CEO Bob Iger Speaks on Future of Unpopular Disney Park Reservations - Inside the Magic

Comments for CEO Bob Iger Speaks on Future of Unpopular Disney Park Reservations

Walt Disney in front of disneyland castle

Credit: Disney


  1. Giovanni

    I feel that if you pay to have exclusive access to a park with a pass to come and go on a wim then you should be able to do just that. Locals love to visit Disney spontaneously and spend money on food and apparel. It makes sense that if you are visiting from out of town that you make reservations because you have to do this anyways when planning your trip. I can honestly say I feel like Disney will become a has been if people locally can not have access to the park as they please. Spontaneity is part of the joy. On the other hand I understand that visiting an overcrowded park is no fun. Disney needs to find the balance but they need to be careful because the locals are the true bread winners of the park.

    1. Nathan Lee

      except, at Walt Disney World, the APs are not the bread, nor the butter. They are a small minority of parkgoers each day. Now, Disneyland is a different story, locals are the bread winners there. But that is also why Disneyland does not sell annual passes, but rather Magic Keys. And before selling those, they clearly removed the option for dropping in any time. Califoria residents chose to purchase these Magic Keys knowing that in advance

      1. Kathy

        Yes right. And I’m sooooo glad they have limited those drop on visits.

    2. Sarina

      I’m not renewing as I enjoy going last minute not making reservations day ahead.

      1. lawrence labrecque

        not renewed! going to universal!

    3. Elizabeth

      I agree with this completely! I miss the spontaneity of the parks. I would go there with my family on whims several times a year. We would spend money, mostly food and beverage (not souvenirs) but money none the less. I feel the locals brought a certain energy to the park. Ive been 3 times in the past 2 years and it has all but lost that energy and its nearly impossible to “wing it”. Every minute has to be planned out, stuck in the app, or paid for. Its no fun.

  2. Kim

    Not a fan of park reservations. If I’m paying all that money I want to choose what park I want to go to and that may change on a dime. They have taken away all the good stuff from my/your Disney experience, raised prices and cut service. Sorry but I won’t go back until the magic is back and that might be never.

    1. Wolfie

      100% agree

    2. Disney went from 1971 to 3019 without a park reservation system this is all about control my pass runs out in July I know I don’t matter to disney but as long as the reservation system is in place I will never be dack

  3. Mary

    For 23 years, we went to Disney every year. Since covid, we haven’t been back and won’t go back until they wise up. I will never go there if I have to make a reservation. I know my small amount of a few thousands of dollars isn’t hurting them but if enough don’t go because of that, maybe they will get the point.
    My money is good at other vacation spots too. Maybe if enough refuse it, they will see. If not, your loss.

    1. Candi

      I have gone to the Disneyland every year since 1956. Finally became an AP when I retired in 2012 and visited weekly prior to the pandemic. Now with reservations it’s once a month. It’s terrible they manged fine before and don’t understand why they the only theme park that still feels the necessity to keep reservations in place that this probably is my last year. The reservations genie plus to pay more to ride a ride you already paid for is ridiculous. Get it together Disney.

      1. Sarina

        Exactly my thoughts.

  4. Daniel

    And for the 4th year in a row my family will be having a blast at Universal. Keep paying these clowns to show you approve of the way they are doing things.

    1. Lorie P.

      Definitely NOT a fan of the park reservation system at all! I want to be able to change what park I want to go depending on certain things like weather or a change in events happening at a certain park. You paid crazy money for the tickets you should be able to go to which ever park you want to without being locked into a certain day.

  5. Bj

    Do not like the reservation system at all especially when you are spending all that money to go plus fly down from another State one year we had a four day ticket made all my reservations canceled one day to stay by the pool figured we could go to the park on another day nope no reservations so we lost money on our ticket because we couldn’t go to any park needless to say a very disappointing trip I see that someone mentioned that the locals should be able to get in anytime well people who travel to visit should to oh and forget to mention we are DVC members but we also feel the magic is gone

    1. DVC. We love love Disney. It’s unfair to make resort reservations and hope there’s a Park reservation and vice-versa. It’s clearly not crowd control. 😒 Putting stress like that isn’t treating us like your Guest anymore. 😔

      1. Ken

        I agree. Even, if you do make a Park Reservation, you still have no guarantee that you will get on the attractions you want to get on. Spending a lot of $$ for the privilege of spending more $$ is not idea of fun. I am a DVC member, but my last visit, I stayed and enjoyed Universal. They seem to get it right.

  6. Stephen

    Hey I personally don’t thank the resvation thing is fair it’s not right for families who spend thousands of dollars or more to go to Disney world animal kingdom Hollywood studios epic cot park just to get told you can’t come to the Parkes with out resvation it not right nice thought when Bob igar replaced Bob chepeck he was going to fix the crap that was put for Disney world apparently he want do crap he needs get off his high horse and put Disney world back to way it was be for covid happen if he is for the Disney fans he would put things back to normal

  7. Iva

    Personally, I think the reservation system is a good thing. It keeps the parks from overcrowding and helps predict operational needs. If they lift the reservation system, we would be packed like sardines! Rubbing elbows with strangers in 100° weather, no thanks! Waiting in line even longer, no thanks!!

    1. Corey McCoy

      Disney bot!

      1. Jenn

        Oh please people can choose to like the reservations and not be disney bots. I agree with Ava the lines are long enough and the crowds are big enough so if the reservations keep balance then so be it.

      2. Anthony

        As long as people keep going to the park and attendance is up as Bob iger has said then why the heck would he change anything the only way things would get changed is if the revenue changes. They’re still making profit in The killing so until they see those dwindled down then he’ll make the change

    2. Sarina

      I’ve gone for years. Even with reservations the crowd has remained the same so your observation is really not true. As a pass holder for many years it’s always crowded unless you go off season mid week. I’ve seen no change in crowd attendance in over 26 years. That’s why reservations are useless.

      1. erjen

        If anything it seems busier than in years past.

      2. Obviously Mr. Over plans to do nothing. Park reservations are not needed! Disney functioned beautifully before covid. Disney is trying to fit a a square peg into a circle! It doesn’t work!!! Stop trying to fix what’s NOT broken. I guess Iger is not so smart! Guests are stating what’s important but our voices have fallen on deaf ears! So, I speak with my money. DVC member here, haven’t been to Disney since the pandemic and Will Not return until I see a change for the better. I’m talking about major changes, not the fluff that may appear it’s better. So frustrated with Disney! And really, 7000 people losing their jobs??? Not acceptable!

        1. Sorry, I meant Iger in my previous post.

      3. BL

        You’re partially right, to us customers, reservation is useless, nothing but a pain in u know where. However, Iger was actually told the truth that reservation does EVERYTHING for Disney to
        1. Totally control the total crowd size at each Park, still totally over crowded!
        2. Disney controls exactly how many pass holder of each level are allowed.
        3. By knowing how many people made reservation, Disney knows in advance how much more they can charge in addition to the normal base ticket price and the Ginnie+.
        4. It helps Disney in everyway possible with their staffing needs, minimizing OT cost and no wasted over staffing when the weather is bad, 5 days in an year.

        That’s why Disney is keeping the terrible Reservation system, all about them, not for their customers, what so e er!

    3. Geoff

      Keeps crowds down? 2 and 3 hour lines? Got to by a genie, a fast lane pass to bypass Lines? No way is it working for anybody but Disney. Walt would die over this crap. Putting all of my Disneyana items on EBay. About 50,000. Worth. Done with Mickey and all of the rip offs

    4. Lynn

      The longest wait times I’ve ever experienced at Disney was recently when reservations were required. I don’t think they are limiting numbers, just ensuring numbers for their own staffing information. 22 year DVC member and finding it less magical each year. So glad my kids experienced Disney before these changes.

      1. L

        I do not have a problem with the reservation system.Since making park reservations in advance let’s disney know capacity ahead of each day, my expectation is being able to enjoy the rides without hours long waits or paying extra to do so. The current situation makes the parks way too crowded to enjoy and is simply fleecing their customers with genie+ and LL. As a long time DVC member I am deeply disappointed.

    5. I am, I really don’t see how you think this lowers crowds!! I’ve been going since the early 70’s and it’s always crowded.!!! This is a bad rule and helps nothing!!!

  8. kelly

    I actually like the reservation system. No surprise that the park is at capacity when you get there, slightly less over crowding than before, and better planning for cast members. It does limit some of the spontaneity, but it’s better to check at home and see there are no reservations left for that day than to show up and be turned away because they’re at capacity. It doesn’t change the total number of people in the park, folks. If you can’t make a reservation for a day, you might’ve been turned away at the gate day-of instead.

    1. WeeksID

      I don’t mind the reservation system. What I hate is the Genie+/Lightning Lane crap. I go on vacation to stay OFF my phone- not to be constantly looking at it.

  9. Gail

    I don’t care for the reservations system due to if you want a a day of rest you just can’t change the reservations. Sometimes you get burnt out and you need a change. I like getting up and say I think I want to go to this park instead of the one I picked.

  10. Stacy Dunkerly

    YES he must keep the Park reservation system!!! The years previous with unlimited annual passholders were INSANE!!! Please please please keep the reservation system!!!

    1. Sarina

      Keep thinking like this and pass holders will take their money elsewhere which in turn raises non pass holders tickets, food prices, and gifts. Not everyone has money like you to keep paying those prices. And Disney laid off thousands who need jobs back. Now laying off 7000 more. Open the gates being in more people and hire more. Drop prices. And as a constant Disney attendee for over 26 years the crowds have remained the same. It’s all in your head if you think it’s down lol


  11. Amanda

    I honestly have no issues with the reservation system. I have to plan ahead for the trip, so I would never just go on a whim, even when I was a AP holder. I am a fan of a park that’s not as packed as it has been in the past. Maybe I am not the norm, but making a reservation isn’t an issue for my family

    1. Kelley

      Totally! I hope reservations stay forever.

  12. AW

    We won’t be back until this changes. Not happy about the restaurant menu changes to family style either. Stopped staying at the resorts because of the parking charges. At least that has been eliminated. Based on the way things are going I am expecting to never go back, which is really sad but they have made it unattainable for the middle class.

  13. Adam

    Flying in from Australia, I don’t have a problem with pre booking which days I’m going to attend each park. Two areas I have an issue with is having to use my 7 days water parks and more ticket in only 10 days. I think 14 would have been reasonable as I’d like to see the Buccaneers in September. Secondly, I’m dreading my Genie+ experience. Coming from the other side of the planet not knowing if I can ride Rise of the Resistance, Tron, Flight of passage or Guardians of the Galaxy until 7am on the morning of my visit is quite stressful. I’d much prefer a paid Fastpass system where I can book in advance my high demand rides and pay for them with my 7 day pass. If Bob is reading this, I arrive on 22nd September.

  14. Deb

    Going to and staying at Disney World has become too complicated. When I’m on vacation, I don’t want to plan out every minute of every day. Honestly, all the rules has made a trip there too intimidating. We won’t be going back anytime soon. It used to be such a thrill to go there. I don’t feel that way anymore. The magic is gone for me.

  15. Lisa Quirk

    Hate the reservation system , it makes no sense when half of the day you can go to any park anyway, and laying off all those park people makes no sense when the parks have been short cast members to begin with, the parks are dirty you can not get help when you need it, they are going to loose more guests so is it worth it, The reason why a lot of us enjoyed Disney over other parks was the cleanliness , and the fact you got so much for your money, I can not tell you how many times my plans change the day of that I have to go to the park because of work and when I have that moment to escape I land up going to Universal or Sea World


  16. Scott

    We have always been Disney fanatics and the decorations around our house each holiday show that. We were annual pass holders for several years and for a stretch of time we went 4 or 5 times a year. The changing of the fast pass was a real bummer because it forced you to plan out each day very carefully. Not much magic in that – it makes the whole party stress about being late to something because you might miss something you scheduled months in advance. I’ve been easily over 100 times but have not been for a few years now. reading all the comments here and elsewhere I am not sure when or if I will return. I live by the calendar and schedule every day at work, and I’d like to be spontaneous on vacation. If Disney can’t provide that I’ll look elsewhere.

    1. Judy Bourne

      My Daughter and I absolutely HATE having to make a reservation. We are Florida residents and at least for now, annual pass holders. We are both disabled and cannot stand on long lines so losing fast passes was a big blow to us. Then not being able to run up to Disney any time was the worst. We haven’t been in two years. Please at least take the reservation for Florida resident annual pass holders. We may not be able to go on anything but just being there again would be wonderful.

  17. Lynne

    I never liked the reservation system and I would like to see it go away. There are other ways to control the number of quests. Post the number for each day and guests wanting to visit can keep checking on line. Or for those coming from outside area can use reservation system. Not perfect I know but something.

  18. lovesdisney

    Changes always cause an interruption to an already set routine.Disney Parks had been putting forth excellent efforts to assure as magical a visit as could be possible, it worked for the paying guest however I’m sure the Cast Members needed some changes.(cause and effect).In order to run successfully they are going to have to try changes along the way.The interference for me regarding the reservation system is I have made less family trips only due to the fact of sometimes not having reservations and Hotel rooms available at the same time it would work for guests staying off property.I have witnessed many unfavorable changes since the reopening, I have also been in the company of Cast Members that have been Disney for years and they are the ones that have stored enough Magic to keep my family returning.The (Be our Guest , put our magic to the test)always worked best.

  19. Alma

    I don’t mind the park reservation system. It does help with keeping the attendance down. When we make our reservation for the hotel we always decide what park we want to go to on what day because of things going on in that park at the time. I do wish they would bring back the annual pass. They allow Florida residence but have not brought the one for DVC members back.

  20. Phillysub

    The layoffs represent 3% of a labor force that is approximately 220,000 employees. In reading the press releases about the layoffs, no where is it indicated that ‘many likely’ will be at the theme parks. There are many business sectors within Disney, not just theme parks. ITM is known for incompetent writing, should we now add embellishment? (sounds better than dishonest). If there is a source that refutes what I’ve stated, please share it.

  21. Mickeymouse3

    Iger summed up the reservation system up in a nice corporate nutshell. It’s all about keeping staff costs down.

    “Iger told shareholders that he expects to continue to limit Guest attendance at the Disney Parks, which helps them better distribute Disney Cast Members, observe Guest behavior, and, ultimately, turn more profit.”

    Iger could care less what the guests want.

  22. Tiana

    Top Key holders and guests staying at the resort hotels shouldn’t have to make park reservations. I hope he does something about the lack of cleanliness at DLR/ DCA and their parking structures. Too many bad cm’s as well getting paid to stand around and do nothing. They need to go . I’ve observed that ongoing issue too many times.

  23. One of the problems is making a park reservation then 60 day before you go. Then when you make dinner reservations, you may not be able to get the restaurant you want in the park you reserved. At that point you may not be able to switch park reservations to go to a park where you can get dinner.

  24. Kelley

    They have to keep reservations at Disneyland especially, or the local APs will overrun the parks. I hope they stay forever for that reason. We have come in from out of state and it’s a zoo of locals who think they own Disneyland.

    1. Kathy

      Absolutely! I agree completely Kelley! We had decided not to renew our passes because of the entitled “Assholders” flooding the parks and making it just miserable.

  25. Debbie

    I agree with the majority of people’s comments. I don’t want to have to plan which park I want to go to so many days in advance. We go a few times a year and this is getting annoying, we are from Illinois and meet friends from Alabama there and it is tricky trying to coordinate reservations. Also they announce the performers for F&W so late, then it is difficult to change my reservation. We are DVC and AP, I will be attending a function for work there in a few weeks and I hope if I get free time I will be able to get a reservation.

  26. Wolfie

    Disney don’t listen to the people who visit the parks. Our opinion does not matter to them. It’s all about how much money they can make out of us. Walt must be turning over in his grave. We went to WDW in November and the magic is gone

  27. Dawn

    As expensive as it is to go to Disney World , having to make park reservations is just about making money. The wait on rides are just as long as ever. As far as distributing Cast Members is ridiculous as you have had people in the past that could manage the parks with the Cast members at that time. Plus you have just cut 7,000 employees due to money. We have been many, many times and from our experience we don’t always want to follow a strict schedule. Sometimes we get up and change our plans about going into a certain park or maybe we are just extra tired and want to go to Disney Springs instead and relax. I am not for a company dictating every aspect of my vacation that I have had to work so hard to save for our family trips.

  28. Lynne

    I, absolutely hate the Reservation system. We used to be Annual Pass Holders. I am a DVC owner too. I used to jump in my car and pop over to Disney for a few hours. Sometimes to attend Seminars and/or grab a wonderful lunch and pick up a few things, sometimes just because I needed a Happy, Magical day. If my children were in town, we would run over for the day or maybe longer after checking out activities being offered in the Parks. That no longer happens. Since this System came into existence we gave up our Passes. We were pass-holders for decades.

    1. Kathy

      We were passholders for decades too but it was the Los cal people who would just “pop over” that made it a miserable experience, not a magical one. Keep those reservations in place.
      I know a lot of people don’t agree with that but it usually those same people who made it miserable for the non locals.

  29. Susan Mayer

    I am 75. My husband is 79. We have been going to Disneyland since opening month in 1955, We are both disabled and have been annual passholders since the system began. Unfortunately we cannot totally plan when our health will let us go. On days we feel well we cannot spontaneously decide to make the trip from the San Fernando Valley to Anaheim and have a joyous day. On days for which we make reservations sometimes we are in poor enough health that it is impossible to go, and if we don’t cancel the night before we are penalized. Same goes with weather. This Sunday there is 30% chance of rain, and we have reservations. We won’t know until that morning if we can make the trip because we use mobility scooters which cannot get wet. We have been supporting this park since it’s inception and are now feeling extremely betrayed.

  30. Olivia

    I am a key holder and was a pass holder and I like the reservation system (if it worked) the park is always overcrowded even though they say the controls the number of people daily. I do miss just going on when I feel like it but now I just have to plan ahead of time when I go. No problem . I just wish the reservation system did something to control the crowds that limit your enjoyment of the parks

  31. Diana P.

    I understand the need to limit the capacity in some of the parks. What I don’t like, for example, that my family of 10, 8 got MK reservations on 4/4/23 and us 2 grandparents, (AP) did not!! We are linked. All are traveling from out of state. Not fair that they broke up our family trip. Still very upset about this. I’ve tried emailing and calling every number available to no avail. Wish there was a way that this does not happen to another family trip. Very disturbing!!

  32. Eric

    The reservation system is not to limit crowds at all, it is in fact designed to boost attendance. You ever heard the term that when something is in limited supply or release, people want it more? Same thing with reservation system, it encourages people to pledge to go because they have that reservation. Quick grab it before someone else does!!

    Yes the parks are busier than ever. Without reservation system the parks would be more empty.

  33. Dean

    My family isn’t going back until they resolve all this stupidity. Universal it is…

  34. Matthew

    I have no problem with park reservations. I just refuse to pay for fastpasses. They need to bring back the original fastpass model.

  35. Gary

    I started going to Disney world 25 years ago didn’t believe the hype.but then when I was there it was unbelievable all the work stuff and reality faded away. I’ve been every year since was there just last February but the last two trips have to plan when you eat go get on rides it’s just like being at work the price increases are ridiculous so my family will not be back went to Tennessee and more fun didn’t have to plan everything all day

  36. Kathy

    I AM a fan of the reservation system. Maybe that will limit all the entitled local passholders that feel they should be able to “go on a whim whenever they feel like it” and jam the parks so it is absolutely miserable for everyone who can’t just come back another day. We were passholders for decades and had decided to not renew because it just wasn’t fun anymore.
    Some guests do come from a distance and it just ruins the experience to be fighting your way through endless rude people.
    I am NOT a fan of Genie+ and all of that mess. No matter how they spin it it’s just another way to gouge guests and make it harder to have fun. Bring back the fast passes!
    As for park hopper restricts …meh. No biggie. I do think it reduces some of the crowd surge but, whatever.

  37. Pete

    I was an AP for over 10 years at WDW. I live about 30 minutes away. I can see how the reservation system and Genie + can be wonderful for guests who do not live in the Central Florida area. You are making your plans in advance. Hotels, transportation, etc, so knowing that you will have a spot in the park in advance is great. However, for a local, I ‘m not thinking 60 days in advance. I don’t know if my kids will have a school project, a birthday party to attend, a sporting event, etc. If I had a free Saturday evening it was awesome to be able to spend an evening at a park. With all these systems in place, its impossible. Not to mention, the only AP’s that they are currently selling have every single weekend for all parks blocked out. And their 4 day Florida resident park passes have to be used in 4 days. With kids in school, unless you want to pull your child out of classes, that’s impossible. I still visit areas on property and have a great time, but the parks are basically off limits right now. It’s extremely disappointing. In my eyes, their goal is to have the parks only filled with potential hotel guests. The locals who aren’t paying upwards of $400 a night, aren’t worth their time anymore. I’ll always cherish my memories of my times at the parks with my kids over the years, but it seems they are destined to only be memories. And, and btw Disney, both of my teenage kids purchased AP’s at Universal and they love it. In a few short years they will be parents also, and their loyalty will be to Universal, not Disney.

  38. Ashley Mead

    We cut our holisay short in December because it just wasn’t the same experience as our previous visits. My mane gripe is the continued use of phones and digital apps. The whole point of Disney parks is to escape your everyday life and be transported somewhere else. People aren’t experiencing the physical part because everyone is on their phones trying to plan, join virtual queues and fast passing. It takes every drop of magic out of the place. My favourite place on the planet has become hideous. Disney is dead.

  39. I visit Disney World every couple years when I visit friends in Orlando. I cannot always predict when I will be able to go..This makes reservations Very Difficult. As I am older now, being denied entry due to no prior reservation, makes visiting the Park with my local friends even more difficult…And as they have been anual pass holders for they have to contend with the new regulations on them. Perhaps it is time to visit another park so we can enjoy it together and time to rule out spending our money at…’Holyier than Thou Disney’….Personally, I think if Walt Disney could come back for one day….Iger would also be walking through the exit door with his last paycheck in hand.

  40. I visit Disney World every couple years when I visit friends in Orlando. I cannot always predict when I will be able to go..This makes reservations Very Difficult. As I am older now, being denied entry due to no prior reservation, makes visiting the Park with my local friends even more difficult…And as they have been anual pass holders for they have to contend with the new regulations on them. Perhaps it is time to visit another park so we can enjoy it together and time to rule out spending our money at…’Holyier than Thou Disney’….Personally, I think if Walt Disney could come back for one day….Iger would also be walking through the exit door with his last paycheck in hand.

  41. Kay

    Get rid of park reservations! I missed doing things because of the reservation system. Wanted to do things at all 4 parks the last day of our stay but not allowed to visit more than 2 parks in a day. We missed attractions earlier in the week due to rain.


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