After a rocky start, Walt Disney World’s new theme park reservation system is finally starting to work a bit more consistently. Nevertheless, problems persist with Disney Park Pass. Our How to Guide and We’re In Orbit posts about the system have been inundated with questions and we wanted to take a chance to address some of those here with new tips & tricks for fixing glitches.
The most common Disney Park Pass questions and complaints concern lengthy wait times, which thankfully are mostly a thing of the past (at least online…the phone hold times are still pretty bad). Other issues include meaningless error messages, inaccurate reservation limits, an all-grey availability calendar, ticket priority problems, and park days showing as unavailable that actually aren’t fully booked.
We want to start by apologizing for not being too helpful the last couple of days. Our two troubleshooting posts for Disney Park Pass have amassed 975 comments (and counting), and with our resort stay, it was impossible to keep up. At this point, many/most of those issues have been resolved, so it feels futile to respond now. Instead, we’ll offer fresh advice here for thwarting the remaining glitches…
The first problem is already resolved, and that’s long waits to use the online system, and being greeted by Pepto-Pink Cinderella Castle, Seven Dwarfs, Space Mountain Countdown, Millennium Falcon, or the classic Stitch Ate the Page. Right now, you should not encounter any of these screens–if you do, try private browsing/incognito or the backdoor hack described here.
These errors were almost certainly due to high demand. We’ve seen similar screens on Walt Disney World drop days of the past (except the Pepto-Pink Castle–that’s a 2020 vintage). Accessing DisneyWorld.com in general, even pages having nothing to do with Disney Park Pass, was a herculean task.
If at all possible (and you’re eligible), you’ll want to get your Disney Park Pass reservations booked before June 26. That’s when Annual Passholders without resort reservations can begin making reservations. On June 28, regular guests with tickets but no hotel bookings can use Disney Park Pass.
Both of those ‘drop days’ are liking to see a rehash of the wait time woes and load screen frustrations as demand will once again be higher. It’s entirely possible that demand will be higher on Annual Passholder drop day than it was for resort guests since there are almost certainly more APs than guests with resort bookings.
Aside from wait times, the biggest glitch with Disney Park Pass we heard people encountering was incorrect limits. There are a few different ‘versions’ of this same error. The first was encountered by Annual Passholders with resort reservations. Walt Disney World’s official policy for Annual Passholders limits them to three Park Pass bookings at a time.
This is unless they have a Walt Disney World resort reservation, in which case that allows them to book for the length of their stay(s), maxing out at 14 Disney Park Pass reservations. We feared this might happen. Even before the Park Pass system went live, I said to Sarah, “there’s a decent chance we’ll only be able to book 3 reservations–which park is voted off the island?” Predictably, the AP limit was prioritized over the resort limit for many guests.
Oddly, this did not happen to everyone. We didn’t have this issue, and didn’t even learn about it until later in the evening after returning and checking out some reader comments.
At this point, the inaccurate Annual Passholder priority cap has resolved itself. Well, someone in Disney IT probably fixed it–the system isn’t sentient even if it does have a Skynet vibe. The point is that you don’t have to proactively take any steps for a solution. Log back in and try again if you encountered this problem and simply gave up previously.
The next glitch also relates to prioritization, but this time solely with tickets. If you have multiple tickets attached to your My Disney Experience account–this also includes things like water park tickets, special events, or just a partially-used ticket–one of those “floating” tickets could be causing an issue.
To our knowledge, this is an ongoing problem, but the good news is that you can fix it yourself! In the My Disney Experience app, go to “Tickets & Passes” and look for the non-conforming ticket (the one that doesn’t match your resort reservation). Hit the “Reassign Ticket” button and transfer it to someone else (preferably, another My Disney Experience account you control).
Now, attempt to make your Disney Park Pass reservations. If you no longer have an issue, that was the cause. Once you’ve made all of the reservations, have the person to whom you transferred the non-conforming ticket reassign it back to you.
If you still have tickets to the now-cancelled Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, this is one solution to problems you might’ve been having as a result of those tickets in your account. However, this issue is not being caused exclusively by event tickets. The “floating” ticket priority problem is the most common issue that remains outstanding–it could be the cause of other errors, so you should make sure you address this.
Finally, there are a range of issues pertaining to the Disney Park Pass calendar displaying availability (or not displaying it). If you’re seeing an entirely grey calendar or the message that ‘one or more parks is unavailable’ for dates beyond July, that’s an error.
Start by simply refreshing. If that doesn’t work, try private/incognito browsing. Failing that, use a different browser. We haven’t been able to replicate this issue ourselves, but by most accounts, it’s something that should be resolvable. At this point, only a handful of Disney’s Hollywood Studios dates in mid-July plus one Disney’s Animal Kingdom date, are fully booked. August 2020 and beyond are totally wide open.
However, on the note of Disney’s Hollywood Studios having some early dates that are fully booked, we’ll give you a preview about the topic of our next Disney Parks Pass post: we were wrong about the system not being necessary and parks rarely being fully booked after the first couple of weeks.
There’s no shame in admitting when you’re wrong, and we’d rather get out ahead of this one as it’ll prove useful from a planning perspective. The frustrating thing is that it’s painfully obvious in hindsight, and something we addressed at length on the blog at this same time last year! (The short takeaway from that upcoming post: prioritize your DHS reservations.)
Ultimately, if you’re still having difficulties booking Disney Park Pass reservations, it’s probably time to call Web Support at (407) 939-4357 and get some personalized help. Note that while wait times have dropped, there are still widespread reports of people waiting multiple hours on hold. With it being release day for 2021 Walt Disney World vacation packages, today (June 24, 2020) might not be the best day to call. Tomorrow is probably the better option.
Or, if your Walt Disney World vacation isn’t until September or later and you’re flexible on which days you do each park, you can probably wait a bit longer. Most local Annual Passholders are going to be booking near-term dates (July and August) because of the rolling limit on reservations. Hopefully you don’t have to call–and these tips resolved your issues!
Have you had success booking Disney Park Pass reservations? What worked/didn’t work for you? What do you think about the Disney Park Pass reservation system? Still having any troubles? What specific issue are you encountering? Will you be attempting to visit Walt Disney World this summer or fall, or are you waiting until after September 2021 when this (presumably) goes away? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!