I don't know how to hop - help me?

In all our years of going to WDW as a family, we have only ever had hoppers once. It was required as part of the free dining package that year, and we only hopped once that whole trip.

I just don’t know how to plan hopping.

It seems easy enough to say - RD park A and then hop to park B later. But with two teens who are no longer early risers, I don’t expect to RD more than a couple/few times. The rest of our time will be later starts with longer evenings.

There’s also the factor of extended evening hours at MK and EP on Wednesdays and Mondays respectively. Which makes it seem obvious to hop there, right?

But I start putting it down on paper and I get so confused.

So help me.

We will be there 4/23-5/1 with 8 day hoppers.
We plan no park at all on 5/1, but can do parks all the other days.
We are not commando-style park goers and would like some time to enjoy our resort, especially at AKL.
We do have plans for a round of golf at sunset (sunset 9) while we are at OKW; the sunset 9 package starts around 5:30 and ends around 7:30-8 depending how the course and other players move.
We also (at least DS and I) have plans for 4P1D x1.
We will have our own vehicle (which also gets confusing to me around hopping and not stranding the car).

Of note this is a split stay with 5 nights at OKW and 3 at AKL-K.


So, if you’re driving your car, first thing is to keep MK/EP on same hop day because car stays in same place no matter where you hop. (on the bus EP/HS is good, but not w/ car).

I like to hop because it suits my ADHD and FOMO really well. It also feels less like a “park day” than a vacation day in which I visit the park for a couple of hours, then pool, then back to park.

For instance:
RD at AK is early, do that until lunch back at OKW. Pool time, reading time. Drive to A&C/Yachtsman/B&C/Cape May for dinner, then walk to EP. Walk back to car.

Leaving a park and returning to a DIFFERENT park after a break feels better to me than leaving and returning to the same park, if that makes any sort of sense.


If you are not opposed to using Disney transport, maybe take the parking scenario out of the mix. Also doing a breakfast at a hotel that is walking distance to park A or B is a good option. I like anothers idea of MK/EP same day for TTC parking but this wouldn’t necessarily be my hopping park pairs.


Our hopping - especially pre-Covid - was mostly food based.

We just don’t like eating at HS at all, and AK was mostly breakfast or lunch. Which actually pretty much describes MK, as well. Pre-Covid.

But most of our core group’s fav rides are at HS. And AK.

And we’re much more up early folk.

Epcot is our absolute favorite park. Pre-Covid, we loved World Showcase, chatting up CMs, doing KidSpot stuff as adults. :blush:

All of which only means, in planning parlance, know your ‘givens’.

So for us a good plan is open either MK, AK or HS. When the people become too annoying bail.

If it’s hotter than blazes or we’re tired, back to our resort for feet up resting, if not actual napping.

Then to Epcot for food, drink, conversation, etc.

With covid and changes in food, staffing, this generic plan suffered in December 2020. Maybe it’s age related, we probably didn’t hop 2 or 3 days at all. Wound up being happier at our resort doing a jig saw puzzle.

Pre-Covid, I have had multiple trip plans for each park day. Do the attractions in this park work better for this afternoon instead of that morning? I’ve had several combinations of days and morning or afternoon for just Fantasyland.

Cuz once I’m in a park, I’m likely not on my phone. We’re just touring.

1 Like

One way we use hopping is for dinner reservations at a hotel other than the one we’re staying at. It gives us time away from the parks to decompress, hang in air conditioning, and the ability to wander a new resort and it’s gift shop. We’ve been known to take small naps in the lobby/leisure areas of some hotels in the past. Like that room off of the main lobby at OKW, or the lounge upstairs at BWV that I can’t remember the name of.

I find it’s easier to hop when looking at the parks in terms of lands, and specifying which area will be the focus for that particular jaunt. Like Pandora or Galaxy’s Edge at night, which are must do’s.

So for example, we’ll go to AK in the late am/early afternoon, doing Dinoland, Asia and Conservation Station. Then bus over to Coronado for dinner at Toledo. Then bus to MK and do Fantasyland and Tomorrowland at night, ending with fireworks. On another day, we’ll go to EP in the late am/early afternoon, touring the countries. Then we’ll walk over to Flying Fish, have a good dinner then hang at Abacadabar for a spell. Then walk to HS for Galaxys Edge, Toy Story Land and maybe a show (Indy or BATB).


This makes a LOT of sense to my brain. Less overwhelming for sure! Thanks for this tip!


I hop mostly bc of the dining situation. I tend to enjoy more meals in the Epcot and MK areas, but don’t want to spend most of my park time there so I’ll start in HS and the hop to Epcot for dinner/fireworks. I enjoy AK more in the morning so I’ll start there and hop somewhere else for the afternoon/evening.

1 Like

I’ve used this in planning but not in conjunction with a specific hopping method. I love this idea and will steal for our next trip. I like certain “lands” better at night than others and would definitely make a special evening out of just visiting that space.


We don’t usually plan a hop, but do it on whim.

Does seem like we hop to EP a lot for food. Nom Nom

In 2008, we hopped to HS every afternoon because DS wanted to meet the RED Power Ranger so we had several attempts until we caught the red one.

Another year we hopped to AK because DD decided she wanted to hat she saw the day before.

We’ve done a couple of 4 Parks in a Day just because we could. (Pre APRs and 2pm time constraint.)


Yes. This. On our big birthday bash trip in 2019 I was thinking Fantasyland - with 3 great granddaughters in love :heart_eyes: with princesses - would be RD.

After much fun with touring plans,
I discovered a late afternoon/evening gave us much better meet & greets, ride times and fireworks as well than RD on any morning.

Unfortunately TP didn’t factor in Hurricane Dorian closing MK early Tuesday afternoon. And no good time for Fantasyland the rest of the week.

We figured we’d just have to haul all the girls down another time . . .

1 Like

This is a thing for sure. One trip - if I’m recalling correctly we were off property cuz it’s Thanksgiving week and we decided less than 60 days out we were really actually going - so we were using the car rather than Disney transport.
We wound up thru some sort of last minute great idea at Epcot after Illuminations.
Ooops!!! The car was at HS parking lot!!! :hushed::unamused::cry:

Nearly all of us were just plumb worn out.
So the oldest and youngest waited on a bench at the Boardwalk while the two least tired walked to HS. No trouble finding the car as HS had been closed for hours.

One good reason to use Disney transport evenings or 4 parks in one day is somebody else is driving. Maybe less tired.

A strategy here would be to park at the last park visiting, bus to another resort for meal visiting walking distance park (or short bus ride if AKL dining to AK) than hop to last park. Cars waiting for you in parking lot.


We mostly plan our hops around distance and meals.
For example, our last split stay at BLT we would try to make hops to MK in the evening, or start at MK and hop somewhere else after lunch/resort time, and then have dinner in another park.
Staying at BC we would do Epcot/HS hops.
AK is just the anomaly that doesn’t have another close park to transfer to.
Basically we aren’t a big fan of crowded buses so tried to avoid them at all costs. We also tend to hop to epcot since its usually open the latest.

1 Like

We hopped out last trip. Most days we rope dropped, took a break at the resort and then went to another park. We planned ahead of time due to ADRs, except for our last day. We used Disney transportation without a problem.

We did:

Our last day was planned on a whim, other than getting park reservations for HS and a Toppolinos ADR at 12:15. It was a really fun day. We rope dropped HS and went to MK after Toppolinos and headed to Epcot around 6/6:30pm.

It was our first time hopping as a family and we enjoyed a little more spontaneity and seeing different parks in one day. And I know you like AK, but that is our least favorite park. (Although 2 of my favorite attractions are there).

1 Like

Not sure this will help. I hop every day, often go to 3 parks but I rarely plan them. I just go to wherever I am in the mood for at the time.

1 Like

Yes that works for solo.

Does not work for family though. They need a plan.

1 Like

Yes. This was our plan. For reasons I’m not recalling now we decided to change our last park. Probably because we wanted to eat at Epcot. Or see Illuminations. :woman_shrugging:

I think we thought that boats to HS would still be running. Not thinking of or bothering to check hours for HS. :woman_facepalming:

After the two left for the HS parking lot I had the anxiety attack of what if they can’t exit the parking lot !?!? :astonished:

We’ve stayed on property for so many trips/years that we’re used to letting Disney do the work.


Nothing useful to contribute to your actual question, but when I read the thread title, I saw “I don’t know how to hip hop - help me?” and thought, this thread is going to be a good one :rofl:


We PHed 2/3 days in Jan. HS/EP and AK/HS/MK.

For G+ AK is an amazing PH option. If you get KS right at park open, you can start stacking for your PH early. We actually did the HS PH to ride just TSM via LL due to popular demand before heading to MK. Booked JC PPF PotC all for post-4pm.

WDW bus transportation is a struggle… except park to park! My opinion is it’s much easier to get a bus to another park than to a resort. Buses start running at 130pm park to park. We did buses only for AK/HS/MK. Pretty sure we were in MK at 330 having left AK at 130 and ridden TSM with a 2-3 LL (plus a few mins in WD Presents)

skyliner between HS and EP is absolutely fantastic. Relaxing and easy. Also mentally easier than waiting for a bus that feels like it will never come. Only drawback is no ball at the entrance.

Edit: evening hours are unbelievable. Dont try to get there right at the start, bc that’s after fireworks. Transport is focusing on emptying the parks. Believe it or not, it took me 915-10pm to make it to MK from poly! But I rode HM, IASW, and Space in that 1 remaining hr. Incredible. I imagine you’d find hardly any lines during fireworks too.

1 Like

Our July trip last year, we stayed at BCV. We would hit whatever park we had planned in the morning, typically head back to the hotel around 4 and rest. Every single night, my daughter (14) went to Epcot in the hour before it closed. Sometimes she went with all of us, sometimes with my husband, sometime with her brother (11), and one night by herself. She loved it. She was typically able to hit three rides in that last hour (walking with great purpose). One night she did test track single rider four times.

Some nights we ate dinner in our room and some nights we treated Epcot as our own personal food court, getting on a walk up list or just cruising the booths.

Obviously our location had to lot to do with our plan, but taking a hotel rest and dinner at a different park is awesome. My family decided we are not rope droppers on this trip, and that we would much rather sleep in. I found night touring was amazing as the parks were emptier and also the sun is not beating down on you.