Sunset at Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • On Dec 17, 2022
    Michael from WI Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I want to know more about park reservations

    Michael,

    Thanks for asking your question to planDisney!

    Theme Park Reservations are a fairly new element of a Walt Disney World vacation. The basic idea of it is this; you select in advance the park you plan to visit on any given day by making a theme park reservation. This secures you a guaranteed spot in that park for that day.

    Why?

    As you can imagine, a theme park, even the Magic Kingdom, has only so much room for guests. With this system, Disney can ensure that the right number of guests enter the park, and not more. Of course, they always could do that before, simply by keeping a head count. But with this system, a guest will not go to the park only to be denied entry because it has already reached capacity.

    There is no question that it has taken away some of the spontaneity of a Walt Disney World vacation, where you might wake up one morning and decide that instead of heading to EPCOT, you are instead wanting to go on a wild adventure and choose to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park instead. But you do get a guaranteed entry to your planned park of choice, even if you don't arrive right at the official opening time.

    BONUS TIP #1
    You can check the availability of Theme Park Reservations for each park by visiting the Disney Park Pass Availability Calendar.

    BONUS TIP #2
    But what about park hopping? Not a problem. If you have a park hopper ticket, you can still hop to other parks, as long as they have available capacity. You simply need to call the Park Hopper Hotline (that is not it's official name, but I am trying to get that to stick!) at (407) 560-5000. The recorded line can tell you the availability of space at the other parks before you head over. Capacity for hopping is not necessarily the same as the number of spots secured by a Theme Park Reservation, so even if a park you want to hop to had all its Theme Park Reservations selected before that day, there likely can still be space for park hoppers to visit.

    Please do feel free to write me back directly with any follow-up questions you may have.

    Have a Magical Vacation!

    Doug
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Meet the Panelist: Doug, Indiana

I am one of the Dads on the planDisney Panel, and I love to help parents plan their vacation, with a focus on showing them how it can be fun for them too. I am also here to help Dads plan some nice surprises for the Moms in their life (they deserve it!). Learn More About Doug

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