Note: Some aspects of Park Hopping have changed during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have not been to Walt Disney World recently, be aware that procedures may be different than you had previously experienced. New procedures are described below.

With so many options, buying Walt Disney World theme park tickets can be an overwhelming process for first (or second or third) time visitors. We're here to demystify one aspect of the ticket selection process: The Park Hopper.

Signage describes new park hopping procedures.

What exactly does Park Hopping mean?

In Disney-speak, Park Hopping means that you visit more than one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in one day. If you want to go to more than one of these parks in a single day, then you need to have the Park Hopper add-on for your Disney theme park ticket.

Do I need a Park Hopper if I’m going leave and return to the same park during the same day?

No. With a Disney base ticket, you’re welcome to leave and re-enter the same theme park as many times as you like during the same day. So, if you want to visit the Magic Kingdom in the morning, go back to your hotel room for a nap, and return to the Magic Kingdom in the evening, then you do not need a Park Hopper ticket. However, if you want visit the Magic Kingdom in the morning, go back to the room for a nap, and then go to dinner at Epcot, then you would need a Park Hopper.

Do I need to get a Park Hopper if I’m just going to pop into a second park to eat or shop?

Yes. Any time you want to set foot in a second park during the same day, you’ll need Park Hopper (with one type of exception which I’ll get to in a sec). There is no “just eating” or “just shopping” or “just seeing the fireworks” way to avoid needing a Park Hopper. The Hopping has nothing to do with going on rides, it has to do with entering the park turnstiles (which are now actually "tapstiles" any more, but we digress).

Why would I want to Park Hop?

Lots of reasons. Some might be:

Will I be missing out on something if I don’t Park Hop?

Not necessarily. It depends on your touring style, the composition of your family, and your ability to plan.

Guests who are traveling with very young children may find that more than one park per day is too much stimulation. Guests who are staying at Walt Disney World for a longer period of time may be able to arrange multiple visits to each park without needing that to happen during the same day. Guest who are visiting during peak times (Christmas to New Year’s Day, July 4) may find that park closures due to crowd levels will impede their ability to hop.

Park hopping hours now posted on the WDW website.

How much does a Park Hopper ticket cost?

The price of the Park Hopper add-on varies depending on the number of days of your theme park base ticket. Currently (early 2021), the cost to add park hopping to a 1-day adult theme park ticket is $65, the cost to add park hopping to a 2 or 3-day adult theme park ticket is $75, the cost to add park hopping to a 4 to 10-day adult theme park ticket is $85. Park hopping is included with the purchase of a Walt Disney World annual pass.

For help in finding the best price for your park tickets, visit our Ticket Price Comparison Tool.

Note that price increases are common, buying tickets early locks in your price.

Is there a different price for kids or seniors?

Children under the age of three get free admission into the parks, so they don’t need a Hopper (or any other ticket). The Park Hopper price is the same for everyone else, regardless of their age. (There used to a child price for the Hopper, but this disappeared several years ago.)

I’ll be at Walt Disney World for six days, but only want to Hop on two of those days. I can’t buy just a two-day Park Hopper for a lower price?

No. The Park Hopper add-on is based on the number of days on your base ticket, not on the number of days that you actually "hop."

If I decide that I want to Park Hop during the middle of my trip, can I add the Park Hopper option then?

Yes. You can add the Park Hopper option to your ticket, assuming that there are still remaining admission days on the ticket.

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World for eight days and you decide on day three that you want to Park Hop, just go to any park ticket window, guest relations office, or resort concierge desk and they’ll hook you up. Of course, adding the Hopper option mid-trip means that you’ll have fewer days of hopping flexibility.

Is there a price difference if I add the Hopper late in my trip?

No. The price is the same no matter when the option is added. If you’re pretty sure that you’re going to hop at some point during your vacation, then it makes the most sense to add the Hopper option as soon as possible. This way you’ll have the more ability to hop should circumstances warrant. For example, if you find the Animal Kingdom inhospitable in the rain and you were at the AK when it started to pour, with the Park Hopper you could head on over to Epcot to enjoy some indoor attractions. [Assuming you've met the Covid hopping procedures, below.] Without the Hopper, you're stuck with a wet safari.

It looks like it’s cheaper to add an extra day to my ticket than to add the Park Hopper option. Can’t I just do that and use two different “days” to get into two different parks?

No. Really, no. This is perhaps the biggest area of Disney ticket confusion out there. On more than one occasion, we’ve seen guests use extremely foul language and nearly come to blows with guest relations cast members who informed them that they could not use a base ticket at two parks in one day. Don’t do it. Don’t try it. It won’t work. The entrance reader will reject your ticket; people will be called over; someone will get upset. Save yourself the trouble and just put this idea out of your mind.

You simply cannot scan the same ticket (MagicBand, RFID, whatever) at two parks on the same day without having the Park Hopper add-on.

Really?

Yes, really.

We understand your thought process. For example, the price difference between an 8-day base ticket and a 9-day base ticket typically less than $20. You’d rather spend $20 and swipe twice than spend $60+ for the Hopper. We get it.

The next question that usually comes up is, “But why?” The answer to that it is simply, “Because Disney said so.” They’ve structured the ticket pricing to be more financially advantageous for them than for you. That’s just the way it is. Time to move on.

Can I go to more than two parks in a day with the Park Hopper?

Sure, knock yourself out. We often use Park Hopper tickets for three-park days and sometimes even for four-park days.

Does Park Hopping include admission to the water parks?

The WDW water parks are currently closed. But even pre-Covid, no. Admission to the water parks is not included with regular Park Hopper tickets.

There is a Park Hopper Plus add-on option that includes water parks (and a few other perks) as well as basic park hopping. Currently (early 2021), the cost to add a Park Hopper Plus to a 1-day adult theme park ticket is $85, the cost to add a Park Hopper Plus to a 2 or 3-day adult theme park ticket is $95, the cost to add a Park Hopper Plus to a 4 to 10-day adult theme park ticket is $105. Hopping to the water parks included with a Platinum Plus level Walt Disney World annual pass.

So, to enter a water park (Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon) you’ll need a single-day water park ticket, a multi-day water park ticket, the Park Hopper Plus base ticket add-on, or a Platinum Plus level annual pass.

I’m driving to the parks. If I Park Hop, do I have to pay for parking more than once?

No. You only have to pay for theme park parking once per day, no matter how many parks you visit. And remember, if you’re staying at a WDW resort hotel or if you have an annual pass, parking at the theme parks is free.

If I am Park Hopping, can I make FastPass+ reservations at more than one theme park?

The FastPass+ system is currently non-operational during Covid-19 procedures.

Prior to Covid, guests were only allowed to make FastPass+ reservations at one theme park per day in advance, but could make same-day FastPass selections at a second park once their initial selections were used. See our post on the rules that applied to FastPasses and Park Hopping.

Is going back and forth between parks a time waster?

It depends a bit on where you’re staying and where you’re going, but probably not.

For example, if your stay is at the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Swan or Dolphin, you might decide to visit the Magic Kingdom in the morning, go back to the room for an afternoon nap or swim, and then eat at Epcot in the evening. Because Epcot is an easy walk from these hotels, you might be saving time by Hopping rather than going back to the Magic Kingdom area for dinner.

Do I need a Park Hopper ticket if I’m going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

No! This is that exception to the Park Hopper rule that I mentioned earlier. MNSSHP, MVMCP and a few other experiences are called “Hard Ticket” events. You need a dedicated ticket to enter that’s unrelated to your regular theme park ticket.

So, if you only have a base park admission ticket (one park per day) and you visit Epcot during the day, you’re still welcome to go to the Magic Kingdom in the evening without a Park Hopper if you use a Halloween Party of Christmas Party ticket to get in. The Party tickets do not impact your regular tickets.

Note: Disney did not run after hours Halloween or Christmas parties in 2020, we expect that they may return in 2021.

I’m coming from far away and planning a long visit to Walt Disney World, do you think I need a Park Hopper ticket?

If you’re coming to Walt Disney World for eight days or more, the most economical ticket option for you may be an annual pass. (The annual pass allows money-saving discounts on merchandise, hotel rooms, and more, in addition to park entry.)The Walt Disney World Annual Pass includes Park Hopping, there’s no need to buy an extra add-on for this. You should factor this into your decision making process.

I have a family of five. For us to add Park Hoppers to our tickets would cost more than $400. Is it worth it?

Ahhh, the most vexing question of all: Is it worth it? Only you can make this decision based on your unique situation. Some things to think about as you decide are:

Is there anything different about Park Hopping during the Pandemic?

When the WDW theme parks initially reopened, Park Hopping was temporarily suspended for all guests. Park Hopping was reinstituted on January 1, 2021. Things are slightly different now, due to the need for theme park reservations (a.k.a. Park Passes). Also of note: Currently (early 2021), park hopping is only allowed after 2:00 p.m. (Prior to the Pandemic, you could park hop at any time.)

In order to Park Hop during the Pandemic, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you have valid theme park admission that is eligible for park hopping.
  2. Make a park reservation for the first park you will visit that day.
  3. Actually visit that park.
  4. Once the Park Hopper Hours begin you can check availability either online or on the phone.
  5. You do not need a reservation for the next park, it just needs to be available.

How do I know if a theme park is "available"? What does that mean?

Due to the Pandemic, Disney is currently limiting the number of guests allowed at each theme park at any one time. This allows them to facilitate social distancing in the parks. While does does not confirm the exact number of guests allowed in each park, reports are that the park attendance is currently (early 2021) capped at no more than 35% of total capacity. If park attendance reaches that level, it may be closed to additional guests.

What else do I need to know?

Here are the main things you need to know about the current state of park hopping: