Park hopper with a 1st timer

Discussion in 'Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers' started by hy205, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. hy205

    hy205 Earning My Ears

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    I will be leaving for Disney World on September 10th for a 6 day 5 night trip with my bf. It will be my bfs 1st time at Disney and I'm trying to not overwhelm his with a crazy jam packed trip. Because we are going in September I got the free dining deal which comes with a park hopper now.

    Should I just forget that we have park hoppers and do 1 park per day? (I'm not sure how much fun a full day in Hollywood Studios will be with all the construction still going on.)

    Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    I think it depends. You have the hopper, so I wouldn't rule out it's use, but maybe limited. One great way to use it would be to do Mk on a MNSSHP day, then hop around 4 as the party guests enter. MK will be less crowded on a party day, then you could hop over for a nighttime spectacular elsewhere (MK to Epcot is easy on the Monorail). Don't make it a rigid timeline though. Consider it a bonus. There may be other reasons to execute a hop too, but don't do one every single day.

    For HS, with Toy Story Land now open, it will be more crowded and there are now plenty of attractions for a full day, at least if you like shows. You'll definitely want to rope drop it and see one of it's nighttime shows (for your BF Star Wars may be the better option, though Fantamic! is great for Disney lovers), so a full day should be warranted.
     
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  4. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    I'm going on my first ever trip just before you, so this is in no way an educated thought :). I have a hopper, but I'm just going to "let the hops happen", instead of plan them. I've chosen my main parks for each day, then, if in evenings/late afternoons I feel like moving, or going back to the hotel (or resort-hopping) for a bit, I'll just go with the flow for evenings. Two of my MK days are MNSSHP days, so I'll play those evenings by ear!

    I'm not making any ADRs at all, so a hopper means I can just go wherever for evening meals or shows, depending on what I feel like/what's avail.
     
  5. kwdw

    kwdw DIS Veteran

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    I'd suggest not planning to use the hopper. Plan your days as if you don't need them. That does make for a more relaxed trip. And as you are traveling with a first-timer - you are going to want to hit most of the attractions in each park - and that's going to take more time than just hitting your favorites.

    While most of my trips are solo, I am the female half of a female/male couple. He doesn't love Disney as much as me, but does really enjoy going sometimes. He TOTALLY views the transportation time between parks a waste of time. And time is money on vacation. So, we don't hop. HOWEVER - if had we both had hoppers - I can still remember the 2 days in probably about 30 days we've been together at WDW that he would have said yes to hopping. One day the lines at MK were just ridiculously long and pathways jammed with people; the other day it was just SO humid at AK that even he agreed shopping the WS in EP sounded like an improvement (he hates shopping, btw).

    View the hopper as a bonus - if it seems like the right move at the time - go for it. After a day or two of park touring on his first visit - THEN my other half had strong opinions about how to plan a day and what to do - and that's when we developed our "couples styles" rhythm at Disney. And the way we tour together is VERY different than if I am solo or if we are travelling with more family members.
     
  6. smokeyblue

    smokeyblue DIS Veteran

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    I prefer park-hopping. It's rare that I only go to one park in one day, and usually when this happens it's because I've decided to take a morning or evening off from the parks. I usually go to one park in the morning, go back to the resort for some AC, a nap or a swim and than go to another park in the evening. I think this might work out better with someone who is new to Disney so they don't get burnt out on one park/experience. Also, this will give more exposure to the individual parks and you can adjust your plans at the end of the trip to revisit your favorites.
     
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  7. indoshakespeare

    indoshakespeare Reach out and find your Happily Ever After

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    It's also easier to park hop without kids. Adults tend to do things faster and may finish with a park by lunchtime
     
  8. bryanb

    bryanb DIS Veteran

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    Since you'll be there for six days, you might enjoy the extra flexibility on your last few days, as you figure out what things you enjoy together and perhaps make it a point to stop in at a park to catch a meal or attraction that you had missed... or even to repeat a favorite night time spectacular. You don't have to plan for this to happen, but be open to it when it does.

    I find that the best hopping experiences are spontaneous.
     
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  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc DIS Veteran

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    We stay at the Beach Club, so we're a 5 minute walk from all the Epcot restaurants. This trip, we're eating at Cape May twice and in Epcot 3 times in a 7 night trip.

    So we go to the park of our choice in the morning, and tend to end up at Epcot/ DHS in a lot of evenings. Parkhoppers make this so easy.
     
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  10. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    I second bryanb's thoughts.

    Since you are going in September you might discover you need a break from the heat. After that break you will have the flexibility to decide in the moment which park to visit.

    DW and I always got hoppers or APs for our vacation visits. But then we stayed at the Boardwalk so we hopped to Epcot almost daily.
     
  11. YawningDodo

    YawningDodo DIS Veteran

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    This is how I plan to handle it if/when I manage to take my housemate to WDW (she's never been). We discovered on our Disneyland trip that afternoon breaks are a must, and if we're already leaving the park to head back to the resort there's no added travel time or inconvenience associated with selecting a different park when we return in the evening. We may have a few one-park days so we can sleep in and just do afternoon/evening (or do a long morning in a park and then a leisurely dinner instead of returning at night), but for the most part I think the two-park-per-day pattern is going to be the main touring plan. Especially on a trip longer than four days it also lends itself to flexibility if we feel like we're "done" at one park but haven't quite covered everything at another we visited earlier in the week.

    I've never done WDW without a park hopper, though. Even on my first trip with my family when I was a kid we hopped and did at least two parks per day. It's just what I'm used to and I'd probably keep on doing it even if we weren't taking afternoon breaks.
     
  12. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

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    If you break then park hopping becomes more useful.

    Since it's part of the package deal for free dining then I would say use it if you want. I've done it under the same circumstances. Would I pay for it if I didn't get free dining included? That's one big NO.

    Normal strategy is to go to an early entry park, then leave by early afternoon to another park.
     
  13. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

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    You will be there during food and wine so I would hop over to Epcot to try a few booths after you do things at other parks
     
  14. MusicalAstronaut

    MusicalAstronaut DIS Veteran

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    I really like the park hopper, I think it lets you "go with the flow" a lot more. If one park is busier than expected you can bail. Or, you can do one park in the morning, take a pool break in the afternoon, and do something else in the evening. There's less pressure to get EVERYTHING done in one park because you know you can go back later if you want.
     
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  15. YawningDodo

    YawningDodo DIS Veteran

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    I think this is the crux of it for me, really. If I knew I couldn't go back to a park later in the trip I might feel pressured to rush and try to get too many things in. Now, I might miss some things at one park and not bother to go back regardless, but having the option just makes me feel more relaxed and more able to take my time and enjoy things.
     
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  16. AdamsMum

    AdamsMum Mouseketeer

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    I got used to park hopping when it was included in the old style tickets. When they changed it to a paid option I was disappointed. I find though that I like the freedom to move to another park. Park hopping becomes especially useful when a park becomes too busy. I've found this with EMH days at the parks, sometimes you can't move by early afternoon and that is very stressful for me. If I'm feeling that way I hop. I always purchase the hopper option mainly because I always liked to finish my evening at EPCOT. When the kids were little or teenagers we went wherever they wanted to be in the day, but we'd end the day at EPCOT. Once we only had 1 day left on our old non expiring tickets, we did 3 parks in one day, the trip was mainly to go to universal, but having that one park hopper day let us have our disney fix.

    Now that I own DVC at Boardwalk Villas, park hopping is a no brainer for me. Also as one previous poster noted, park hopping without kids is much easier to do. I don't use the park hopper every day, but I do use it. As another poster said, plan your days as if you won't hop to another park, but know that you have the option if you feel like it.

    Enjoy!
     
  17. Wild4Walt

    Wild4Walt DIS Veteran

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    Going in September you have lower crowds on your side. I do agree with others, I wouldn't plan to do park hopping but if it happens - go with it. You may find that you have finished a park ( HS comes to mind ) and want to jump over to a different park for the rest of the evening. Go with the flow and no one will feel overwhelmed.
     

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