Buying tickets to Walt Disney World can sometimes be a confusing (and not to mention expensive) endeavor. When purchasing, you will encounter lots of different ticket options, with one of the options being the Park Hopper add-on. What is it? Is it worth it? What are the benefits to it? Well, in this article, I hope to answer all of those questions and help you figure out if purchasing Park Hopper is right for you.
First, let start off with…
What is Park Hopper??
Park Hopper is exactly what it sounds like. It gives you the ability to “hop” from park to park on any given day. If you do not purchase this, once you walk into a park, that is the only park that you will be able to attend that day, though you will be able to come and go for that one park as you please.
When you purchase tickets for Walt Disney World online, you’ll be given two options when it comes to Park Hopper. The first one will be just “Park Hopper”. The Second will be “Park Hopper Plus.” The regular Park Hopper option allows you to hop between Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. The Park Hopper Plus option allows you to hop between those four parks, plus gives access to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks. You will also be able to access ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course, and Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course
If you have Park Hopper, you can leave one park and go to a different park. You can go to each of the four main parks as many times as you like in a single day. This can be really helpful when making dining reservations. This way, you are not held to a park that might not have the restaurants that you want to eat at. You can start the day off riding rides and meeting characters in one park, and then hop on over to another park to eat.
Park Hopper is also helpful when you just are not feeling a park that particular day. Sometimes, I’ll walk into a park, and find it’s just too crowded for me. Or I’ll discover the ride I really wanted to ride is down. Or, for whatever reason, I just don’t feel like being in that park anymore. With Park Hopper, I can now hop on a monorail (or bus, or boat, or *coming soon* gondola system), and head to the park I want.
If you purchase Park Hopper, it is valid for the length of your ticket. So if you have a five-day ticket, you can hop between parks all five days.
Is It Worth It?
Honestly, I think it depends on how you vacation!
So, I think it’s not worth it for…
- Short vacations- If you or only spending 1-3 days at Disney World, it might not be worth it. Traveling from one park to another, although easy, might take a while. And with a short vacation, you don’t want to waste your precious time traveling.
- Newbies- I personally don’t think its worth it for first-time Disney vacationers. It’s just one more thing (among soo many other things) that you have to learn. And if you never been to Disney before, that means that there is so much to do in whatever park you are currently in. So, why leave?
- Families with younger kids- My first time taking my son to Disney World, we purchased the Park Hopper. But honestly, we hardly used it. With such a young kid, traveling is a little difficult and things take a lot longer to do than going without kids. So, it just made sense to stay in the park that we were at for the day.
- Trying to stay in budget- If you are trying to make your Disney vacation as cheap as possible, then skip out on the Park Hopper option. The cost of a Park Hopper can quickly add up if you have multiple people in your party. So nixing the Park Hopper is a great way to stay in budget.
I think Park Hopper is worth it for-
- Those who have been to Disney World a few times- You know the parks inside and out. You know how to get from point A to point B with no problem. Also, you don’t feel the need to do everything in each park.
- Long Trips- If you are there for 6+ days, I think it’s for sure worth it. Some days, you might not want to stay in one particular park all day since chances you have already visited that park. If you have the Park Hopper, now you are free to hop at your leisure.
- Dining Reservations- If you are using the dining plan, or are planning on having a sit-down meal every day of your trip, then Park Hopper is for you. You might find that all the restaurants that you want to eat at are only at Epcot. You would need the Park Hopper at this point so that you can spend your vacation in other parks besides Epcot.
- Use of Extra Magic Hours- Let’s say that you want to spend the day at Animal Kingdom, but Magic Kingdom is having Extra Magic Hours once the parks close. With Park Hopper, now once Animal Kingdom is closed for the day, you can spend your night at Magic Kingdom!
So what do you think? Is the Park Hopper worth it for you and your family? Do you use it every trip or only some trips? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!
Need help planning a trip? Email CJ at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be more than happy to help you out!