Park reservations are an important part of booking your trip and purchasing your tickets. In this episode we help you with understanding how Disneyland Park reservations work, important considerations and tips for securing your preferred dates, and what happens if reservations for your preferred dates are not available.
NOTE: Disneyland has updated their policy and you can now reserve a park date 180 days in advance.
Chapters and Time Stamps
The most important thing to make sure that you have handled before you head out to Disney is making sure that you have your park reservation. In this video, we're going to be talking specifically about park reservations and how they work.
Park Reservations Are Still a Requirement at Disneyland
It used to be that as long as you had a ticket to Disneyland, you were good to go, you could enter the parks at Disney. Post-COVID, now you have to have a reservation for a park and whatever park you reserve is the park that you have to start in. So like we talked about in the module about purchasing tickets, if you make a reservation for California Adventure before 11:00 AM you are only able to access California Adventure. Then after 11:00 AM you'd be able to park hop over to Disneyland as long as you have a park hopper ticket. If you have a single park per day pass, then whatever park reservation you hold is the only park you would be able to enter that day. Disneyland does not make exceptions if you don't have a park reservation for a specific day, so it's very important that you make sure that you have your reservation. Every once in a while, those park reservations will disappear or glitch out, so it's also important that you keep that reservation confirmation either in the email or a screenshot of it in your app so that you can make sure that if something were to happen, you have that as a backup.
So when you go to make your reservations, if you purchased your tickets from Disney's website, then you likely made your reservations at the time of purchase. If you have a Magic Key, which is Disneyland's version of the Annual Pass, or if you purchased from another authorized reseller such as Undercover Tourist or aRes, they will send you a ticket, you will link it to your Disney account, and in your Disney account you will connect the ticket to a reservation, making that reservation. We have a video down below of how to make that reservation.
Once you make your reservation on Disneyland's website, you can log into the app with that same login, and under 'Future Plans', you will see the reservations that you have for a specific park and for what dates and for how many tickets. You can use this to verify that you have all the right dates for all of the tickets very easily, and then in our system, we also have the ability for you to save your confirmation codes and what park is the starting park for each of those days so that you can have it available in your printed itinerary or saved as a PDF on your phone in case you need it at any point in time.
Make Reservations As Soon As Possible
Park reservations are a pretty simple process but it is important that you make sure you get your reservations as soon as possible. You can change your reservations at any time, you can cancel reservations as long as it's at least one day prior, so don't feel like you're trapped in by those reservations, but especially if you're going between the week of Christmas and New Year's, during the summer, spring break, around Thanksgiving or another three day weekend, then I would highly recommend that you get your reservation set as soon as you make your hotel and flight reservations, this way, you don't have to worry.
If you've already booked your flight reservations and now you see that there are no park reservations available, people cancel these reservations all of the time, and so you can check back on a regular basis. Sometimes when I've really needed a reservation, I might check multiple times in a day for a couple weeks, find one that pops up and then snag it as quickly as possible. But to avoid that stress of not knowing if you're going to be able to get that reservation, again, we want to make that reservation as soon as possible. You can book up to 180 days before your trip. So if you are more than 180 days before your trip and you've already selected your dates and booked some flights and hotels, then I would go ahead and set an alarm on your calendar to remind you at about 180 days out to get your reservations.
Now even during busy times, there are park reservations that are available. So even if you only have one or two days' notice, you can still plan a trip to Disneyland, but then the closer you are to the dates that you want to be at the parks, the more you need to prioritize making sure there's a park reservation available before you make any other arrangements and even if you purchase your ticket through Undercover Tourist, you can do this by going and pretending like you're going to purchase on Disneyland's website and see if there are reservations available for that date before you finalize your trip dates.
Check Reservations for Magic Keys First
If you are traveling with somebody who has a Magic Key, which is again, Disney's Annual Pass, then you want to make sure that you check their park availability first, as each of those different types of Annual Passes have different numbers of available reservations for each day. So if you have maybe three people who will be buying tickets, and one person who's going to be using an Annual Pass, check the availability of the Annual Passholder first. If there's available for the Annual Passholder, then there will definitely be availability for people with purchased tickets.
That's everything you need to know about reservations. Go ahead and scroll down in this course to get more information about how to link your ticket if you purchased from our friends at Undercover Tourist. And once you have your reservations, your flight and your hotel, those are the big things that you need to have handled. Now we can get to the fun stuff of planning your actual park days.