Walt Disney World has four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs and multiple resorts. To enjoy the theme parks, guests must purchase tickets. For tips on how to save money on tickets click here. With a ticket, guests can enjoy the theme park as long as the park is open for guests. Guests can add the park hopper option to their ticket, this allows guests to access multiple parks per day. A day can start at the Magic Kingdom and then end in Hollywood Studios. Park hopping was something we always opted to do, until we had kids. On our very first Disney World vacation with our daughter, 18 months at the time, we didn’t even do all the parks. We stuck to the Magic Kingdom. There are several reasons we continue to choose NOT to park hop during our vacations to Walt Disney World.
Adding the park hopper option to your ticket increases the price. Choosing to add the park hopper option to a single day park pass, escalates the price by $65. That’s a big increase. When you’re buying multiple park day passes for multiple people, shaving off $65 a day makes a big difference.
It takes time to park hop from one park to another. Even the two closest parks, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, can take 20 minutes to get from one to the other. I like to soak up every moment of the park that I can, and I don’t like spending that time going from one park to another. 20 to 60 minutes of transportation time could be one more attraction you could have ridden, or one more stage show you could have seen, or one more magical moment with a character.
Age of our Kids
Our kids are currently 2, 6, and 8. They are still very much satisfied with riding all of the rides offered to them at each park. They also love the parades and the character experiences. I’m well aware that as they get older, they’ll be less content to take in the quieter parts of the park. At that time, park hopping may make more sense. But right now, doing one park a day is plenty for our family.
We like to have a more relaxed pace to our vacations. Yes we get to the park when it opens, but we create pockets during the day to relax and dine, peruse the shops. We also include non-park days during each trip to lounge by the pool, explore other resorts and sleep in. By sticking to one park at a time we continue this relaxed pace.
Park hopping adds stress to the day. Instead of enjoying where you are, you’re looking to the next thing. Checking your watch for when you should make your exit of where you currently are. Instead of park hopping, we stay planted in the park we are in.
Park hopping may suit your vacation, but it doesn’t suit ours. We choose to visit one park at a time, focusing on the park we’re in and exploring all there is to discover there. For more tips on planning out your park days check out these previous posts: