Disney Reservation System Continues to Cause Headaches, Guests Unable to Enter Park

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Magic Kingdom crowds in front of Cinderella Castle on Happily Ever After finale night

Credit: Inside the Magic

It seems that Disney Park Passes are still causing an issue for some Guests who have not visited the Parks since before the pandemic.

disney park pass new years eve
Credit: Screenshot via Disney World website

Recently, we reported on multiple Guests facing issues regarding the Disney Park Pass reservation system. One of the newer additions to the Walt Disney World Resort, after Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopened has been that Disney Park Passes are now needed to enter a Park. Gone are the days of purchasing a Disney Park ticket and strolling into the Park of your choice, now, reservations must be made on your My Disney Experience.

walt disney world railroad
Credit: Disney

When the Parks reopened in 2020 we saw a lull in Guests as there were very few who were traveling as well as Disney has a very small capacity limit. Since that point in time, we have seen borders reopen and travel become a more “normal” part of life for many. Along with that, we have seen Disney open their capacity more, remove mask mandates, bring back a lot of entertainment, and head towards an operational schedule that reminds us of a pre-pandemic Disney.

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

Although the Parks are crowded, the Parks are still operating under a reduced capacity. At the moment, Disney will not release what that number is, but it is likely in the higher range as shoulder-to-shoulder crowds are back. Guests must still collect and obtain a Disney Park Pass to enter a theme park, and as we noted, those do not seem to be going anywhere soon as you can currently make Park Passes through to 2024.

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy participated in a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley’s 2022 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. At the conference. McCarthy noted a few things that piqued the interest of many Disney fans. Aside from stating that character meet and greets would be returning soon, she also stated that Park’s capacity would never return to normal.

magic kingdom emporium
Credit: Disney

It seems that Disney is “managing things differently now” as they can track how many Guests are expected to be in each Park which assists with crowd management as well as staffing and demand for each day. It seems Disney is doing so to think of the Guest experience as they do “not want to have the parks bursting at the seams”, and by having reduced capacity, Guests can have a more enjoyable time.

The downfall to this is that before, Guests rarely had to deal with an “at capacity” Park, especially if it was not a holiday, but now, Disney Park Passes are flying off the shelves! We recently reported that during one week in March when many students are out of school, Disney is nearly already at full capacity which eliminates the option to visit pretty quickly. 

festival of fantasy crowds
Credit: Ashley Carter

The issue with any new system that comes in place, like Disney Genie+ and the new Lightning Lane option, is that there is a learning curve that new come Guests will not be aware of. Recently, we reported that an elderly couple was seen being turned away from Disney World because they bought tickets without making a reservation.

Now, the conversation is continuing as it seems more Guests are having complications when it comes to booking Disney Park Passes. Over the past few weeks, Disney World has been swarmed with Guests as spring break ensues, and with that demand has come many at-capacity days at Walt Disney World.

holiday crowds
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Disney Family Left Rejected From Parks After Purchasing Tickets

Although the Disney World website will prompt Guests to make their Disney Park Pass reservations when staying at Walt Disney World, it will not force you to do so, and it seems that some Guests are realizing what they must do too late, after the Park Passes they desire are gone. One Disney fan named Monse (@Monse_DP) noted that this recently happened to a family member of theirs who was just unaware of all the intricacies of planning a Walt Disney World vacation with all of the new changes, as it was much simpler before.

My aunt and her family are coming to Orlando but didn’t know about Park Reservations since last time they were here that wasn’t a thing… so I just had to tell them that the 2 parks they were planning for have no more availability even if staying at a Disney Resort

In the Twitter thread, some Guests expressed their distaste for the new system, while others note that there are multiple emails that will warn Guests that they must book their reservations. Some fans opt for Universal Orlando Resort entirely as they do not have a reservation system in place. Since this is an ongoing issues, the question is, how can Disney solve it?

epcot crowd levels
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

The constant email reminders work well for many, but as we can see, some Guests fall through the cracks. At Disneyland Resort, however, Guests must choose their Disney Park when they book their reservation for a specific date. This means that if a Guest wants to buy a ticket, they will automatically secure their Disney Park Pass reservation during the transaction, combining the steps into one process. This may be a very helpful tool for Guest tickets at Walt Disney World!

Have you had any issues obtaining a Disney Park Pass reservation?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about 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!

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