Disney CEO Bob Iger Comments on the Park Pass Reservation System

It has been a busy week for The Walt Disney Company as Bob Iger becomes CEO and Bob Chapek steps down.

Bob Iger | ©Apple TV+

The news was announced on the night of November 20th and a lot of information has come out since then including why this change was made, Iger’s new salary, Chapek’s reputation following his exit, and more. Disney recently announced that Iger would hold a Town Hall meeting for employees and we’ve got news from that meeting.

Iger has already commented that the previously announced hiring freeze, but one question turned the attention onto the Park Pass Reservation system. 

Magic Kingdom holds a special place in my heart!

According to Ashley Carter on Twitter, Iger commented on the Park Pass Reservation system during the Town Hall meeting. He said he hasn’t used the system personally, but he wants to speak with Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, before saying anything else about it. 

The Park Pass Reservation system was introduced when the theme parks reopened after closing due to COVID-19. Guests can no longer buy a ticket and show up to the parks — you must now choose which park you want to visit and make a specific reservation for that.

Park Pass Reservation availability calendar ©Disney

Disney has tweaked the system a little bit over the last couple years, including adding a feature that makes it easier to modify a reservation.

On December 8th, 2022, Disney is switching to surge pricing for 1-day 1-park tickets and since the price will vary by park, guests will be required to make a Park Pass Reservation as they purchase the ticket.

Tree of Life

Park Pass Reservations are one of the things that Disney fans want to see change as Bob Iger steps back into the role of CEO. Based on his comments and what we know about what can realistically change, it is unclear what will happen with the Park Pass Reservation system at this time.

Spaceship Earth

In the past, former CEO Bob Chapek commented on the system saying it allows Disney to change whatever factors they need regarding ticket packaging. He also said that the reservation system does a great job at spreading out demand and providing a better experience for guests by limiting park capacity.

UPDATE: Disney has announced that Annual Passholders will no longer need Park Passes to enter the parks after 2PM with the exception of Magic Kingdom on Saturdays and Sundays. There is currently no date for when this change will happen, but it is set to happen sometime in 2023!

Stay tuned to AllEars as we cover more news from the Town Hall meeting.

What CEO Bob Iger Needs to Change at Disney World

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77 Replies to “Disney CEO Bob Iger Comments on the Park Pass Reservation System”

  1. The system is too complicated. If the hotel I want is available the park I want might not be available. I like to just go with my tickets in hand and make game time decision as to which park I’m going to visit.

  2. They need to get rid of reservations like the other parks did. I won’t go to Disney because of it. I live in FL and if a nice day would say let’s go to Disney today. Can’t do that any more. I go to the other parks now. We loved going on the spur of the moment.I think Disney is loosing money this way. In the past if over crowded they would close the park entrance go back to that. I went during COVID still waited over 60 to 90 minutes in line so reserved hasn’t changed anything in my mind.

  3. I’m a Floridan and a pass holder. The reservation system did what it was supposed to do during the pandemic. We are thank for that. Disney needs to be Disney again.

  4. Disney World managed just fine without park reservations from opening day in 1971 until Covid. After decades without them, park reservations are suddenly needed? Not buying what Disney is selling.

  5. I would like to see everything back to the way it was before the Pandemic. People pay a lot of money to get into the parks I bringing back Max pass would be incredible smart move. Walt Disney wanted Disneyland for everyone its not its only for people who have money or it takes families years to save to be able to go.I feel Mr. Iger did his best to keep Walt’s vision going.

  6. I have to tell you it sucks we have been going ti Disney for 5 decades it is ruining the whole reason to go there!
    We recently were going to go back but reconsidered. Prices have gone out of sight and you get less.
    No meal plan no Disney express from the airport!
    You have to pay to park a car even though your staying in their resort that’s rediculess !
    I don’t think we will never go back there.
    We have been there at least 12 times.
    It’s just not the same place !!!

  7. Since free access to the parks are one of the benefits offered as an employee of Disney, it becomes a mute benefit if cast members cannot go and enjoy the parks on their days off or even after work unless they have a park reservation, bad enough that they have to endure black out dates too. Cast members should be exempt from the reservation system because it is one of the benefits of employment.

  8. I absolutely hate the park reservation stuff. It makes it hard to get reservations fir restaurants that are already hard to get. Then getting rid of fast pass was a royal disaster. WE did genie + our visit this year for cheer and it was the biggest waste of money

  9. It is the worst system ever! We used to be season’s ticket holders, and now we don’t bother going to Disney any longer. The virtual pass lines, paying for a fast pass while day ticket prices are soaring, making a reservation for a specific day, takes out all of the fun and virtually makes spontaneity non-existant. It’s so complex the average person can’t navigate it. Even Eiger hasn’t used it because he probably can’t figure it out. Disney has also let the prices soar while cutting every corner. Christmas candlelight processional was shortened as is the German biertgarden entertainment. No more Christmas story, Christmas tree, or kids dancing. Disney is only about money now. All the cuts they made during Covid they are not bringing back. Many of the employees are disgruntled as well, telling us that Disney won’t return to pre-Covid days because they didn’t have to, people will still come. Well, not us. Sadly, after 24 candlelight processional park visits, we’re done. Walt Disney would turn in his grave to see what they’ve done to his dream.

  10. Put the genie+ back in the bottle. What a waist of time and money. We are annual pass holders and DVC members. Tried the Genie+ and we had to go from one end of the park to the other end for a ride. Not feasible for retires. Bring back fast passes…at least for 2 rides then we can at least plan our day.

  11. The reservation system is worthless. We are not at the beginning of the pandemic any more. The cost of admission is outrageous now and not affordable for families. The Genie+ does not work well at all and you can barely get on a few rides throughout the course of a whole day. People across the nation are talking about and complaining about the cost of going to Disney. It used to be such an enjoyable thing to take my family of five to Disney. Not anymore. Your prices have skyrocketed and there are very few benefits, just additional costs compounded to the cost of admission. Also, The parks do not have trams to take you from the huge parking lot to the front gate anymore. That is ridiculous and the amount of walking is terrible! There are no more excuses blaming it all on COVID. You need to have the trams back to transport people to the park gates.

  12. We absolutely hate the genie + and lightning lane. We have always enjoyed the parks but the magic was lost in November when most of the the lines had wait times of 120 minutes and with a family of 5 its just to expensive to add the extra cost to the price of the tickets to purchase all the extra add ons. When people are in long lines Disney should at least have vendors walking around the lines selling water or drinks. You know things are bad when even the kids have had enough and just want to leave. The last thing I want to do the night before( midnight) is to get on line trying to reserve a ride for hours and then again at 7 am.

  13. From 1971 until the pandemic, Disney World got along just fine without park reservations. Now, they are suddenly needed? Yeah, right.

  14. I like the reservation system. Although the park is still crowded, it’s not as bad as before. At almost 200 a ticket, I think Disney should actually bring their capacity down a little more. I miss when I was able to enjoy riding everything I wanted to ride without having to fight my way through a horde of people

  15. If it really limited capacity I might like it but parks are more packed than ever! Long lines when I get in does not make me feel like it is anything but an extra step .It also takes out the possibility of a spontaneous meal in the park. I say get rid of it!!!

  16. Been there 35 times stopped going after 2019.Because they made to many changes especially that stupid reservation system.
    Paying for fast pass.I will never go back until Disney go back to the way it use to be.

  17. Fast pass, reservations, price increases to nearly $200 per ticket…..and you figure, you’re lucky to ride 5 rides per visit. No thanks…..never again

  18. In some ways the park reservation system is a good thing. It guarantees that you will be admitted on crowded days. I’m not an annual pass holder but maybe they should be exempt. What I can comment on is the genie+. It is horrible. Last week it was $29 and at 7am, Slinky dog was completely booked. Same with Ratatouille. There were days we were using genie+ on rides and attractions with wait times of 20 minutes just to feel we got our money’s worth. The magic is gone.

  19. Worst system ever. The reason we were buying annual passes was the fact that we could spontaneously go over to a park just to walk around and grab a meal etc. No one wants to plan 3in advance to do this.

    1. I totally agree. I wanted an annual pass so I can go anytime I want. Also it was an adjustment to figuring rides so it would be a good thing not to make them all pass required like it was before. So ridiculous and the hold on any new passes is really sad for Florida residents.

  20. My wife and I were APs for almost 20 years. We never had any issues with the crowds or the FastPass or going in whenever we were not blocked out. Now, the Magic Keys are too expensive for our family of six. Even if we had the MKs, we’d have to make reservations for when we wanted to go, even if we just wanted to go for a couple of hours for dinner, a parade and a couple of rides. On top of that, we’d have to pay for Genie+ to go in the “faster” line which is sometimes slower than the normal line. Sorry… It’s not worth it for the amount I’m paying. Pay more to get the same things I got before for free? How does that make sense? How is that family-friendly? Walt Disney is rolling around in his grave with how his company was run under Chapek. Everything needs to be rolled back to at least 15-20 years ago! They would still be making money hand over fist.

  21. I just made reservations and no problem. I’m ok with it as it limits capacity. If they elimimate reservations then capacity will go up and people will complain about that. No matter what Disney does people will complain. Eliminate any fastpass program as well.

  22. My niece and her family recently visited Disney World. They were not aware of the reservation system so they only got into a park on two of the four days. The kids were very disappointed. The Magic is getting very tarnished and needs to go back to a simpler way to operate.

  23. I am magic key holder with my family and as much as it is a pain in the ass to make a reservation, it allows the parks from being overrun with people. Even with this reservation system, web slingers line was 85 minutes last night. Rise of the resistance and Radiator springs racers is at least 60 and often 120 minutes in our experience. Imagine if they let an unlimited number of people in. Thats what truly ruins the magic. I do think they need to get rid of genie+ though. Paying a extra $100-200 per family per day to skip the line creates a system where everyone that doesn’t pay up is a second class guest. Not a fan.

    1. You do realize that prior to Covid there was not a reservation system and the crowds were exactly the same. We’ve been going to Disney since 1991 and crowds and 3 hr long lines were never an issue, especially with Fast pass. Lines are worse now with reservations and genie+

    1. Been going to disney for 13 years and Chapek ruined Disneyland. Genie plus is a joke,(getting ride times for 11:55 pm or they’re constantly closed), Reservation system is helping nothing (still 120 min waits which is longer than ever). Went in October and for the first time the park was dirty and in 3 days we saw ONE character. No joke.

  24. As a pass holder for many years, I used to go anytime I wanted , but since COVID and the reservation system was put in place I can no longer go on a whim, chances are you can’t get into the park you want.

  25. Speaking strictly for disneyland, even with the reservation system, the parks are FULL! Y’all may not like it, but you’ll like it even less when you show up to the park to be turned away because it reached capacity at 8:30 a.m. At least this way, you can plan your days. I do agree that there should be some flexibility added in with some tickets available at the window and the rest based on reservations if possible.

  26. Josh D’Amaro needs to recommend it he scrapped unless he needs a petition like paycheck got. He seemed to fall in line very well was it to protect his job or was it to stuff his money bin we will have to wait and see.

  27. We have been annual pass holders in the past averaging two visits per year and gave them up in 2018 because the afternoons and evenings were a mass of humanity with no place to sit, and dining near impossible . We live a distance from Disneyland and visiting requires planning. It took about two minutes to figure the app out in February, the only visit we have made since reopening. We noticed that the experience was much better due to the reservation limits. It used to be that the by 4 pm when all the so cal passes showed up it was shoulder to shoulder like cigarettes in a pack. Forget getting on rides after 4 pm All the fast passes were gone. Evenings and nights are now the best time of the day rather than the worst. We had time to enjoy rides, dine and shop.

  28. We went in October and we hated the reservation system. If you can go to any park after 2 pm, what difference does it make? There were only 2 parks available in the mornings, we couldn’t go where we wanted to until 2pm. Considering the price of tickets, if you have a park hopper you should be able to move around at will.

  29. After my family of 6 being annual passholder for over 10 yrs, will not return until prices decrease and reservation goes away. Bring Disneyland back to what it was before Covid shut it down. We are all hurting for money, so Disneyland should do the same. Lower prices.

  30. I can tolerate any of the other changes, but I hate the park reservation system. It has definitely dampened our enthusiasm to go back.

  31. Park pass is another reason to avoid Disney Parks. I wish Walt could rise and fire everyone who destroyed his vision.

  32. My family and I were long time season pass holders at one time we had both DL and DW passes when we would travel to Florida.
    Having the flexibility to come and go as you please was refreshing and a great way to see all DW had to offer.
    The new reservation system put a wrench in your plans to go to any park when you have the time do so.
    We were pass holders for 20 years now with all the Red tape the new system involves we don’t go.
    We are not local to either park but we would reconsider getting pass again if the reservation went away and the season passes went back to the way they were.

  33. Can’t get any reservations done all tickets and codes must be reserved for that day shouldn’t have to spend a whole day trying to get a reservation or a response from customer service to answer you.restaurants are impossible to book.booked 3-6 month s in advance.when I became a DVC member I 🤔 this was supposed to be aprivilege,now your just another guest,hope Disney become s happy again.

  34. That’s right, come on up to Tennessee hospitality. See the smokies. You can’t see all pigeon forge and Gatlinburg has to offer in a week or two’s time either. Much better bang for your buck.

  35. This has to go. What makes Disney fun in the past was to be able to hop from park to park. You are visiting the magic kingdom during the day and the hop on over to Epcot to have dinner at one of the world showcase restaurants. Or you finish your tour of one park early, you hop on over the next park. Open borders is more fun and less stressing.

  36. Welcome back Mr. Iger!
    My opinion that this new ticket system is a terrible system. Makes my family,friends, and myself think twice if it is really worth going to the parks. Always was a big fan of Disney and we are DVC members. However, now sometimes vacation times there are better just staying at a Disney Resort without going to the parks. That is the sad reality.

  37. They would get a lot more monet from me with no reservations. I never go now because of it. I used to go 3 or 4 times a month, and use their hotels, buy food, etc.

  38. The only reason to buy an annual pass(Florida resident) was to be able to go to the parks on a whim.Many times we would go over for lunch.

  39. This system keeps people from being able to enjoy a day in the parks without quite a lot of planning and I have not visited Disney since it’s been implemented, even though I live in Orlando. It’s just too much to bother with!

    1. We just went to Disney world in October and the park pass was fine. We knew we would not be turned away because of crowds, And we knew a month ahead of time where we were going and when. The only thing we worried about was the weather and getting rained out.

  40. I am not a fan of the reservation system. When you’re traveling with young children or special needs guests, you sometimes have to be flexible with your decisions as to which parks to visit on any particular day. However, sadly, I don’t see the system going away. The last theme park that Disney built was Animal Kingdom in 1996. Since then they have opened 12 new hotels, 13 if you count the Marriott swan hotel expansion. Imagine a family saving years for a Disney trip, and coming to the resort to find that they can’t get into the park due to capacity issues. It is my opinion that Disney is going to keep the reservation system to ensure that their hotel guests have first dibs at tickets, followed by annual pass, and single day ticket holders.

  41. Don’t think it’s far r if you get a weeks vacation and can get only 2 park days its a waste for the whole family especially if you come from far away

    1. Exactly. I dont have any problem reserving the parks ahead. And when you combine the dinning reservation it makes more sense to have the park reserved.

  42. Don’t like it as it adds an extra layer of complexity that is not necessary. Also don’t like the hopper time limitation and really wish there was an option to add hopper to single days of a multiday pass.

  43. Honestly, the reservation system is a game changer for us as well. It makes our getaways less and less magical and is prob one of the main reasons I don’t have another park trip planned right now.

    1. We are taking our little dude in January 2023 and honestly as Disney lovers it has already out a damper on our trip. The Park hopper restrictions is a SUPER BUMMER and the ligthing lanes is potentially going to max us out. This was his 4 year old Birthday gift and I want this trip to be as magical as we (his parentS) Have always experienced. Also, not that it matters a lot of people but losing the bus from the MCO to the resort really sucks. 🙁

    2. I absolutely agree I won’t even go to Disney anymore. You have to plan everything get a reservation for everything. It’s no longer spontaneous. I won’t be back unless the system changes.

  44. It is really hard to reserve meals on the current plan. You have people who reserve everything possible everywhere possible and then don’t have to drop their reservation until 2 hours prior to the dining time. There should be a away to allow each party to have preference on dining when paired with the park that they have to stay in under the current reservation plan.

  45. We don’t like it. We should be able to go to any park any day that we want to go without picking the park ahead of time. Many times we have gotten up and changed our minds about where we want to go that day.

  46. Do not like it at all. Also do not like the passes are going up. We have been pass holders for about 7 years and are not renewing this time. Priced out and especially with limited visits with the reservation system.

    1. If I am spending 13k for a room for a week at the Riveria I better have preference over someone staying at a local holiday Inn off Disney. We did it and it was fine. You just had to plan ahead. It was still crowded even with the system, but not complete chaos and 3 hours lines like the last time we went. Getting a suite at Disney should automatically allow you to go on the fast pass line as well.

      1. So those of us not fortunate enough to have your level of income don’t deserve to enjoy Disney. I work very hard for over 35 years, and feel my family’s vacation is every bit as important as yours. Regards from the Holiday Inn

  47. Park reservation system is a terrible system. I prefer to go to Knotts Berry Farm where they got rid of it. Their prices are more affordable, and their rides never brake down. All the magic is gone. Chapek was greedy and didn’t care about the fact that people can barely afford Disney tickets.

  48. I went to Disney on my honey moon 47 years ago. And have been back about FORTY times. Sometimes twice a year. I used to say it was the most fun place in the world but not anymore. Next you will have to have a reservation to go to the bathroom. And charging you extra to sit in a certain place to watch fireworks. It’s gotten to be all about the money. I won’t be back until the park reservation changes.

  49. The first thing Bob Iger needs to do is get rid of the park pass reservation system it sucks n is terrible people including myself want the old way back which is when I wake up I go to whatever park I want to go to that day with out worrying if I have a reservation for that park on that day….second thing he needs to do is lower the prices into the parks back down they are to high n ridiculous n are pricing people n families right out n hurting there profits n turning people off so badly including myself

  50. We dislike the reservation system and have vowed not to visit the parks till it gets back to the good Ole days of going when or where we want. As a past season pass holder I like I am sure others have stayed away for the same reason.

  51. Its a terrible system..I’ve been an annual pass holder for decades..I won’t go back till it changes..I’m not use to letting someone tell me when and where I can go after I’ve paid for a yearly pass. It wasn’t broken before why change it

  52. Disney has lost it’s magic. I have no desire to ever go back. I don’t like the park pass reservation, I hate the added expense they keep adding so you can skip lines, and I hate the fact that they keep adding costs to every aspect of a visit to their parks.

  53. the park pass system is a management tool for the corporation to control
    access to the magic kingdom.
    all other entertainment venues can easily accommodate anyone who wants to visit.

  54. It needs to go! I will not go to Disney knowing I can only be in a park on a certain day for a certain amount of time. It is no longer necessary since other amusement parks/entertainment venues have abandoned all and/or any complicated reservation systems.

  55. I dislike it tremendously!!!
    I am not returning to WDW this year because of it. I enjoyed the freedom to do what I want to do on whatever day it was. Now the freedom and flexibility is gone

    1. It totally ruined the Disney experience! After our poor time this summer we decided we will not return until it is removed.

      We did a couple days at Universal and it was so much better. Unfortunate!

      For families looking for a great experience, I would highly recommend Dollywood. It will beat every expectation. The way Disney used to.

    1. Just got back from Disney world and will NEVER go back…Walt is rlong over on his grave at what has been done to his park! GREED has taken over…shame on the ones running it now!!! After going there I now know where they got the idea in Santa Claus three where Jack FROST sells Christmas—- at Disney world the parents are expected to spend a lot of money to show their kids they love them– truly disgusting and despicable!!!