“I’m going to the theme park, I have my tickets, I’ve packed my bag, I’ve even set up reservations at a hotel. Am I forgetting something?” Park reservations. This is a vital and important detail for your Orlando vacation. Some parks will not let you in unless you have a reservation because of the reduced park capacity. Each of the three theme parks Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld all deal with park capacity in their way. Here is a quick rundown of each park and tips on making your way into the park.

Walt Disney World

At Disney, there is a 4 step process for getting into the park. After you have your tickets either online or physically at the parks, you will need to get the MyDisneyExperience app and:

  1. Confirm your admission is linked to your Disney account
  2. Create a party within the app
  3. Select a date and park and 
  4. Review and confirm your plans.

Within these steps, checking the current availability for reservations is a very important step. Reservations just mean that you plan on visiting the park on a certain day. When you confirm a reservation date, you get the green light to visit the park for that day. Reservations do not come automatically with ticket purchases because of the park’s current reduced capacity. Keep in mind that when visiting Disney parks, all guests ages 3 and older, will have to wear acceptable face coverings. Neck gaiters are not allowed by Disney. 

Universal Orlando Resort Parks

When visiting Universalyou have 2 options, the less expensive date-specific tickets or an anytime ticket. When you choose an anytime ticket, you do not need a park reservation. Date-specific tickets require you to choose the first date you want to enter the parksTheme parks during the summer will reach capacity a lot sooner. However, if you arrive closer to when the park opens, you increase your chances of getting in.

You can also call the Universal Orlando hotline (407) 817-8317 or check the Universal Orlando app to see if the park you want to visit has reached capacity. If Universal parks reach capacity you will have to wait in line until the park’s capacity reduces. If you are a Universal hotel guest and/or a single-day ticket holder, you will be in the priority guest line. When visiting Universal parks, all guests ages 3 and older, will have to wear acceptable face coverings, neck gaiters are allowed by Universal. 

SeaWorld Parks

Reservations are not required at the SeaWorld Parks including SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, Aquatica Orlando or Adventure Island Tampa. When ordering date-specific tickets, you will need to purchase a ticket, Fun Card, or Annual Pass. The SeaWorld process is:

  1. Go to the SeaWorld homepage and click the “Reserve Now” button
  2. Identify yourself as either a ticket, Fun Card, or Annual Pass holder
  3. Select the date you would like to visit
  4. Enter your ticket, Fun Card, or Annual Pass barcode number and email address to confirm the date chosen.

Once you receive your confirmation via email, you must bring that confirmation along with your single-day ticket, Fun Card, or Annual Pass to enter the park. You will also need to select a specific time slot for any premium experiences such as dining or animal interactions. When visiting SeaWorld parks, all guests ages 3 and older, will have to wear acceptable face coverings, neck gaiters may be accepted by SeaWorld but bring a backup mask just in case. 

Updated 04/30/2021