A Walt Disney World Resort vacation comes with many choices about how to best structure your vacation to fit your family’s needs and plans. You’ll have to consider when to go, where to stay, how to get there, and how you’ll spend your days.

Planning your days involves many important decisions, but one of those that you’ll face early on in your planning is whether or not you’ll purchase any of the additional ticket options including the Park Hopper.

Let’s take a look at the top five things to consider before purchasing the Park Hopper option for your Disney World Ticket.

5. Fear of Missing Out

Many Disney guests aren’t aware that a base ticket can only be used at one park per day. That isn’t always a problem since most parks are open throughout the day, but if you plan to visit Animal Kingdom on one day, your day in the parks could end as early as 5pm at which time you’ll have to head back to your hotel, to Disney Springs, or somewhere else that isn’t one of the four theme parks.  After Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light show opens, this may be less of an issue a that park.

If you’ll feel left out spending your evening outside of the parks while everyone else is watching the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and enjoying Extra Magic Hours, then the Park Hopper option is for you. If this doesn’t bother you too much, then skip the Park Hopper and live it up outside the parks.

Consider what you might do with your evening if you visit a park that closes early and you can't visit another park.
Consider what you might do with your evening if you visit a park that closes early and you can’t visit another park.

4. Age

Another important factor to consider is the age of your traveling companions. If you’re traveling with young children, they probably won’t last much longer than the early evening hours anyway. In this case, the Park Hopper option is less necessary especially if you plan to skip the midday break.

On the other hand, if you have older kids, teens, or all adults in your party, you might easily go until 3am when Magic Kingdom has Extra Magic Hours. The Park Hopper option is well worth the cost for night owls or early risers.

3. Length of Stay

If you plan to stay in Disney for less than four days, you won’t be able to visit all of the parks unless you have the Park Hopper. A short stay necessitates the Park Hopper to maximize every minute of your vacation. Longer stays don’t require the Park Hopper option, but you should be aware that the price per ticket per day decreases with each additional day purchased.

Visiting less than four days but want to see all four parks? Park Hopper is a must.
Visiting less than four days but want to see all four parks? Park Hopper is a must.

2. Finances

Speaking of the hard costs, let’s take a look at the math. As an example, a one-day base ticket for Magic Kingdom currently costs $105 (as of early 2016). Adding the Park Hopper Option for $50 takes the cost to $155. A five-day base ticket is $315 plus tax, and adding the Park Hopper option takes the cost to a total of $403. That’s about $80 per day per ticket, a savings of over $80.

Carefully consider this potential savings and actual value before making a final decision. For some families, it’s a no brainer; others will want to save the money for other things.

1. Other Plans

Finally, when considering whether or not to purchase a Park Hopper option, you should consider if Disney World is the primary focus for your vacation. If you plan on visiting other parks in the area like Universal Studios or Sea World, catching up with local friends or family, or staying off property, you’ll have to consider if the cost outweighs the value.

On the one hand, you’ll have less time on property, so a park hopper option might be good because your stay will technically be shorter. On the other hand, if Disney isn’t your primary focus, you may not be bothered by not seeing and doing everything you can.

Is the Park Hopper Option is worth the cost?