Help w/Hopper plans?

Hi all,

We currently have tickets for DHS next Tuesday, and I’m considering upgrading to Hoppers so we can add in at least 2 other parks to our day (AK for FOP, Epcot to end the night, and hopefully MK before Epcot).

Here is my plan, please let me know if I’m being too optimistic or if we should be able to pull this off if everything goes our way.

  1. begin the day in DHS. We’ve been here a couple times and have done everything except Muppets (was closed) and MMRR. Our plan here is to do Toy Story Land, Muppets, MMRR, RRCoaster, and hopefully pull off ROTR if we can get passes and on board prior to hopping hours. We’ve done ROTR before so that’s not a total deal breaker. With unknown ride times, we’d rather hop parks and ensure other adventures than wait out ROTR until who-knows-when.

  2. Hop at 2pm/just prior to AK, just to ride FOP. I’m anticipating a 30min. bus ride, 75min. wait, and 15-20min. to enter/walk to the ride. That would bring us to about 4pm. Does that seem too lofty, or a decent expectation?

  3. Based on the above, we’d like to run to MK for a couple hours just to enjoy the atmosphere and maybe jump on a ride or two with a short queue. No major rides necessary.

  4. Finally depart prior to MK close and get to Epcot, to ride Test Track and otherwise just enjoy sights & sounds with the extra time (although understandably the same time is ultimately lost to transit time, but you can’t win em all).

What do you more-seasons folks think, is this doable? We’re the type who rope drop and walk full speed all day until park close, so hustling is not a problem. We usually just eat on the run, but do plan to have DS6’s favorite (Rizzo’s) before leaving DHS. The extra transit time between parks will actually be more of a break than we usually give ourselves in a normal day anyway :smile:

It’s a bit too ambitious - especially if you have kids with you. (It’s “doable” if it’s WDW veterans / AP holders that are just trying to hit as many rides as possible with no distractions.)

This is mostly due to Disney buses. Even at the best of times it’s going to take at least an hour to use a Disney bus to get between parks. (This is not due to COVID… those protocols are being removed as I type. It was even longer when those were in place!)

Also, the average actual queue wait for FOP around 2pm is 90+ minutes then the ride experience time.

You’ll probably get to MK at or after 6pm. If you just do one ride at MK (that isn’t a walk-on) you’ll probably be there at least another 90 minutes (walking / waiting / getting back out) and then another hour to get to Epcot.

So… You’ll probably get to Epcot around 8:30pm - 9pm. Epcot closes at 10pm that night.

Trying to “cram” MK in the middle, without your own transportation between parks, is what makes it so much harder. Even with a car you’d still be hustling at MK, but it would be easier

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So I would just cut out AK if I was you because that seems like it is going to use up about 2 hours of your day between transportation and ride. For one ride that is a lot of time to dedicate to it.

If you do not really care about ROTR I would do MK first and then hop to HS. U should be able to do everything you want at HS and then you can walk or skyliner to Epcot. With this plan you will waste way less time on transportation and be able to accomplish more experiences. Just my two cents.

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Thanks for the insight. I had a feeling that would be the case, e.g. buses slowing us down and needing the prime ride at AK at the prime time of day. We never park hopped and rarely take buses, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I guess it ultimately comes down to doing FOP or more at MK. I suppose I’ll let DS6 decide that one. FWIW he himself doesn’t slow us down, he’s a park warrior as far as anyone goes. He might get tired, but if I bet him he “can’t beat me to that tree!” he will find energy and haul tail :sweat_smile: Or I’ll toss him on my shoulders, of course. While we’re not regulars, we are park pros and basically run from ride to ride all day long everywhere we go. We know and respect the effort & planning that marathoning requires. Still, I think for the sake of value for our time, you’re right and we should pick either AK or MK. I wish our visit was during Halloween season, we’d just get Boo tickets and let that settle itself :smiley:

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My son wants to ride Slinky Dog multiple times, so we figure being “stuck” at DHS until 2pm would be the only way to pull that off.

We do care about ROTR, and will try our darndest to get passes and hope like heck that we get on early. But if 2pm comes and they’re nowhere near our boarding group, I’d rather be at another park than toil aroudn DHS for a couple more hours or more just to wait out ROTR. When we rode it before, it went down for 3 hours right after our boarding, and that’s something I can’t risk dealing with if we get Hopper ability.

I think it might be ambitious. But might I suggest an alternative? No? Well…too bad, because here I go!

With HS and Epcot just a walk/boat/Skyliner trip away, you might want to hop first to Epcot. Leave HS around 1:30, and be at Epcot for the 2:00 opening. Do a few things, and then catch the bus from Epcot to AK around 3:30-4:00. That only gives you 1.5 - 2 hours in Epcot, of course (and…well, not sure why Test Track is your ride of choice…totally not worth it, IMHO). But then you get to AK and go immediately to FOP. Since you are in line, you will ride even after park close time. After you are done, hop to MK and spend the remainder of your time there.

This presumes, of course, that spending the evening at Epcot specifically isn’t a must.


Good ideas for solutions around the problems…thanks!

Hopping to Epcot first saves time up front as you said, so I suppose that earns us back the extra hour we wanted there at night.

We didn’t originally have MK on our plans, but I’d be lying if I said it’s not the place we can spend the most time easily (surprise surprise). Having more time there is never a bad thing.

I kinda agree with @ryan1. Also, if you hop from HS to Epcot and your BG is called, you can hop back to HS fairly easily to ride that before moving on to AK/MK.

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That is a very good point too!

@ryan1 is correct about his switching around parks. You’ll get to AK about 30 minutes or so before they close (like you would have at Epcot in your original plan).

Again… still “doable”, but for me though it’s soooooo much less stressful to not even attempt a 3rd park in a day. (for perspective, I’m an out of state visitor who only goes every 1 - 3 years. So I get trying to “do it all”, but you’ll hate yourself for trying while it’s happening!)

Obviously a matter of opinion, but to me FOP may be cool…but I would choose more time in Epcot and be sure to do Soarin’ instead of worrying about trying to get on FOP. I actually prefer Soarin’ to FOP, generally speaking, even though FOP is newer/better technology. Without AK in the mix, you are far less pressed for time. You can give Epcot and MK both more time.

Fair point. We’ve done Soarin’ a few times and my wife gets motion sickness from it. She does not get it from FOP, so it gets the edge between the two. It’s always something, haha.

Question: How often do you go to WDW? I actually think your plan as written sounds doable, if a little ambitious, and you can modify your plan as needed since you really only have a couple of must-do rides. I personally find the challenge of 4-parks-in-one-day to be as exciting as riding more rides, especially if I only have one day in Orlando. But there are obviously trade-offs. If you’re going to be back soon, might as well save one or two parks for your next trip. If it will be a while, might be worth trying for.

This is the more ambitious than trying to do four parks, IMO. By TSL, do you mean all three rides there, or just SDD? You will probably get to about lunch time and have to make a tough decision of whether to ride RNRC or not, depending on how the timing shakes out.

If you are at the front of the RD pack and go straight to SDD, you can probably finish TSL in about an hour, then reserve an hour each for MMRR and RNRC, with Muppets really depending on luck of how close you arrive to show time. I’d reserve 45 minutes there. Add in an hour for lunch. Here’s an optimistic timeline:

8:15am SDD (note that RD procedure has been in flux - official open is 9am)
8:45am TSM
9:05am ASS
9:15am MMRR
10:15am RNRC
11:15am Lunch
12:15m Muppets
1:00pm RotR
2:00pm Hop to AK
3:00pm FoP
4:30pm Hop to MK
5:30pm First MK attraction
6:30pm Dinner
7:30pm Additional MK attractions
8:30pm Hop to Epcot
9:30pm Get in line at TT prior to park close
10:00pm Epcot Closes

I can tell you find it fun by the outline you came up with! Thanks for the effort. We’re on a twice-per-year routine currently.

For TSL, we mainly want to do SDD but would also like TSM. AS2 is definitely unnecessary. We will definitely be there prior to be at the front of RD, our usual arrival is 75+ minutes prior to official opening time so 15+ minutes prior to the “extra hour” in case it happens.

It seems that the bus to & from AK is going to kill us, I really think we’ll be best to go w/switching the order so we don’t lose more midday travel time than we ultimately gain in the end. DHS>Epcot>AK>MK. Or if DS6 chooses to do the other parks instead of MK (our last trip was just a single 11-12hr day at MK, so we definitely got our fill while skipping all other parks). That would make things more doable.

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On a twice a year schedule, I think your plan sounds like a nice challenge!

Yeah, this is probably the best order. MK is only open till 9pm, but it would be nice to be able to just stick around there for the balance of your day instead of having to worry about hopping (and potentially wasting that time if you were late to Epcot or if TT was closed). Btw, if the typical afternoon thunderstorm is in the forecast, TT will probably be closed in the afternoon. (But it can also close in the evening. It’s a fickle ride lol.) Just something to consider.

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Welllll thanks for all the help on trying to perfect this, but we only ended up at HS and AK. Planned to end at Epcot but after getting caught on Kali for 20 minutes in the middle of a thunderstorm, then caught in and nearly drowned in another one while walking out of AK, we just kinda gave up before tempting fate. I figured everyone was going to migrate to Epcot at that point anyway, Test Track would be down, and no rides would have easy lines. I was looking forward to seeing the garden festival, but considering that was our only reason to go by this point in the night we just chose against it.

FWIW we chose to ride Kali, walk around AK a while, and do some extended shopping to fill up time that our originally-hopeful rush to include MK would have consumed. That ride on Kali was the downfall of our day - LOL. To say we were soaked is an understatement, but I’m just glad we didn’t get struck by lightning because it sure felt possible.


So scary….

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I try to not ever worry about such things, sort of an ignorance-is-bliss kinda mentality, but after a while the idea of “10 people get hit by lightning on Disney ride” newspaper headlines and the reality of that being totally possible wouldn’t escape my head. I just reasoned that I was being silly and if it got that bad they’d definitely have us out somehow, but who knows.

I think the entire boat was about 10min. away from finding it NOT humorous at all anymore. Before long I would have jumped out, pushed the boat down the hill, and gotten into one of the 3 empty boats which followed us to ride it back down too…My contingency plan to being a sitting duck :laughing: