Should I just change how we plan/visit the World now, especially with HS uncertainty?

It used to be simple, do to expense & time restrictions(we attend the World once every 3 years) our trips are 5 days and we used park hoppers to basically accomplish everything we wanted. I would look at the CL & EMH and make our ADR and FP selections in the evening - we are early risers and with a great plan can use EMH to accomplish all of our rides by lunch time to head back to the resort and relax and come back in the evening park with FP selections and dinner and it was perfect. Now, our trip for April 30 to May 4th has left me thinking this philosophy no longer applies - we have not been back since the new Toy Story area & Star Wars lands have opened. a must is to ride RoTR, experience all Star Wars, SDD & the upcoming Mickey ride at HS(complete unknown how this will be handled) - if we arrive in the AM and “check in for boarding passes”, we technically might not be riding until the afternoon/evening, so park hopper becomes worthless, right? It seems more prudent to ditch park hoppers, spend 1 day at MK, EP & AK and 2 at HS. I can then get my FPs early in the day and try for more at each park. Does this make more sense? Or someone please convince me otherwise/give me a better alternative. Thanks, I really appreciate this community and how it really helps.

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I would argue that park hopper could be more important. If your boarding group is going to be at 6 or 7 pm, why not hop to another park after you get in your boarding group and then come back? You only have to be in the park to get the boarding group, but once you have it, you can leave and return.

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Thanks for your response and it does make me think twice. But my thought would be we are already in the park, so we would stay there and ride all we could, until our boarding pass was called. We would even go back to the resort in the middle of the day, depending on when we were called back to ride it. Since they appear to give a nice window to return, we could still do all of our other FPs and dinner regardless of the boardng time, right? I never thought it would get this depth, but that is why I’m here to get thoughts from you and others. Thanks!

I typically don’t get park hoppers, but we are this trip and I’m glad for many reasons, the biggest one is HS. It is just unpredictable and will allow some flexibility. We also plan on hopping over to BTMRR our last day since that is when it is supposed to reopen.

For our last trip, the best strategy for our parks we rope drop was to book fastpasses in the AM to early afternoon (my family likes early lunch). We rope drop a preferred attraction, do our FPs and get on some of the busier attractions before the lines get long. We get extra FPs and see the attractions that don’t really require or have FPs, like Philharmagic or World Showcase in the afternoon and/or evening. For those days at the end of the trip we didn’t rope drop, we did our FPs after lunch and then started picking up extra FPs. We didn’t really wait in any long lines and did a lot. That is pretty much our strategy this time. But we can be more flexible with HS and Epcot due to their current construction situation.

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I love your previous strategy entirely and have operated that way myself, but in this scenario you have to rope drop at HS (for now) in order to get ROTR and probably MMRR when it opens and if you don’t know when you will be able to ride it, you can’t pre-plan FPs in another park because you will either lose them or miss the HS ride, and at the very least lose time moving from park to park. It seems easier to just book morning FPs at HS on the day you are trying for ROTR/MMRR(when it opens) and go from there. Now if you have excess time and your only goal is to ride one of those and move to another park, I understand, but with my 5 day visit, I think it would not make sense for me. Thanks for your reply.

For me, if I’m even thinking about park hoppers I do it. You pay the same price if you use it one day or five. IMHO - It’s like buying travel insurance. I’d rather have it and not use it then get there and need it.

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Park hoppers offer flexibility. If you have always had them, why not!

We’ve only been to WDW twice and have never bought park hoppers. It takes time to hop and there’s so much to do in each park for us.

But because HS is so crowded at RD now, you could probably spend all day in HS and just have an overall plan with flexibility so you can incorporate RoTR when your BG is called. Book all your FPP for early in the morning and grab additional FPPs at the SDDs, if they are available.

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I thought Park Hoppers are basically $85.20 per person if your stay is 4 or more days, so multiply that by 4 = $340 in savings - I know, not much to some people.

To this point, I believe you could upgrade to a PH once you are there, if you find yourself in this kind of situation and decide you want to hop. This way you could hedge your bets and only pay to hop if it comes to that. But, this strategy keeps you from booking FPP’s ahead of time in another park on a day you plan to do HS, of course.

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You are correct. However, I didn’t see in your original post anything about trying to save money - just convenience - when I responded.

So…if money is the issue, then of course, do what’s best for your family. The’s no “right” way to visit WDW. :smiley:

However, if you do buy park hoppers then getting them for the entire duration of your trip is only $85.20 more than just buying them for only one day. (That’s the price of one park hopper ticket for one person for one day)

IMHO - Buying park hopper tickets buys me “flexibility / peace of mind”. Again, this is why I used a “travel insurance” analogy.

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I am all about being frugal with my DW trips, but with the status of DW right now, I have to agree with the “insurance policy” theory. I don’t like spending the extra money, but hoppers relieves my frustration with HS.

I plan on doing the same strategy as you, 3 FPs in the morning and a lunch ADR and go from there. But there is too much that is unpredictable and if it is too frustrating or crowded, we can get out of there. We actually have 1 1/2 days planned at HS, so we will see how it goes. And the Falcon’s line seems to go down as the day goes on. We don’t actually plan to rope drop it and are going to try later in the day. I don’t like dealing with crazy rope drop crowds rushing to the most popular ride in the park. We are heading to RnRc


Do you all think it’s possible they’ll do boarding groups for MMRR and RotR a the same time? Seems rope drop would be NUTS because everyone has to be there to secure them.

I guess March 4 they could begin to let RoTR be standby?

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HS is the thorn in my planning side at the moment, too. We aren’t going until August, but for the first time ever I am really struggling to come up with a plan that I am comfortable with. We have 7 days of tickets with park hoppers, and I am still struggling to figure out what the “must dos” are versus what we can leave out. Even with that amount of time, some things are going to have to get axed from the plan.

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After thinking more about it, and reading all of your insightful comments, I’m keeping the park hoppers. I could easily end up spending a whole day at HS, but will still switch between parks for other days.(not too concerned with large crowds because the plans on here usually work) I would like to be able to ride the new Mickey railway and I’m guessing that will be standby, so it may be a late entry and long night at HS after spending the day at another park.(but I guess that is a topic for another time) Thanks to everyone for their input.