In order to help manage attendance, Disney World is implementing a theme park reservation system upon reopening — which means that there’s a BRAND NEW element that guests will need to plan for their vacation!
These theme park reservations will be available through September 26, 2021, and all guests will need a reservation in order to enter. As with all new processes, there is likely to be a bit of a learning curve — and since we know how important Disney World vacation planning is, we’re here to help! Here are five mistakes you’ll want to avoid while making your theme park reservations!
1. Not Making a Reservation for Each Day of a Multi-Day Ticket
Okay, let’s start out with a biggie — you’ll need a separate reservation for each day in a theme park! So, if you have a multi-day ticket, don’t snag your reservation for Magic Kingdom on the first day and assume that you’re good to visit the park for the length of your trip!
Yes, you can visit the Magic Kingdom on multiple days if you’d like — but you’ll need to secure a reservation for each day of your ticket. And keep in mind that the reservations are subject to availability! Which brings us to our next point…
2. Waiting to Make Your Theme Park Reservations
Prior to the theme park closure, many guests enjoyed having some spontaneity in their Disney World vacation — maybe you’re used to deciding which park to visit based on how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If that sounds like you, you might want to switch up your planning style and make your theme park reservation as early as possible.
The reservations are subject to availability, so if you wait until the last minute, you might end up missing out. Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ first few days sold out quickly on the program’s first day!
So, when can you make your reservations? Disney Resort and other select hotel Guests with valid theme park admission could make reservations beginning June 22nd. Annual Passholders without an already-booked Resort Hotel stay can make reservations beginning June 26th. And existing ticket holders can make reservations beginning June 28th.
On June 28th, all guests will be able to purchase new Disney Resort hotel packages and theme park tickets and make theme park reservations for arrivals in 2021. Theme park availability WILL be visible before you buy! So, if you’re planning on heading to Disney World in the next year or so, be sure to snag your theme park reservations ASAP. (Note that Disney has paused hotel reservations and ticket purchases for 2020 at this time. Stay tuned for information about when they reopen those bookings and purchases later this summer.)
Here are all of the rides and attractions that will be available at Magic Kingdom when the park reopens!
3. Not Linking Your Hotel and Park Tickets to My Disney Experience Ahead of Time
Guests will need to use their My Disney Experience account to make theme park reservations. So, if you don’t have an MDE account, start by making one at DisneyWorld.com!
Your tickets (and eligible hotel stays) must be linked to your account so that the Park Pass system recognizes your ticket eligibility, so you’ll need to be sure to link your park admission ticket numbers (usually listed on the back of the ticket) and Disney Resort hotel reservation BEFORE you try to book park passes.
Each person in your travel party (e.g. the people you want to visit the parks with) must have their valid admission linked. And this can be a surprisingly time-consuming process, especially if you run into any confusion — so we suggest taking care of this as far ahead of time as possible to minimize any delays in your theme park reservation selections!
4. Not Linking Your Friends and Family Ahead of Time
And with the theme park reservation system, guests will also need to have all of the members of their party added to their Family & Friends list in order to add them to the park reservation. Again, don’t underestimate the time it can take to get your party connected — your friends will need to confirm that they approve of linking their MDE account to your list!
So, make sure that all of the members of your travel party are added to your Family & Friends list ASAP to prevent delays in snagging those park reservations!
5. Not Deciding on a Plan With Your Family Ahead of Time
There are a few additional factors to consider with the theme park reservation system. First, guests can only choose one park per day, so park hopping will not be an option (at least, for the foreseeable future). Also, everyone in your selected travel party will need to go to the same park that you snagged a reservation for, so again, there is less opportunity for spontaneity than in the past.
With those things in mind, it’s important to talk to your family as early as possible to formulate a plan. Which park(s) are your absolute must-dos? Have more than 4 days? Which parks do you want to repeat?
Be sure to decide as a family where your priorities lie and make your reservations accordingly!
As with any new process, there is definitely a learning curve with the theme park reservation system. But, by avoiding these mistakes, you can simplify the process and set yourself up for a successful visit to the newly reopened Disney World!
What do you think about the new theme park reservation system? Share your thoughts in the comments!