Breaking Down Disney World’s New Theme Park Reservation Policy for 2024

Screenshot 2024 01 29 at 12.00.11 PM

As we step into 2024, Walt Disney World Resort has introduced some significant changes to its theme park reservation system, creating a sense of excitement among guests. With updates and variables affecting different ticket types and visitor categories, the excitement is often tempered by guests left wondering: “Do I need to make a park reservation for my visit?” Understanding these changes is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable Disney experience, as no one wants to show up at a Disney park to be told they are unable to enter because they forgot to make a reservation! This guide aims to demystify the process and explain who still needs to make park reservations.

Related: More Good to Go Days Added to the Disney World Calendar for Annual Passholders

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Park pass reservations, a system introduced by Disney following the COVID-related park closures, is essentially a way for the resort to manage the number of guests in each theme park on any given day. This system requires guests to book a reservation for park entry in advance, in addition to having a valid admission ticket. The primary goal is to ensure a balanced distribution of visitors across the parks, enhancing the guest experience by reducing overcrowding and long wait times. Originally implemented as a response to capacity constraints and to offer a better guest experience, this system has evolved since its inception, adapting to changing circumstances and guest feedback

As of January 9, 2024, Walt Disney World has updated its park pass reservation requirements. Here’s a breakdown of who currently needs to book a park pass reservation and who does not:

  1. Date-Based Ticket Holders: If you purchase a date-based ticket for a specific day, you will no longer need to make a separate park pass reservation from January 9, 2024, onwards. This applies to all date-based tickets, whether they are single-day or multi-day, and also includes tickets obtained as part of a hotel package.
  2. Annual Passholders and Cast Members: Even with the changes, Annual Passholders and Disney Cast Members will still need to make reservations. However, there will be special “good-to-go” days where they can visit the parks without needing a park pass reservation. The specifics of these days. Disney has released ‘good-to-go’ days for January and February, with the dates clearly noted in the park pass calendar.
  3. Park Hopping: Starting from January 9, 2024, time restrictions on park hopping will be lifted. Guests with Park Hopper tickets or an Annual Pass can visit another theme park at any time of the day during park hours without having to wait until the afternoon. Disney bus transportation between parks now begins at 10 a.m. to allow for earlier park hopping.

Related: Don’t Make These Common Disney Mistakes

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This significant change in the park pass reservation system is part of Disney’s ongoing adjustments to improve guest experience and park operations. We hope that the advent of good-to-go days marks the beginning of the end for the need for park passes for all guests, and that the park pass system will soon be a thing of the past.

Are you excited about these adjustments to the park pass system? Leave us a comment to let us know!

Ready to book your next magical vacation, but don’t know where to start? Want to enjoy a Walt Disney World vacation without the stress of planning, booking, and tracking trip changes and promotions? Contact me today! As an agent with Destinations To Travel specializing in Disney destinations, I can help you stress less and enjoy your vacation more! The best part? My services are provided at NO ADDITIONAL COST when you book your Disney vacation package through me!

Breaking Down Disney World's New Theme Park Reservation Policy for 2024 1

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