It’s January 2024! A new year has begun. Not only has a new year begun, but a long overdue era has begun. As of January 9th, guests with length-of-stay passes or “dated passes” were no longer required to make park reservations. Their reaction, “Woo-hoo!”. That sure took the stress off the minds of thousands of guests visiting Walt Disney World. Who needed to deal with that every trip? That leaves one more admission pass that needs to be amended. That admission pass is the annual pass. The annual pass is a great must-have for avid Walt Disney World visitors. Whether they’re visiting at least 6 times per year or even visiting both water parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon) the annual pass is great for guests staying on the Walt Disney World resort property. With that in mind, the talented individuals at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts need to make a much-needed exception, and that much-desired exception must be made NOW. The exception is to lift the requirement of park reservations for annual pass holders. It makes perfect sense! It makes the “world” a far happier place.
Before January 9th, Walt Disney World guests had to make park reservations across the board. Whether they had a length-of-stay pass or annual pass, reservations were required. Each and every park had to be reserved for a certain day. It was a headache for all guests, a headache the guests just wished would go away. Finally, that headache very much gone, but not perfect. For guests holding an annual pass, not so fast! Guests holding an annual pass still have to make park reservations. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? The park reservations for annual pass holders is still in effect for a specific reason. The annual pass can be purchased by anyone including Florida residents, single day visitors, and guests staying off property. So, guests cannot just “drop in”. That is understandable. Disney wants to maintain control of the park crowds, so not to make it an uncomfortable experience of waiting in long cue lines for attractions. Not only is that a courtesy, it’s efficient.
No one likes waiting in long dines, of course! But, there has to be an exception made for annual pass holders. What if guests staying on the Walt Disney World resort property, including the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, didn’t have to make park reservations? This is the exception that MUST be made! Guests, whether they have a length-of-stay pass or annual pass, SHOULD NOT need to make park reservations at all. This exception should level the playing field for all-time sake. Josh D’Maro, Disney’s chairman for Parks & Resorts, should be reading this. He should consider putting this exception into effect immediately. Very soon, schools will be out for mid-winter break and spring break. The parks will be crowded once again. Amongst that crowd are families who are annual pass holders. Soon after that, schools will be out for the summer. Guests with length-of-stay passes and annual passes should be able to share the same on-property advantage. Agree?
Adding to the excitement this coming Spring, the newly imagined attraction Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, fka Splash Mountain will be opening to the public. The popular and drenching thrill ride, inspired by the Disney classic “Song of The South” known for the song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”, has been reimagined and transformed into an experience inspired by “Princess & The Frog”. Annual pass holders DO NOT need to make park reservations to experience this new one-of-a-kind attraction. Even with the new smash hit thrill rides Tron Lightcycle Run in Tomorrowland and Guardians of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT, annual pass holders shouldn’t have to make park reservations to enjoy them time and again. Guests with length-of-stay passes no longer needing park reservations, while annual pass holders still have to make park reservations is flagrantly a double standard. Josh D’Maro can do way better. Like in “Princess & The Frog”, he needs to “Dig A Little Deeper”. Eliminating park reservations for annual pass holders staying on-property is the right thing to do, and is the right foot forward. Walt Disney always believed in the future as a time period of good things to come. Lifting park reservations for annual pass holders is a must-do, with no waiting time to waste.
It’s a new year, and a new year for Walt Disney World. Soon enough, the weather will be changing for the warmer and of course, the hotter. January 9th, was a day which all Disney guests of all ages and walks of life couldn’t wait long enough for. It was the day that guests with length-of-stay passes or “dated passes” no longer needed to make park reservations. It’s fantasmic news, yes? It was the great news that was overdue. Why wouldn’t it be? The next thing for Josh D’Maro and his Walt Disney Parks & Resorts team to do is sweeten the deal for annual pass holders. What must Josh D’Maro and his team do? He SHOULD and MUST lift park reservations for annual pass holders. As long as they are staying on resort property, including the Swan & Dolphin, it’ll be smooth sailing ahead for everyone across the board. Eliminating the headache for one group of guests, and not relieving the headache for the other, isn’t fair at all. An exception must be made NOW, and be a can kicked down the street. Josh D’Maro and his team need to put their “synergy” into high-gear and make this exception possible. As they say in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, “It’s gonna be a great big beautiful tomorrow”. The song doesn’t lie. It’s time to make this exception-this annual pass holders’ dream-a reality.