Disney Park Rule Splits Up Married Couple, Husband Rejected From Entry

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disneyland Railroad entrance to park

Credit: Disney

Disney theme parks all have certain rules and regulations in which guests must follow. At times, these rules might be expected — such as knowing that you should not steal, or interfere with other guests in a way which may ruin their vacation.

Mickey's Fun Wheel and Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at Disneyland Resort's California Adventure
Credit: Brandi Alexandra via Unsplash

But, there are other Disney park rules which have been added since the theme parks reopened, which can make planning your Disney vacation more complex than planning a wedding! At this point, there are so many intricacies that guests are expected to know, which has led to multiple disappointing outcomes over the past couple of years.

Many guests planning a vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland typically have a lot of planning to do. Aside from planning what hotel you want to stay at, guests must decide what days they want to visit the parks. For Disneyland Resort, are you planning on visiting Disneyland Park on day one? Or Disney California Adventure? Are you purchasing Park Hopper tickets or doing one park per day?

Elsa from Frozen during For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

When guests visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland, many expect to wait in long lines. Attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom can quickly get to 120 minutes of waiting on a regularly crowded day, while attractions like Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can climb to four hours or more on busy days.

At Disneyland, plans can also get as complex as deciding the order of attractions you want to visit. Maybe you will start off with Indiana Jones Adventure, move to Haunted Mansion Holiday, knock out “it’s a small world”, jump on Big Thunder Mountain and then Space Mountain, all before you head to Tiana’s Palace for lunch! This also might be something you need to work out on your Disney Genie+ for Lightning Lane options.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT inside Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Speaking of food, deciding what snacks you want to eat, from churros to the Red Wagon corn dog to turkey legs, to popcorn, and more might be an active running list on your phone that you are looking to complete.

In addition, guests may also be deciding what merchandise they like best, while scouting for a spot to watch Disneyland’s fireworks show. There are so many choices that guests must make while they are in the parks if they want to try to experience as much as they can.

One of the biggest rules at Disneyland Resort, however, must be followed before guests even are allowed access to the parks.

At Disneyland, one thing that all guests are required to do is book a Park Pass Reservation for either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. If they do not do this, even with a valid ticket, they will not be allowed into the park until they make the reservation. The catch? There are only a limited amount of reservations available each day, and if they are all gone, you will not be able to get in.

A wide shot of the front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park in California.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Many locals and Disney aficionados are aware of this, as it has been a rule since the pandemic — however, there are hundreds of thousands of guests who do not follow Disney news outlets regularly, and expect that when they buy their tickets, that means they will be able to enter the theme park and see Sleeping Beauty Castle and eat some churro toffee while waving hi to Mickey Mouse.

This rule is also present at Walt Disney World; however, it has been heavily modified. Annual Passholders can now enter any Disney park without a Park Pass Reservation after 2:00 p.m. (the only caveat is that Magic Kingdom still requires a Park Pass on weekends). Disney World Park Pass Reservation requirements will be abolished from January 9, 2024. Starting with visits on January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets.

Even for guests looking to book a Park Pass Reservation for EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the once difficult-to-attain passes are now always wide open, and guests no longer need to worry about booking their random Tuesday visit to EPCOT three week in advance.

Disneyland’s reservations, on the other hand, sell out fast, and when they are gone, they are entirely gone. 

This has continued to be a pressing issue for groups who travel to Disneyland and think that all they need is a ticket. We recently shared the journey of a family who had not been to Disney since the pandemic and were unaware of the new rules. They only had one day to visit the parks, and were rejected at the gate as the Park Pass Calendar was entirely full.

Thankfully, a cast member made some magic and they were able to get in, however, that is not the case for a majority of guests who are trapped in the same position.

Holiday decorations shown on the outside front portion of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Resort in California.
Credit: Disneyland Resort – The Haunted Mansion

One couple recently shared their story, which split up a husband and wife for hours. 

Jenmagicalmom took to Instagram and wrote, “🚨Don’t make this mistake!🚨 @disneyland still requires park reservation, so as soon as you purchase your park ticket, make your park reservation asap so your party won’t get split up”. In the reel she posted, she noted that her husband was rejected from the theme park she had reservations for. It seems he was able to get a reservation for Disneyland, but her pass was unable to be changed from Disney California Adventure.

A beautiful shot of Space Mountain located at California's Disneyland.
Credit: Disneyland Resort

Park Hopping is not allowed until 11:00 a.m., so that means that this couple had to explore Disney alone for multiple hours before the husband would be allowed entry into the same park as his wife.

The comment section proved yet again that this rule is certainly stress-inducing and confusing. One guest said, “Wait, this makes me nervous. I thought the reservation was made the same time you booked the tickets. How do I do a reservation?” Guests can make their Park Pass Reservation on the Disneyland app after they purchase their tickets.

In the comments, the poster did note that they eventually were able to meet up at 11 a.m.!

Have you had any issues with Disney’s Park Pass Reservation System? 

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