Park Hopping the Whole Trip?


#1

We are in the early stages of planning for the Food and Wine Festival in 2018. Would like opinions if it’s worthwhile to park hop the whole trip to get the most out of our park time as well as F&W..

Previously, except for late evening ADR’s for a special dinner or show, we stayed the whole time at one park so; this is new ground for us.

Here is the background on our trip:

• A mid-September trip, flying in on a Tuesday AM, departing the next Tuesday PM.

• Plan is to use Disney Transportation only.

• We’ll be staying at the Beach Club Resort that is walking distance to Epcot, snacking at F&W.

• Plan to buy 5-day Park Hopper tickets

  • We will do lunch at the 1st park, then hop to the 2nd park.

Some tips and constraints extracted from the Unofficial Guide to WDW 2018 (UOG):

• Unless you’re going, stay away from Hard Ticket events at night.

• Stay away from F&W on weekends

• Take advantage of EMH then, hop to park with lowest crowd level

So, given the above, this is what it looks like:

BIG NOTE: The closing times and Extra Hours are based on the 2017 Schedule. As of today, the 2018 schedule is the same.

BIG NOTE #2: The CL’s are from the “What we saw” CL’s for the same day/week in 2017. In all cases, the predicted level was 2 to 3 levels understated compared to the “What we saw” CL.

Tuesday: Resort time

Wednesday AM: EPCOT (FW) CL5
Wednesday PM: Magic Kingdom (EEH) till 11 PM, CL6

Thursday AM: EPCOT (FW) (EMH) CL4
Thursday PM: Hollywood Studios till 8:30 PM, CL6

Friday AM: Magic Kingdom (EMH) CL4
Friday PM: Animal Kingdom till 9 PM, CL4

Saturday: Resort Time/Disney Springs

Sunday AM: Hollywood Studios (EMH), CL6
Sunday PM: EPCOT (WS) till 9 PM, CL5

Monday AM: Animal Kingdom (EMH) CL6
Monday PM: EPCOT (WS) till 9 PM, CL5

Tuesday: Disney Springs

I ran a couple test Touring Plans and half days seem to work for attractions based on the predicted levels. I still have to punch in resturants.

But, here is my dilemma. Per the UOG, using Disney transportation the worst-case minutes are::

EPCOT to MK: 37 minutes
EPCOT to HS: 30 minutes
MK to AK: 63 minutes!!
HS to EPCOT: 35 minutes
AK to EPCOT: 38 minutes

I think these one-way travel times are low. I’m sure there is an assumption the mode of transportation has minimal wait time.

I'll also need to ensure our last event is closest to the exit.

I'm worried when the crowd levels get updated?

Am I crazy to try planning this way? Has anyone else tried this?

Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated.


#2

I think the HS/Epcot travel time is adding wait time for the boat. I usually walk it and it is well under 30 minutes: HS to IG. Traveling from EP to MK I always decide how to get there based on where I am. If I am at WS (I usually am) I just walk to BC and hop a bus.


#3

That's a good point...i think we are at FW the 1st day to knockout the rides...that time could be the monorail.


#4

I'm not sure I would necessarily want to be hopping every day. It seems like hopping for the sake of it. Especially if it means several half days at one park.

It goes without saying it only works if you really will be at the EMH parks in good time. At AK, if you're doing Pandora in the morning EMH, that means a good hour before the EMH starts.

Personally I would think about fastpasses, and where you want to use them. If you want Pandora fps, then you really want AK to be as late in your trip as possible. Everyone without them will be heading to Pandora for FoP; you don't want to be joining them if you don't have to. I would reconsider hopping to or from AK and just make that as late in your stay as possible.

I use hopping more for being able to fit in the night time shows, perhaps after being in a different park for most of the day. So rather than planning to hop after lunch, I hop in the evening for Illuminations, or AK at night. Or hopping to spend a couple of afternoons in WS for example.

Trying park hopping is a great idea. I just doubt I would make a plan that involves hopping every day just because I can.


#5

I've never been to food and wine at epcot before

Does it only happen during the day or also in the evening at epcot

If it's in the evening I would park hop but in a different way

Will explain once I've double checked your opening post


#6

I hop every single day. I!do not think I have ever spent the whole day at one park. I split every day into two sections. Some days I may even plan two parks in one of those halves .


#7

First of all Beach Club IMO is the perfect place to park hop from

You are 5 mins walk from epcot and a 20 minute boat journey from HS

So I wouldn't go to either HS or Epcot during the day myself

I would do MK and AK twice each during the day

And I would do epcot most evenings and HS a couple of evenings

You will be able to see and do everything you want in the evenings in epcot and HS easily

And no need to spend time in them during the day

I might be tempted to do HEA in MK one evening as well

But I think that's the best way to park hop

Drink and dine and explore epcot in the evenings. Maybe dine at Hollywood brown derby one evening and see fantasmic etc

But when you are so clse to HS and Epcot then I would save them for the evenings and do the other parks til after lunch and then maybe even have a siesta and re-energise for epcot and HS for a couple of hours each afternoon

I'm also convinced by going in 2 parks a day you feel like you've done s much more at the end of the holiday

Park hopping based near epcot every holiday for us


#8

Thanks @Nickysyme and @interested...tracking all....

Like @PrincipalTinker even when we do one park per day we split the park in half...we're very territorial..lol...

EMH is best for us...we are morning people and often help the resort staff put the coffee on...hahah..just joking..

We haven't seen any of the AK night time shows so we have to fit that in. But, I'm also worried about time it will take to get to AK inthe afternoon from MK. This might to a task for Uber or a Minnie Van

In one or two of the test TP's we did (we only did 3 so far) it didn't even recommended FastPass+ cause of the low CL and EMH. That's why I am concerned if the CL's jump real high.

I'm gonna incorporate some of your points....Thanks!


#9

I'm planning on hopping everyday too. I'm staying at the Boardwalk, which - like Beach Club- makes it easier. One thing I did was make sure NOT to do AK & MK the same day. The travel time is too much. I have a toddler so I have to work in a midday break and I refuse to take buses to more than one park a day. That's why being walking distance to both Epcot and DHS was a priority for me. We will be staying in the AM park from ropedrop to about 1 or 2, go back to the resort until around 4:30 and then head to the PM park.

My itinerary:
MK - Epcot
AK - DHS
MK - Epcot
DHS - MK (HEA)
Epcot - AK
MK - Epcot or DHS


#10

Thanks! I'm gonna re-look that leg of the plan..if we don't get a good TP we can always resort to taxi or Uber for one day.


#11

I agree with your plan @interested, but I would add one evening in AK as it's amazing at night.


#12

We hop every trip. It also will give you a chance to head back to the resort to enjoy the pool! Sounds like an awesome plan!!


#13

I did think about AK at night as well tbh


#14

To start off, I'll mention that I'm not a big fan of park hopping. Too much time wasted on transportation that could be spent in a park :slight_smile: However, I see several situations where it may make sense:

  • If you are going back to your resort for an afternoon break. Since you have sunk time into travelling, you might as well hop to a park with a lower CL if it benefits your overall plan.
  • If you have a lot of specific in-park ADR "must dos" that would otherwise make planning difficult.

Now, on to specific comments:

I would base overall planning on the Predicted CLs for the days in question. The TP team would have already taken the differences from past predictions into account, and, more importantly, the times for your Personalized TPs are based on these Predicted CLs anyway. Why mix apples and oranges?

Doing eEMH on one day followed by mEMH on the next day can be really tough. Remember, EMH are only useful if you are going to take full advantage of them - otherwise, you may be going to a park that is more crowded than it would otherwise have been during regular hours.

If I recall correctly, the UG transporation times are based on average times, taking into account wait times.

I wouldn't worry about this. The Optimizer calculates the walk time to the entrance and includes it in the overall plan times. Moving a "closest to exit" attraction to the last slot in the plan would probably result in a plan that would take more time overall - sure, you may be getting to the exit quicker after finishing your last attraction, but you will be spending more time waiting and walking during the rest of the plan and leaving the park later as a result.

This happens. Don't stress about it. Hakuna Matata.

Yes, you are. But we won't hold it against you. :wink:


#15

Your right. And if I recall correctly from last year, when the CL's got updated, there was very little chnage in my plans.

Your giving me another reason to scrap that MK to AK leg. I pencilled in a full day at AK Friday while MMNSHP is going on:slight_smile: Will need to find another slot for MK

Agreed...I have to keep at eye on that. Last year, I tried to end near Main Street before MMNSCHP for a quick exit and it did exactly that.

Thanks for input!

Crazy Joe..:laughing:


#16

I love park hopping, just make sure you get the FPP to work with your plan.


#17

I always have hoppers, but typically only hop once or twice during a trip. "Hopping for the sake of hopping" seems like a waste of time traveling between parks. A "typical" 5 day trip is one full day at each park, and the 5th day to go back to a couple of parks to catch things I missed or want to do again. When AK used to close at 5:00, I would frequently hop to a different park that was open later.


#18

Agreed..we're still in the TP testing phase and just from a macro re-look two of the hop days may turn into one-park days...we're still building our resturant list and that may skew the results even more...


#19

Watch out, or @LaurelStewart may change your tag line to "Crazy Joe"...

Also, to make you feel a little more sane, I have a complex algorithm that I use to evaluate overall park day plans based on things like CLs, park hours, EMH, travel time, and rest time. It took less data to land a man on the moon...


#20

Interesting point above

I believe a lot of guests think that as onsite hotel guests going to a park during EMH it will be quieter than normal

But it doesn't seem to be the case at all

So the only benefit is the extra hour in the park rather than a quieter park for an hour

I came away from AK not being sure it was worth going on EMH day tbh

Whereas at universal parks the extra hour for hotel guests is really good and you can get loads done without lots of others around you

Way too many onsite guests at disney taking advantage of EMH together I think to really get the benefit?