Alternatives to Park Hopping Since It is Currently Not An Option

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The days of park hopping are currently on pause.  If you’re used to spending your time starting in one park and ending your day in another, it can be disappointing to know that is currently not an option. Here are some ideas for building in some variety to your day even though park hopping is not an option.

  • Head to Disney Springs for the evening
  • Take a boat, monorail, or other applicable transportation to the nearest resort
  • Play a round of Disney mini golf
  • Go the movies at your resort
  • Enjoy your resort’s pool
  • Venture beyond Walt Disney World property

The obvious and most popular way to end a Disney day would be at Disney Springs. If you’re staying at a Disney hotel there will be complimentary bus transportation to this incredible dining and shopping destination. You don’t have to necessarily head there for shopping or dining. The atmosphere is relaxing and great just to stroll around. There’s usually some live entertainment on weekend evenings, though it is busier during that time as well.

Disney Springs West Side

Our readers have submitted over 500,000 surveys and our site has ratings and information for every restaurant at Walt Disney World. Some of the highest ranked options at Disney Springs are: Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’The BOATHOUSE, and Wine Bar George. For something casual, but still delicious, The Polite Pig and D-Luxe Burger are both highly rated.

Each of the four theme parks has at least one nearby Deluxe Disney Resort. Take a break in the middle of the day and head to a nearby resort. Or, end your day by visiting a resort or having dinner at a resort restaurant. For Magic Kingdom there is an entire collection of resorts that are linked by the monorail.

Plentiful clouds for dramatic sunset shots!
Monorail at Sunset

It’s super easy to depart Magic Kingdom and hop aboard the resort monorail loop. Here you’ll be able to visit Disney’s Contemporary, Disney’s Polynesian, and Disney’s Grand Floridian. Each resort has a distinct atmosphere. The Contemporary is great for retro Vacation Kingdom vibes and views of Bay Lake. The Polynesian has beautiful tropical grounds just perfect for strolling, though there is construction currently in some parts of the resort, including the main building. The Grand Floridian offers Southern sophistication, with beautiful gardens. There’s also a few shops in the main building of Grand Floridian.

If you’re visiting EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios then you have an entire resort complex within walking distance of either park. This resort area has multiple deluxe hotels that surround the sparkling Crescent Lake. Besides a collection of restaurants and shops at each resort in the Boardwalk area, the atmosphere around Crescent Lake is perfect for an afternoon or evening stroll.

Disney’s Yacht Club, Beach Club, and Boardwalk Resort, along with the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin make up this unique destination. You can also board the Friendship boats for a round trip to each resort and EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Disney Skyliner has a station next to Disney’s Beach Club, near the International Gateway entrance of EPCOT, if you’d like to take to the skies.

Views of Caribbean Beach from Skyliner

In the Boardwalk area, between the Swan and Dolphin, you can walk to Fantasia Gardens mini golf. There are two mini golf courses here, one that is whimsical and fun, the other is challenging. These courses are closed for the season, but open back up on January 30, 2021. In the meantime, there is Winter Summerland mini golf. These two courses are near Coronado Springs Resort and Animal Kingdom theme park. Winter Summerland is just fantastic during the holiday season. One course is themed to Santa and his elves on a summer vacation. The other course is themed to winter and the North Pole.

Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf

Animal Kingdom does not have a resort within walking distance, but Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is right next door. It is a quick drive or bus ride to this elaborate resort. Jambo House is currently closed, but Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club portion of the resort is open. You can view the savannah, home to a variety of incredible African animals. You can also stroll through the lobby and library to see the resort’s fascinating collection of African art.

If you’re staying at a Disney-owned resort you can enjoy outdoor movies under the stars. The schedule of the outdoor movies has been reduced to every other day, so you’ll need to check the schedule and plan ahead. It can be lovely after a day walking around the parks to hop back home to your resort for an outdoor movie. Of course, each Disney resort has at least one wonderfully themed pool. If you’re heading to one of the theme parks on a weekend, chances are hours of the park operations will be longer than during the week. This gives you some time to potentially hop back to your resort for an afternoon pool break. After splashing around and getting refreshed you can hop back to the park to spend your evening.

Do you miss park hopping? How do you plan to create a park hopping experience without parking hopping being an option?

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Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

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