Park Hopping is something fun to do, but it is not for everyone or every situation. When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, adding park hopping abilities will add to the cost of ticket. Since park tickets are already quite expensive I want to discuss the pros and cons of park hopping. Doing Disney on a budget means really taking a look at what is really needed for any given trip.
What is Disney Park Hopping?
Disney Park Hopping is going from one park to another park on the same day.
How do you Disney Park Hop?
You can park hop by using free Disney World Transportation or if you have your car you can drive yourself. Disney has busses, the monorail, and boats that will take you to all the parks and resorts. For an added cost you can park hop with the Disney Minnie Vans. Starting September 29, 2019, you can park hop by the Skyliner Gondola.
If driving and not on property, don’t worry. Once you pay for parking for the day, you don’t need to pay again if you park hop, just keep your receipt.
Some people go park to park. Some people from a park to their resort to rest and then back to a different park for the evening. The latter method is great for families.
Pros and Cons of Park Hopping
Want to start a debate in a Disney Facebook Group? Ask about Park Hopping. EVERYONE has an opinion.
Reasons to Park Hop
- When Park Closing Times Limit Your Park Time. Some parks close earlier than others. For example, if Epcot closes at 9 but the Magic Kingdom closes at 11. You, of course, want more park time so you hop from Epcot to Magic Kingdom.
- You Have Dining Reservations in Another Park. Sometimes when planning out your dining you just don’t have a choice when it comes to when you land that coveted ADR. For example, you finally scored a Flight of Passage Fastpass in the evening at Animal Kingdom but then also scored Cinderella’s Royal Table for Breakfast at Magic Kingdom.
- Variety is the Spice of Life. You like not being stuck in one park all day long.
- Limited Time at Disney World. You are only at Disney for 2-3 days and you want to see all four parks.
- Park crowd levels. A park may start off not so crowded and then start to get too crowded for your comfort level.
Reasons to Not Park Hop
- Park Hopping Takes Time. Disney transportation, going through security, folding/unfolding strollers, and entrance lines all take up precious Disney time.
- The added cost. Doing Disney on a budget means cutting corners where you can, and I firmly believe this is one corner that can be cut without ruining the magic of your vacation.
- You Can Fully Explore a Park. You can really take your time and fully explore one park at a time. Disney has so much more than rides and if you rush from park to park sometimes the extra entertainment and details of the park get missed. You can still take breaks at your resort and come back to the same park.
- You Can Still do Disney Late at Night. If a park closes earlier than you would like, you can resort hop, enjoy your pool, or explore Disney Springs (check out my top tips for exploring Disney Springs)!
In the end, the decision is up to you and your family. Even though I am a Disney passholder and have the ability to park hop, I rarely do. Though I enjoy monorails and the ferry, I prefer that my time be spent in the parks.
Do you park hop? Tell me why or why not in the comments!
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Post Originally Published April 25th, 2016. Information and images updated.