Archive | Park Hopper

To Hop or Not To Hop

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Prior to becoming a Disney Vacation Planner, when we went to Disney I always purchased the Park Hopper feature. It is currently approximately $61(including tax) per person to add the park hopper at Walt Disney World. Now after having planned hundreds of tips, I still feel the exact same way. It is the best $61 you will spend! 

For those of you that are not familiar with how the tickets work, Disney sells a Base Park ticket that allows you to enter one park per day. It can be any of the four parks at Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom. At The Disneyland Resort it allows you to enter one of the two parks: Disneyland Park or Disney’s California Adventure. If you add the Park Hopper option you can go into multiple parks in one day. This is why I think you should add it:

1) It allows you the most flexibility with your dining schedule. Not everyone actually books their dining at 180 days. If you are my client and this is an advance planned trip, sure your dining is booked at 180 days out but if not and it’s a last minute trip or if you are choosing one of the most popular restaurants, it is nice to be able to take the reservation that is available and not worry about which park you should be in that day.

2) Some parks just don’t take as long as others. Animal Kingdom is a prime example. I have never spent open to close in that park. This park has some of the earliest closing times so the animals can get their rest and there’s not much to see after dark there. This often leaves a lot of hours left that could be spent at another park.

3) Even with the best planning, some days you just aren’t feeling like a particular park. Or you didn’t get to a ride you really wanted to do at another park and you want to hop over and squeeze that ride in. The year we ended up at the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas Parade taping was the time that sticks out the most when something unplanned happened to our stay. It was a makeup taping day so we weren’t expecting it. The crowds were much higher than expected and the park was broken up where you couldn’t get from one land to the next as easily as usual. We left and went to enjoy another less crowded park. 

4) And what about the unexpected events that can happen. You might oversleep one day and miss rope drop at a critical park or you might need to shift your plans to accommodate a late night the night before. You can’t do that as easily if you don’t have the park hopper. 

5) In the grand scheme of your total trip, this is a small dollar amount of an option and the return is much greater with it than without. 

Overall, I always recommend to HOP. Not everyone takes this advice and I can certainly plan a vacation without the hopper, but if it was my trip(and when it is my trip) I opt for the hopper every time for the most flexibility and best value of the tickets.

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