Guests Choose Universal Due to Disney’s “Unacceptable” Reservation System

in Tokyo Disneyland

mickey and minnie in front of tokyo disney castle

Credit: Disney

As Disney has recently chosen to utilize a reservation system for most aspects of the Parks, some Guests are feeling the frustration.

Enchanted Tiki Room
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Related: Boy Suffers Significant Head Injury After Incident on Major Theme Park Ride

There is no denying that the Disney Parks are a completely different experience once were and this is mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out in early 2020.

During the pandemic, Guests saw lots of their favorite experiences vanish before their eyes with things like character meet and greets being cut. Shows like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were also removed, leaving Guests with a very limited selection of experiences to choose from.

This scary and deadly virus left both American Disney Parks closed in an unprecedented move. As time has gone on, both Parks reopened but things have fundamentally changed inside. As of now, both Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disney are closed due to COVID-19 still. Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney are still open and representing the international Parks but it seems as though some Guests are having trouble visiting them.

Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: Tokyo DisneySea

On Twitter, avid Tokyo Disney goer Chris Explorer (@tdresplorer) shared their frustrations regarding how Tokyo Disney utilizes the reservation system:

Tokyo Disney has been such a frustrating experience as of late. I have a reservation for the Toy Story Hotel, and I have to make TWO reservations in TWO different systems for the Gift Shop and Restaurant

As you can see, the Guest not only struggled with the reservation system for hotels but also a gift shop. Later on, the Guest replies with:

I’m not one to complain often, but this is unacceptable. The hotels are turning into Parks where you need to reserve everything, and most of the time, it’s already booked.

Related: Security Called Into Disney Attraction After “Crazy” Fight Breaks Out Between Guests

This is especially disappointing as Tokyo Disney recently revealed its exciting new Toy Story-themed hotel. We have also seen Guests struggle with Disney’s no-show policy when it comes to reservations as well. Reservations aren’t the only process that seems to cause frustration and confusion for Guests. Since the very introduction of Disney’s new Genie+ and Lightning Lane services, Guests have had lots of trouble getting the new systems to work properly.

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane were released last year to much criticism and frustration, leaving many Guests feeling confused by the service. In theory, this paid service should enhance Guests’ experience at the Parks, but in practice, it seemed to just be an expensive itinerary planner. These paid services allow Guests to skip lines for a price, meaning Disney now has a financial incentive to have long lines. At Disney World, for $15.00 per day per Guest, you can skip the long standby queue by making a Lightning Lane reservation (new FastPass) and returning at that time.

splash mountain tokyo disneyland
Credit: Disney

Interestingly, Chris Explorer brings up Universal Studios Japan, commenting on how its system works better than Disney’s:

I have to say, USJ is killing it with all their offerings for a single park. Annual Passes, full on seasonal event (Cool Japan), and most things are open. Tokyo Disney doesn’t have much going on and having no APs makes it hard to justify a day there right now.

As Disney continues to navigate the pandemic, changes are expected and if they are in the best interests of Guests then they are more than welcome. But some Guests are starting to feel like a Disney vacation is a lot more planning than pixie dust as of late.

More on how Tokyo Disney Resort reservations work:

Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservation and Tickets

You can reserve accommodations, purchase Park tickets and more online. When you reserve a stay at a Disney Hotel, you can book a guided tour or a Park restaurant at the same time. Vacation packages are also available through the Japanese language website.

(Available in English and Japanese.)

The site is closed for system maintenance between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservation and Tickets (in English)

Booking Entertainment Restaurants in Advance Online

Why not enjoy a meal while taking in a show at Tokyo Disneyland Park? We accept online reservations for two entertainment restaurants.

Hours: 5:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m. the following day.

Reservations for Disney Hotels, Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotels and Tokyo Disney Resort Partner Hotels can be made through the Tokyo Disney Resort Reservations Center up to four months in advance.

This frustration often translates well in Orlando as Guests must have a Disney Park Pass reservation to go to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, however, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure do not require any advance planning at Universal Orlando Resort.

Have you had any issues making reservations at Disney?

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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