All eyes this week have been on Disneyland out in California with the opening of their newest land, the Marvel-themed Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. While everyone was swooning over the flying Spider-Man animatronic and instagramming their oversized lunches at Pyms Test Kitchen, Walt Disney World out in Florida was slowly making some pretty big changes.
According to Walt Disney World’s park resort availability calendar, they recently added a bunch of new available spots for all four theme parks for June and July. Remember, since they reopened Walt Disney World has required guests to not only purchase a ticket, but they also must make a reservation for the park they intend to start their visit in each day. This means people could buy tickets for a June vacation, not make park reservations, and end up out of luck, spending the entire trip in their hotel.
This began as a way to control the crowds during the phased reopening period, but there appears to be no sign that it is going away anytime soon. In fact, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek told investors that park reservations will be around for the foreseeable future. It makes sense from an operations point of view, it is much easier to operate a park when you know exactly how many people will be visiting each day. But it makes the planning process for guests, especially those casual visitors who do not obsess over the parks daily, more difficult.
For the last month it appeared that this summer was fully booked at Walt Disney World. Reservations for both June and July were all snagged up, except for a few random spots at their largest park, Epcot. As of this morning, that has all changed. Both months are basically wide open for all ticket types, with the exception for the next week or two.
The surge of new reservation availability is an indication that Disney is continuing to increase their capacity in Walt Disney World. The state of Florida has no mandates on capacity, but Disney has been keeping their capacity low for months. The last official capacity given was 35% capacity, but that has certainly increased to near 50%. This dump of new reservations shows that this number continues to increase as the weeks pass.
Here is how the reservation availability looks for June and July as of this morning, Saturday June 5th. It is broken up into three ticket types:
- Theme Park Ticket, which are non-Annual Pass Holders who are not staying a a Disney Hotel
- Select Resort Hotels, which are guests staying at Disney owned or Disney approved hotels on property
- Annual Pass, which are guests who hold annual passes
The hardest park to get into continues to be Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as it is home to the resort’s newest ride, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and the resort’s most popular ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The one park that is currently unavailable in July is Magic Kingdom on the Fourth of July. Presumably because guests are anticipating that fireworks will be back by then. While Disney has not made any announcement regarding the return of fireworks or nighttime shows, the recent late night testing of fireworks is giving fans hope that the return is right around the corner.