Since the theme parks reopened in July of 2020, a lot of things have changed. If you haven’t been to Disney in the last year, then you haven’t been to Disney. Because of this, it has never been more important to use a Travel Agent who is up to date on the latest news and can help you navigate all of the never-ending changes. This blog post contains things that you should know as you are preparing for your Walt Disney World vacation. (updated Nov. 17, 2022)
Theme Park Reservations
In order to enter a theme park, you must have valid ticket admission AND a theme park reservation. The new system that is used to book park reservations is called the Disney Park Pass system. Be sure to view the Theme Park Reservation Availability Calendar BEFORE purchasing tickets. Click here to see the Theme Park Reservation Availability Calendar.
If you have a ticket or annual pass that includes Park Hopper benefits, you can visit more than one Park per day with some new modifications.
Park Hopping hours start at 2:00PM each day.
To use the park Hopper benefits of your ticket, you must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park you plan to visit each day, and you must also enter that first park prior to visiting any others that day. You only need to make a park reservation for the first park you are visiting. After 2:00PM and visiting your first park, you can go wherever you’d like!
My Disney Experience
An important tool that will enhance your time is Disney’s free app: My Disney Experience (MDE). MDE is a tool that will help keep all your information regarding your time at Disney in one place. The helpful technology behind MDE can provide you with the most efficient experience possible if you follow these steps:
- Disney Account – you must have a Disney account to access MDE. This is the same account you use for other Disney services such as Disney+ or shopDisney. Access to MDE is required to book park reservations.
- Travel Party – Register for or sign in to MDE by visiting StartYourDisneyExperience.com. Then, you should create a Family & Friends list that includes the members of your travel party.
- Link Reservation – you must link your reservation to your MDE account by entering the confirmation number provided by me, your Travel Professional.
How to Make Park Pass Reservations
Once you have purchased your tickets or vacation package and have created your MDE account, it’s time for you to make your park reservations. Remember that Park Pass reservations cannot be made on the app – only through the desktop website. Here’s how to make a park reservation:
- Make a Park Reservation – on the “My Plans” page, hover over “Park Reservations” and click “Make a Park Reservation.” On the “Theme Park Reservations” page, click “Make or Modify Park Reservations.” On the “My Disney Park Pass Reservations” page, click “Book Park Reservations” if you have regular tickets. The other option is for Annual Passholders.
- Create Your Party – For each member of your party, select the pass or ticket to be used for your park reservation and click “Continue.”
- Select Your Date and Park – select the date you’d like to reserve for your visit.
- Select a Park – Select the park you want to visit and click “Continue.”
- Review and Confirm – carefully review and confirm your selected Park and date, acknowledge the terms and conditions, and click “Confirm Selections.”
You must repeat this process to book additional park reservations for each day you wish to visit a park. Only one park can be reserved per day. Again, if you have a Park Hopper ticket, you only need to make a reservation for the first park you are visiting.
My Disney Experience Mobile App
My Disney Experience (MDE) is available as a website, and also as a mobile app for Apple and Android mobile devices. The app offers many of the same functions as the website; however, the app has additional features that make it very useful for you once you’re on your Walt Disney World vacation. For example, the MDE app can give you reminders of any reservations and experiences you’ve planned by way of push notifications, and it can help you make updates, manage your tickets, and make additional plans.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that are available exclusively in the MDE app:
- Online Dining Check-In – during your visit, you may enjoy dining at Table-Service restaurants, and a new mobile check-in feature allows you to bypass the host stand upon arrival at select locations. The dining check-in feature also allows you to adjust some aspects of your dining reservation, such as noting seating and accessibility needs, making dining and allergy requests, and providing updates to special celebrations. When your table is ready, you will receive a push notification from the MDE app.
- Mobile Order at Quick-Service Restaurants – you can also use the MDE app to enhance your Quick-Service dining experiences and minimize your wait time by browsing menus and ordering meals in advance, from virtually anywhere, with cashless transactions. Orders are then prepared when you arrive at the selected Quick-Service dining location and check in using the MDE app.
- Check Dining Availability, Wait Times, and More – you can check dining availability, filter wait times by Theme Park, and more, and can choose to view results as a list or as pins on a map. You can also determine the best route from one location to another within Walt Disney World Resort by seeing Disney transportation options, complete with estimated travel times. You an continue to use the MDE app even after your visit, to purchase and download memories you created using Disney PhotoPass service.
As technology and the needs of humans evolve, Disney continues to invent and innovate ways to ensure that you can enjoy the magic. Now, you will be able to experience your visit to Walt Disney World Resort with a new option: Disney MagicMobile.
Disney MagicMobile is a digital pass that you can create using the MDE app, which then is added to your smart device’s digital wallet. To use a MagicMobile Pass, you can hold your iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android phone near an access point, just like you would with a MagicBand. You can use a MagicMobile Pass:
- At Theme Park and Water Park entrances
- At attraction access points
- With Disney PhotoPass photographers
Although a MagicMobile Pass may act much like a MagicBand, you can choose to use your MagicMobile Pass or a MagicBand – whichever option works best during your visit. You can even use both and alternate between the two for added flexibility.