Disney Extends Park Pass System For Years as Pandemic Persists

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Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World Resort as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration

Credit: Disney

If you are not a fan of Disney’s Park Pass system, you should get used to it because it seems another extension has been added.

cinderella castle 50th anniversary
Credit: Disney

After Walt Disney World returned from the pandemic closure, the theme park implemented a new change that would force Guests to have a theme park reservation in order to enter the Park. Guests would sign up for their theme park reservation ahead of time on the My Disney Experience app. If you want to visit Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you must make a reservation. As long as the Park is not at its limited capacity maximum, a reservation will be able to be made. This is a requirement regardless of being an Annual Passholder or ticket Guest.

mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

The downfall to the Disney Park Pass system is that this removes the ability to be spontaneous when wanting to go to the theme parks. Especially during busy season, we have seen theme park reservations fill up weeks and advance, which means plans must always be made prior to wanting to visit Disney if you want to guarantee a theme park day.

magic kingdom monorail with cinderella castle and space mountain
Credit: Disney

Now, when Guests look at the theme park reservation calendar, they can book until January 18, 2024. This means that the reservation system will be around past the 50th anniversary celebrations. As you may imagine, the theme park availability in 2024 is currently wide open. Take a look here.

Related: Disney World Annual Pass Changes: MORE Park Reservations For Higher Passes!

Perviously, Annual Passholders could only hold up to three Disney Park Pass reservations at one time. The only way around this was if an Annual Passholder booked a stay at a Disney Resort hotel, and therefore, as a Resort Guest, they were able to make more reservations.

Now, Disney is changing that; Passholders will instead be able to hold up to five theme park reservations at a time, depending on their pass type.

Related: What You Need to Know About Disney World’s New Annual Passes

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

In 2020, Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro indicated that the newly implemented Park Pass system is a “new normal” that isn’t going away anytime soon, if ever, so seeing the calendar extend into 2024 isn’t too surprising. With the pandemic also still moving strongly as Omicron has caused a spike in positive cases, Disney likely does not know yet when things will go back to normal. There also may be an increase in Park capacity, which would make making reservations much easier, as they would not fill up as fast.

At the moment, Disney World’s Annual Passes are on hold; however, single-day ticket sales have resumed.

What do you think of Disney continuing the Park Pass Reservation system? 

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

At Magic Kingdom there is so much to see and do! Cinderella Castle is decked out for the 50th anniversary and soon Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will return. You can ride the three big mountains: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain, or calm things down on Peter Pan’s Flight. Rope drop the Park to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then enjoy a mid-day snack with some Dole Whip. Be sure to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy the firework show, Disney Enchantment! 

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