Are Park Hopper Tickets worth it?


Earning My Ears
May 24, 2005
We are going to DW for the first time ever with our 3 kids on June 3 - June 11 and plan on spending 4 days at the Disney parks, and prob one day at SeaWorld with two days inbetween to recoup at the Hyatt Regency.

Because the parks are soo big, and this is our first time, I was planning on one park per day.

Something like: MK on Sunday, MGM on Monday, AK on Thurs, Epcot on Fri

I really don't think I could do a whole park in one day, so am wondering if park hoppers are really used that much for first timers?
Its really hard to say, if you honestly don't plan on park hopping then don't get it. Honestly we have always had hoppers because they were under the old system where it was just that way and we never park hopped. Where we went for the day we pretty much stayed there for the day.

So if you don't plan on hopping then don't get them and save the money for a good meal :)
Get the tickets without the hopping. If you determine that you need the park hopping, you can stop at any Guest Relations and add it. :)
I've been going to WDW for years and we always enjoyed park hopping. We usually go to one park in the am, go back to the hotel for a break, and then head to another park. In my opinion, some parks have more to offer than others. For example, we only need 1/2 day for AK, so we usually go there one morning and then go to another park that afternoon or evening. Or you might spend a whole day in a park and not get to see everything you wanted. If you have the hopper, you can go back another day just for one or two attractions that you missed and then go to another park.

I definitely can understand for someone who is familiar with the parks how hopping would be very advantageous.

But I am such a newbie that I think I will waste a lot of time in each park just figuring out where to go!
Are you staying at a WDW resort? If so, you might want to get the park hopping so that you could hop to/from the EMH park. If it stays as the current schedule, it would be:

We always park hop, the freedom to move to another park if the weather changes or if the current one is too buy or to go to MGM just for fantasmic or MK for wishes at the end of the day is excellent.

On our last full day of our recent (13th May) trip we park hopped to all 4 parks...

EPCOT: 8:30am segway tour then Mission Space, Soarin' Test Track, Figment & Spaceship Earth.

Amimal Kingdom: Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, Lucky the Dino & TTBABug.

Studios: Tower of Terror, RnRCoaster, Great Movie Ride, Beauty & Beast, Mermaid, Lights, Motors Action.

Finaly Magic Kingdom: Most rides (including Philarmagic 7 times-SO GOOD), Spectromagic and Wishes.

Luckily the parks were very quiet during the trip and we *almost* always go in May so I don't know if hopping is more difficult or as worthwhile during busier times.


We always park hop. It is pretty rare if we stay in a park for a whole day. It just gets to be too much. I like being able to vary the day up with rides in the morning and then perhaps shows after a swim break and then an evening of fireworks. The weather can certainly be a factor- if it is lighting then a place like MGM or World Showcase is good because of inside events, and then if it clears you can head over to where you wanted to go.

I like the flexibility. For my kids- I think it helps keep them engaged as the scenery and information changes several times as we move parks and that keeps them from getting burned out.

just thoughts ;)
Being a first timer, I think no park hopping will work out fine for you

also, how old are your kids?

if they are small,, definitely don't park hop

I always got park hoppers when kids were little and we never used the bonus.

now that they are teens,,,sometimes we do 3 parks a day
we recently went for first time with 5 dc 11 - under and park hopping was easy ansd we deff hit more than one park a day one day went to mk just to do stich then hopped to mgm fof stunt show then to epcot for ms we couldnt imagine not hopping :goodvibes
We always park hop even when my ds was small. It just always made sense to us, as the previous posters stated. Weather and crowds can really determine where you stay or go. With small children, Im not sure how much time you might want to spend at Epcot or Mgm. I love all the parks, but some are just better suited for children then others. Imho
We always look at it this way - the 4 parks all have different closing times. On your day for AK, if it closes at 6 or 7, are you ready to end the day? We hop over to Epcot or another park.

This is even more necessary in the off season when parks are open less hours.

We are also ones to take a morning at one park, a break back at the hotel, and then another park at night.
Too add the park hopper later would you have to add for all days of the ticket not just the remaining days?
Disnee Dad Says.....................................

We always get park hopper tickets, and their have been a couple timee where we just did one park. Park hoppers give you the option to switch, it doesn't force you!

More importantly is your comment about being lost in the parks. Being a first timer is no excuse. Before our first trip we made up game plans about what park, what day, in what general order.

Read the tips here and some plans together.

Here is a quick one for MK, you can fill in the details.

Be at the castle for rope drop. At rope drop head straight for Dumbo, then do the rest of Fantasyland clockwise or counterclockwise then do the rides in order as they are on your clock. you can do all of Fantasyland in an hour.

These rides will have LONG lines later in the day.

Head to Tommorrowland, get FP's, and ride what you can.

Have lunch or head back for a swim,or stay and FP Haunted, see Hall of Presidents.

Be back at 2:30 to line up for the 3:00 parade. Be at the very start of the parade, near Splash Mountian, I mean the first 100 feet! Line up on the Pirates side of the parade route, NOT the Splash side. Make sure you get FP's for Splash before the parade. The second the parade is over turn around and head straight for Alladin, then Jungle Book, then Pirates. The parade is over for you, but it continues all around the part cutting off 80% of the park from the area you are in. You will be able to do these rides with a very short wait.

Pat yourself for a job well done and hop over to EPCOT, you'll be there by 5:00 if your Splah FP doesn't hold you up.

This is just a general idea, but you get the idea. Do this for each of your park days. And know what is not important, you can't see it all in four days.
Please don't make the mistake we did on our first trip. Plan your days. We were there for 5 days and saw very little (it was still enough to get us hooked). Depending on the time of year you are going I would get the hopper. We go to the EMH park, which is usually packed by 11:00, then hop. My favorite is to hop from MK to the Poly for lunch (or try Chef Mickey's at the Contemperary), relax a bit, then head to Epcot.
Our last trip to Disney World was in 2000, and we bought park hoppers because there wasn't any choice. However, we never went to more than one park on the same day. We'll be going again this December, and we've bought only the base tickets (without hopping). If we should find that we really want to park hop, we'll just go to guest services and add the hopping feature. (The difference to upgrade is pretty much the same - approx. $35 per pass - no matter how many days were on the original passes.)

I can understand why people who visit WDW often might go to one park for only a few hours, and then hop to another - but we didn't want to "waste" the time it would take to leave one park and go to another. We can't see "everything" in one park without overtiring ourselves. The way I look at it, we aren't really risking anything by not buying the parkhopping feature up front. If we need it, we'll add it at the park. If not, we will have saved about $140 on our four passes. And, if we bought it and didn't use it, we'd be kicking ourselves for wasting that money.

We got park hoppers and are so glad we did!!! Even though my kids are not small and don't require trips back for naps, they did still want to get away some days for swimming and such. We usually didn't go back to the same park in the evenings.
On my last trip (mid May 2005) I stayed in one park per day at first, then for the last two days I wanted to see specific attractions again to get better photo ops and so I did a lot of park hopping.

The hopping option is not needed if you have the plus pack and want to visit both a theme park and a water park, or both a water park and Disney Quest, on one particular day.

Disney hints:
We just came back from our first trip. Once we got to a park we didn't want to leave, especially if we haven't been for over 10 years! We wanted to do everything there was to do there. It's too much to leave and then go to another park. If you are tired, why not leave, rest, and go back to the same park and save the $ and spend it on food or something? I asked the same question and so many people said get park hoppers. We didn't and I'm glad because not once during the trip did any lull time come up where we'd want to do two parks. It makes no sense to me to do two separate half days at the park when you can do one full day. If I were going for a very short trip - say only 2-3 days I would probably hop since I'd need to in order to see all the parks in a short time. But if you can do 1 park a day during your vacation, there isn't a need.

We did just as you did... we had 6 days... there are 4 parks, 2 water parks. We did:
Wed-IoA, BB, MK
Fri-TL, Epcot

When we were there it was crowded and I wanted to do what I wanted to do and that takes a full day. I didn't want to do half the things, then hop to another park and do half the things at that park, etc. It made no sense to me.

One thing to know is I believe that you can upgrade your tickets , so why not just not get hoppers for now and if you decide you want to hop, upgrade when you get there.
We hop alot now (AP's), in fact we will go to Disney for an afternoon, but when we were newbies, we stayed pretty much to one park.

There is so many reasons to hop go to MK, dinner at Epcot. Go to AK un til close, back to MK until close, etc.

For your first time, I would probably not hop and save money on your tickets, but plan carefully what you would like to see. You cannot do everything in one visit. In fact, you can't do everything in multiple visits. Just last week, I did MK by myself and did Hall of Presidents for the first time.

Don't be a itinerary nazi, make up an itinerary and use it as a guide. Things change based upon crowd levels, rehab schedules EMH schedule,special events, etc. that may be going on.

Most important, HAVE FUN!


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