Walt Disney World has shared new details about the ‘good-to-go’ days coming in 2024, via an experience update message to Annual Passholders. This post shares the full announcement along with our commentary about likely dates that’ll no longer require reservations for APs and how this finally realizes a ‘vision’ that began in 2019 at Disneyland. Here’s the announcement:
We want to thank you for being part of our Passholder family and are excited to give you, our biggest fans, greater spontaneity in visiting Walt Disney World Resort in 2024 with good-to-go days. On good-to-go days, Passholders may visit a Walt Disney World Resort theme park without needing a theme park reservation (blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today).
Starting January 11, Passholders will begin seeing good-to-go days on the theme park reservation calendar, admissions calendar, and the homescreen of the My Disney Experience app (if their pass is linked to their Disney account).*
As you prepare for your 2024 visits, we wanted to let you know more about how good-to-go days will work:
On good-to-go days, Passholders may enter the theme parks without needing a reservation (blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today).
The theme park reservation calendar, Annual Passholder admissions calendar and My Disney Experience app will show days that are good-to-go. The first good-to-go days will be added to the calendars starting January 11, 2024.
Good-to-go days will take the place of bonus reservations, and like bonus reservations, they will be added periodically and may be released days or weeks in advance.
If a Passholder has an upcoming theme park reservation that becomes a good-to-go day, the reservation will be removed and no longer count against their maximum reservation hold, but they will still be able to view their previous reservation in the My Plans section in My Disney Experience.
As a reminder, Passholders can visit a Walt Disney World Resort theme park without needing a reservation after 2 p.m. (except for Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park) and, starting January 9, all-day Park Hopper access will return, allowing Passholders to enter another Walt Disney World theme park any time of day during park hours (subject to capacity).*
We want to make visiting Walt Disney World Resort easier, simpler and more FUN! We know how much Disney means to so many of you, and we are looking for ways to help you, your friends and family enjoy our theme parks the way you want to in 2024.
*To use the Park Hopper benefit, Annual Passholders must make a theme park reservation for the first park they plan to visit AND enter that first park prior to visiting another. Or, they can enter a theme park without a reservation on a “good-to-go” day for that park or after 2 p.m. (except Magic Kingdom on Saturdays and Sundays) before visiting another park. Passes are subject to the Walt Disney World Resort Annual Pass Terms and Conditions.
We received a few questions about Annual Passholder good-to-go days in response to our recent post, Why January 9, 2024 is a Major Milestone…Like a Time Machine to 2019 at Walt Disney World!That covers all of the other changes, including the end of theme park reservations for most guests, resumption of pre-closure Park Hopping policies, return of the Disney Dining Plan. It also discusses Lightning Lane advance booking, which will NOT arrive on January 9, 2024 (despite some confusion to the contrary).
Anyway, this announcement should answer all or most of those questions about Annual Pass good-to-go days. One of the only open questions at this point is how Annual Passholders with on-site resort reservations will be impacted, if at all.
Currently, Annual Passholders staying at Walt Disney World resort hotels or other select on-site third party hotels with valid theme park admission are eligible to make theme park reservations for each day of their resort reservation, in addition to holding up to 3 days of theme park reservations at a time on a rolling basis.
There’s no indication of whether that’ll end on January 11, 2024 or continue as the policy. Our expectation is that it’ll remain unchanged, as there’s no reason that policy can’t coexist with the good-to-go days. The resort reservation rules will have to remain for other guests, anyway, as theme park reservations aren’t being dropped entirely. Military tickets, convention-goers, youth sporting events, and other non-conventional vacation packages will be subject to reservations, too.
If our experience (and reader feedback) is any indication, the resort reservation rules will continue to be clunky and not always work smoothly for Annual Passholders–especially those staying at eligible third party hotels. That’s something to be aware of, but with the dropping of reservations for most guests (and competitiveness decreasing), we wouldn’t expect this to be an actual issue for the vast majority of dates in 2024.
To that point, we’d expect a lot of good-to-go dates for Annual Passholders…eventually. In all likelihood, Walt Disney World will start slowly and scale up, adding a handful of winter off-season dates on January 11, 2024 and seeing how that goes. If the parks are not inundated and overwhelmed by reservationless APs (and they won’t be), they will add more and more good-to-go dates to the calendar.
We’d be willing to bet that by the time late April 2024 rolls around, at least half the dates in early summer will be good-to-go for Annual Passholders. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if every single day is good-to-go for Animal Kingdom and EPCOT, and reservations are only necessary for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. By late summer/early fall, it wouldn’t be surprising if between 75% and all dates are good-to-go for all parks.
During the second half of the year, it’ll probably be easier to list the dates that are not good-to-go rather than the ones that are. For that, our preliminary prediction would be that reservations will be required for only (roughly) the ‘worst’ dates in our list of the 10 Best and 10 Worst Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World in 2024 & 2025.
This may seem like an overly bold forecast, but keep in mind that Walt Disney World has already been working to entice Annual Passholders (see V.I.Passholder Days) to visit certain parks on certain dates. That started this summer right when pent-up demand began to shows signs of exhaustion.
Going forward, that trend is expected to continue and, at the same time, Walt Disney World continues to improve and restore capacity. So there’s really no reason to believe that Walt Disney World will be in a position to turn away Annual Passholders on most dates in 2024. They didn’t in 2019, the year when attendance hit all-time highs!
Speaking of 2019, that was the year that the Disney Flex Annual Pass was introduced at Disneyland so that the park had greater control over the mix of attendance, and could pull “levers” to favor APs or tourists. It was the biggest of several measures taken to prepare for the onslaught of crowds (that never materialized) for the opening Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Here’s a look at how that calendar worked, complete with good-to-go days:
That’s a decent number of good-to-go days, especially given the demographics of Disneyland. Walt Disney World APs have never presented the same issues for the Florida parks. That’s for relatively straightforward reasons–double the parks and far fewer Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World (Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California are far more populous than their Florida counterparts).
Additionally, many of Walt Disney World’s APs aren’t local. Disney Vacation Club members and folks from the Midwest or Northeast who come down three times per year and book hotels every time are a totally different demo than Disneyland locals who drop-in for a few hours and don’t even eat dinner in the park.
Ultimately, our expectation is that good-to-go days are here to stay for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and will, eventually and effectively, mean the end of reservations for most dates. There’s still significant upside in controlling when APs visit–and having fine-tuned control over how many of them during the busiest weeks of the year–but the dynamic is nothing like Disneyland. The Florida parks need APs much of the year, and are better off encouraging them to visit rather than trying to keep them away.
Are you looking forward to Walt Disney World getting ‘good-to-go’ days for Annual Passholders? Think it’ll end up being a significant chunk of the calendar, or just the least-crowded days of the year? How do you feel about Walt Disney World’s changes that start on January 9, 2024? If you’re a tourist, do these changes give you welcome freedom and spontaneity? Does this not go far enough for you–do you want to see more restored to 2019 normal? 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!