Park Hopping Strategy

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by tbhh1234, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. tbhh1234

    tbhh1234 Mouseketeer

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    Please tell me how you plan a trip with hoppers! We are staying at the Boardwalk & feel having hoppers are necessary being so close to 2 parks. But, we are going in Feb & all the hours are short. It seems like it will be harder to hop than it was in Sept. Usually we would hop to another park on our AK day, but now I want to see the Tree of Life Awakenings & possibly ROL (long shot). Do you have a strategy with the hoppers, or just plan one park per day & hop if you feel like it? Thanks for any help. I'm stumped!
     
  2. pens4821

    pens4821 DIS Veteran

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    We go to one park for rope drop and AM EMH. Spend a 2-3 hours there riding everything we can, then hop to another park for our FP's. One nice thing about February is it isn't too crowded, so you can get on many rides without a long wait (the major headliners will still be over an hour though). This past February we also hopped to another park a couple times in the evening for the night show and a couple rides. MK was open until 10, EP and HS about 9 (AK wasn't open at night then) and we still got alot accomplished. Some say hopping is too much trouble and time consuming, but we got so much done and went to 3 parks on 3 or 4 days and never felt like we should've stayed in the other park.
     
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  4. Lynzer4

    Lynzer4 Mouseketeer

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    Since you don't seem to "Have to Hop" I would just buy a basic ticket. Plan a single park day. You don't say how many days you are staying. If you only have 4 park days hopping seems less likely then 7 park days. I would wait to by hoppers until you know for sure you will hop. It is the same cost if you buy ahead of time or day of... but is $60 per person ahead of time if you don't hop.

    I have an AP so we hopped but it was in the summer. In February when I go I usually just hit one park per day. I've never felt like I had to hop based on where I stay.

    I can see hopping if you visit HS or AK as I both of those parks as 1/2 day. So even if ROL opens you might hit EP or HS before heading over to AK.
     
  5. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

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    I don't plan or buy them before the trip and if I end up in a situation I want them, I buy them (for same cost) on the way into the next park. Now if I need to buy them for a discount then it's a different story and I just play it by ear and if we are bored at a park or want a different park we just hop.

    You can't get a refund if you buy it and don't use it. but you can spend the same amount of money upgrading to it on property if you do want to hop one day.. It's an easier choice to make when hopping is going to run you a couple hundred dollars. suddenly that last 2 hours in another park still opened doesn't sound worth it. It's also not a huge loss if there is weather or somethign that has you wanting to change parks as that is not always a given you can plan for.

    This method is great as you save money when you don't need it but don't waste money if you do need it.
     
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  6. tbhh1234

    tbhh1234 Mouseketeer

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    We had them last time & hopped a lot. We preferred it actually. But, I'm planning this trip with another family & they are first timers. We are staying longer & have 9 day hoppers. They have 7 day hoppers, but the 7th day is their departure day...flight doesn't leave until 8pm. I usually plan us 2 MK days, 2 Epcot, 1 each at AK & HS AND a rest day. They really don't have enough days to do that & im scared without hoppers we won't be able to fit everything in. Which I know isn't possible anyway. But, I want our best chance for getting things done & catching all or most of the night shows. I also don't want to overwhelm them with all the hopping around. Lol. Ahhhh the stress!!!
     
  7. tbhh1234

    tbhh1234 Mouseketeer

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    We are going the week BEFORE Presidents Day...but it still has the majority of our trip as 7, 8 & 9 crowd levels. Every other trip we've taken has been crowd levels 3 & 4 & we still felt like it was crowded. This has me nervous & feeling like I have to plan more. Lol. We love to hop. But, on our first trip we didn't. I just don't want to overwhelm them or tire them out too soon. None of us have very young kids so that should help.
     
  8. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    I've never found it a big deal and we have been known to hop around to anywhere from 2 to 4 parks in a day. All on a whim. We don't make any ADRs in advance just day of while walking around the parks and we rarely make FPs any further in advance than the night before. The beauty of hoppers is you can be at MK, decide you want to eat at Epcot so you hop on over there and if you wanted to still see the FWs at MK, hop right back over there. Hoppers make it easier for us to more go with the flow then over planned. I don't know how many are in your party but you might consider the new PH express transportation, it does seem to cut out some time since you skip the security lines and the tapstyles. I've never known Epcot to close any earlier than 9 so it's even possible you could do the HS FWs and hop on over to Epcot and do Illumination. We actually got 3 shows in one night, two weren't on purpose. We were at HS for the Star Wars show and afterwards rode some rides, just so happened the holiday FWs were going off as we were leaving the park so we stopped just outside and watched those, we then walked to BW and hopped on a bus to MK (the bus for MK at HS had the longest line I've ever seen in my entire 30 years of going) and just as the bus was parking, the MK FWs were starting so we stood outside the park and watched those.
     
  9. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

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    this just happened to go up although they do not mention it's the same price if you add it on while on vacation and do need it.

     
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  10. tbhh1234

    tbhh1234 Mouseketeer

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    I love this!! And if my family was alone, this is exactly what we would do...just wing it! But with a party of 9 & high crowd levels, it hasn't been easy finding ADR's we want. It makes me nervous not going with a plan. But I hope to do this one day!! I'm pretty sure I over think things, especially when I have the pressure of planning for another family.
     
  11. stinkpickle

    stinkpickle DIS Veteran

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    The only real "planning" I do with hoppers is to go morning EMH and hop to another park later in the morning. Or hop to an ADR. We often go during party season, so it's nice to hop away from MK at 7pm.
     
  12. Anesthesia Fine

    Anesthesia Fine DIS Veteran

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    That's exactly how I've liked to use parkhoppers, especially for HS and Epcot. Rope drop HS, hit everything we're interested in, hop to Epcot for lunch.
     
  13. disneyseniors

    disneyseniors DIS Veteran

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    Where did you get 8 or 9 for park days the week before Presidents day? I've got Josh's new calendar for February and it shows low crowds thru the 16, with an increase to moderate crowds on Friday the 17th an heavy on the weekend into presidents day week. It's understandable that the Friday before would have heavier crowds leading up to PD. Just wondering?
     
  14. disneyseniors

    disneyseniors DIS Veteran

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    We always get park hoppers because it fits our touring style. We go to rope drop at a park we pre-picked with fast passes. We stay til aroun 11 or 12 and then leave back to our resort for a rest. Then in the afternoon/pm we then decide where want to go and what we want to do. If we want to ride an attraction then, we just get in line if it's that important. This allows the whole evening time to have flexability in what we do. It's fun that way, for us.
     
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  15. chris benton

    chris benton Mouseketeer

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    I get them to rock the am EMH, and then ditch that park after we hit all of the best stuff in the am. The onsite people who don't have hoppers are stuck at that park on top of the folks that don't have hoppers who planned their day there. Take a break mid day for lunch and swimming/resting. Then hop to a lower crowd level park for a relaxed tour and fireworks show. Staying at an Epcot area resort makes it a lot easier. Usually try to set up fastpasses for the night park - three or four rides and then fireworks. Hardcore touring bright and early, then chill at night.
     
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  16. tbhh1234

    tbhh1234 Mouseketeer

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    I got it from Josh. Lol. My Feb 2017 calendar shows a crowd level 4 on the 15th, 7 on the 16th, 8 on the 17th & 9's on the 18th & 19th.

    3's & 4's are what we're used to, so the 7, 8 & 9's scare me a little.
     
  17. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    All of our onsite stays were at the Boardwalk and we always got hoppers. Until we switched to APs.

    Like many of the previous posters we would be at rope drop in the morning, many times taking advantage of morning extra magic hours, stay at the park until late morning/early afternoon, usually grab a QS lunch on the way out, and then return to the hotel for a break. After our break we would usually wander over to the World Showcase for an evening meal. So many wonderful choices there for a meal and/or a snack.

    Staying at an Epcot resort makes hoppers (or an AP) almost a "must do".
     
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  18. tbhh1234

    tbhh1234 Mouseketeer

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    We agree! If we're going to stay at an Epcot area resort, we want to take advantage!
     
  19. mikedoyleblogger

    mikedoyleblogger Traded in Disneyland for Magic Kingdom

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    Rope drop park #1, break at resort, evening visit to park #2. That's kind of how it works best. But hopping also works when you are in park one and it's just too crowded or you decide that there's something you just really want to do at park number two, and then you head right there.
     
  20. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    I like hoppers if we are at an Epcot resort. It is easy to spend the morning and early afternoon at one park, return for a rest or swim, shower and then into Epcot for dinner and maybe Illuminatiuons.
     
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  21. WhitneyMB

    WhitneyMB Mouseketeer

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    This is how we use park hoppers. We choose a park for the rope drop to about 1:30/2pm then head back to our resort to relax/nap/swim. Then in the evening we explore a different park. Often this is where we have an ADR but sometimes we will just choose it spontaneously based on which park is less crowded or which park we missed a "must-do" ride (ride or person break downs from earlier days).

    Even if it is Hollywood Studios (which closes early) and we're only there from 5-7:30pm, we feel it's worth it to hop back because it lets us get to evening entertainment that we otherwise would have missed.
     

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