To park hop or to not park hop?

Planning for April (ME/MA vacation week), my family (me and husband, 2 girls age 6 and 10), and my parents for part of the trip (very active mid 60s). We are staying off site (Windsor Hills) and will have 2 cars between us. I have been to WDW as a kid, but the rest of my immediate family has not, so it’s basically a first time visit. (And it’s changed SO much, it might as well be my first time!)

I’m planning on 6 day tickets, and am torn on whether to park hop or not. Can you help me decide? We are only doing the 4 WDW parks, no water parks or Universal or anything else.

What should we do?

Park hopping is a subjective thing for sure.

We always get the hopper because, to us, it seems to give us more freedom. You have the option and opportunity to start the day at one park and finish the day at another.

Since you’ll be there 6 days, you may want to visit more than 1 park on at least a couple of those days. If you were only going 4 days, that might be a different story (1 day for each park).

On the flip side, not park hopping sort of simplifies things by removing the flexibility. You pick a park, that’s the one you’ll be at for the day. You can re-enter that particular park if you need a midday break.

I hope that helps a little!

Wait and add it to tickets if needed while you are there. Depending on many factors you might or might not end up hopping. Weather plays a large part in us hopping or not.

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We usually get the hopper pass. We go during slower times, so the night shows aren’t on every night. Getting the park hopper allows us to be in one park for the day, and go to another for the evening. This year we are going in December, and we got the park hopper because MK closes early most nights for the Christmas party.

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If we add it to tickets bought through a reseller, do we then pay the difference of reseller to Disney, plus the PH option?

If you wait until after your first use, you only pay the park hopper.

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The most recent trip we took we did not get PH, because we looked back at our prior trips and realized that we really did not utilize them. With good TPs, park hopping becomes less necessary and you can spend the savings on something else, like a tour or a nice TS meal.

One of the best uses of PH is to go to mEMH at “Park A” to take advantage of the low early morning crowds, and then hop to “Park B” once the later arrivers drive up the crowds. However, as you are staying off-site you would not be able to do this.

That being said, the restaurants at EP can be a compelling reason to get PH, as it allows you to go to one park for the day, and then go to EP for dinner. That is pretty much the only thing we used PH for.

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Like @brklinck, we had the PH option a few times and never ended up utilizing it, or seriously under utilizing it for the cost. Because this is like a first trip, you might want to have the option and see if you use it since you don’t have an established touring style yet. There are some who swear by it, and there are some benefits or conveniences to having it, so maybe you will get more out of it than we did. :grinning:

Park Hopping is definitely subjective. We are a family of four, and have not got it yet. I find it’s too much money and too much time wasted when our kids are small. Our DDs are 7 & 9. We stick to one park per day, and “hop” to a resort for dinner or a participate in a special tour/event, like the Pirates and Pals Cruise instead.

Having said that, I think it would be a good option later one, when my kids are teens, or if an adult-only trip with my DH ever happens ! Have fun !

We are going to do Park Hopper so that we can split up parks. For example AK is only open until 6/7 but EP and MK are open later. So the plan is to visit AK over two mornings and spend the evening in EP one day and MK the other day. Then we have one ‘free’ day where we plan to be at MK, but won’t need a full day to see everything if the touring plans are accurate… If there is something we want to do at one of the other parks, having the option to swap over will be great.

Does anyone know if it’s possible to add park hopper to a 7 day ticket for just one of the days?

No, although there are now different costs, you will have to add it at the cost of adding to a 7 day ticket.

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You have to add the hopper for the length of the ticket even if you don’t have that many days left.

We always get park hoppers though. We go for a short time in off seasons and find we get more done that way by planning to hop to the parks with the longer hours. This does work better when you can use EMH though. We have used them when staying off site but not everyday of our trip but on AK days or one day when HS closed at 4pm for some strange reason. Then hopped to another park for dinner or evening shows.

If I were you I would make some tentive plans first and see what you can fit in with and without park hoppers to make the decision. For instance on our trip I knew I needed 1 1/2 days at MK but also wanted to go to all 4 parks but only 3/4 day at AK. We can only do this with hoppers when we have 4 day tickets. So we are hoping from Epcot to MK on one day the AK to Epcot on another day to get a full day at Epcot in as well. We will not hop at all on 2 days.

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follow up - must the PH option be added for everyone in your party? For example, could I add it just for DH and I so that we could hop while the kids are at a Kids’ club? Or just for me so that I could go to food and wine one night on my own :smile:

If you wait and add it once you get there you can add it for as few or many of your tickets as you want. If you have booked through WDW as a package everyone must have the same ticket ahead of time but guest service can make changes once you get there.

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Thank you for answering my questions and sorry to @snappity for hijacking the thread. Hopefully my questions were somewhat useful to you, too.

Are you going to break in the middle of the day?
we had park hoppers and thought they were great. We could RD a park in the morning, then FP the afternoon park and do totally different things in the evening.

eg. We’d MK in the morning, do all the rides etc. Then got to Epcot in the evening, do the TT, or Soarin and then wander the world show case for a slower pace.

If you’re going to break in the middle of the day and driving, I’d maybe consider it.
For MK especially - there’s no way I’d want to have to park there twice in one day. The process of going through the TTC is tedious.

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I’m trying to decide whether to get park hoppers for our trip next February. We haven’t gotten them before but our last trip we only had one day at Animal Kingdom and missed the tree of life show because of rain. I was thinking if we had PH then we could jump over there for that show if we missed it on a different day. But thinking about planning has gotten me perplexed. I have always just planned for one day at a time. We are going for 7 days this time so I guess I could get away with it if I have multiple days planned in each park, but do you really need two days in AK? Not really! I’m thinking I could just plan FP+ for the morning parks and then look at what FP+ I can get in the afternoon and go there if I have PH. Or I guess we can choose more dinner options like jumping to Epcot for multiple dinners. Thoughts?

We didn’t have park hopper last trip. We decided to try it this trip. We do have some hopping planned and I like the idea of being able to change plans if needed with the hoppers. After the trip I plan to evaluate whether they are worth the cost to us for a future trip.

IMO, if you have 6 or more days, there is no need for park hoppers. 5 days, MAYBE park hoppers. Less than 5, park hoppers makes some sense.

Having said that, we got park hoppers ONCE and found we didn’t even use them. Turned out to be a waste of money. If money isn’t an issue, and you like to have the OPTION to hop, okay then. But I kind of see park-hopping with a lot of days much as I see the DDP. You end up TRYING to find ways to eat more than you would just to justify it. Similarly, with park hoppers, you LOOK for ways to park hop when you would be perfectly content to NOT if you didn’t have them.