Disney World Cancels All Fastpass, Dining Reservations

May 28, 2020, 10:08 PM · The Walt Disney World Resort's theme parks might be reopening, but many of its reservation services are now closed.

When it announced its parks reopening dates earlier this week, Disney also said that it was "pausing" new ticket sales and hotel reservations as it worked to rebook those whose vacations had been canceled by the resort's closure. Tonight, Disney announced that it also canceling all existing dining, dining plan, experience, Fastpass+ reservations that guests have made for future visits this year.

The cancelations wipe the slate clean as Disney looks to reopen its parks with sharply reduced capacities. Advance reservations will be required to visit a Walt Disney World theme park when they reopen, with the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom returning July 11 followed by Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios on July 15.

Disney has said that it will announce at a later date the details about how guests can make those reservations. Tonight, Disney also said that Extra Magic Hours will be canceled, as the resort continues to work on managing its reduced capacities to support social distancing.

I can't help but this back to last summer's D23, when then-Disney Parks Chairman (and now Disney CEO) Bob Chapek announced the new "Disney Genie" digital planning assistant that would help guests manage all their Fastpass+ and dining reservations. Unfortunately with Covid-19, no one can rub the lamp, so that Genie's gonna stay trapped inside while Jafar just cancels everything.

But for those Disney fans who have been longing for an old-school Disney theme park experience — without Fastpasses, advance dining reservations, dessert parties, and up-sell extra hours — well, it looks like maybe the Genie did grant you one last wish before retiring back to the lamp.

Disney said that it will reopen dining and experience reservations closer to when the parks reopen, though it will reduce the window for those reservations from 180 days to 60 days going forward. Disney said that it will share any news about the future of the Fastpass+ program at a later date.

Replies (22)

May 28, 2020 at 10:51 PM

Nothing shows how vastly different visiting Universal and Disney are like these re-opening plans. Universal is not only not requiring reservations for theme park visits but also explicitly not takings reservations for any dining. I'm interested to know if these choices are based on the feedback they received from their surveys, pointing them to low attendance expectations. OR are they just making bad decisions? I suppose time will tell.

May 28, 2020 at 11:20 PM

As a local I think this doesn’t sound too bad.

May 29, 2020 at 12:59 AM

Can see them needing this given how it's still a wild situation so not too shocked.

May 29, 2020 at 1:12 AM

Dam that sucks for all the people that woke up early when their window came to reserve fastpasses for their trip. I did that for 4 days at 5am to get our fastpasses for March which also got cancelled. It's nothing in the grand scheme of things just another theme park adjustment in these times. I am looking forward to a life without fastpasses. I was a big fan of them until Disney Resort guest got that extra 30 day head start. They deserve that for paying a premium price at a Disney Resort. As a child of the 90's I can hardly remember a time before fastpasses.

May 29, 2020 at 1:29 AM

Perhaps this situation will allow Disney to go back and fix a lot of the things that have proven to be major headaches for many visitors. I usually don't even know the dates of my trips six months out, let alone where I want to eat and at what time. I really think restaurant reservations should be pulled in to 30 days and Fastpasses day of (perhaps with Maxpass like Disneyland), as it would make visiting far simpler and more enjoyable.

May 29, 2020 at 1:37 AM

I feel Disney has to further provide incentives to fill up their 30,000 onsite overpriced hotel rooms. That's why they allow those guest a head start on fastpasses. For some people that may be the difference for paying 500 a night for a room at the Polynesian Resort as opposed to 180 at the Marriott.

May 29, 2020 at 3:30 AM

Alright, no more Fastpass+ and dining reservations, this could become a fun vacation destination again. Now if they have less accidents I may come back for a day or two.

May 29, 2020 at 6:28 AM

I’ll say this, if I was one of the people that had my reservations (especially the difficult to get dining reservations) already lined up, and they got cancelled (for a trip that could still happen), I would be FURIOUS. That would be enough to make me switch gears on the trip, and go to competing parks instead. I’ve never needed Front of Line at Universal, and Quick Queue is very reasonably priced at SWE Parks, so could have much greater success at those parks.

It seems I’m in the minority, but I am like Robert DeNiro from Meet The Parents, when it comes to the planning and execution of these trips. It definitely takes some work ahead of time, and making some additional strategic choices during the day, but all ends up being well worth it. I have never had anything but the highest regard for the Fastpass+ system, because I always ended up getting everything I needed, with the required planning.

As Manny Barron mentioned above, getting some of these dining reservations takes a lot of effort and persistence. I always ended up getting what I need, but it can take checking several times per day, and sometimes at odd hours of the day or night. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks of this, but I’ve always struck gold in the end.

As AJ mentioned above you need to know where you want to eat 6 months in advance for this system to work. That is true. I learned quickly that if you want to have any specialty dining, that actually needs to be your #1 thing to plan around, that’s just the way it is. #2 item to plan around is the Tier 1 fastpasses that you can score as soon as they are available. #3 is the shows and everything else after those is somewhat flexible, but you gotta be smart with it. I’ve done this a few times, and executed nearly perfect days, getting everything done (while enjoying an extended meal) and minimal time waiting in lines. Oh yeah, and having seats in the reserved area for Fantasmic! as opposed to waiting 90 minutes in line just to get a seat. I gotta tell you too, if my day included a table service dinner, I leave the park at the end of the night feeling like a million bucks (as opposed to feeling wore down and tired).

I know most on here are the “go with the flow” type, but I just couldn’t do that for a Disney trip, especially during peak season. A reduced capacity situation with long lines, could actually end up being worse than peak season. I’d have to cancel the trip, to avoid driving myself nuts, on an expensive vacation.

BTW - I’m not saying it was an unnecessary decision made by Disney. I do understand why that would have to be done, at least for the next few months. What I am saying is that would make my decision, to move forward with the trip or not, a no-brainer. This would also be a great example, of why I feels it’s best to surprise my kids with the news we’re going on vacation, when it’s time to start packing...

May 29, 2020 at 6:35 AM

All changes in operations are temporary. Let's see how things look after the parks (all theme parks) and resorts are open for 90 days.

May 29, 2020 at 7:24 AM

The FP+ system was a poorly thought out system that had a few people that liked it and many people that did not. Forcing people to micromanage their vacation would never have been considered under previous leaderships as not being a fun way to spend a visit, but my disdain for that system is on record. That being said, that was all in the past. It was clear that FP+ made lines longer, not shorter for many attractions, and that is something that does not need to happen now. However, the armbands are great ways for guests to avoid having to touch things after an initial activation that can be disinfected. They could easily use them to go back to the older system but use the armbands instead of paper fast passes. This pandemic is going to force people to have creative solutions to difficult problems, and it will be interesting to see what the crowd levels really will be. I know some people think the crowds will be light. I don’t think so based on what we have seen in other places. WDW is smart to open after UO. They are smart to clear everything with a clean slate. Despite what some say, there will be people that fall out due to heat in the masks. I have already seen this, and it is not even hot yet. Hopefully, they will have multiple systems in place for crowd control. I suspect when they started FP+ they did not mathematically test it with industrial engineers over a long period of time, and when they spent the money, they just decided to stick with it despite the complaints. I don’t think they can do this now. They seemed to be pretty smart so far, so maybe they will test several methods and switch them up depending on the needs of the parks.

May 29, 2020 at 7:27 AM

Reading thru the Disney announcement(s) I can't see where it says this is a permanent change?? Am I missing something? Everything up to Sept 2021 has been canceled, but the reality is by that time we may, if we are lucky, be only just coming out of this pandemic with no restrictions anyway.

It'll be interesting to see how it all pans out thru the rest of 2020.

May 29, 2020 at 7:46 AM

Could be a timing thing....maybe mine aren’t cancelled yet, but I have a Club Level Reservation at a Deluxe Resort and all my dining reservations from August 2-9 are still there in My Plans...

May 29, 2020 at 7:48 AM

I can’t imagine this is permanent. I think it is meant to give them the ability to tweak their systems as needed. This does seem to be the smart move to me.

May 29, 2020 at 8:10 AM

... I liked the Florida fastpass system. I liked being able to guarantee three picks, and didn’t feel like it was micromanaging...

May 29, 2020 at 10:08 AM

First, I do have to say it sucks that Disney is unilaterally and with very little notice cancelling ADRs, FP+s, and DDPs. If I was holding onto a reservation for late summer, I'd be pretty annoyed that all of the work that was done to assemble an itinerary has been undone with the wave of Micky's wand. I'd be particularly annoyed if I had high demand dining reservations like Victoria & Albert's, Cinderella's Royal Table, or other hard to get dining experiences that will likely be even harder to get when the new reservation systems are brought online due to decreased capacity. The other big one that would annoy me would be the ripping away of the DDP. Now, guests who are paying for the DDP as part of their reservation will be getting their money back for the cancellation, but for those guests that made decisions regarding upcoming trips based on free DDP offers, it completely changes their calculus. Those guests won't be getting any refunds, and now will have to pay out of pocket for food during their upcoming trips while paying rack rates for hotel rooms. Maybe Disney did this to "thin the herd", knowing that a lot of guests make trips ONLY to take advantage of the free DDP offers and will cancel their reservations. It will certainly be a shock for those guests that not only face the likelihood of having a very different vacation than they initially planned, but now will end up having to spend more money to cover food costs that they thought would be taken care of when they booked their trip.

The cancellation of FP+s is a no-brainer. The writing has been on the wall for weeks regarding the elimination of FP+ on attractions, so guests knew the chances of their FP+ reservations being maintained even after the parks opened back up were slim to none. IF I had a vacation planned for this summer, I probably still would have made advance FP+ reservations, but with the expectation that they would likely be changed or cancelled.

The elimination of EMH and special events also shouldn't be surprising. Disney needs to put all of their resources into slowly ramping their operations back up, and cannot simply flip a switch to go back to the way things were in early March. EMH and special events are the easiest places to pull back on labor to reallocate those resources to enhance normal daily operations.

It sucks that these operational changes are impacting guests that have been looking forward to their vacations for months (some that may have been expecting to have to cancel but now with a solid resort opening date had renewed enthusiasm), but I think you have to see the silver linings here in a world that's been devoid of them for months.

I think it has to be expected that most of these changes are temporary, but I would hope that Disney sees the benefits some of these changes provide for guests compared to the old ways. I've always claimed that the 180+ reservation window for ADRs was ridiculous, and the "temporary" 60+ day window may yield distinct advantages for everyone. As AJ noted, I really think Disney is onto something with MaxPass versus FP+, and that guests should not be picking what attractions they want to ride 60+ days in advance when MaxPass's day-of rule works nearly flawlessly in California, and generates additional revenue with its $15/person/day upcharge.

It's easy for me to applaud these changes as someone who just visited WDW a couple of months ago, and probably won't return for another 18+ months, but I do feel the pain and frustration of many guests that have seen weeks and months of planning get flushed down the toilet overnight. However, these guests can still look forward to visiting WDW after July 11 if they choose, or they can cancel/delay their trips until conditions become more favorable. One thing's for sure is that a trip to WDW this summer is going to be unlike any other previous Disney vacation, and it will be interesting to see if any of these logistical changes will be adopted beyond being temporary operational policies.

May 29, 2020 at 10:32 AM

It's amazing to see how these things are continuing to evolve and I don't think we've even reached the tip of the ice burg. Does anyone know if there are discussions on resort reservations? Can we expect that resort reservations may be cancelled as well? I have a reservation for Fort Wilderness in July and have not received any notice.
I fully agree with Russell's take. From my perspective I can look at this and have full agreement that Disney is doing the right thing here based on this situation. Of course I say that easily because Disney World is in my backyard and having a trip cancelled is no big deal. I have to feel though for those that have been planning this for months or years even. I actually had a reservation to go to Disneyland Paris in a couple of weeks that we had to cancelled. It really is a crappy feeling.
I have to wonder about the business leaders making the decisions. I can't imagine the battles and internal debates they must be having when trying to figure out what the right thing to do is. No matter what decision they make, a percentage of people will be highly upset regardless of the circumstances. Robert would you be able to reach out to an executive and maybe get some insight from their perspective? What is driving their decisions? Do they have an action plan for various responses? I would love to read about that if at all possible

May 29, 2020 at 11:04 AM

I actually like the 180 day window for dining reservations, because it actually gives additional chances to secure the reservations as cancellations come in. You just have to stay on top of it and keep looking for what you want. The closer the window is to the actual visit date, I think the chances of cancellations drops quite a bit, making it much more necessary to “win the lottery” the first time around.

I understand the line of thinking that it seems ridiculous to know where/when you want to eat so far out, but all it comes down to is that has to be Step 1 of your planning process. If you look at it that way, it’s not that hard to plan the rest of your trip (which should be much more flexible) around any dining reservations that you have...

May 29, 2020 at 11:31 AM

AJ said it perfectly for me and the planning for a trip to Orlando.

I have been amazed for along time on how someone can plan intricate day by day details on what park, ride, restaurant, location in a park they want to go in at what time…. Seems like a full-time job trying to over plan each step…

Yes I understand some Disney patrons\fans and so into Disney and they love the over planning. But this was never an option I embraced.

Our planning is like this:

Day 1 arrive Check in – Unpack.
Day 2 – Go food shopping, Publix, Hit the resort pool.
Day 3 – Universal Studios
Day 4 – IOA
Day 5 – rest day, pool, Disney Springs, Reservations for high end dinning.
Day 6 – Disney AK
Day 7 – Universal
Day 8 – rest, pool, resort, pack
Day 9 – Airport.

That is as granular as we get…

May 29, 2020 at 1:15 PM

Before things went crazy, my mom in early March was planning out a June trip and she and her grandkids going over schedules and reservations and such like a military operation.

A far cry from my last time there in 2012 when I could just use classic ticket FastPass and then wait for other rides. Me, I like to plan things out at the start with bigger rides first thing in morning then work my way from there. I do like leaving wiggle room to figure things out or if something happens (several times catching performers in Epcot to enjoy) but admit miss some spontaneity in my trips.

May 31, 2020 at 8:10 AM

While being bored due to the virus, and because I can’t experience these attractions myself, I went to a site focusing solely on the Haunted Mansion. In the threads were people saying how FP+ has ruined WDW for them. I can attest that even on capacity days, you could find times that the HM had a 30 minute wait in the middle of the day. Now it is 90 minutes. If they used FP+ with a six foot distancing, the line for this would go all the way to Animal Kingdom. It is time for Disney to scrap this system and think of a better solution. It is the perfect time to design a replacement. Keep the dining reservation requirements. Everybody is used to having to get dining reservations in advance. That is fine. The armband is a wonderful bit of technology. The ticket, room key, and payment system is convenient. You can leave your wallet in the room when you go to the pool. But the older system was better, and the system at Disneyland is better.

June 1, 2020 at 2:34 PM

Over the weekend, they cancelled our Victoria and Albert's chef's table reservation for August. Totally heart broken. We had been planning this trip for three years. We actually planned the entire vacation around the dining reservation. I had to make several calls to secure our spot, and even then, we weren't able to get our first choice. But we were ok with that, because we were so excited to get in. Now we are considering canceling the whole trip and replanning for 2022. :(

June 1, 2020 at 4:55 PM

@Saltyrn - I feel your pain ! If you are getting the really hard to get reservations, you must plan the rest of your trip around them. To get it snatched away just like that, must really suck. Sorry about that.

But 2022 would definitely be a better year to visit, because all of this nonsense should be left in the dust AND it will be part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration.

We were last in WDW in 2017, and are waiting until 2022 to return, because of the 50th Anniversary.

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