Love it or hate it, Disney continues to give Guests frequent little reminders that the Park Pass Reservation System, which first debuted when Walt Disney World reopened following its 4-month closure during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, isn’t going anywhere.
The Park Pass Reservation System can be tricky–not because it’s difficult to access or use, but because the system almost feels like Disney took something that was relatively simple and made it unnecessarily complex. And in the spirit of full disclosure, we’re a bit surprised that Disney isn’t charging Guests a fee to access the reservation system, even if using it is mandated by the parks.
Some Guests, however, feel like the Park Pass Reservation System renders some of Disney World’s and Disneyland’s Annual Passes guilty of false advertising. For example, non-Florida residents have only one choice in annual passes at Disney World now; it’s the IncrediPass. It’s available to Florida residents too, and the major perk with this pass is that Disney claims there are “no blockout dates” with this tier of Annual Pass.
However, thanks to the Park Pass Reservation System, an IncrediPass holder can only have 5 park days reserved at one time, meaning that technically, once those 5 days are reserved, 360 days are blocked out–that is, until you complete a park day. Then you can choose one more day to reserve. This makes it impossible to choose park days for multiple trips during the year all at one time.
Also, “no blockout dates” doesn’t seem to apply when you consider that as an IncrediPass holder, you may get online to reserve days in the parks at Disney World and discover that the park you want to visit is already full on the dates you’ve chosen. Your first thought might be, “Yes, but I purchased the most expensive Annual Pass with no blockout dates, so that doesn’t apply to me,” but you’d be wrong.
Sounds like blockout dates can and do sometimes apply, even to the holder of an Annual Pass that claims it has “no blockout dates.”
And now, as if adding insult to injury, fuel to the fire, etc., at least one Disney Park is enforcing a “no-show” policy for Guests who make a Park Pass Reservation and then don’t visit the park.
Disneyland Resort in California, which also unveiled a new Annual Pass program as Disney World did, has begun to penalize Guests who make a reservation to visit a park, but don’t show. As part of Disneyland’s Magic Key Annual Pass program, the least expensive Magic Key tier allows Guests to hold 2 park day reservations at a time, while the most expensive Magic Key tier allows as many as 6 park day reservations.
But if a Guest holds a Magic Key and makes a reservation, but doesn’t show up for three of his or her reserved days in a 90-day period of time, Disney will restrict that Magic Key holder from making any park day reservations for 30 days.
Per Disneyland’s website, the no-show policy will penalize Guests who don’t come to the parks after making reservations. Here are the details:
*The ability of Magic Key holders to make and hold park reservations will be impacted by the “no show” policy. Magic Key holders who are a “no show” for 3 reservations in a 90-day window will be unable to make new park reservations for 30 days. Existing park reservations at that time will not be canceled. The 30-day period begins the day after the third “no-show,” and will continue even if the pass is upgraded to another pass during that time.
A Magic Key holder who enters the designated park any time before closing on the day of the reservation is not considered a “no-show.” If the reservation is for both parks, only one park needs to be entered to avoid being a “no-show.” Magic Key holders who timely cancel a reservation are also not considered a “no-show.” Cancellation of a reservation must be done by 11:59 PM PT on the day before the reserved date.
At this time, Walt Disney World does not enforce a “no-show” policy for annual passholders. However, because Disneyland has begun to enforce such a policy, we wonder if the Florida parks will follow suit in the future.