When Walt Disney World reopened to Guests after temporarily shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the theme parks implemented a Park Pass system to help control crowds and monitor the number of Guests entering and leaving each day.
To this day, in order to enter a theme park at Walt Disney World — including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Guests must need both a theme park ticket and a Park Pass reservation. If Guests want to visit more than one theme park in the same day, also known as Park Hopping, Guests must first enter the theme park they made their reservation for and then after 2 p.m. they can enter a second or third park if they wish.
Annual Passholders, especially locals, have voiced frustrations regarding this system, and it seems Disney has been listening as today, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that Annual Passholders may enter a theme park without a Park Pass reservation after 2 p.m. — with restrictions.
Disney World Announces Park Pass Changes
Walt Disney World announced the change this morning, February 23, giving Annual Passholders the news they have been waiting for.
“Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park,” Disney Parks Blog reported. “Pass blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today. While the theme park reservation system remains important to manage attendance in our parks, especially on busier days, we realize our Passholders enjoy more spontaneous visits – and this change will make that possible.”
The updated rules will go into effect on April 18, 2023.
This means that Annual Passholders wishing to visit Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios during weekdays may do so without a Park Pass reservation if they enter after 2 p.m.
For those visiting Magic Kingdom on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, a Park Pass is still needed, though if visiting one of the other theme parks — EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios, a reservation is not required.
At this time, if you are not an Annual Passholder and are a regular ticket holder, you still need a Park Pass reservation to enter a theme park at Walt Disney World.
What Is the Park Pass Reservation?
Walt Disney World implemented a Park Pass system to help control crowds and monitor the number of Guests entering and leaving each day after the theme parks reopened following the temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per the Walt Disney World website, “To enter a theme park, all Guests ages 3 and older must have a theme park reservation in addition to valid admission for the same park on the same date (limit one park per day). At this time a theme park reservation is not required to visit a water park, however, theme park reservation requirements are subject to change.”
For more information on Disney World’s Park Pass reservation system, or to get started planning your magical vacation today, visit the official Walt Disney World website.