The theme park reservation system is a key part of the current Walt Disney World and Disneyland experience. Guests planning to visit the parks have to book a park reservation after purchasing their theme park tickets. This additional hurdle has complicated the Disney experience, and made many guests long for the days of old.
Unfortunately, the theme park reservation system appears to be in Disney’s long-term plans. Disney executives have said it is here to stay, with Disneyland’s President saying he doesn’t think it will go away.
While we will happily admit the park reservation system has its benefits, specifically managing staffing levels, the overall process is less than ideal. The biggest area where Disney can improve is how theme park reservations work within the My Disney Experience app.
Here’s how the process works today as seen in the Walt Disney World app. The screen below is a common starting spot for guests trying to make a theme park reservation.
Clicking any of these buttons takes you out of the app and bumps you to a web browser. The Walt Disney World website opens (or the Disneyland website if you’re using the Disneyland app) and guests are expected to complete their reservations there. The app does not give guests the ability to make reservations.
The entire theme park reservation process is outside the app, which is far from convenient. It’s especially annoying when the website asks for login information – even if you just signed into the app. Then there’s the stability of the websites themselves (especially you, Walt Disney World website) that can cause headaches. It can be extremely frustrating when you see the theme park you want to visit is at capacity. It’s worse when everything is surrounded by a poor web experience.
Disney has boasted about its technology and “seamless” experiences for guests using their apps. The launch of Disney Genie aimed to make park visits a breeze (we’ll hold our thoughts on Genie+) and yet the actual reservation process remains separated.
If theme park reservations are truly in Disney’s long-term plans, it’s past time to integrate the theme park reservation system into the My Disney Experience app.