Major overhaul of Disney Park Pass reservations and Park Hopping coming to Walt Disney World in the new year

Nov 24, 2022 in "MyMagic+"

Posted: Thursday November 24, 2022 9:38am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The hugely unpopular Disney Park Pass reservation system will be undergoing a major overhaul for launch in early 2023 at Walt Disney World.


Based on significant push-back from guests on the current reservation system, much of the existing Disney Park Pass system will be removed and simplified, providing guests with an experience closer to pre-pandemic conditions.

Park hopping will return for date-based tickets at any time and will no longer be restricted to 2pm. Annual Passholders will still be restricted but will likely be able to park hop earlier than the current 2pm limit.

Date-based Walt Disney World theme park tickets will no longer require a Park Pass reservation, with park entry secured upon purchasing the ticket. Annual Passholders will still need a reservation, at least initially.

Disney introduced Park Pass as a way to control attendance and labor, and these changes in early 2023 may at first appear to be reducing Disney's operational control. However, the new system will control attendance by limiting ticket sales for a given day rather than selling an unlimited number of tickets and restricting access via a Park Pass.

These changes have been in the works for the last few months, and although the system is nearly ready, we understand it will not debut until early 2023, most likely in January.

Although new CEO Bob Iger did not direct these changes, the timing will undoubtedly help Iger as he begins efforts to restore Disney's reputation among guests and its most loyal fans.

Disney is yet to announce the changes, and as always, information should be treated as speculation until officially confirmed.

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Laketravis11 hours ago

I took 200+ high school band students to WDW (and USF) for 5 days in spring 2022. At WDW they were free to leave the resort after a 7am breakfast meeting and go to whatever park they wanted. They were required to be back at the resort at a predetermined curfew each night. I had a couple of parent chaperones stationed in the resort lobby during the day but the rest of the chaperones and band staff pretty much went on their own as well without any students. We only required the students to remain in groups of at least 3 (one to stay with the second while the third goes for help if needed) and send us selfies in front of identifiable landmarks at certain times during the day. Aside from the occasional lost backpack or park ticket, the trip went surprisingly well.

MisterPenguin1 day ago

And this is the reason why Day Tickets no longer have to make reservations. The number of Day Tickets is limited in number and pegged to a specific date range.

SingleRider1 day ago

As an AP, it’s nice to see the tables turned and ticket guests being locked out before APs.

Disstevefan11 day ago

I don't understand this. If you are staying on site in a WDW resort, you should be able to get into any park you want.

DCBaker1 day ago

According to the Walt Disney World website, reservations on December 31 at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are currently unavailable for Resort/Ticket guests. Reservations at Magic Kingdom on December 25 are also currently unavailable for Resort/Ticket guests. More reservations may be released, so keep checking if you are looking to go on those dates.

DCBaker1 day ago

Walt Disney World has added five more days of Bonus Reservations for Annual Passholders in December. December 6 - Disney's Hollywood Studios December 7 - Disney's Animal Kingdom December 10 - EPCOT December 11 - Magic Kingdom December 13 - Disney's Animal Kingdom

brifraz2 days ago

Couldn't pull that off with only 3 staff and 109 kids, even if our district let us!! (not going to get into our very strict district rules on what transportation kids can use, which are the strictest I've ever experienced). It'll be a great trip - always have fun with my kids!

KDM310912 days ago

Since APs can hop anytime once the new rules go into effect, it seems to render the reservations useless. I understood them during COVID, but I don't see the point now.

surfsupdon2 days ago

I love hearing other stories. Seeing what works and what does not. We have staff in each park at all times, in case issues arise. We are very blessed. Have a great BIG trip!

brifraz2 days ago

Not to continue to derail the thread topic, but... our school district requires that all the kids on a school trip be in the same location (park is considered a location but WDW as a whole is not, kids have freedom within the park we go to) and that we have one staff member for every 40 kids in said location. Most districts in this area (at least those I'm familiar with) have similar rules. I can't imagine a school or school system dealing with liability concerns if a kids goes by themself to a park and gets hurt and there isn't anyone from the school system there.

surfsupdon2 days ago

Our kids can branch out and go to whichever parks they want. They do not travel en masse.

Fido Chuckwagon2 days ago

I believe it, poorly supervised adolescents away from home for the first time by themselves sometimes do stupid/dangerous things.

brifraz2 days ago

Considering that the group tickets for my group are $331 per person for 4 day, no Park Hopper as opposed to $556 regular price for the same dates, I'm okay with it. I don't think the reasoning is based on any single group that is there. But...considering that at the time that my group is there, I know of 4 other school music groups going just from Maryland. Between us, it's about 700 people. Looking at the performance reservation calendar, I'd say they have roughly 30 high school music groups there over MLK weekend. The potential swing of 5000 or more people from those groups could have a significant impact. Not just on park attendance an attractions, but on bus parking, food service, etc. I have also been led to believe that when multiple large school groups are in a park, they adjust the number of security in that park. Not sure if that is accurate, but the information comes from a tour company that specializes in HS group trips to WDW, so I'm inclined to believe it.

networkpro2 days ago

yes, the "whats one more" argument doesnt hold water.