Disney Park Pass System

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When the Walt Disney World parks open in July, all guests will need a park reservation for admission. The Park Pass reservation system is only available at present at the Walt Disney World Website. Beginning on June 28, 2020, all existing ticket holders can make reservations for their number of days of valid theme park admission. The system opened with a rocky start on June 22, 2020, for Disney Resort guests. Annual Passholders had a smoother rollout on June 26. We can hope that the system will also go smoothly for existing ticket holders on June 28.

The Disney Park Pass System allows Disney to control the inventory based on the group each individual falls in. The groups are “Disney Resort Guests,” “Annual Passholders,” and “Theme Park Ticket Guests.” You can check availability for any day and group by clicking here.

I fall into two groups: I have a Resort reservation in September, and I am an Annual Passholder. It took me several hours until I was successful getting Park Pass reservations for my September stay. On June 25, Disney would not commit to an opening time for Annual Passholder access. Thanks to my dogs, I was up at 4:30 a.m. on June 28. Not surprising, the system was not working for Annual Passholders. I tried again at 5:58 a.m. I was able to start the Park Pass process, but the system froze before I could confirm my first reservation. (I assume Disney rebooted the server.) At 6:03 a.m. I made my first successful reservation for July 11. The second reservation for July 12, went smoothly. The third reservation hit a snag.

It appeared that my Park Pass reservations tied to my September trip was interfering with my Annual Passholder Park Pass reservations. I deleted my September Park Pass reservations and then was able to make my third July Park Pass reservation. I could not re-book my Park Pass reservations for September, but I have time to work that out.

Park Availability is Dynamic and Conditional

Disney is prioritizing Resort Guests over Annual Passholders, and we can assume Annual Passholders are prioritized over other guests. Besides having first access to the Park Pass System, Resort Guests have more availability. Currently, July only has 6 days with partial park availability. Typically Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the first park to sell out. EPCOT is the last park to sell out. The Magic Kingdom usually sells out before Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney is hoping to increase attendance each week. If things go smoothly, the Disney Park Pass System will add capacity. I’m guessing Disney will start with very low availability for days that are already sold out for Annual Passholders.

Annual Passholder Availability Timeline on June 26

After making my Park Pass reservations I watched availability for Park Passes change through the day at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/availability-calendar/?segments=tickets,resort,passholder&defaultSegment=passholder. You can view one month, and one Disney guest type at a time. The calendar will show green, for all parks are available; yellow for some parks are available, and gray for no parks are available. If you select a day, you can see which park(s) are available.

6:30 a.m.
6:33 a.m.
6:56 a.m.
7:06 a.m.
7:08 a.m.
7:10 a.m.
7:12 a.m.
7:15 a.m.
8:31 a.m.
8:33 a.m.
10:34 a.m.
11:46 a.m.
12:34 p.m.
1:29 p.m.
2:51 p.m.

July 11-14 started off as yellow as only the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open. Also, notice that by 6:30 a.m. that July 11 and 12 were sold out, but availability returned at 6:33 a.m.

It took longer for August to see parks fill up for Annual Passholders.

7:09 a.m.
10:46 a.m.
11:47 a.m.
12:38 p.m.
1:29 p.m.
2:51 p.m.

What to Expect on June 28, 2020

Expect limited availability for current ticket holders. Plan for the Park Park System to open early, but don’t be surprised if availability does not show up until after 7:00 a.m. Make sure you have tickets linked to all guests on the Disney website, and that you have access to everyone you want to make a Park Pass reservation.

What after June 28, 2020

If conditions improve and demand increases expect Disney increase availability. If you did not get the Park Pass reservations you wanted, keep checking.

Booking Dates for Park Reservations

The Disney Park Pass system is now available to select Guests. Booking dates vary based on your plans.

  • Beginning June 22, 2020, Disney Resort and other select hotel Guests with valid theme park admission can make reservations for their length of stay.
  • Beginning June 26, 2020, Annual Passholders without a Resort stay can make theme park reservations for up to 3 days at a time.
  • Beginning June 28, 2020, existing ticket holders can make reservations for the number of days of valid theme park admission.

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

11 thoughts on “Disney Park Pass System

  • June 27, 2020 at 6:19 pm
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    Hi Steve, I just ran into the same thing. I have a resort reservation that has a 1 day gap (I’m on the dvc waitlist for that day). No problem I think to myself – we’ll get park reservations for all but the one day gap and then when the annual passholder booking time opened up, I’ll get a park reservation for that one day for which I’m on the waiting list.

    The resort reservations were fine, but when the passholder time window opened, the system wouldn’t let me get that other day. The explanation I got (I only had to wait on hold for 1 hour – woot!) was that you are in either in one of the resort reservation groups or the annual passholder one; you can’t be in both.

    This is essentially the same thing you said, but I’ll sum it up as: while there are 3 groups AND logically people can be in more than 1 group, from Disney’s point of view you are ONLY allowed to be in 1 group as far as park reservations go.

    Mark B.

    Reply
  • June 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm
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    ☹️ This really stinks. We bought APs in January intending to take 3 nine-day trips – 2 mostly on-site (with our DVC points), and one completely off. We got our January (mixed) trip in fine before the shutdown, and I was able to make park reservations for 7 days *next* January (the week before our passes expire) with our on-site reservation of 6 nights, but I am unable to book ANYTHING for our 9 days off-site in October (non-cancellable, in a vacation home), or the 2 other off-site days in January. We *also* had planned to squeeze in a 3-day weekend (off-site) the first 2 weeks of December for holiday decorations and festivities, but since we will now apparently need to purchase additional admission for a total of *11* days somewhere other than Disney for our October and January vacations, we will most definitely be foregoing the December trip.

    I feel like we’ve been robbed: all our admissions should have been covered by our Disney APs, but now I’m going to have to shell out at least a couple grand on additional tickets for other parks!!! Disney has really dropped the ball here for its high-affinity customers!

    Reply
  • June 28, 2020 at 6:55 am
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    We are in the U.K. and I am doubtful whether we will be allowed to fly to Florida in September when our holiday should be (both Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are not allowing us to fly to the US) – but, just in case it changes in time, I have made some WDW park reservations. We are staying off site and have 14-day tickets. Having read reviews, I was expecting to have problems but I managed to book the reservations within seconds on my iPhone. Obviously, if we are told that our holiday is cancelled, we will cancel the reservations immediately so that someone else can have the slots. I’m just very thankful we had bought our tickets in good time – it must be awful for those who have not yet bought their tickets.

    Reply
  • June 28, 2020 at 9:05 am
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    Well it’s been frustrating with spaces going away quickly. We are AP and live locally but usually only go on the weekends due to long work days. So I either have to get a weekday so I might get couple hours use from early or closest I could book a weekend was end of August. The problem with reserving a weekday early is by the time it passes and I can reserve another day the weekend days will be even further out. Not sure about resort guests but the AP side you only get 3 selections at a time and they have to be used to reserve more dates.
    I guess the silver lining is the day I go will be like an after hours event where the lines are near empty and you get more out of it.

    Reply
  • June 28, 2020 at 9:57 am
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    Hi Steve. I have 2 solo trips coming up, with multi-day tickets for each, but only one resort stay. On June 22 I was able to get Park Passes for the resort-stay visit in September. However, on June 28, when I tried to get Park Passes for my December trip, the site said I had reached my Park Pass limit. Applying a tip I had read, I temporarily reassigned the December tickets to a family member, and was able to book everything without a problem. Then I reassigned those tickets back to myself. Now, when I click “Tickets & Memory Maker,” those tickets are again assigned to me; but my family member’s name appears as the guest for those dates under the Daily Itinerary. Is this discrepancy likely to cause a conundrum when I try to enter the parks in December?

    Reply
    • June 29, 2020 at 12:23 pm
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      I would call Disney and make sure everything is set for your Park Reservation. Capacity for Resort Guests looks good so call at your convenience.

      Reply
  • June 29, 2020 at 4:20 pm
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    Quick question. There was only ONE arrival time listed for each park I chose. We usually get to the parks before they open to take advantage of low crowds early in the day. Some of the times were later, but when I watched the video on the website about the park passes it said you could arrive any time during park hours. Do you know which is correct? My EPCOT time is not until 11??? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Reply
  • June 29, 2020 at 4:31 pm
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    Hi, Marie: Unfortunately, during the initial phases of opening, EPCOT won’t open until 11 AM. That’s why your reservation time starts at 11. It does make it tough of us early birds who like to get there before it gets too hot in the summer!

    For reference, here’s the park hours:
    Animal Kingdom 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Magic Kingdom 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
    Disney’s Hollywood Studios 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
    EPCOT 11:00 AM-9:00 PM

    These can change, of course, but for now, that’s where it’s at.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2020 at 11:22 pm
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    The following comment is just my own opinion with no information confirmed by anyone who knows anything: It’s clear to me that Disney is clearly prioritizing customers based on revenue, and probably optics. Those with a resort reservation are the most dear at this time by far. Annual passholders rank after that, but they’re not really new revenue sources, so it’s more about revenue retention. So 3 days for AP holders must be there break point on “keeping annual passholders at least a little happy”.

    Now this comment is fact with an obvious conclusion:
    When I called with the issue (I don’t have a DVC reservation on 1 day in the middle of my trip and I’m not covered by the 3 days for passholders because I used my “resort reservation status” on the other days of my trip), I was told that “others called with this info and would be happy to add my call to the others with the same problem”. All very friendly, but not much more than “maybe that will change, so keep watching closely” which was nice but not very helpful.

    I actually did expect that the person would help me and get me a reservation for my waitlist day. When she explained the situation, I figured that it was a non-simple logic code fix and it was better to handle those as one-offs. I was surprised when I didn’t a recovery reservation considering the circumstances, but there wasn’t any point in arguing. I do help that treatment of WDW passholders doesn’t sprial down the tubes like seems to be happening to DLR passholders the past couple of years.

    I do hope you plans work out for the best – somehow.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2020 at 11:24 pm
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    My comment immediately above was in reply to Jay-Jay’s comment. Not sure if it actually got associated with it.

    Reply
  • July 2, 2020 at 10:55 pm
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    Thanks, Mark – I appreciate the good wishes, and I *really* hope your wait-list comes through as well (and that you can make your preferred park reservation when it does!).

    Reply

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