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Editor’s Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

After remaining closed for over a year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — finally welcomed back guests on April 30. Now that both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts are open, future guests have started rebooking canceled vacations and planning new trips. But there are a few changes to know before mapping out your next Disney getaway, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and the suspension of parades and nighttime fireworks shows. One of the most significant changes is the use of a reservation system to limit park capacity. Both Disney resorts currently require all guests ages three and up to make theme park reservations — and that’s in addition to a valid admission ticket (don’t worry, there’s no additional fee to make the reservation).

Here’s what you need to know about making Disney park reservations ahead of your next magical vacation.

Cinderella Castle inside Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Credit: Olga Thompson/Courtesy of Disney

Related: More Disney vacation tips

Checking Disney Theme Park Reservation Availability 

Before buying your theme park tickets and fully planning your trip, check the Disney World or Disneyland reservation calendars. Because of pent-up demand and lowered capacities, some (or all) of the theme parks might be completely booked for the dates you want to visit. Scan the calendars to see if the parks you want to visit are available, and then buy your tickets, link them to your account, and make your theme park reservation as soon as possible. 

Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA

Credit: Jeff Gritchen/Getty Images

Related: 9 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Next Disney Vacation, According to a Theme Park Expert

How to Make Disney World Theme Park Reservations

The Disney Park Pass reservation system lists availability by three ticket types: individually purchased tickets to the parks, tickets for guests also staying at select resort hotels with a vacation package, and annual passes. Availability varies for each type, so it’s important to make sure you’re looking at the correct calendar before planning your trip. Once you’ve purchased tickets or a vacation package and linked it to your account, make your theme park reservations online. You can also change your reservation, but be sure to check the calendar again before canceling and rebooking for a new park as availability may have changed. Disney World theme park reservations are currently available into 2023. Right now, you don’t need a reservation to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park — just a valid ticket.

How to Make Disneyland Theme Park Reservations

The Disneyland reservation system works similarly, but there are a few notable differences. Like the Disney World system, you’ll have to purchase tickets, create your party and select the day and theme park you want to visit, and confirm your reservation. Availability varies by ticket type: one park per day tickets and Park Hopper tickets. Right now, only California residents can visit the parks. Disneyland theme park reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance.

Mobile check-in for a restaurants at Walt Disney World

The My Disney Experience mobile app now offers a mobile check-in option for select table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
| Credit: Matt Stroshane/Courtesy of Disney

Theme Park Reservations and Park Hopper

Both resorts are currently offering Park Hopper tickets, which allow guests to visit more than one theme park per day. At Disneyland, guests with Park Hopper tickets must make a reservation for the first park they plan to visit that day, and then they can head to the other park starting at 1 p.m. At Disney World, guests with Park Hopper tickets also have to make a reservation for the first theme park of the day before going to another park after 2 p.m. (Hours are subject to change and the day’s Park Hopper hours can be found on the park hours calendar.) There is a chance that they won’t be able to visit another theme park if it reaches capacity — guests will get a notification in the My Disney Experience app if that happens.

Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure who loves all things theme parks. Follow her adventures on Instagram @elizabetheverywhere.

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