The Walt Disney World Resort recently introduced the Disney Park Pass Reservation System. This reservation system is the gateway between your ticket and actually entering the park moving into the remainder of 2021.
This review covers all the information you need to make your theme park reservation, including important dates, setting up your initial account, and step-by-step instructions for securing those theme park reservations.
Disney Theme Park Reservation System
At this time, all guests with valid admission can begin to reserve theme park entry. To reserve theme park entry, a valid theme park ticket is required. You must have both the theme park entry reservation and accompanying ticket.
Are you eligible for the Disney Park Reservation System? To make these reservations, you must fall into one of the following categories:
- Resort Guests–those with future resort reservations and valid theme park admission.
- Theme Park Ticket Guests— those with valid theme park tickets.
- Annual Passholders–can reserve up to three days at a time, or those pass holders with resort reservations can make reservations for the length of stay, and still have three additional reservations.
Important–In efforts to maintain attendance, a theme park reservation and valid ticket will be a requirement for each person in your group of the ages of three years old and up. Additionally, there is a limit of one park per day, meaning no park hopping.
Disney’s website states that “Guests will be able to view park reservation availability online prior to purchasing their tickets.” You can now view that eligibility in advance here.
- Theme Park Reservations are limited. They are not guaranteed until your reservation has been finalized.
- One park per day, no park hopping. There is no mention of re-entry at this time, but we can probably assume that you can leave and re-enter the same park as needed. However, keep in mind, the parks will be operating under reduced hours. Time in the parks will be even more valuable.
- You have to have a park reservation for every single day of entry. If you are visiting for say five days, and hold a five-day ticket, you must acquire an additional theme park reservation for each individual five days.
- Disney is recommending that guests make park reservations as soon as you complete the ticket purchase. Again they reiterate that availability can change in a moment’s notice until the reservation process is finalized.
Preparing to Make your Disney Theme Park Reservation
There are four steps to complete in order to secure your theme park reservation to any of the four Disney parks.
Link Valid Admission to your My Disney Experience Account
- Sign in to your My Disney Experience account or Disney account online. You will then need to create an account if you do not have one. Existing users can use their already established accounts. This can be done here.
- At this point, you’ll need to link your tickets to your account. You’ll also want to make sure your resort hotel information is linked to your account if applicable. This is extremely important. Everyone staying with you in your room needs to be listed on your reservation and have valid theme park admission. If not you won’t be able to secure theme park reservations for everyone in your party.
Create Your Party in the Account
- When adding your reservation, the My Disney Experience app will prompt you to create a party from your Family and Friends list.
- Add the family and friends that will be visiting the parks with you and then select “continue.”
- If you don’t have a friend or family member on the list, you can select “add a guest.”
- Important: In some cases, you might need to make more than one park reservation for the group if you have different types of admission like an annual passholder and theme park ticket holder combined.
- *Additionally, if you are staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, everyone in your group must be listed on the hotel reservation. If you see someone is missing from your reservation, say your child, you need to contact either your travel agent or the Walt Disney World Resort to have them added.
Selecting Dates and Parks for Theme Park Reservation
- After selecting all of your group, you’ll proceed to select the date and desired theme park you want to visit. All theme parks with availability will be listed, note some dates might show only select parks available due to capacity restrictions.
- This portion of the process requires that you Select a date via the calendar, Select a Theme Park, and then Select a Time.
- Then you can confirm your reservation.
Review and Confirm Plans
- Lastly, you will need to review and confirm your plans.
- After this step, your reservation will show up in the My Disney Experience app.
- Below is a walkthrough of the entire process.
How To Make Disney Theme Park Reservations:
Since the system is now in use, I’ve updated this review to show you step-by-step instructions on how to make your theme park reservations moving forward.
Step 1–Sign in to the My Disney Experience app via a regular browser, preferably on a computer. Disney recommends not to use the mobile app for this process at this time. You can access your online account here.
Step 2-After logging in scroll down under your user name in the top right-hand corner. Highlight and select “Disney Park Pass System.” An example of this is in the photo below.
Step 3–You will then be taken to the Disney Parks Update Page where you will need to select “Make a Disney Park Pass Reservation.”
Step 4–A calendar will appear prompting you to select a date. You need to select what date you are eligible for. As far as strategy goes here, I’m sure some will come into play as we move into the future. I’ll discuss that a little more down below.
Step 5–After selecting the date, you will then be prompted to select a park. Hopefully, the park you are trying to select will be available. As you can see in the picture below the parks will appear at the bottom of your screen. The hours that each park will be open are shown underneath the available parks.
After this screen, you’ll get to select a time and confirm your reservation. For those of you making multiple theme park reservations the system will ask if you would like to plan your next day. At this point, you can just start the process over.
No Park Availability Screen
The alternative screen looks like the one below when no theme park reservation is available for your desired day and park.
If you reach this screen, you’ll want to check the availability calendar for your desired park days. As you can see right now it allows you to search by ticket type and park availability. Just hover over the type of ticket you have.
For those of you visiting as an annual passholder and also as a resort guest, you need to “select Disney Resort Guests.” Disney will allow you to make reservations for the length of stay.
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort with tickets, select Resort Guests.
If you are traveling to Orlando but staying at an off-site hotel near Disney World, condo, or any location that’s not a Disney Resort, select Theme Park Tickets Guests.
Lastly, annual passholders not staying on property will need to select Annual Passholders. You are allowed to hold three days of reservations at a time in addition to any on-site resort stays.
The good thing about the new theme park reservation system is you can view it well in advance. Hopefully, some of the technical stuff will work itself out in the coming weeks.
It appears there is definitely an advantage for resort guests. This is because they can make theme park reservations for the length of stay.
If you are planning on traveling over the holidays, I would have a travel agent on standby. You will want to make reservations and tickets as soon as possible to secure your desired dates.
Additionally, the Disney park hopper system is available again in 2021. This gives you the option to hop to parks after 2:00 p.m. that have availability.
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And if you are planning a trip to one of the Disney water parks, check out our full ride guide to Disney’s Blizzard Beach.
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