One Disney Executive Thinks That Park Pass Reservations Are Here to Stay

When the Disney parks reopened, they got some BIG changes…especially in the U.S.!

Disneyland Mask Sign

We got new health and safety measures (that have since disappeared in some areas), and things like restaurants and hotels had to slowly reopen. But one of the biggest updates has been Disney’s park pass reservation system that requires guests to reserve their visits in advance. And it looks like it’s sticking around, according to one Disney executive!

Recently, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock had an interview with the Orange County Register where they discussed all the changes that the parks have seen in the past year. And on that list of questions was one very interesting tidbit about the park reservation system.

Mickey Mouse on Disneyland’s reopening day!

When asked if reservations have changed the Disneyland experience, Potrock replied: “It’s been an extraordinary change. People ask me if reservations are going to go away. I don’t think so. Reservations create a really important opportunity for us to be able to manage the demand more effectively than we ever could.”

Disneyland Park shortly before reopening.

He went on to add, “If you remember the days where we would have huge quantities of people coming into the park — wall to wall and cheek to cheek. Then you remember days where we didn’t have as many people. The objective here is to spread that demand, whether it’s a Tuesday or a Saturday. If we do that, a couple of really good things happen. One, it’s a better experience for all. Two, we can better manage the labor scenario in a more efficient way.”

Disney California Adventure

We’ve heard similar comments from other executives in the past about the park pass system sticking around, but it looks like that thought process hasn’t changed much in the past few months. As the Disney parks increase capacity, it becomes a little easier for guests to get reservations, but it can still be challenging on holidays or busy weekends.


We’ll keep you updated with any news on Disney’s operational changes, so stay tuned to AllEars for the latest!

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5 Replies to “One Disney Executive Thinks That Park Pass Reservations Are Here to Stay”

  1. Strange that this “exec” didn’t mention that this also allows Disney to ultimately pack more people, cumulatively, into all the Disney parks while only scheduling just enough employees for that day’s crowds. This is the same scheme that many other chain retailers are getting slammed for. They keep employees on basically unpaid standby for call them in only on heaviest crowd days. One would think this efficiency which translates into lower operating costs should mean ticket prices, at a minimum, stay the same. As we all know, ticket prices continue to skyrocket while employee moral plummets due to less paid hours with every hour at work being more heavily loaded and stressful. I’m sure his failure to mention this was simply an oversight as Disney NEVER puts profits in their decision making.

  2. I hate the reservation system. “spreading out the crowds is horrible for those who live close and planned around the busy days. We knew there were plenty of non busy days where you could truly enjoy the park not standing in lines. Now every single day is waiting in long lines. Horrible experience!

  3. I hate how much work Disney is making people put into their vacations. The park reservations make you feel trapped into your day. If you make your reservations in advance, you may hit a day with bad weather and you either make the best of it, or sit on the phone for hours trying to reschedule.

  4. I’m all for it if it helps CMs with staffing and general not hating life because the parks are bursting at the seams. I mean I get why people hate it too and those are good points. However, in the old way prior to Covid at least at DL (I didn’t visit WDW pre Covid so I’m guessing it’s the same but I dunno) if DL or DCA hit capacity if you left the park you could quite possibly not get back into the park. Reservations negate that. If your ticket is for a specific reserved park even if they are capacity if you need to leave to go back to your hotel you can easily get back in.

  5. I don’t mind the park pass system if it lets Disney know their staffing needs. But I do have a problem with the system capping how often an AP holder is allowed into the parks.