Last week I wrote a blog post on the availability of Theme Park Reservations at Walt Disney World. One thing I wanted to visualize was how availability changes over time. So as a data geek and an amateur programmer, I started playing around with interactive Google Calendar Charts. After a few
hours days, I came up with what you see below. These charts show Park Pass availability for dates in 2021 as of any date December 1, 2020, and later. You can adjust the charts to display different combinations of parks and ticket types. Days that are gray mean that Park Passes are/were available. Days with a solid color indicate the number of days in advance that park reservations are/were no longer available.
If the tool is not displaying below, click here.
While playing around with my tool I saw some strange results, mainly that the “Select Resort Hotels” and “Theme Park Tickets” groups for the same park were showing the same charts. My first thought was that I mixed something up, so I spent a few hours digging into the code and data trying to find the problem. Once I could not find any problems on my side, I decided to go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/availability-calendar and compare the availability of the “Select Resort Hotels” and “Theme Park Tickets” groups. They were a perfect match. I also looked at our Crowd Calendar page that shows park reservation availability by color-coding “RPT” for each date and park. Sure enough, the “R” (for Select Resort Hotels) and the “T” (for Theme Park Tickets) were always the same color.
Can you find any difference?
There is only one “As of Date” for one park where “Select Resort Hotels” and “Theme Park Tickets” groups don’t match perfectly.
Why no difference?
I don’t know. This cannot be a random coincidence. I went and looked at the 2020 data and, for the most part, “Select Resort Hotels” and “Theme Park Tickets” groups’ availability matches on all days. There were only 14 park dates where the final availability was different. I always assumed that “Select Resort Hotels” guests had the easiest access to park reservations. I truly believe that there is a bug in the Disney system. If Disney gave resort guests better access to park reservations, that would be a “free” perk that gives guests a reason to book a Disney hotel over off-site options that are generally cheaper. It would be unusual for Disney not to use this to their advantage to drive bookings.
Do you have any theories about why Theme Park Reservations for “Select Resort Hotels” and “Theme Park Tickets” seem to be getting pulled from the same pool? Let us know what you think in the comments.