Earlier this year, The Blast reported that Walt Disney World would soon change its Park Pass reservation system for select Guests.
Today, April 18, 2023, those changes go into effect. Here is everything you need to know before visiting Walt Disney World Resort.
What Is Disney’s Park Pass System?
When Walt Disney World reopened to Guests after temporarily shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the theme park implemented a new Park Pass system to help control crowds and to help monitor the number of Guests entering and leaving each day.
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 a valid theme park ticket and a Park Pass reservation.
Per the Walt Disney World website, “To enter a theme park, all Guests ages three 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). A theme park reservation is not required to visit a water park. However, theme park reservation requirements are subject to change.”
If Guests wish to visit more than one theme park on 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.
Now, that changes — at least for Disney World Annual Passholders.
Disney’s New Park Pass Rules Go Into Effect
Annual Passholders, especially locals, have voiced frustrations regarding this system, and Disney has been listening. Earlier this year, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that Annual Passholders might enter a theme park without a Park Pass reservation after 2 p.m. — with restrictions. Today, April 18, 2023, those changes go into effect.
“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 earlier this year. “Pass blackout 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.”
Annual Passholders wishing to visit Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios during weekdays may begin today 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. However, a reservation is not required if visiting one of the other theme parks — EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studiosd.
It is important to note that, 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. For more information on Disney World’s Park Pass reservation system or to start planning your magical vacation today, visit the official Walt Disney World website.