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Remember the Park Hopper: Reasons to do Multiple Parks in One Day

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magickingdom2Ed. – Today is “Both Sides of the Pressed Penny Day!” The topic is To Park Hop or Not to Park Hop. Claire looks at compelling reasons for both in two articles that run concurrently today. For the other side of the coin, read “Why One Park is All You Need.”

The Options

If you go to the parks with a big family, giving the children freedom to choose can be one small step to a happy family vacation. If your child says, “Let’s do Small World!” and you have to tell them, “But we’re in the Studios right now,” you might have just set off a powder keg.

Options are also incredibly helpful when you are nearing the end of your vacation and your children still have a few go-to attractions to check off on their lists in several different parks. Park Hopping will be very helpful to make sure all the bases are covered.

studioshollywoodThe Variety

Some families like the consistency of one park a day. But others might not appreciate the idea of walking around theme park circles all day. How many times can you walk through Adventureland in one day? (Answer: many, many times.) Thanks to a Park Hopper, if you feel done at one park, there’s nothing holding you back from departing the park and moving on.

I personally don’t find as much to do in Disney’s Animal Kingdom than others do. On my last trip, once I was finished with my favorite attractions, I took the bus over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and spent a leisurely afternoon and evening in my favorite park with lots of attractions to sample.

The Length of Stay

As I mentioned in Part 1, a Park Hopper doesn’t make sense on a super short trip. However, once the trip extends to 4 or more days, a Park Hopper starts to make sense. The add-on is a flat rate, and the more days you add, the smaller the price add-on for each day.

foodandwineThe Dining

Walt Disney World is full of great dining…and not-so-great dining. If you’re not a big fan of one park’s dining but adore another’s, you’re not limited to where you are.

This is definitely an option when Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is taking place. You can wander around the other three parks to your heart’s content, but you can always end the day at Epcot to sample some pretty fabulous food and relax with a nice beverage.

The Plan B

While you may have the best-laid plans in the world, things like Mother Nature and unexpected early park closures may cause you to resort to a Plan B. A Park Hopper can help you go to a park with more indoor attractions (Epcot?) or go from an early-closing park to the park with longer hours.


There are many pros and cons to purchasing a Park Hopper with your Walt Disney World park tickets. But every family’s decision is unique! Take the time to research what you need before making your decision. But most of all, enjoy everything you do at Walt Disney World and don’t regret any choices you make!


Can you add any more reasons why getting a Park Hopper is a great idea? Do you have any Park Hopper stories to share? Comment below!

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Claire Nat

I've been enjoying Walt Disney World since my Nana pushed my sister's and my strollers back in the late 1980s. I enjoy my day job here in the Denver area as a teacher and music coordinator at our church. I love music, reading, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Michigan sports!

11 thoughts on “Remember the Park Hopper: Reasons to do Multiple Parks in One Day

  • I think park hopper makes more sense, as others pointed out, for shorter stays not longer ones. It gives you the freedom to see key rides and attractions in a short period of time. Longer stays safe nearly $300 or so dollars if you do not park hop. And you must think…if I’m staying 7 or 8 days…and use the touring plan guides for the park I’m in for each day, I’ll get to see so many more things I may not have if I didn’t. Plus I can stay in park, ride the same fund stuff as many times as I want, see all the parades and fireworks and if staying at Disney resort, go back for a break and have a swim and come back to that park later with extended hours (when applicable). For us non-US people, from Canada, and our terrible exchange rate…we need to save every penny we can! 🙂

  • There’s nothing like arriving at Epcot at 8:45, getting front row parking (or close to it), and then getting back to World Showcase for Illuminations. We love to park hop in the evening to catch Wishes as well. When getting a 10-day ticket on a long trip, the cost per day for the hoppers is low enough that it makes sense to reserve that option.

  • As I mentioned in the other thread, a park hopper is practically mandatory if you are staying at Epcot Resorts, or monorail resorts. It is just too tempting to hop to the nearby park for dinner. I love treating the World Showcase as our ‘food court’!

  • Like Jodie, we live far away and only travel to WDW every so often. We purchase 7 day Park Hopper tickets and on the last day park hop back through each park to do our “favorites”.

  • Since we live far away, we only go every other year or so. We usually get 7 or more days of tickets and always parkhoppers. I agree that flexibility and Plan B are great reasons — and don’t forget the extra magic hours and hours in general. In the winter, for example, DAK might close early, so it’s worth the extra $ for the hopper just to spend a few hours at MK, which is open later. We use our hoppers to take best advantage of early morning and late night touring.

  • On the Variety point, the answer is that there are a lot of things to do at Disney other than visit the 4 main parks! Go to another hotel for dining, go to DTD or Boardwalk, mini golf, your hotel pool, etc. And outside of the winter months, for about the same price, you can get the Water Park and More add-on and add the water parks for variety.

    Dining can be a big justification for a Park Hopper if you’re planning at the last minute and are stuck with whatever reservations you can get. If you can plan at the 180 day window, you should be able to plan your dining without needing to hop.

    I also agree with the posters who say the hopper is better for a short trip than a long one, because on a long trip you can plan around the need to hop and will probably prefer a break from the parks over hopping.

  • I disagree with your comment on length of stay. For a long weekend, I need to get a hopper if I am hoping to see all 4 parks. I find it pretty easy to get AK done in a morning and then head over to a different park for the afternoon. On a longer trip when I don’t need to fit multiple parks into 1 day, I often skip the hopper.

  • We always get the Hopper. On a trip three weeks ago, we only had a day and half. We hit Studios at Rope Drop, took a nap at 1. Hit AK for dinosuar, made it to Hoop De doo at 615, and spent the night at MK doing our usual Night time Fantasyland loop, and Wishes. Closed the MK at midnight…long day but impossible without the hopper!

  • I find the park hopper to make more sense on a short trip as well. I mentioned why on a comment on the other post. Although I am a fan of the park hopper in general.

  • I actually find a park hopper makes more sense on a short trip. I do a solo trip over a long weekend once every year or two. I have 2-3 days to do whatever I want, and I find it’s easy to marathon when you’re alone. Last May I went for the all-nighter, I arrived at MK around 4PM, stayed until 5AM, slept a couple hours, then hit AK, HS, and Epcot. If I had 4-5 days I may have slowed down and only done one park per day.


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