With the magic of visiting Walt Disney World comes the magical question: to park hop or not? On our vacations my family has done both, park hoppers and base tickets, and honestly, we’ve been happy both ways. If you’re still on the fence, here’s four awesome benefits of Disney World Park Hopper tickets.
What Is Park Hopping?
In a nutshell, park hopping is a WDW ticket’s ability to “hop” from theme park to theme park in the same day. If you have a park hopper ticket and you’re ambitious, you can technically visit all four theme parks the same day. Disney World Annual Passes have built-in park hopping capabilities, too. There’s also basic park hopper tickets and park hopper plus which includes the two onsite water parks.
If you choose to not purchase park hopper tickets, you’ll have a base ticket instead. With a base ticket you’ll be able to visit one park each day. You’re able to leave that particular park and come back as many times as you want in that day, too.
1. Visit a Less-Crowded Park Any Time of Day
I like to really plan our vacation well in advance. I take crown calendars into consideration and chose the parks with “green light” or low crowd levels based on what the calendars read.
Having written that, I’ve still be not-so-pleasantly surprised to be in one of the parks that have crazy busy crowds when I didn’t plan for it. It’s then that park hopping is ideal for my family. We’ve visited WDW plenty of times and have been on practically every ride, so we don’t feel obligated to wait in lengthy standby queues after our Fastpasses have run out.
My advice if this happens to you and you’re not dead set on one particular park? Check the wait times in the other parks and head for the one with the lowest. It will save you time in line, for sure, and will save your sanity, too.
Another case to plead for park hopper tickets is if you’ve got limited days and want to see all of the parks. Make a plan to hit two a day. I’m not saying that you’ll be able to see everything, but you will get the ambiance and feel of them.
2. Hit Morning Extra Magic Hours and Move to Another Park
We often do this method and here’s why. With Morning Extra Magic Hours, you’ll have access to the popular areas in the park. Let’s take Animal Kingdom as an example as it’s super popular right now. We hit Pandora – The World of Avatar for Morning EMH and, when the rest of the park opens, we park hop to another park.
Crowd calendars often choose parks with Morning EMH as the least favorable park to visit because folks with base tickets will be staying the entire day making the crowd levels rise.
Note: You’ll need to be staying on-property at a WDW Resort to take advantage of Morning Extra Magic Hours.
If you enjoy Magic Kingdom in the morning, on days there’s no Morning Extra Magic Hours the park opens one hour early. Here’s things you can do before rope drop at Magic Kingdom.
3. Hit Evening Extra Magic Hours After Spending the Day in Another Park
Basically it’s the opposite: choose a less-crowded park for the morning/daytime and then hit the park with Evening Extra Magic Hours before they begin.
Note: You’ll need to be staying on-property at a WDW Resort to take advantage of Evening Extra Magic Hours.
4. Enjoy Meals at Multiple Parks in One Day
Another great benefit of park hopper tickets is fun for Disney foodies. You can park hop your way around the parks and dine wherever you wish. This one makes sense for my family as, when it comes to dining, we really don’t like to lock down table service reservations in advance. I’ll check our My Disney Experience app in the morning, see what’s available, and reserve it then.
And it goes for Quick Service Meals as well. We love eating at Satu’li Canteen in Pandora – The World of Avatar. So, we’ll hit it for lunch and then park hop to another park for dinner.
Before You Buy
- Park hopper tickets are more expensive than base tickets.
- You can visit Disney Springs without a park ticket, so keep that in mind.
- The longer your visit, the less per day you’ll be spending on tickets of either type.