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Pros and Cons of Park Hopping

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 tickets. Since park tickets are already quite expensive I want to discuss the pros and cons of park hopping.

What is Disney Park Hopping?

Disney Park Hopping is going from one park to another park on the same day. The standard park hopper ticket add-on does not include the Disney Water Parks. However, Disney Theme Park Tickets with the Water Park and Sports Option or Park Hopper Plus Option do include a certain number of admissions to the water parks—based on the number of days in your ticket or package.

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. 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. There also are no limits on how many parks you can visit when Park Hopping. It’s possible to do all 4, and it’s also possible to return to the original park you booked.

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.
  • You Could Not Get a Park Reservation for the Park of Your Choice. When planning a last-minute trip, some parks may already be filled to capacity and you may only have a couple of options left. Please note that only guests who book Park Pass reservations for Disney’s Hollywood Studios are eligible to join the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Thank You for Spreading the Pixie Dust!


Thursday 8th of August 2019

So one question I have that wasn't answered- if I choose to park hop, is one method of disney transportation better or are they all about the same? We are going early next year - 2 adults.


Thursday 8th of August 2019

It all depends on what parks you are hopping to and from. To get to Animal Kingdom you can either bus or take an ride share car or Minnie Vans (not free). As for the other parks, you have choices. I think it is easiest to go from MK to Epcot via monorail, Epcot to HS by boat.


Thursday 27th of July 2017

We park hop. But that's only because we get our passes through the military so the tickets are park hoppers. We usually stay at the same park during the day except for Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios where we only do half days- one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Maria - Tough Cookie Mommy

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

I can see time factors definitely being an issue when it comes to park hopping. No matter how badly you want to see and experience everything, there is just too much ground to cover.

Tami - This Mom's Delight

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

I think when we went to Florida, we visited Disney World, Epcot Center and Sea World. I enjoyed each park, but would've liked to have more time at each park.

Carrie Chady Rundhaug

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

We always splurged and went for park hopping passes. It always seemed to work better for us.