Disney’s Park Pass Reservation system is controversial, having originally started early after the Park reopened following the pandemic closure. Its original intent was to control the amount of Guests in the Park for safety reasons, but many Guests now complain it’s unnecessary, annoying, and being used to keep Cast Member staffing at a minimum.
Well, now, we’re seeing the first signs of the reservation system being rolled back – and perhaps it’s the first step in the reservation system going away for good.
Last month, Disney Parks Blog announced that several measures would be taken to add more flexibility to Guests’ trips. Free self-parking would return at Disney Resort hotels, those who purchase Genie+ would have their attraction photo downloads included, and finally, for Annual Passholders, Park reservation requirements would be relaxed.
But what does “relaxed” mean? Today, Disney announced that starting April 18, Annual Passholders will not need a reservation to visit a Park after 2 p.m. The only exception to this rule are Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park, meaning it looks like Disney still anticipates those being the busiest days and Park of the season.
The blog post also says that the reservation system “remains important to manage attendance in our parks, especially on busier days,” so it seems like Disney is making its best attempt to stay put in the reservation system for at least a little bit longer. However, eliminating the need for Annual Passholders to get a reservation could be a sign that Disney is testing the waters.
Back in November, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the unpopular reservation system wasn’t going away just yet, but also acknowledged that he hadn’t used the system and would want to consult with Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro about it first.
Guests, however, are impatient for the end of the system. Many cite the difficulty in planning a Disney vacation with all the different reservations you have to make, the difference in service quality with a smaller staffing of Cast Members, and the all around headache that requiring a Park reservation creates.
What do you think of the reservation system?