Add an Extra Day Or Add Hoppers?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by New To Mom, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. New To Mom

    New To Mom Earning My Ears

    Dec 1, 2012
    I posted a in a different thread regarding skipping Epcot with a 5 yr old. The general consensus wast to def not skip

    So, I'm thinking about either adding an extra day to our trip or sucking it up and buying hoppers, which wasn't my original plan. Funny how these boards make you change plans over and over. :rotfl2:

    I haven't booked yet but will next month for either a Sept or Oct trip. I went to revise our package and found that if I kept the same amount of days and added the hoppers, it was $111 cheaper than adding an extra day. That is with the DDP which I know we'll be using.

    Does anyone have thoughts on which is best? It's a first trip for all of us so I'm not sure if it's just better to dedicate full days to the park and not worry about hopping or buy the hoppers in case our son isn't feeling one of the parks.

    I'm now leaning towards the hoppers because I heard Animal Kingdom is not really a full day park. Does anyone spend a whole day there with little ones? I'm not totally against spending 3/4 a day or whatever and then having some down time to do whatever. I don't think we'll spend much time at the pools as my son is not a water kid. But I feel like since we are spending what is to us, a lot of money, that maybe it would be better to buy the hoppers instead of an extra day so we can really get our money's worth and visit different parks on the same day.
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  3. New To Mom

    New To Mom Earning My Ears

    Dec 1, 2012
    I should probably add my tentative park plans.

    2 days in Magic Kingdom
    1 day in Epcot, DHS and AK

    then there is arrival day which I'm not counting since I'm not sure when we'll actually get to the hotel. My friend suggested that if we arrive early enough, head to Epcot for supper and to catch the show.
  4. GoldieLocks5

    GoldieLocks5 Mouseketeer

    Sep 27, 2011
    I like to have hoppers - even though we didn't hop our last/first trip - i liked that we didn't feel confined to any one park- for whatever reason, we could go to another if we wanted (crowds too high, etc)... and so our last day there we could decide last minute where we wanted to go.

    many people say they do AK in 1/2 a day. We were only there 1/2 day - but it started pouring around 2pm, which is why we left... there was still some more we would have liked to do... but it's not an all day/evening park like MK, etc. that is for sure.

    i think we might skip AK this next trip and do 3 days in MK instead, one in Epcot and one in HS. I just didn't feel as much magic in AK as I did in the other parks, but I was glad we went b/c i had never been.
  5. SweetMissy

    SweetMissy DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    Our 1st trip, we did the hopper and it was a waste of money for us. We did 1 park/day, except on the last day we did half MK and half AK. We could've easily skipped AK and just stayed at MK all day but we bought the hopper so we didn't want to totally waste it. Our 2nd and 3rd trip, we didn't bother buying the hopper and we won't in the future. The only day we need 2 days in is MK because it's so big and so much more for the little ones. So I would just add an extra day.
  6. New To Mom

    New To Mom Earning My Ears

    Dec 1, 2012
    Mmmmmm.... What to Each option is sounding so appealing. But I think an extra day would be nice in case of weather issues. But then I kind of like the idea of being able to maybe visit AK and then head to MK if there are the evening EMH until midnight. But our trip will either be sept or oct so not sure if the park will be open that late.
  7. mummabear

    mummabear DIS Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    We have always bought hoppers, it has allowed us to have longer days i.e when AK closes at 7 you can move onto MK until 12.
    As far as AK being a 1/2 day personally I think its the second best park after MK so we would prob spend 2 days there.
    You may get more achieved with another full day than a hopper if you cant stay up late though, I believe the hoppers cost $57 to add....
  8. Kristian

    Kristian Mouseketeer

    Apr 10, 2012
    I personally would just add an extra day and use it for Epcot. Hoppers are a waste for us. We like doing one park each day. We usually do 2 days in the MK, 1-2 days at Epcot, a full day at HS, and then 1/2-a full day at AK. On our upcoming trip we are actually planning on skipping AK. It is our least favorite park, including our 4 year old dd's, and we've decided to use what would be our AK day as a second or at least another 1/2 day at Epcot. I'm definitely not encouraging anyone to skip AK, but we've gotten our general feel for AK and it just isn't our favorite, but everyone is different. HS on the other hand is easily our second favorite park. Our whole family loves TOT and Star Tours and we can easily spend a whole day there. Yes, we take a break usually around noon, but we always go back and stay until closing. You will find that you will like things that a lot of people on these boards don't and vice versa. Different strokes, different folks. Many wouldn't skip AK for anything, but we could head to Disney and be fine with skipping it. I think you should at least give each park a try. Set aside at least a full day for each park in my opinion. Some can get through AK in a few hours while others can spend a whole day. Its all about what you like, how you tour etc . Give all the parks a try though.

    * I will add that we have spent a full day in the AK and still could have gone back to finish up things that we didn't get to do. On our last trip, we got to AK around 10am and besides having lunch at Tusker House, which was totally unorganized that day, so it took a lot more time than usual, we still didn't do everything that we wanted to. Wait times were fine, it was September, so that wasn't the problem, we just paced our self. With that being said, I think that it is totally possible for AK to be a full day park, it just isn't our favorite.

    MSSANDRA DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 2006
    Do you have a full unplanned day that you are considering adding tickets for? If you have MYW package it really cost VERY little to do this. I really would bite the bullet and do both. We find we really do not like an off day during our trip, we would rather go slower and have more days to see it all. We also LOVE our hoppers and often hop to dinner at Epcot, or do an AM EMH at one park and then hop as it gets too busy.
  10. strmtroopr96

    strmtroopr96 DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2003
    With either option, I would just wait until you get to WDW and see how you are using your days. If you decide that visiting more than one park in a day OR that you just stick to one park a day but would like an extra day to revisit a park, then you can just add either one on at that point.

    I wouldn't add either on at this point when you can do that during your actual trip. You may find that you might not even need either option and this way you won't have spent the money already.

    We usually do at least one full day at AK and 2 full days at each of the other parks. And we still have things in each park that we don't get a chance to do.
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc <font color=royalblue>We had a wonderful time, but

    Jul 2, 2007
    We love the flexibility of parkhoppers.

    Our first trip, we got to Animal Kingdom, and went straight to Cali River Rapids. It was already bracing to be a steamy day, and we got soaked.

    An hour later, the weather changed, and it was cold and windy and wet. Not a 20 minute pop up storm, but the precursor to tropical storm Belle. We toughed it out for about another hour, cold wet and miserable.

    Then we called it quits, went back to the Poly to change, and had a delightful afternoon at Epcot. A few days later we got back to AK for a few hours, then had the dinner we had planned back at Epcot.

    For me, the cost of parkhoppers is part of the cost of the ticket. We love them, and make our plans around hopping. So, for example, we frequently start the day at the morning EMH park, then hit the pools at lunch when it starts to get crowded. At dinner time, we hop to a park that's less crowded.

    It works very well for us.
  12. pooh4evr

    pooh4evr Mouseketeer

    Mar 13, 2005
    We always get the Hoppers, especially with the dining plan. Maybe once you decide and get ADRs you can decide if you want the hoper?
  13. disneycrazi

    disneycrazi watch your head and step as you disembark

    Jan 24, 2010
    We never used Hoppers as for us we felt it ate up too much time getting back and forth to the different parks. We now have been AP holders for 2 years which includes park hopper...found we still dont use that feature. For some its great, not us. We, given your situation would always add the extra day. Enjoy your trip and happy planning
  14. 3pletprincesses

    3pletprincesses DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2010
    We find hopper to be a waste of money for us. We have more then plenty to do at each park that we always end up spending our day at the same park.
  15. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2009

    There really is no reason to make the decision now. You can always add what you decide you want when you are there.
  16. Disney_Ohana

    Disney_Ohana Mouseketeer

    Mar 22, 2010
    We skipped park hoppers this past trip and did fine :thumbsup2 If I had the choice I'd add another day.
  17. Southern Bell

    Southern Bell DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2011
    We always buy the park hopper but usually go for at least 5-8 days & always have used it. But it doesn't mean we park hop every day (especially at the beginning of our week)or several times in one day at the end of the week. For us it just gives you the luxury to return where we want to ride, shop, dine, etc., If I understood you have a package for three days and don't have the park hopper yet and are going to 3 parks (of your choice) You want to spend two days at Magic Kingdom and 1 day at Epcot. That leaves you no ticket or time to see Animal Kingdom. You are adding the park hopper or extra day to go to Animal Kingdom and are not interested in MGM at all. If thats the case I would not get the park hopper. I would most definetly rather have the extra day for Animal Kingdom & a day for rest or an evening downtown. Especially with a child. We enjoy Animal Kingdom (the Safari ride to see the animals) but find the train ride over to the little Island (don't remember the name) sort of a waste of time. We enjoy its a bugs life and the lion king show. Its a nice slower day for us. We like to make reservations to eat at Donalds Safari breakfast and then go afterwards to see the animals while they are out in the morning and before it gets hot.
  18. Diegosmom

    Diegosmom DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2011
    I am going to weigh in on your AK comment...

    We went last Jan so crowdwise will be similar to sept/oct and also part ours will be similar.

    We got to AK a few min after ropedrop (like 9:10 at latest).

    Things we did :
    Rafiki's Trail (train ride)
    Lunch at Flame Tree
    Triceratops Spin
    Dinosaur Ride
    played 2 games in carnival area
    Tough to be a bug show
    Lion King Show
    Finding Nemo Show
    Watched the parade
    Tigger and Friends meet and greet
    Baloo and King Louie meet and greet

    We headed over to Rain Forest Cafe at around 5:15/5:30 (park closed at 6 but we were tired and hungry).

    We didnt do Kali, or Everest, we only briefly checked a few shops and we never checked out the tree (only passed by), we also didnt do the character trails or meet pocahontas or the bugs from bugs life. And I believe there was also 1 or 2 more trails we didnt check out.

    Now on a return trip I could possibly get away with 1/2 day or 3/4 of a day but your first time going I dont think you can.

    By the time we finished eating and got back to the hotel it was 8. We took a quick pool visit and off to bed.
  19. msmama

    msmama DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2009
    I'm in the minority, but I really think we'd have a hard time spending 2 whole days in MK. So for me, I like the hoppers, especially for a long trip.

    You didn't mention where you were staying, but the visits when I've stayed close to Epcot, the Hoppers are great for having dinner there (in the world showcase, which, IMO, is the best food at WDW).
  20. jengrabinski

    jengrabinski Earning My Ears

    Jan 6, 2013
    I would add an extra day. It's hard to do 2 parks in 1 day

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