have to use all three before you can make more. I suggest sacrificing one weekend day to secure your place at a park weeks in advance and then use your other two Disney Park Pass slots in the meantime to play with what is available right now.
But no matter what Annual Pass level you have or when you are planning to visit, it helps to have experts guiding you through all of these details. That is why we continue to recommend our friends at Academy Travel. Academy’s agents will work with you to help you stay completely up-to-date on all the new information and make the park pass system as easy as possible.