Disney guests report glitches, long waits when making park reservation during coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 capacity limitations force guests with tickets to make reservations

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Disney launched its new system Monday allowing resort guests with tickets to make reservations. Many who logged on said there were glitches and some reservations took hours to complete.

The new reservations system is part of the company’s phased reopening plan to stick to capacity restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Disney guests can only reserve one park per day, due to capacity limitations.

News 6 spoke with Jenny Sperandeo from Illinois. She and her husband have a Disney Vlog called ‘Jen and Joe on the go.’ They booked a Disney resort for late July - but Sperandeo said her theme park reservation experience has been anything but magical.

"I can't get onto the site, it keeps crashing or I'm on hold for hours. I've been doing this since 6 a.m. in the morning," said Sperandeo.

[RELATED: Here’s when Disney’s theme parks are reopening | Some Disney World resorts, campgrounds reopen following months-long coronavirus closures]

In New York, Erin Foster was facing the same issues, logging onto the website only to be sent to a virtual waiting room. When that didn't work, she went to the phones.

"I called 40 times to get through and was on hold for 90 minutes. When I finally got through to a cast member, she recognized I had a problem and she couldn't help me," said Foster.

Both ladies eventually got through only making partial reservations for the parks.

“It’s extremely frustrating. Disney’s a big company and you’d think they’d test it a bit better, Sperandeo said. “Obviously what they did is not working.”

[WATCH: Petitions ask Disney to delay reopening]

Foster said she recognizes a new system could have quirks but expected the company to be better prepared for its fan base.

”They should have upped their server capacity. It was entirely predictable that tens of thousands of people will be logging in at the same time,” said Foster.

The two women are worried that if Disney doesn't resolve the issues with the reservation system, the parks will reach capacity.

Right now, park reservations are only open to Disney resort guests who already purchased theme park tickets.

The next test for the system will be Friday when annual passholders without a resort stay can make reservations. All ticket holders will be allowed to make reservations starting Sunday.

We reached out to Disney about the issue and they said around 5 p.m. there was little to no wait time for the Disney Park Pass reservations system. They said wait times were longer earlier in the day because of the large number of people on the site at the same time.

Disney also stressed a few important details that guests need to know about the new Disney Park Pass system:

  • Guests will need a My Disney Experience account, as this is where their Walt Disney World Resort plans are stored and managed.
  • They'll also need a valid theme park ticket or Annual Pass that's linked to their My Disney Experience account.
  • If guests have a Disney Resort hotel reservation, they will need to link it to their My Disney Experience account beforehand, as well.

About the Author: