January 10, 2023, was a big day for Disney fans and, in particular, Walt Disney World Guests. Disney announced a whole host of changes and amendments to the Disney experience for Disney World Guests, including a new complimentary Photopass service through the Disney Genie suite. They also announced the return of free parking at Disney hotels. All of this was huge, but at the time, Disney didn’t give us a start date for when these changes would come into effect. Disney has finally given us a start date for the services and for the change to Annual Passholders reservation requirements!
Read More: Disney World Annual Passholders Free From Park Reservations (Kinda)
As Disney Fanatics will know, a Disney World Annual Passholder will be able to visit any Disney Theme Park at Walt Disney World after 2 p.m. without needing a Theme Park reservation; what Disney has now added is that this change will begin come April 18, 2023. Block-out dates will continue to apply as they do at present i.e., this change will start after Easter/Spring Break Blockout window for Pixie Dust and Pirate Pass Holders.
Previously announced enhancements for Annual Passholders and Disney Genie+ service arrive at @WaltDisneyWorld on March 20 and April 18! ✨ Head to the Disney Parks Blog to learn more: https://t.co/red6CF18bc pic.twitter.com/CBTULB4LL3
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) February 23, 2023
The only exception to this is Magic Kingdom Park on Saturdays and Sundays. Per Disney, the primary reason for this change is to account for the fact that Annual Passholders typically enjoy making more spontaneous visits to the Disney Parks, and Disney wants to make those more available to them.
In their post on Disney Parks Blog, Disney reiterated that the Disney Park pass reservation system has been incredibly helpful in managing crowd levels on busier days at the Parks. (A nice way of saying the Disney Park pass reservation system is likely staying put for now.)
Related: This is The Best Meal at Magic Kingdom. Period.
Guests should also note there is presently no change to the status of new sales of Annual Passes at Walt Disney World Resort.