The Park Pass theme park reservation system has been in place in Disney World and Disneyland since the parks reopened following the COVID-19 closures.
The system helps Disney control capacity in the parks and know how many guests will be there each day. We’ve seen Disney executives comment on the park pass system in the past, how it’s being used, and how it could be here to stay, but today we got even more updates on the system and how long it could be sticking around.
On May 11th, 2022, Disney shared its quarterly earnings report for the second quarter of fiscal year 2022. In that report and during the earnings call on the same topic, Disney shared updates on their fiscal standing, Disney+ subscribers, and more.
During the call, Disney executives were also asked a number of questions, including some that prompted responses related to Park Passes.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek commented on the Park Pass system by noting that the Company is still encouraged by the way that attendance is trending in relation to the reservation system. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Disney continues “to see really strong demand” and they’re “encouraged by the trends” that they’re seeing, particularly as they expect improvements to international visitation.
Chapek said, “We’re controlling our attendance…using our reservation system to optimize the guest experience. But that domestic yield strategy…is really exceeding our expectations.” Chapek shared that they’re encouraged by the continuation of the trends they’re seeing when it comes to things like the number of people signing up for Genie+, plus the willingness to come to the parks with the reservation system, which helps them manage their price per day.
According to Chapek, “That domestic yield strategy has really structurally allowed [Disney] to increase that per capita spending meaningfully without having to rely solely on raising ticket prices.” And, he added, “we don’t see any end in sight for that.”
Christine McCarthy, the Chief Financial Officer of the Walt Disney Company also discussed Park Passes. According to McCarthy, Disney is “choosing to limit attendance using [the] reservation system.” McCarthy said that this goes back to Disney trying to “balance demand and attendance throughout the year, not have days when consumers in the parks aren’t enjoying the experience.”
McCarthy said attendance is something they’re controlling but they’re doing it to “have a better consumer experience.”
According to McCarthy, they will continue to increase attendance in the parks with capacity as things change. She noted how things have changed recently, like the return of “normal” character meet-and-greets and the return of nighttime spectaculars at Disneyland.
McCarthy also said that things like the opening of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction in Disney World can potentially change capacity. McCarthy said that this is “all new capacity” and they’re looking forward to having guests experience that.
Neither Chapek nor McCarthy gave any indication of an end to Disney’s Park Pass system. And in fact, as we noted above, the Disneyland Resort President previously shared his thoughts on why Park Passes could be here to stay.
McCarthy had also previously noted how they are managing the parks differently now when it comes to attendance levels and talked about how they know how many people are going to the parks on a given day, which allows them to better balance load throughout the year, week, and month.
So it seems Park Pass reservations could be sticking around for quite some time. Right now the Park Pass availability calendar shows available dates through January of 2024.
We’ll be sure to share any further updates with you.
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Are you a fan of the Park Pass system? Tell us in the comments.