Disney World tickets are expensive and the price seems to go up each year. Disney offers some “add-ons” and “upsells” that you might be able to skip, but the park hopper ticket option is one that I’ll suggest most every time (unless money is very tight, or it is a first visit and you will spend full days in individual parks).
Let’s take a look at five perks of the park hopper ticket option!
1. Visit more then one park in a day
At its very simplest, a park hopper ticket option allows you to visit more than one park in a day. A base ticket without the park hopper option allows in and out privileges to one park and one park only per day.
With the base ticket option, you’d need the minimum of a four-day ticket to visit all of the theme parks in Disney World.
This means that if you have fewer than four days available during your vacation to visit the parks, you need a park hopper if you want to visit all four parks.
2. Take advantage of morning extra magic hours and move on
If you are staying in a Disney resort hotel, Extra Magic Hours (EMH) allow you extra access to one park in the morning and one park in the night. Disney chooses the EMH schedule and publishes it on their website and on the MyDisneyExperience app.
Disney often chooses a park that is typically less busy on that day to keep base-ticket-holders in that park for the whole day. However, if you have a park hopper option, you can visit the less busy park in the morning and hop over to another park later in the day.
3. Visit another park early and hop to another park at night
As I mentioned, some parks have EMH at night, which is the opposite strategy of early EMH. What’s nice about night time extra magic hours is that most kids and young families have to head to bed, so nighttime hours are typically less crowded and include more adults.
If you plan to take advantage of night time extra magic hours, consider arriving before they begin so you can get through security and ticket check then head straight to your first-choice attraction – or at least be in the vicinity.
4. Hop to a less-crowded park when the crowds get too large
Magic Kingdom can get very busy around mid-day, and I’m a huge fan of the mid-day break where you go back to your hotel, take a short siesta, or cool off in the pool then return to the parks in the evening.
However, I’m also a big fan of the Disney parks, and I want to spend as much time there as possible. I often look at wait times throughout the day. If I’m in Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom looks a little less busy, the park hopper option allows me to hop from a busy park to a less busy park anytime of day.
Likewise, if you’ve used up all of your FastPasses and the standby queues are pretty long, consider hopping to another park that isn’t as busy.
There are unique restaurants in each of the four theme parks, and Epcot even has a variety of cultural offerings in World Showcase. You can try a ton of different food in any of the parks because you have a park hopper!
Another really nice way to use the park hopper is if you made Advanced Dining Reservations in one park but you don’t want to spend the entire day there. On the other hand, if you didn’t have time or the forethought to make ADRs, you can just check the MDE app and see what’s available! With the park hopper, you can hop over to any park for a table-service meal.
All of these above are great reasons to add park hopper onto your ticket. That said, it does take time to hop. Be sure to balance the benefit of visiting a new park with the time it will take you to get there.
Do you get the Park Hopper with your Disney tickets?