Step-by-Step: How to Make a Disney World Park Reservation

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If you want to visit Disney World, you don’t just need park tickets but also Park Pass Reservations. We’ll walk you through step by step, whether you’re making a reservation as a regular ticket holder or you have an Annual pass. Click on any of the links below to go directly to that section, and you can also click any image in this article to enlarge it.

How Far In Advance Should You Make Park Passes?

Currently, some parks book up as far as a month or so out, although we didn’t find any parks unavailable at 45-60 days out. Still, this dynamic changes routinely and your best bet is to keep an eye on the Disney World Theme Park Reservation Availability calendar, shown below. If you start to see some days become unavailable a week or so before your trip, start booking.

park pass reservation availability calendar
The gray bar represents verbiage edited away for clarity

Getting Started

If you’re in the app, you can click the plus and then select “Make a park reservation”. But, there is currently no way to make a reservation in the app, so clicking this button will open up the Disney website to the beginning of the park reservation workflow.


If you’re already on the website, select “Disney Park Pass System” from the MDE dropdown as shown below.

MDE website home page where to select park pass reservations
Or, you can click this link (it will open in a new window) to go directly to the page shown below, which is where either of the above paths (or any of several others) will take you.

entry screen for making park pass reservations

Select the appropriate button based on the type of reservation you would like to make. If you are using a regular ticket, keep reading. If you are an Annual Passholder, even if you have a resort reservation, click here to go to the AP-specific walkthrough.

If you’re making reservations for a group that includes some regular ticket holders and some passholders, you’ll need to do each group separately — there’s no way to make all the reservations in one pass.

Park and Date For Regular Ticket Holders

The first step will be to select who you’re making reservations for.  Everyone on your Friends & Family list should appear.

Create party selection screen from regular ticket holder park pass reservation workflow

Next, choose the date you’d like to make reservations for.  There are no availability indicators on this calendar, so make sure you’ve checked that the park and date you want are available beforehand.

Select date screen for ticket holder park pass reservation workflow

As soon as you select the date, the list of parks will appear below.  All parks will be shown even if some are unavailable — on the date selected below, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios were not available on the reservation calendar I had open in the other window, but there’s nothing here to indicate that.

select park screen for ticket holder park pass reservation workflow

As soon as you select one of the parks, you should proceed immediately to the Review & Confirm screen (click here to jump ahead to that part of the workflow).

Park and Date For Annual Passholders

If you’re making a reservation for an Annual Passholder, you’ll first need to select whether it’s a Park Pass for a trip where you’ll be staying in an eligible resort, or just a regular reservation.  If you’re staying in a resort it’s usually best to choose that option as these reservations won’t count against your pass limits.

If you’re making a reservation for a group that has some people with a resort reservation and some without, you’ll need to do them separately unless you’re going to book everyone as a non-Hotel Guest.

ap holder reservation bucket screen for park pass reservation workflow

If you’ve selected Park Reservation for Hotel Guest, you’ll see the screen immediately below to select which resort reservation you’re working with.  Otherwise, you’ll skip ahead to the following screen.

select resort reservation screen for ap holder park pass reservation workflow

Next is to choose who you’re making reservations for. If you’re making reservations for a Hotel Guest, this screen will show everyone who is on your reservation and has an Annual Pass. If you’re making a non-Hotel Guest reservation, it will show everyone on your Friends & Family list who has an Annual Pass.

One key item to note here is the number of reservations available — for a resort stay it will be the number of nights in the reservation you’ve selected; for a regular reservation it will be the number of reservations that you currently have available within the reservation limit of your pass.

Create party selection screen for AP Park Pass Reservation workflow

In the next screen, you’ll select the date and park. Unlike the Regular Ticket Holder process, you can see availability indicators on the calendar and, when the park selection screen appears after choosing a date, you will only be able to select parks that have availability.

select your date and park screen for annual passholder park pass reservations

Review & Confirm — For Everybody

No matter whether you’ve made a regular ticket reservation or a passholder reservation, you’ll end up at this screen.

review and confirm screen top half for park pass reservations

Do not be fooled by the “You’re all set!” language right at the top — you’re not done. If you check your Plans page at this point, you will not see your Park Passes. Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, shown below.

review and confirm screen email and confirm for park pass reservations

Confirm that your email is correct (it will show the email on your MDE account by default), check the box, then click continue. Now you’re all set!

confirmation screen for disney world park pass reservations

If you check your Plans in MDE, either on the web or in the app, you’ll see your Park Passes now. You’ll also receive a confirmation email. I like to keep the emails handy when I head to the park. I’ve never had a problem, but I’ve had dining reservations “disappear” in the past, and it never hurts to be prepared.

Canceling or Modifying A Reservation

There is currently no way to cancel or modify a reservation from the app. You must go to the website. To make things even more confusing, some reservations can be modified, and some can only be canceled.

In the screen below from “My Plans” on the MDE tab of the website, the space to the right of the reservation shows a “View Details” button. If your reservation can be modified, you’ll see two links in this space instead, one to modify and one to cancel. If you only see the button, then you’ll need to click it to make any changes to the reservation.

My Plans screen showing completed park pass reservation

When you click the View Details button, you’ll see the screen below.  Click the link to cancel the reservation and book a new one for this date.

pass reservation detail screen with cancellation button
The gray bar represents verbiage edited away for clarity

Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance should I make reservations?

We recommend checking the reservation availability calendar rather than relying on a set timeframe. When you see parks starting to become available in the weeks before your trip, you should book sooner rather than later. Historically some parks often sell out a month in advance, but it’s extremely rare for any park to sell out two months in advance. Typically Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are the first parks to sell out, followed by Animal Kingdom and EPCOT.

The Crowd Calendar says the crowds will only be a 5 (or 4, or 6) in the park I’m going to, but Park Passes are sold out.  What’s going on?

Our Crowd Calendar measures wait times at attractions, but parades, shows, dining, and other park activities contribute to capacity.  This means that there isn’t a fixed crowd level that’s associated with sold-out parks. You should also not assume that a lower crowd level means that the park won’t be crowded; although a crowd level of 2 indicates some of the lowest waits of the year, it’s all relative and so you will still find a large number of people in the park and some lengthy waits.

How do you make a Park Pass reservation in the app?

You can’t currently make a Park Pass Reservation in the app. If you click the Plus sign and select “Make Park Pass Reservations”, you’ll be taken to the Disney World website in your phone’s browser.

How do you modify or cancel a Park Pass reservation in the app?

You can’t currently modify or cancel a Park Pass Reservation in the app. You must open the website and do it from there.

Can you make a reservation for an Annual Passholder and a regular ticket holder at the same time?

You can make them one after the other, but they need to be made as separate transactions.

I’m making a reservation for Annual Passholders, but only some of them have a resort reservation, can I make them at the same time?

You can make them one after the other, but the only way to make them in a single transaction is if you don’t associate the resort stay with the reservations.

Stitch ate my page / something went wrong, how do I finish making my reservation?

Stitch eats a lot of pages. Using your browser’s incognito or private browsing mode will usually allow you to bypass the little alien, but you’ll need to start from the beginning of the reservation process.

Do you have any tips or tricks for making reservations?  Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer Heymont has a background in math and biology, but since she couldn't pick between the two she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

23 thoughts on “Step-by-Step: How to Make a Disney World Park Reservation

  • June 22, 2020 at 11:46 am
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    I was able to book park passes for our trip planned in December. We have annual passes and a Disney Springs resort reservation. The “wait” screens were a little awkward but otherwise I didn’t have any problems. Thanks for all the great updates.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 11:51 am
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    I had to switch to Chrome to make this work. Went into the website and started to make a dining reservation. Once a restaurant and time were picked, the site required me to sign in. I than canceled my reservation attempt, but the site kept me signed in. This allowed me to bypass the wait screens.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 12:21 pm
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    I also had to switch to Chrome for it to work. Wait screens definately require patience, especially because they would reset after reaching 0:00. But once I got in, after selecting my party and the park I kept getting the Olaf error message that something went wrong. Realized I had also selected my 2 year old, so make sure not to include any kiddos under 3 that don’t require a ticket. After I removed her from the party I was able to get all the parks I wanted for all 8 days of our November trip.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 2:40 pm
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    I was also using Chrome. I heard Safari was having some difficulties.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 3:39 pm
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    There is currently a limit on how many days you can enter as of this morning. We couldn’t get all our dates in that we have a reservation for, APs and not package tickets. Someone in Disney IP said they didn’t know about the limit on booking with AP tickets and they were working on getting it fixed. Still wasn’t fixed a few hours ago.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm
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    After some frustrating waits, I was able to make the park reservations I needed for a November trip. But I was blocked from making park reservations for a second trip we have booked at a DVC resort for May 2021. We have annual passes that are purchased and linked, but not activated. Are we supposed to be blocked from making a reservation for a second stay?

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm
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    It isn’t the 2nd stay that’s the problem, its an AP error in the system. Mine are only linked as well. They are working on the problem.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 5:31 pm
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    I was only able to make a total of 3 days worth of reservations with our APs, despite having 2 separate on-site reservations tied to my DME account (for 1 night in October and 6 night in January). This is ridiculous! And the phone number the site lists to call if you think this is an error is so backed up that you can’t even joint the hold queue – it just rings busy! Another epic fail by Disney IT!!!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 5:50 pm
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    We were able to make park reservations for only one day of our five-day vacation in November. Not a happy camper. Hoping it’s a glitch that will be remedied.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 6:38 pm
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    One thing you mentioned on The Disney Dish today-that everyone in your party has to have the same type of ticket-did not hold true for us. I was able to select the 5 people in our party, 3 with APs and 2 with 6 day tickets, and book all of our park reservations at once as one party. I don’t know if it was a glitch that we were able to do that but it worked!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 8:12 pm
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    So, I have an annual pass, but the rest of my family’s passes ran out in February 2020 just before the pestilence. So, we have our normal December trip booked, but it seems like without tickets or passes already purchased, we may be out of luck. We can’t book park days just for me. Can we renew their passes or is that a new purchase?

    Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 10:32 pm
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    They fixed the AP glitch.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2020 at 12:43 pm
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    We have a trip booked for end of August. Not 100% sure that we’re still going, but wanted to make those park reservations just in case. Was able to make reservations for all 5 days for everyone in my party (2 families). No glitches today, and was able to use Microsoft Edge

    Reply
  • June 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm
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    I was able to fix my “one day only” glitch. Our problem was that we had two reservations. Since each person in our party had two tickets linked to them, it was limiting us to selecting only one day. I was able to cancel the second reservation (we weren’t going to use it) and everything opened up. I was then able to get Park Pass reservations for every park on every day we wanted them. This is even during the week of Thanksgiving.

    So if you have multiple tickets linked to one person and are having problems getting your Park Pass reservations, this could be the issue.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2020 at 3:18 pm
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    It looks like they’re working through the systems issues. That’s good. Let’s see what happens on Friday, when the APs get a chance to book.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm
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    No issues getting the days,10 for a 10 day ticket, I wanted around Thanksgiving. It took about 1 1/2 hour to get to the point of requesting the park reservations. There was a thread started by the Canary, Raggou, on the Disboards, who had a trick or two to get in.

    Reply
  • June 24, 2020 at 6:16 pm
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    Do you sell videos showing the park-Disney World? My grandson’s dream is to visit Disney World.He needs to keep this dream alive and I AM HOPING that you can help us. He is autistic and his passion is Disney. You could Send me information His birthday is August 1st.

    Reply
  • June 25, 2020 at 3:55 pm
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    I DO NOT NEED A RESERVATION.I need a video of Disney World. I also need infomation regarding a handicapped young man-is there a group that he could join and receive special rates or free entrance fee or lodging.

    Reply
  • June 25, 2020 at 6:06 pm
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    Is there any clue as to what capacity level they are limiting the reservations to by month? It seems that a few days have already reached capacity for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. How will it reflect in crowd levels?

    Reply
  • September 17, 2020 at 1:04 pm
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    I am getting an error message saying “something went wrong” with a picture of Olaf, at the last screen before the confirmation. Why is that and how do I fix it?

    Reply
    • September 18, 2020 at 7:56 am
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      It’s Disney’s website, not you. If you switch your browser to ‘incognito’ or ‘private’ mode, then log in to My Disney Experience, it should work.

      Reply

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