Booking a Disney trip is in some ways, more complex than ever. While you no longer need to worry about booking Fastpass+, the limited park capacity means that dining reservations and even more crucial, park reservations, are difficult to come by. If you’re anything like us, you may be booking a trip “last minute” (aka within a month or two), meaning that park pass availability could easily be limited to full. So how do you get a park pass reservation when they’re unavailable for your dates of travel?
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First of all, don’t call or chat with the internet help desk, cast members, etc. Sadly, they can’t help you any more than the online portal. Instead, your most important tactic is going to be persistence. Park passes can become available in one of two ways: a. Disney opens additional availability for that day or b. someone cancels a pass for that day.
Disney Opening Additional Availability
We recommend following Walt Disney World News Today (WDWNT) on Instagram or Twitter in order to stay abreast of new park pass availability – they generally will post immediately when something drops. Disney sporadically adds new availability so there’s no guarantee, especially if your dates are coming up soon.
A few tips for this – we’ve heard (by word of mouth from our friends and followers only, this is in absolutely no way verified or even tested by us) that Disney potentially opens passes at: 4 AM, 7 AM, and 1 PM. We’ve also heard that two weeks prior to a date, Disney will add more availability when they move some of the annual Passholder reservation availability into the general theme park/resort guest availability. We’ve also seen them drop large batches at the beginning of one month for the following or next (so at the beginning of May, opening more availability for June/July).
Your best option aside from that is to check back often and refresh the page constantly in hopes of a cancellation. As stressful as it may be, this is unfortunately going to be more fruitful in the weeks/days leading up to your trip – people are much more likely to be rearranging plans and therefore cancelling existing reservations at that time.
Refresh, Refresh, Refresh
Some other tips – if you don’t want to refresh the page over and over yourself, install a Chrome extension, such as Easy Auto Refresh, that you can set to refresh the page periodically (like, every two seconds). Set it aside in a smaller window and keep an eye on it while you work!
A very unfortunate part of the park pass reservation system is that you cannot modify an existing park pass reservation. That means that if you happen to find availability for one park, but it wasn’t the exact park that you wanted to go to that day, you’ll have to decide if you want to take it and just accept the change in plans, or if you’d prefer to keep looking. Ideally, you’d be able to hold onto your pass until you can modify it to a different one, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.