As a result of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, Disney was forced to close the Walt Disney World Resort on March 16, 2020. As part of the re-opening protocols, Disney announced that they would be introducing a new Disney Park Pass Reservation System to help control capacity at the theme parks.
On June 20, 2020 further details were given on how the new reservation system would work.
Requirements to use the Disney Park Pass Reservation System
Going forward all guests will require two things in order to make an advanced park entry reservation:
- a My Disney Experience account (accessed either through the app or online)
- an existing ticket or an Annual Pass linked to your My Disney Experience account
If you have a Disney Resort hotel reservation then that also needs to be linked to your My Disney Experience account.
If you plan to visit a park with a group of friends and/or family then you can link their tickets together in order to make group reservations for the same park and day.
Note that you cannot mix hotel guests and non hotel guests in the same group nor can you mix regular ticket holders and Annual Passholders; you will need to make multiple reservations, one for each distinct group.
You then need to select a date followed by a park and then an arrival time. Arrival time seems to default to the current park opening hours but it may be there to allow Disney to stagger arrivals if needed.
Numbers will be limited so you should make your reservations as soon as possible.
Park reservations can only be made up to and including September 26, 2021. Tickets that were due to expire on December 31, 2020 are now valid until September 26, 2021. Interestingly, this is just a couple of days before the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom on October 1, 2021.
To enter a park you will need both a valid ticket and a park reservation for same day and for multi-day tickets you need to make separate reservations for each day.
Access to the Disney Park Pass Reservation System
Access to the reservation system is being rolled out in four phases:
- From June 22 — guests staying at Disney Resorts and other select hotels (like the Swan and Dolphin) with an existing ticket
- From June 28 — Annual Passholders without a resort stay
- From June 28 — all other guests with existing tickets
- Later in the summer — all guests will be able to purchase tickets and make reservations
Annual Passholders will be limited to three reservations at a time.
To start with no park hopping will be available so it will be strictly one park per day but you will be able to exit and then re-enter the same park on the same day. Disney hope to reintroduce the park hopping feature by 2021.
At this time Disney has stopped selling park tickets but from June 24, guests with existing hotel reservations but no tickets will be able to upgrade to a vacation package with tickets.
From June 28, guests will be able to purchase new Disney Resort hotel packages and tickets for 2021 arrivals up to September 26, 2021. Disney is yet to announce an official date when they will start selling hotel packages and tickets for the remainder of 2020.