With the return of Bob Iger as Walt Disney Co.’s CEO, fans are advocating for changes to the company’s theme parks.
On social media, people have expressed wanting the park reservation system gone citing that it ruins the overall Disney Park experience, among other things.
The reservation system requires guests to make a reservation before visiting a specific theme park. On some days, park reservations are unavailable for certain theme parks. The company has not announced plans to change or eliminate the park reservation system.
“I want to believe that Iger will get rid of the reservation system because I don’t want there to be a park reservation system,” Alicia Stella, a theme park blogger, said.
During a highly anticipated town hall for Disney employees on Monday, Iger announced that he would want to talk to Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, before making any decisions about the future of the reservation system.
The system debuted in 2021 at Disneyland Resort when the parks reopened after a yearlong closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new addition was supposed to monitor how many guests would be visiting the U.S. parks, according to former CEO Bob Chapek. The reservation requirement debuted in 2020 for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, since the park reopened earlier than its Anaheim counterpart.
As a frequent visitor to the Magic Kingdom, Stella said that the system negatively impacted her theme park experience more than it helped.
“It’s an annoyance for the guest, and it’s not giving them the peace of mind they think it is,” Stella said.
The theme park blogger explained that the parks still seem busy even with the reservation system in place. Sometimes, it can even be hard for Stella to obtain a park reservation. Recently, Stella tried to get a theme park reservation to meet up with a friend but couldn’t, even during the perceived “offseason” when the parks typically aren’t busy.
Other Disney Park fans, like theme park content creator David Vaughn, believe that the reservation system should only be used on certain days.
“I’m not super against the reservation system if it is needed to manage crowds,” Vaughn said. “It just doesn’t seem to be the case these days that it’s a huge benefit for the guests.”
Vaughn suggested that the company can use the reservation system when they expect to see large crowds due to a special event or new ride opening.
Regardless of the future of the park reservation system, Vaughn believes that the company should listen to its fans, especially when ticket prices keep increasing.
“If they are going to keep reservations, maybe the exchange would be to keep the crowds lower, especially on days when people are paying the most to go,” Vaughn said.