Vote of the week: To park hop, or not to park hop?
In all our talk about Walt Disney World theme park tickets
, one of the questions that keeps coming up to which there is no "right" answer is:
"Should I add the park hopper option?"
Some people enjoy hopping on the monorail or bus (or getting in their car) and visiting multiple parks on the same day. Others prefer the simplicity of sticking with one park per day. (Which also maximizes your "in-park" time, as you're not using time traveling from park to park.)
You can add a "park hopper" option at Disneyland or a "park to park" option at Universal Orlando, too. But with those resorts comprising just two theme parks within easy walking distance of each other, the equation's a bit different than it is at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Ultimately, there is no correct answer. It's just a matter of personal preference. But I'd love to hear which you prefer, and why. So let's put it to a vote.
Tell us why you prefer one over the other, in the comments.
I chose park hopping because its just what I usually like to do when I visit Disney World. I personally just like riding the big attractions at each park and then move on to the next park. If I were to allow time to do the smaller, less thrilling attractions then I would spend one day at one park and I have done that before, but like you said, its a personal preference of mine to park hop.
Living in Jacksonville, Florida and visiting Walt Disney World probably about once a month, maybe closer to once every month and a half, but I go on one day trips, leave early in the morning and return home at night. I have my annual pass, but park hopping to me is essential as I'm there for only one day at a time and want to see my favorite attractions which are spread out across the 4 parks. The usual WDW day trip goes like this on a 9 AM rope drop opening across the parks...
I know this comes down to everyone's personal preference, but my husband and I absolutely love the park-to-park option at Universal Orlando! The convenience of side-by-side parks makes it especially easy to bop back and forth to our favorite attractions and restaurants without any hesitations. I love being able to change my mind on a dime! It's great if you're only in the mood for one or two rides before heading over to the other park. This option is also an advantage based upon line length. I wouldn't go to Universal any other way!
I always aspire to Park Hop and purchase tickets with that option but end up not taking advantage of it.
At Disneyland and Universal Orlando, it's park-hopper or park-to-park, all the way. But at Walt Disney World, with the distance between parks there and the transit times, I prefer to visit one park per day.
^ Oh, how great would that have been if all the 4 parks at WDW were next to each other? lol. That is what drains me the most, especially if we go to the Magic Kingdom with the monorail... then tram to the parking lot where my car is... then driving to the next park... then tram... but I love it all anyway.
In general I find that park hopping ends up taking up more time than I want. If I am staying on property and using Disney transportation I won't park hop. If I have my car I will be more likely to, but not necessarily.
I do a bit of both. I usually spend a day in each of the parks the on my last day I hop between them re-doing my favourites. I always finish up by seeing Illuminations at EPCOT then jumping on the monorail to MK in time for Wishes
I like to hop when we go to WDW, mostly because we like the restaurants at EPCOT. My suggestion to others that travel to WDW is to plan on hopping and put the money for it aside. If you want to hop, add it on to your tickets, if not, then you have a little more to get a new set of Mickey Ears.
Park hopping to me is a waste of time unless you are only going to do like one or two things in each park. For those of us who want to take our time and enjoy the parks without rushing around.... I feel like the add on charge is not worth it and it would be better to just do one park a day and take your time to enjoy that park that day.
I much prefer park hopping. Even given the distances, which is a valid concern in some cases, when those parks close, I try to hit one that IS open and get a few more things in.
I agree with exactly what Robert said. I enjoy exploring the parks rather than rushing through and seeing a few. Universal on the other hand is much easier to park hop,as you can get alot of things done in 5 hours, well at least for me.
This vote really only applies to the Disney parks and Universal Orlando, right? Nobody else really has a park hopping option, do they? Anyway, presuming you are visiting for an extended vacation (three days or more), there are enough attractions at the Disney/Universal parks to occupy a full day, making park hopping an expensive and unnecessary option.
Robert nailed on the head! Shorter stays, one park per day, longer stays, you hop. Hopping is great for the longer stays. We tend to use the hopping option mostly for the second half of our trip, we spend the last few days in multiple parks hitting all our favorites. We usually only go to WDW every other year but stay 10-11 nights. The first 4 days are typically one park per day. Hopping also give you more flexibility when it come to dining reservation, which is important when you're on the dining plan.
When I used to live nearby and had a friend that'd comp us in for a day that comes with park hoppers, we use them. We'd start off parking at Epcot, taking a bus to AK for a couple hours, bus over to DHS, stay there for a couple hours, and then take the resort ferry to the World Showcase gate at Epcot, and work our way to the front of the park, hop on the monorail to MK 'til close. Not only do we use the entire day going through all 4 parks using every available method of transportation, we also avoid the hassle of leaving a parking lot when riding the monorail back to an empty Epcot lot.
I am going to chime in but for this purpose.
I actually think the opposite of what was said before...... longer stays means more time to relax and take each park at a time and really enjoy it..... so no need for a parkhopper. Shorter stays where you are concerned about hitting all the E-tickets and a few special things that are your favorites in a short period of time might be more neccessary to have a park hopper.
I think that this question depends on a lot of factors. If you are new to Disney World or don't go very frequently, I would recommend not getting the Park Hopper because it really takes a full day (if not more) to fully experience each park. But if you have been to WDW quite a bit and just want to go to the big attractions, a Park Hopper makes perfect sense!
I am a park hopper. One year we made all 4 parks in one day, but I am a return visitor, even though I live in Indiana. The park hopper can become convenient, because not all of the evening shows are on every night. I still highly recommend Fantasmic if you have not seen it, but it goes dark some nights. If you have the hopper, you can visit other parks during the day and get there for the night show. One of our strategies is to get to Hollywood Studios at rope drop -- do Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Rock 'n Roller Coaster -- fit in a few more things before noon and move on to another park. If you start at Epcot at rope drop: Soarin, Test Track, and then a few others before moving on to next park. It does take a bit of time to travel back and forth to park, but we haven't found it to be an issue
We get park hopper when we visit. We like to use it on our last day because we can ride our favorite rides again or see the show one more time.
I am usually a one park, one day person, but sometimes I like to hop around, especially if a paticular park is open late or closing early!
If I stay more than four days i like to park hop. Otherwise, I go for the one park per day deal.
I would never recommend park hopper to new travelers b/c its easier for them to spend an entire day at one park and experience it instead of park hopping due to confusion being a new park visitor but for returning guests I'd definetely recommend it!
I can't imagine not hopping anymore- hoppers are a must for our family. While Magic Kingdom and Epcot are more-than-one-day parks for us, the other two are not. I wouldn't know what to do with myself all day at Animal Kingdom! Once we hit Expedition Everest and Dinosaur, maybe see a show or grab a bite to eat and a drink...it's time for a swim, then off to a different park. Same with Hollywood Studios- there are some attractions here that I love, but I definitely wouldn't be here from morning til night. I do love the atmosphere here at night, though- so again, the hoppers come in handy when we've been somewhere else during the day, and want to pop in here for a fun night. I think the hopper add-on is well worth the price (not so for the waterpark & more option...but that's a different post)... :)
Interesting to see the way everyone handles their vacation plans.
I love to go to one park in the morning and a different one to eat dinner at. Animal kingdom is not open late so you have to parkp hop on that day if you want to still be in a park.
I think I mainly think of Disney World with Park Hopper..... which I would not want to park hop so much because only Magic Kingdom and Epcot are close enough for not to take too long to get to one from the other. I spent like an hour trying to get from Animal Kingdom to Epcot through the bus system last time. I felt like I missed out on stuff at both parks. I don't get to Disney World but every couple of years.
Park-hopping but for food purposes. Want to be able to eat where I want every night.
As WDW Annual Pass Holders, we (me/wife/kids) embrace both philosophies depending on if we are accompanied by non-AP holders and/or how long we are visiting the Orlando area. If it's just me/wife/kids we'll often visit one park as the focus of the day and then a second park in the evening just for dining, or a particular ride/character meet.
Park hopping is inconvenient for the casual visitor especially if you visit for three days or less. The added expense is much too high. I can see the convenience and freedom it gives to the frequent visitor, but the benefit diminishes the more you go. Getting around takes a lot of time. You sometimes want to go and stay there awhile.
I generally like to eat dinner in Epcot, so I always have a park hopper. I also use them to take advantage of morning and evening Extra Magic Hours in different parks.
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