Park Hopper? First trip, two weeks, 10 day ticket

Oh wise ones, help me out. I’m planning a first and only trip to Disney World. We’ll be getting the 10-day tickets and staying for two weeks. We have plenty of vacation days but trying to do it as cheaply as possible. We will be going in January 2021, so the hours are shortened. Because the hours are shortened I don’t plan on us having mid-day breaks in the hotel. We’ll do 2 park days then a rest day (repeat). Also, since this is our first time, I’ve read that it is best to just stay in a park and completely explore it, particularly since we won’t be doing mid-day breaks.

People going and our motivations: Me, because I’ve wanted to go since watching Wonderful World of Disney 45-years ago, DH because of Star Wars, DD because she’ll be a 10-year-old girl.

I’m almost finished reading the 2020 Unofficial book and mentally planning out how many days at each park and desired fast passes. Now I am thinking that tiered fast passes and the fact that we have 10 park days might mean that park hopper is more worthwhile. For example, I can’t imagine spending two full days at Epcot. But the Tier A rides there make my heart go pitter-patter. Breakfast at Aker. is DD’s highest priority for the trip. Dinner at Biergarten is mine. So, now I’m thinking we’ll have one full day just at World showcase, eating at Aker going to Frozen at 9 am, fast pass for the Rat ride, explore the worlds, meet characters and do the games then go to Biergarten, leaving shortly before we go into a food coma, watch show then leave.

Another day, go to Future World, RP Test Track to get the full car-building experience, fast pass Soarin. Do whatever else we want to do in Future World, then take a Lyft over to MK which seems to have good day-of fast pass availability.

Also I know we can add on park-hopper after we are there. But, it will change my planning if I know we’ll likely add it.

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With 10 full days, IME, you don’t need park hopper. It’s a convenience, especially if you have limited time, but I rarely use it. If you are trying to be budget conscience skip it and spend that money on extras - like EMM at MK or DAH at AK

I’d rather plan fewer days at the parks with less I want to see / do than hop around. If you are using Disney buses / transit they take sooooo long to get around the parks. (45 mins - 1+ hour)


We’ve never gotten PH for our family trips, which have always had 7-10 park days. We also don’t do mid-day breaks so we thought that hopping might just eat too much time. I can certainly find enough to do at each park to fill 2 full park days no problem. And I prefer to stay in a single park and really soak up the vibe of that park, especially with as much time as you have.

I have used PH for shorter adults-only trips. PH are definitely useful if you want to eat at a different park. For example, Epcot has lots of good restaurants, HS not so much. Also they can help if you are in one park and something is closed or night show cancelled b/c of weather, you can then hop over another day and catch it. This has only happened to us 1x in the past 7 trips.

In your case, I would think that PH are an unnecessary bonus.


Being your first trip I would not buy park-hoppers!

Our first trip we stayed for 7 days, there was so much to do and see, park-hoppers was not necessary.

Our second trip we stayed 9 days, since we had more days during our visit we slowed down a bit and just soaked in every park. Park-hoppers was not necessary again.

When we go back we will get park-hoppers since our interests and our kids interests are changing. We would also like to be more flexible with ADRs.


Thank you! That is very helpful. Reading the book my brain was focusing on the fast passes and rides. Then I started to think we’d be bored by mid-afternoon on one of the days. I have a friend that has been several times, and she keeps telling me that Epcot is a half-day park.

But, we will have time to explore and absorb, and that is good. We just recently got back from Universal Orlando and we spent 7 days at the park. We did enjoy that. Most days we stayed in one-half of a park, plus the HP areas. We really aren’t into TS meals at park, and probably won’t do any except for those two. So, no need to park-hop for dinner.

It is very subjective.

EPCOT is generally a two-day park for us, although our May trip we’ll only do one day…but it is a rush.

Animal Kingdom, for us, is a half-day park…and we’re only doing AK in our May trip as part of a Disney After Hours event. But there are plenty of folks who find Animal Kingdom their favorite park, and can easily do 2 days there.

With 10 days, you really can just take time to soak in each park. 2 days per park still gives you 2 more days to fill with the parks you loved most. :slight_smile:


You also might consider whether it is cheaper to add additional days rather than park hopper. Then, instead of 2 full days followed by a rest day, you could do a full day followed by two half days. This would allow you to sleep in on the half days or leave midday but give you another day’s allotment of FP to play with. And if 1.5 days turns out to be enough at one of the parks, you can reallocate the other half day to a different one.


We have used park hopper a few times, but generally, if your trip is longer than 5 park days it is unnecessary. Even on 4 and 5 day trips, we only hop on the last day or two if we’ve missed something, or get tired of the park we are in… On our last trip we didn’t have hoppers at all, and it was fine. Keep in mind you can always add hopper if you start to feel like not having it is impeding what you want to get done.


For my family Epcot is not a half day park at all, my teenagers could easily spend an entire day or longer just exploring WS, and if you have more than one day it allows viewing more of the shows.


We always have hoppers; I like having the flexibility. :slightly_smiling_face: Another consideration is what your plans are for your rest days. Are you planning on going to the water parks/playing mini golf at all? If you are, you might think about getting the hopper plus. That was actually the main reason we got hoppers in our first two trips.

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Unfortunately, 10-days is the max that they’ll do. After that they want you to buy another ticket.

But, maybe they’ll have a Star Wars ticketed event by January. That would be awesome.

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We went to WDW for our first time last year. We had 5 park days with no hopper. I was glad because there was so much to see and do that they were definitely NOT needed, we just just liked to absorb the park we were in all day. As far as EPCOT - that was our very first park day so we were very excited! We planned to take a mid-day break, but it didn’t happen and we were there from open to close! I had heard that it was a half day park, but since it was our first time there, it was definitely a full day park, maybe more. Epcot is huge and you could spend all day in World Showcase alone. We are going back again this April and will have 8 park days and I questioned whether to get hoppers this time or not, but again decided against it. I don’t like the time it takes up to go from park to park, however the Skyliner would help quite a bit (it’s new since we’ve been). In any case, you’ll have a great trip!


I’m in the camp with no hoppers really needed if you have a 10 day pass and this is your first visit. (How exciting! :smile:)

We’ve been to WDW twice, August 2012 with DD14 and DS12; and December 2019 with DD21 and DS19. In 2012, we stayed 15 days and had a 10-day Water Park Plus ticket. My family all love Epcot for WS (the shops, the shows, the food, the characters, the decor) and AK (the rides and the food).

Back in 2012, the parks were not as crowded as they now. Two days for each park worked well. We were able to get on rides over and over, particularly in AK. We ended up being in the parks more like 1 1/2 because it was so hot and humid. When we were done with each park twice, we decided we were going to go to Epcot and AK for a third day. And we could do that back then easily. It ended more like 3/4 of a day each. We were hot and tired often. But we were troopers and took advantage of most AM EMH. But it wasn’t like RDing today. We may have showed up for EMH 15 minutes before opening. We had our Water Park Plus portion to enjoy, too. We stayed at Pop.

Fast forward 7+ years to December 2019. The family stayed 10 days at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek and had a 7-day park ticket. We planned 2 days for MK and EP and would have wanted to give AK another day. But because of the uncertainties with Galaxy Edge, we decided to give HS a second day instead. There was so much to do at the parks, DS, and at the different resorts. We did get everything we wanted done. And we had a great time. But we didn’t have the opportunity to ride that many rides multiple times on the same day. The lines were just too long in all the parks and they just felt crowded. On a couple of days (second MK and HS days), we longed to go back to AK! Those are the only 2 days we wished we had PHs! And we could have purchased them…

Here are our CLs from our December trip at 200 days before, 14 days before, and the actual. The parks did feel crowded on all days, even HS at CL1. The CL8 and CL10 day felt like a way of people everywhere.


I am itching to return to WDW for a third time :crazy_face:, for the Flower and Garden Festival. I am tentatively planning to get a 7-day Park Hopper Plus. Late April/early May will be a lot warmer and more humid consistently when compared to the winder. And WDW has the best water parks!

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I was going to say that I think at that point they actually want you to buy an AP, but then checked and was surprised to realize that the difference between a 10 day pass and an AP is much more than I thought it was.

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Yeah, the annual pass price is insane. I remember when I first started to plan this trip some of the advice sites said to investigate an annual pass for one person for the discounts and free parking. I saw the numbers and I thought they were insane. Then I learned that the price skyrocketed recently.

We will be sharing a house with another family for part of the trip. I’d thought of maybe getting DD a pass in case they go the park during one of our rest days, in that case she could tag along with them. But it was still insane.


We had DLR annual passes in 2006-2007. We paid $236 dollars. We went 5 times, between 3-5 days each time. We broke even after the second 3 day trip. Trips 3-5 were gravy!

We always do the PH, but we also do a midday break except on parade watching day. I like the flexibility of PH for choosing where to make ADRs. There aren’t many TS in HS where we want to eat, so we can hop to EPCOT for lunch.

Now it is $1200/pp. That is insane. 5X what you spent then.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t a crowd control plan on their part. That they don’t want people like you coming multiple times a year, and if you do they want you to REALLY pay for it.

People say that we’ll want to come back. But with the combination of crowds plus prices, I don’t think we will. We can dive the Great Barrier Reef on a live-aboard, or tour continental Europe for cheaper.

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and yet, 20,000 people arrive at 7 am for a chance to get on a single ride every single day. It blows the mind! :laughing:


And I can’t blame them. Well, I do get grumpy about the shortened hours. But, supply/demand. No reason for them to lower prices or improve if people still flock to Disney.