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Comments for Disney Fans React to Park Reservation Requirements

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Credit: Disney

41 Comments

  1. Bob

    Extending the Park Pass selection into 2023 will be a disaster for DVC Members and Disney Park Ticket Holders. As I understand the new requirements, you need to have a valid park ticket before reserving a Park Pass. No one should ever purchase the park ticket that far in advance and prior to making a resort reservation. DVC Members cannot even make resort reservations further out than their DVC resort reservation window (11 months or 7 months) dependent on their home resort. No one should plan a Disney Vacation that far in advance.

    1. Thomas P OConnor

      We don’t like planning so far in the future. It certainly takes the fun out a visiting WDW.
      Where is the adventure.? and fun.
      Too much planning is like a crusade…not a vacation.

  2. SlackerMom

    Trying to understand the thought process behind the individual who doesn’t like the new system because she’s “a planner.” Wouldn’t the reservation system be more conducive to planning in advance? What am I missing?

    1. Pama

      I was wondering about that also. If you are a planner what’s the problem? I’m just happy they are still open. We enjoyed our trip, masks and all. Missed interacting with characters.

      1. Chris

        They are getting away from what made them successful in the first place. If I’m going to spend a week at Disney and pay their prices, My family and I expect to be able to enjoy ourselves. I don’t want to be forced into a schedule that I’m a slave to no matter what might be going on. What if there’s bad weather? What if we are just too tired for a park today because we are still worn out from yesterday? What if someone in the family gets sick? What if we just aren’t feeling a park that day and want to stay around the hotel and go for a swim and relax? What if we had Epcot slated for Friday but we realized that they’re open an extra hour on Saturday and want to go then instead? They’re taking away our choices. Walt Disney World is especially frustrating. That property is enormous and there’s enough to do there that you should be able to do what you want when you choose to do it. All they are doing is giving more fuel to their nearby competitor, Universal. It’s sad. They’re trying to fix what isn’t broken.

        1. Klara

          I was a flexpass holder at DL which is the same as what they are doing. Its not a big deal. You can cele up to midnight the night before and pick a new park day off. Not a big deal. Look the pandemic rules are going to be with us a few more years so people need to get used to the new norms. Parks were way over crowded and this allows control of that. Also did you notice park prices went up. Peak season is $159 so if your going to pay that price wouldn’t you want it to be less crowded? New annual passes will be flex pass as well so no matter who your you will need a reservation. I actually love it.

  3. I’ll make this short and to the point, it bites the big one.

    1. Marvin

      Reservations suck. As a local and annual passholder, we would go to Disney up to 10 times in a month. Now I can only book 3? We would pick a park based on our mood. Now everything needs to be planned. We couldn’t even get reservations and had to stay at a Disney hotel just for access to the parks. Did not renew. Will be going to Universal instead.

    2. Jill Hampson

      The problem related to me is I am an annual pass holder. I travel from PA. We stay 14 days. I can only get three parks at a time. At the end of the first day I can reserve for another. Depending on availability. There has been times where we couldn’t enter any parks or only Epcot was available. It forces you to stay on Disney. I think that is a big part of it. The only way to ensure park entry is staying on property. I believe this is a large part of it.

  4. TALIA MASRI

    I believe that the current reservation window is to ensure that people will book and purchase far out in advance. There’s a lot of uncertainty and people do not want to risk booking their once in a lifetime vacation without being certain that they will be able to enjoy the parks as well. This doesn’t mean that Disney won’t be able to cancel the park reservation requirement once things are back to normal and restrictions are lifted. For now they need to be able to secure revenue.

  5. AB

    As someone driving to Disney from 10 hours away I do appreciate this system. Why would I want to get there and find out that they’re at capacity every day that I have planned for my vacation? The new system gives me piece of mind that I didn’t just take a week off of work to drive down there, rent a hotel and not even be able to get in due to limited COVID capacity.
    Also, if you make a reservation and then decide you want to change dates, you can.

    1. CommonSense

      My answer to this is stop limiting capacity, not requiring park reservations. If you’re that afraid of Covid that you can’t be around people, stay home. Lift capacity restrictions, let people take responsibility (and risk) for themselves, and give them what they paid for. Freedom and choice. Revenue will return. It’s that simple.

    2. SS

      But you can only make the change if it’s available. Takes away your ability to be spontaneous and the Magic.

  6. Donna Moyer

    Why would I want to try to pre-plan a date when I want to come to the park? How do I know what the weather is going to be like? Who wants to bring a 3 year old out on a rainy nasty day, at those prices. I’m still going to FL on vacation, but I don’t think this will be the year for Mickey under these conditions.

    1. Klara

      Its FLORIDA no one know what the weather is going to be like. Only guarantee is it will rain somewhere. You cancel reservation midnight prior to date with no penalty and get a reservation day of. Not all parks will be at capacity.

  7. Laura

    We live about 1.5 hours away and it really hasn’t affected us at all. We go twice per month on a weekend and rotate through just like we used to. Now with park hopping in the afternoon, if we decide we don’t want to spend a lot of time in our reserved park we go later and hop sooner. Really love being able to book a ROTR boarding pass from home for the same reason–if we don’t get one, we can take our time getting there if we want. We are grateful for the chance to be able to go so often and that the park is doing a good job keeping things safe.

    1. EmilyC

      Another issue is if you only want a one day ticket. My husband and I just want to go to Epcot this year after being AP holders for years. Unfortunately, if you choose a one day pass, it’s only valid for that specific date. I would be OK with the reservations if you could use that one day for maybe a 5 day window. There’s just no way I can risk the weather in Florida for the flower and garden festival even several weeks in advance. We’re still going but we’ll have to risk not getting in because it would be a waste of 235 dollars if it were pouring down rain.

  8. I am not for park reservations being the new normal. We like park hopping, freedom to move about on the property. This is yet another poor decision by the Disney Parks, like getting rid of Magical Express and making people pay for magic bands. I will not pay for a park hopper with reservations still in place, because there is no guarantee that I can move on to another park. Pay a lot of money with no guarantees is Disney’s slogan. It will bite them in the end.

    1. Di

      Indeed!!

      1. Angie

        I like the park reservation system, but I wish the passholders could reserve 4 days, rather than 3. Even though it’s a rolling 3 reservation, once that first day is over, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the 4th day of choice, staying off property of course.

    2. Evan

      So you’d rather go and find out when you arrive the Park is at capacity and you can’t get in? (like what happened at Universal during the holidays). To Park Hop you always needed a Park Hopper ticket (or annual pass) so what is different. Hop away after 2:00 p.m., Disney has never guaranteed Hopping, it’s always contingent on capacity even before the pandemic. The Magic Bands cost $5.00, you’ll drop $12.00 for a bucket of popcorn or $6.00 for a Dole Whip without blinking an eye (or just use the free plastic card they give you, like before the Band was introduced). And once you have a Band you can use it over and over again. Disney can change their policies as often as they want/need to to accommodate the changing environment they operate in. No one really knows if the res system will last or how long, but it’s fun to speculate. It’s a personal decision not to spend your hard earned dollars at Disney but as the virus subsides there will be plenty of folks heading to the Magic Kingdom, with a reservation and with or without a bus ride from the airport or $5.00 Magic Bands.

    3. Donna

      Solution: I won’t go to Disneyland or Disney World. Disney does not want US tourist as they feel they don’t make money off of the domestic tourist. They are looking toward the Foreign tourist for their business. I’m fortunate to have enjoyed the Disney of decades ago and not the all for profit, heavily commercialized Disney of today.

  9. Disney Fan

    It’s such a mixed bag. I dislike it because it feels like another way of accepting a new normal which should not be the case. However the crowds do get ridiculous to the point you can’t go on rides because of the lines. I hope they come out with something for Florida residents. We moved to FL last year and I told my husband we should wait until the move to get our passes, boy I was wrong!

  10. we just returned from a Disney trip Feb. 5th-11th and were very disappointed with 35 pct capacity Hollywood studios and magic kingdom were very crowded with major attractions having 40- 90 minute wait times I cant imagine after the lifting of capacity restraints and without the return of fast passes if we will be returning any time soon. also I noticed in every attraction line guests were sliding down there masks to eat and drink with not a single cast member around to to remind them that they must keep masks on in line.

  11. Tamara Dowd

    I live 25 minutes away and if the weather is bad I will not waste my time going but my reservation will not let another person enter. Still not sure if I like reservations, never liked planning things out. Not fun.

  12. jasonmicron

    I don’t mind the park pass reservation system during the pandemic. Once we get past this though, I do not see it as something guests will desire. It was already enough of a pain to book restaurants 6 months out and fast pass reservations 60 days out.

    Imagine booking a Disney World vacation and not being able to take your kiddo to Magic Kingdom during your dates because “sorry, you don’t have a reservation”. That’s just ridiculous.

    And what about locals? If this became something that sticks around after the pandemic, then locals wouldn’t be able to just wake up on a Saturday and say, “I’m bored, I’ll go to Animal Kingdom.” But no, they can’t because the park’s reservation is full.

    Before the pandemic, they already had thresholds to shut down access to parks after a certain crowd size was inside. It had its quirks, but it was largely fine most days of the year.

    I see no reason to keep the park reservation system around after social distancing and masks are no longer requirements.

  13. Rosemary

    While I understand the reason for the park reservation system during Covid, I’m disappointed they’ve extended it all the way through 2023. During all of our many vacations there we have eaten almost all dinners at Epcot, choosing from among the stellar restaurants there. During the Wine and Food Festival, we went every single evening, meandering around the lagoon and eating and drinking from the many international kiosks. That was literally my favorite time to go, my favorite Disney thing. That won’t be an option now, unless you plan an entire stay for Epcot only. I also find the reservation system increasingly annoying – having to choose FastPasses so far in advance, now having to choose each park months or even years in advance. For rides with height requirements, heck, you might not even know if a child makes the height that far in advance. We travel as a multigenerational family coming from different states. With people ranging from 5-70 and a couple college kids in the mix, attempting to plan that far in advance what everyone “wants to do” on the same day 2 years out is sort of a nightmare. For some family members still on a school calendar – we often don’t even know the vacation days/long weekends that far in advance. It’s a vacation. We’ve gone a number of times just calling everyone and saying “Hey? Do you that Thurs and Fri off, can we squeeze in a long Disney weekend?” I don’t see that being possible now. All the spontaneity is being taken away. It makes me very sad.

  14. Teresa

    I am a planner and make my reservations 500 days in advance. Not you have placed ticket nay purchasers ahead f resort guests for park access. Also we eat most night at the Epcot restaurants. What f you can’t get in that park after being at another Park in the morning. I am very disappointed. Will be booking for fall of 2022 in May. We enjoy park hopping and being free to do so. Makes me sad

  15. Donna

    Solution: I won’t go to Disneyland or Disney World. Disney does not want US tourist as they feel they don’t make money off of the domestic tourist. They are looking toward the Foreign tourist for their business. I’m fortunate to have enjoyed the Disney of decades ago and not the all for profit, heavily commercialized Disney of today.

  16. Jennifer A Duncan

    I live on the west coast, and going to Disney World once or twice a year is a big deal for us. We usually try to book 10 to 14 days of the time so that we can be spontaneous. If we decide that we are tired one day we can go hang out at the water parks, if Magic Kingdom is too packed, we can always pop over to Epcot. I plan our entire trips to the hilt, and definitely won’t be coming if there is another thing that I have to plan. It’s depressing, because we want to go to Disney World more than anything but we won’t go under these circumstances. We’ll go to Disneyland and do their stuff where it’s cheaper and we won’t feel like we’re paying top dollar for something that we don’t want.

  17. Wayne Harder

    It’s really not as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. We were just there 2 weeks ago and the best part of the reservation system is that 50-55 minutes is your longest wait time. Most rides were saying around 40-45 minutes. But with the social distancing they are doing now, you could cut 10-15 minutes off your wait time for nearly every park.

    We were able to hit every ride in 8-9 hours each day. It’s actually a good thing unless you’re just the type of person that enjoys pissing and moaning about everything

  18. Lisa Traband

    Wow think will pass altogether too complicated…

  19. Beverly E

    We are extremely disappointed with the reservation process. We are older Florida residents and enjoy taking walks at a park for exercise and entertainment several times a week for a couple of hours. We felt very safe in the parks instead of walking on the sidewalks around the Orlando area or malls. Now Disney has even taken the annual pass option away from us. I never thought I would have to give up the Disney magic. Sad!

    1. Tad

      Hi Bev-You can still walk the Parks (if you had renewed your annual pass before it expired), just make a reservation on My Disney Experience. Or we have a treadmill for sale with a TV monitor that plays continuous reruns of the Golden Girls and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You get your exercise in the safety of your own home, no annual pass needed and you still get some of that Disney Magic. Free delivery and set up 🙂

  20. Jose

    Well I only care about masks being no longer required there. I could put up with anything if they remove the stupid mask requirements

    1. Masked Mouse

      And this is why we still have to wear masks, thanks Jose.

  21. Robert

    All I can say is that I won’t be going to Walt Disney World any time soon. Especially with the way things are now. I will wait until things go back to normal. The way they were 7 years ago. If it takes 7 years for that to happen, then that is how long I will wait. I don’t like the new ideas, and rules, that Disney is coming up with. I understand it, but I don’t like it. It’s unfortunate that the pandemic has changed everything that we do, or the way we live. But, hopefully, we can achieve some kind of normalcy within the end of that time frame. As long as the medical community gets it in gear to get rid of the corona virus. Let’s go people!

  22. Josephine G Trimnal

    Quite honestly, it’s the only reason we decided to visit WDW this year. I don’t mind picking the days I visit ahead of time but hated the FP+ process. I have no clue what I’m going to want to ride that far in advance and like that we don’t have to do that right now. I’m bringing 12 people and choosing rides in advance is more work than I need to put into a vacation. Love the reservation system… let’s keep it!

  23. THIS RIDICULOUSNESS is the main reason that my family decided to trade in our Disney annual passes after 11 years, and upgrade to Universal Studios annual passes, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision! Disney, you have lost 5 faithful, adoring fans ☹ and I hope you get your act together soon!

  24. K

    Being from California and in the middle of a pandemic makes this system quite annoying. We had to cancel our Florida trip in 2020 and have now planned to go in July of 2021. It is hard enough to align vacation dates with available timeshare dates and now this just adds another thing to worry about. The main problem is not knowing if we will be able to go because we are hearing rumors of a domestic flight ban into Florida due to the new variants of the virus being so prevalent there. We have planned as much as we can to this point. The system would not be a problem for me under “normal” circumstances as I am an extreme planner.

  25. Linda

    I think the park reservation system is great! Some people will find any reason to complain. It’s pretty simple if the reservation system bothers you so much, don’t go!

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