With less than a month till the reopening of the Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney has still yet to unveil the system that will make that feat possible.
On May 28th, Disney released an official statement regarding the new parks reservation system which will allow guests to reserve a park on a specific date they’d like to go. In the statement, Disney confirmed FastPass+ is being suspended indefinitely and existing dining reservations had been cancelled in order to make way for this change.
Reservations will be required as Disney implements social distancing guidelines limiting the number of guests permitted in each park. When this reservations system will be operational has yet to be revealed. Given we are now under a month away from the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopening on July 11th as well as Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th, guests are understandably anxious.
In many of Disney’s recent hasty rollouts, including everything from in-park reservations for Galaxy’s Edge to much-anticipated online merchandise releases, the system has been bombarded with error messages, bots, and, consequently, disappointed fans.
When Disney drops the new parks reservation system there will likely be an onslaught of demand from locals and passholders wanting to get back to the parks as soon as possible. Should the system be released with little warning and lots of demand, many may miss the chance to return to the magic until a far later date.
This may be seen by some as a good thing in some regards. The sooner you return, the more “temporarily unavailable” offerings you’ll be confronted with. Disney detailed in their phased reopening proposal plans to not bring back firework shows or parades until further notice, as these sorts of experiences generate crowds where guest stand in close proximity.
For those more willing to step back outside and see what’s happening at Walt Disney World, the road forward is nothing but fog as work on the parks reservation system continues behind the scenes while the parks reopening quickly approaches.
Additionally, passholders have yet to be notified as to how the system will work for them. Disney has stated they’ll be among the first to obtain access to the parks reservations calendar, but has also said they’ll be limiting how often passholders can go. This is a large departure from what the platinum annual pass promised just a few months ago, 365 days of parks access. Now, it’s looking more like 365 days of access to the reservation system, and how many days you can reserve has yet to be dictated.
With so little to go off of and such big parks-changing system changes ahead, all that can be done in the interim is to sit and wait for what will hopefully be, to quote Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro, the magic returning.