Park Hopping advice

I have been to Disney the past 3 years and have a good handle on making touring plans using this website. I have been able to plan our days in June and July with 15-20 min. or less waits. Next June we are heading back and trying park hopping for the first time. I have no idea how to plan for this. I have 2 girls. They will be 9 and 7 next summer. Does anyone have any advice for me on how to plan for an 8 day trip, 6 day park hopper, and using the dining plan? I make ADRs in December, so I am starting to think about where I want to be on each day. Any advice for a first time park hopper?

I break my days into two. I love PHs since I can plan what days I will go to Hollywood Studios. I usually will plan both a morning and an evening and I always book FPs at that park. I also plan my AK time. I would plan a late day/ evening there if possible. Next, I look at Epcot. If you are rope dropping MK you may want to save your FPs for EP, especially if you want to do a multiple tier 1s over a few days. You may also rope drop EP and combine that with FPs and then hop to MK.

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This is kind of what I was thinking. I am going to try to rope drop each park once, and then fill in evenings. Thanks!!

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We’re park-hopping for the first time and are using it mostly to move away from parks with morning EMH in the afternoon, and have plenty of evening Epcot time for the adults.

On Day 1, we’re doing a late start at Animal Kingdom and may hop to another park in the evening, but will probably take it easy at the resort instead.

Day 2 is Hollywood Studios for EMH and then hopping over to Epcot after The Mid-Day Break.

Day 3 is Epcot in the morning, then hopping over to Hollywood Studios after The Mid-Day Break, possibly staying for Fantasmic.

Day 4 is a rest day, with a afternoon visit to Magic Kingdom for lunch and the parade. The rest of the day will be up in the air, except for an early-turn in to prepare for Day 5.

Day 5 will be MK in the morning for EMH, then hopping over to Epcot after the Mid-Day Break, maybe for rides, maybe just for dinner.

Day 6 will be MK in the morning and afternoon, then hopping over to Epcot yet again for dinner and possibly Illuminations.

Day 7 will be another rest day, with dinner and Wishes at MK, and the rest of the day up-in-the-air.

Anyway, that’s how we’re planning to hop. We’ll see how it changes once the WDW schedulers change everything on us!

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We generally use Park Hoppers to eat where we want while still doing our main touring where we want. For example on arrival day we usually eat at Le Cellier on arrival and then hop to MK for our opening night. It can also provide flexibility - last trip we realized we only had 1 more open evening to see to the Osborne Lights & impromptu hopped over to HS. It also means that if you finish early one day somewhere you can adapt and hit another park for some bonus park time on a whim. But most of the time we’ll tour for the day somewhere & then park hop to Epcot for dinner as the density of good restaurants at Epcot is tough to beat…

So, we have APs, and one thing we’ve increasingly done: (1) RD the morning park, (2) make FPs for late morning/early afternoon at that park, (3) break after lunch/early afternoon, (4) go to Epcot for dinner or AK for the late afternoon/early evening clear-out of that park, (5) possibly go to HS or MK for fireworks, Dole Whips, riding things that don’t require big waits.

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Having said that, we do like to have evening FPs at MK for at least one day of the trip, because it’s fun to ride 7dmt, BTMRR, and others at night, and I really like the atmosphere of Fantasyland and Adventureland after dark. That would be a day that we take a long mid-day break or maybe just sleep in, swim, and not hit any park until dinner or after. Also, you might want to have Wishes FPs, and that works well with this plan.

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Your plan sounds very similar to what I am thinking. I wasn’t sure about which park to book FPs at though, the rope drop park or the afternoon/evening park? Everyone seems to have different ideas about the FPs. A friend of mine swears I should book them all at the morning park so I can keep adding more throughout the day. The only problem I see with that is the crowds are larger in the afternoon and evening. Based on my experience, we tend to have little to no waits for the first hour or two if we rope drop.

How long does it typically take to hop to a different park? I am thinking allow at least and hour to an hour and a half. Would that be enough time?

Does anyone have any suggestions/comments about either of these daily schedules:

Day 1 Epcot (arrival day)
Day 2 MK/EP
Day 3 HS/MK
Day 4 off
Day 5 MK/EP
Day 6 EP/HS
Day 7 AK/MK

or

Day 1 HS (and EP for dinner) (arrival day)
Day 2 MK/AK
Day 3 EP/MK
Day 4 HS/EP
Day 5 off
Day 6 MK/EP
Day 7 AK/MK

or

Day 1 MK
Day 2 HS/AK
Day 3 EP/MK
Day 4 off
Day 5 AK/EP
Day 6 MK/EP
Day 7 HS/MK

I am trying to rope drop each park at least once and go to EP more than other parks in the evening to take advantage of dining there.

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I like the last plan. I always like to start my trip at MK. Something about walking down Main Street and seeing the castle just starts my Disney trip with all the magic.

I like the idea of MK first too. This past June we did Epcot on arrival day, mainly to eat at Akershus. It was nice going to a park, but I think MK on arrival would make the first day even more “magical”.

Thanks!!!

Only your first plan has HS in the morning and evening?

I know. That is my favorite plan for getting to each park at rope drop and in the evenings. I am just torn about which park to go to on arrival day. I like going to Epcot for dining. It also works out well to go and use 3 fastpasses that day because we love Soarin’, Test Track, and need to ride Frozen Ever After too. Since they are all in the same tier, going to Epcot on arrival day would help with that issue. But, going to MK on that day would be amazing too. These are the decisions that drive me crazy!

We usually do Chef Mickeys and MK on our first night. This year DD wanted to change it up because of FEA…so we did MK, CM and then EMH at Epcot. MK was crazy busy in the afternoon without FPPs, but Epcot was great! It was a great first night…and luckily we planned a resort day for the next morning. It turned out to be a great start to our vacation. No matter what you decide…it will be amazing!!

Me too. Go with the plan that means you can do everything you want. How about EP first with FPP and then onto MK after dinner?

What about this???

Day 1 MK
Day 2 HS/ EP (for dinner)
Day 3 MK/AK
Day 4 off
Day 5 MK/EP—Fastpass EP
Day 6 EP (all day, maybe take a break at resort midday or hit another park midday) (could do HS after dinner)
Day 7 AK/MK

Decisions, decisions!!! I finally just looked at restaurants that we want to try. Three are in Epcot, so this plan should work for that and the tiers at Epcot. I need to play with some touring plans to see how any of these will will look.

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I like it!!! Well planned! Would love to hear more of your plans later as they come along :slight_smile: