We’ve seen crowd levels changing at the Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs since they reopened a few months ago.
We’ve also seen Disney Springs reach capacity recently. That got us thinking, if you’ve got a movie ticket for the Disney Springs AMC Theatre or a dining reservation in Disney Springs, and the area reaches capacity, what happens?
Unlike Disney World’s theme parks, Park Pass style reservations are not required to enter Disney Springs. That means you can theoretically decide to visit the shopping and dining area (basically a theme park of its own for foodies and shoppers) at any point of the day and simply show up without making any prior arrangements.
But, like other areas around Disney World, Disney Springs reopened with its own set of guidelines including the required use of face masks and limiting capacity to help promote social distancing.
Specifically, the Disney Springs website notes that one way in which they were limiting capacity was to limit guest parking locations to the Orange and Lime Parking Garages. According to Disney’s reopening guidelines, guests are not allowed to park and enter Disney Springs once the two in-use parking garages (Lime and Orange) are full.
Since the reopening, however, limited surface parking has also become available, providing some more spots for guests to park.
But, what happens if you’ve got tickets to see a movie at AMC Movies at Disney Springs 24 or a dining reservation for somewhere like The BOATHOUSE and Disney Springs reaches capacity?
If You Have a Movie Ticket
We reached out to a few people to find out. One employee at the AMC in Disney Springs said that they’ve been directing guests to use the surface parking, where they can then inform the Cast Member there that they’ve purchased a movie ticket. It’s important to make sure you’ve got it printed or accessible on your phone so you can show them.
A Disney World Cast Member also told us that a guest with a previously purchased movie ticket would be considered part of the capacity. But, some other Cast Members we spoke to gave us an entirely different answer.
We called Disney’s guest services and spoke to a Cast Member on the phone and asked specifically about what the situation would be if we had a pre-purchased AMC movie ticket and Disney Springs reaches capacity. After a bit of time on hold, they said that if Disney Springs is at capacity, whether you’ll be able to get in or not (even with a pre-purchased AMC movie ticket) will depend on the Cast Member working the transportation area.
They said that it would be on a case-by-case basis, and then the guest would have to reach out to AMC regarding canceling the ticket and getting a refund. We tried calling AMC and sent them a message on Instagram, but we haven’t been able to speak to anyone yet.
If You Have a Dining Reservation
We also chatted with a Disney Cast Member and specifically asked what would happen if we had a dining reservation and Disney Springs reaches capacity. They noted that even though you may have a reservation, that does not guarantee you access to Disney Springs. Instead, you may be turned away from entering Disney Springs, in which case you’ll need to call reservations and let them know you were not able to get in due to capacity issues.
This is also what’s noted on the Disney Springs website, which specifically says that once parking is full, Guests will not be able to park and visit Disney Springs, even if they have a dining reservation.
We asked the Cast Member via chat whether this would be the same for the AMC movie tickets, and they said it would be.
So, it seems we’ve received a few responses to this question. Here’s what we advise you do:
First, if you’ll be going to Disney Springs on a high-capacity day, particularly toward the evening on a weekend or on a holiday, and you’ve got a dining reservation you don’t want to miss — get to Disney Springs early. You can walk around the shops, have a pre-dinner snack, and take some great photos with the cute decor.
If you’ve got other plans and have to arrive closer to your reservation or movie time, and the parking garages have reached capacity, check to see if the surface parking is available. Sometimes this can be emptier than the parking garages, and you may just be able to find a spot to park.
If you arrive and everything is at capacity, be sure to tell the Cast Member handling transportation in that area that you’ve got a reservation or movie ticket and have a copy of the ticket or a confirmation number handy so they can verify it. According to some people we spoke to, that might get you in.
If all else fails, contact Disney, the restaurant you were meant to eat at, and/or AMC to let them know that you were unable to go in due to capacity issues as soon as possible. If you want some proof, try to take pictures of signs in the area confirming that the area was at capacity and that is why you were not able to go in.
Update: Note that the Disney Springs website says, “once the parking garages are full, Guests will no longer be able to park and visit Disney Springs. This includes Guests who have a booked a dining reservation.” So, if you are walking to Disney Springs from Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa or another hotel close by, or you’re taking a Disney bus from a Disney hotel to Disney Springs, it’s our understanding that you should be able to enter Disney Springs even if the parking garages are full.
We chatted with Disney to confirm this and they said that even if the parking garages reach capacity, you should still be able to take a bus to Disney Springs from a Disney hotel, but they mentioned that you may need to enter in a virtual queue once you arrive.
We asked if this was a virtual queue to enter a specific store or Disney Springs in general, and the Cast Member said it was to enter Disney Springs in general. They also said that Cast Members would be posted to help if necessary.
We’ll continue to monitor this situation and let you know if anything changes at Disney Springs or if we hear any different responses from AMC or Disney in the future.
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Have you ever visited the AMC Theatre at Disney Springs? Let us know in the comments!