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Park Hopper

Question:  Should I spend the extra money on the Park Hopper option?

Answer:  As a Travel Agent, if there’s one question I get asked the most it is probably whether or not Park Hopper tickets are a necessity when visiting Disney World. There is no hard and fast rule to this and it usually depends on the ages, size and needs of those travelling.  However,  here are some tips to help you decide whether the Park Hopper Option is for you. Let’s start by addressing a very common misconception:

Park Hopping Myth: If I visit Magic Kingdom, want to leave in the afternoon and then go back to the Magic Kingdom in the evening, I need a Park Hopper ticket right?

Wrong. Most clients I work with that are planning a first-time visit to the parks initially think that the only way to leave a park and return to a park on the same day is through a Park Hopper ticket. This is not the case, Disney has a policy in place that allows visitors to leave and return to the same park on the same day.  If this is something you are planning on doing you do not need to purchases a Park Hopper ticket.  So save your money.

So what is a Park Hopper Ticket?  The Park Hopper ticket is an add-on allowing guests to visit more than one park each day for the duration of a Disney package. So let’s say you want to start your morning off at the Magic Kingdom, leave the park in the afternoon for a dip in your resort pool and then visit Animal Kingdom in the evening. You would need a Park Hopper ticket to do this.

How much do Park Hopper Tickets cost? It depends on the number days. For 2 and 3 day tickets, $55 is added to the total ticket cost.  For 4-7 day tickets $69 is added to the total ticket cost.  There is no discount for children under the age of 10, they would pay the same price as adults.

Can I visit the water parks on a Park Hopper Ticket?  No. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are not included in the Park Hopper ticket only Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom.  Those wanting to visit the water parks will need to buy a separate ticket or will need to choose the Water Parks Fun and More add-on when booking their Walt Disney World vacation package.

I’ll be visiting Disney World for the first time. Should I get Park Hopper tickets? If you’re still on the fence about whether you should go the Park Hopper route, here’s what I usually tell my clients.  For first time visitors I would not typically recommend a Park Hopper ticket. There’s is so much to see and do at each of the Disney theme parks so why rush? Even though you may have read on-line that parks like Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom only take a 1/2 day, go and see for yourself.  Normally the people saying this are experienced visitors that know how they want to spend their days, not newcomers feeling their way around for the parks for the first time.

There’s also the matter of getting to and from each of the parks.  To go from Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios and then over to Animal Kingdom all in one day, well that makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it.  Walt Disney World Resort is massive and often times it takes longer to get from point A to point B than most people imagine.  Why waste valuable time sitting on a Disney resort bus when you could be enjoying some of your favorite attractions?

So if you’re visiting the parks for the first time and you’ll be there long enough to spend 1 day or more at each of the parks then Park Hoppers aren’t really a necessity.  The only exception to this would be that discount offers like Free Dining are now starting to require that you upgrade to Park Hopper tickets to qualify for the promotion.  In this instance the value of the Free Dining far outweighs the $69 you’ll be spending for a ticket upgrade.  So yes go with the Park Hopper.

Who else should get Park Hopper tickets? Again this is subjective but I tend to recommend Park Hopper tickets to those with long stays (6 days or more) who can have a more relaxed approach to visiting the parks and may want to  spend a 1/2 day at one park and their afternoon at another.  It’s also a great option for theme park veterans who know the ins and outs of each park, logistics of getting around Disney World and only want to experience select attractions.  Park Hopper may also be a nice option  for families with older children who may want to go off, do their own thing and don’t want to stay at the same park all day.

Additional questions about Park Hopper tickets? Feel free to drop me an email at mroden@mickeytravels.com and I’ll be happy to answer any of your Park Hopper related questions.  Happy planning!

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If you find tips like this helpful, they why not consider booking your next Disney vacation with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you plan your perfect holiday, monitor for discounts and apply them to your package (even after you’ve booked) I’ll also help you  land those hard to get dining and Fastpass reservations.  Best of all my services are absolutely FREE.  Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 by email at mroden@mickeytravels.com or via Facebook to find out more. 

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