Disney Acknowledges Park Reservation System Failure, Announces New Guidelines for 2024

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Disney CEO Bob Iger smiles in a picture frame in front of a blurred image of the Cinderella Castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom

Credit: Inside The Magic

According to CEO Bob Iger, Walt Disney World Resort will eliminate its entire Park reservation system for the foreseeable future. Here’s what you need to know if you’re traveling to the Parks anytime soon. After being told the system was suitable for Guests, it would appear Disney is backtracking on this statement that has been made since 2020.

Bob Iger, pictured in front of Main Street, U.S.A. as Magic Kingdom suffers from low Walt Disney World crowds.
Credit: Inside the Magic

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Disney World – How the Reservation System Started

When the global pandemic struck, Disney World shut its doors for nearly five months before reopening to the public. To keep up with CDC requirements and safety measures, the Parks had to implement a new system where Guests had to jump online to make a reservation before entering any of the four theme Parks and water Parks throughout the Resort. The system has been criticized heavily as many Guests have complained over the years about how it is outdated and does not allow anyone to book the dream vacation they desire. Former controversial CEO Bob Chapek, AKA Bob Paycheck, implemented the system. The system was created to provide a better Guest experience as the world began to heal from the downfall of COVID-19. It was reported that Disney would start to drop the system back in January, but that news has left many confused and perplexed as the reservation continues to be alive and well as we push through August. The information about the reservation system changing was for Annual Passholders only and for visiting the Parks later in the day, after a specific time.

Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom decked out with Disney Halloween decorations.
Credit: Disney World | Magic Kingdom

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Q3 Earnings Call With the Walt Disney Company

Yesterday was the earnings call for WDW and its worldwide company as Bob Iger and the board of directors learned about how much success or failure Disney has had in the recent quarter. According to the earnings call, Disney World dipped in revenue since last quarter, and Disney Resorts overseas brought more money to the company. Disney+ saw a significant dip in subscribers as they lost 300,000 subscribers. But the company did make a total of $22.3 billion, bringing the company up by 4% in revenue. The Parks, in total, also saw a 13% increase, bringing in $8.3 billion in revenue. There are a lot of recent business highlights that Disney brought to the attention of its shareholders during the earnings call yesterday. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) is set to be the most significant electronic home video release ever for Disney domestically. TRON Lightcycle / Run opened at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on April 4. But they also mentioned how the Park reservations system for Walt Disney World specifically will no longer be required for date-based tickets beginning in 2024. This brings us to today and how things have changed and will change in the future.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

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The Park Reservation System Is No Longer “Good for Us”?

After three years of repeated mentions of how good the par reservation system was for us, we now see this elimination as a business highlight during an earnings call. This goes entirely against what was previously mentioned in 2020. We were told that the Park reservation system would be good for us. For three years, nearly four, Guests from around the world had to input their information into a faulty approach to gain access to a theme Park they had saved up for to bring their family to Orlando to enjoy a vacation. But the Parks saw no such breathing room. The Resort sometimes remained at capacity. Crowd levels returned to normal in a short amount of time. COVID became a thing of the past in 2023, despite a recent uptick in cases. Not counting the summer season, which has seen a minuscule dip in crowd levels, the Park reservation system that was in place and suitable for everyone will now be considered a massive failure for Disney and the entire company.

If you’re planning on visiting Disney World and aren’t aware of all the experiences this place offers, look no further. Each Disney Park provides a variety of attractions and experiences. Disney Springs is where you want to go if you’re looking to shop before you enter the Disney Resort. The Parks include Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. The Resorts include Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Resort, Animation Resort, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Walt Disney World Swan, Polynesian Village Resort, and Swan Reserve. Disney is also home to several water Parks for you and your family to stay cool in the Florida sun. Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and a few others as well. As a Guest, learn more about potential closures if you plan to visit soon.

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