Reservations required: How to use Disney World’s park pass reservation system

Oct 17, 2020

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So, you’re thinking of making a trip to Disney World?

You probably already know about the face mask requirements for guests 2 and up, the lack of FastPass+, logistical changes within the parks, social distancing at character meals and even adjustments within the Disney resort hotels. But, one major change to look into before ever packing your bags is the need to make a reservation to enter the Disney World theme parks.

Related: Here’s what it is like at a reopened Disney World

Dubbed the Disney Park Pass system, if you want to visit Disney World before 26 September 2021, you’re going to need to secure a park reservation well in advance of your visit. Here’s how to make that all-important Disney World Park Pass reservation.

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(Photo by Melissa Ann Photography)
(Photo by Melissa Ann Photography)

For 2020 You need a ticket — and maybe a hotel booking, too

First things first, if you want to visit a Disney theme park in 2020, you’ll need a Disney World theme park ticket or annual pass to make a park pass reservation.

There are three different Disney World park pass reservation calendars — one for those with both theme park ticket or annual passes and a Disney resort hotel booking, those with an annual pass but no Disney hotel reservation and those only with existing individual theme park tickets.

You’ll notice that availability for each bucket of guests is different. Some categories of guests have access to more inventory than others.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

If you can’t find the hotel you want for sale directly from Disney, remember you can rent Disney Vacation Club points and use those to make a booking at a DVC Disney resort. In some cases, such as at the partially closed Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the DVC rooms are the only ones available for booking.

Alternatively, if you can find one of the Bonnet Creek or Disney Springs hotels that are accepting bookings and traditionally offer Disney benefits (such as 60 day FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours) and link that to your My Disney Experience account, they should also serve as your necessary Disney resort booking.

(Photo by Melissa Ann Photography)
(Photo by Melissa Ann Photography)

When you can make a Park Pass reservation

You can make a Disney World Park Pass reservation as soon as you have a theme park ticket or an annual pass for visits until 26 September 2021. If you want to book under the resort guest availability, then you’ll need to have that reservation made and linked to your My Disney Experience account, too.

(Screenshot courtesy of Disney)
(Screenshot courtesy of Disney)

You can view park reservation availability online before purchasing tickets.

How to book your Disney Park Pass reservation

Assuming you have a My Disney Experience account set up, you’ve got your theme park tickets and any relevant hotel reservations linked, you’ll then log in and select “Disney Park Pass reservation” from the drop-down menu.

Screenshot courtesy of Disney

Once on this screen, you’ll select “Make a Disney Park Pass Reservation” in blue on the upper right-hand side.

Alternatively, you can go straight to this link to start the process.

You’ll then need to select your party that you wish to enter the park with on a given date. Remember, everyone you select is going to need a valid park ticket or Disney annual pass attached to their name. The only exception is for those who are under 3 years old that do not need a ticket or Park Pass reservation to enter Disney World.

From there, you’ll select the date and park you wish to visit of the four Walt Disney World theme parks.

For now, you can only select one park per day as there is no park-hopping unless you’ve booked a pricey private VIP tour. You can also only make a maximum of three park day bookings at a time if you have an annual pass but don’t have a Disney resort stay attached to your account.

We’ve noticed that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the park selling out the quickest for popular days, which is no shock since it has the new Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway attraction and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Screenshot courtesy of Disney

Once you select your park, you’ll see a screen that asks you to select your entry time. Perhaps in the future, this will be used to select a specific time to enter the park but, for now, the only options we see are for the full day.

Once you’ve selected your time, that’s it: You should see a congratulations screen.

When it first launched, the park pass system would error out at times, but over time the demand on the site seems to have evened out and you shouldn’t have problems.

Assuming everything worked as intended, you should see the reservation under the “My Plans” part of your My Disney Experience account.

Bottom line

Going to Disney World in a pandemic era is certainly different, but it isn’t all bad.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Some Disney World planning aspects are easier now than in normal times (no FastPass+ reservations or making dining reservations six months out), but you do still need to plan so you can commit to which park you want to visit on which day. Once you know your plans and have your park tickets, you can make your Disney Park Pass reservation and count down to walking down Main Street U.S.A.

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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