Park hopping at Walt Disney World is a fantastic way to pack lots of park time into a shorter trip. We have tips for how to make the most of your park hopper tickets.
Only have three days to visit, but want to visit all four parks? Park hopping is the answer. But how do you make the most of your park hopper tickets? Priced at an additional $75 per ticket for 2-3 day tickets and $85 per ticket for 4-10 day tickets, here are the Mousekemoms’ tips to get the most out of this upgrade.
5. Stay in a Deluxe Resort
Staying in a deluxe resort gives guests access to Extended Evening Hours in select parks on select nights. This is a great way to catch the fireworks and some more rides and attractions with lower wait times for that final park of the day. The Mousekemoms would even take it a step further and recommend staying in an Epcot area deluxe resort such as Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club, or Yacht Club Resort for the proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. At the end of a long day with multiple parks, the quick commute back to your home away from home doesn’t get any simpler than these resorts.
4. Know the Park Hours for Your Dates
It’s important to continually check the park operating hours for the dates of your vacation. The park hours tend to change a bit from their original publication as the dates approach. Disney’s Animal Kingdom tends to open and close earlier than the other parks, and for this reason it is a great park to start your park hopping day with. It wouldn’t be the best park to end your day with since there are no evening fireworks or other evening entertainment. Knowing which parks open earliest and close latest on your dates will help you create the best strategy.
3. Don't Park Hop right at 2pm
The current park hopping rules allow guests to hop to a new park beginning at 2pm daily. The Mousekemoms recommend avoiding the crowded security and park entry lines at this time. Their biggest tip? Go back to your resort around 1pm and enjoy some rest or the pool, and hop to your new park around 3pm.
2. Make Good Use of Individual Lightning Lanes
Guests can purchase up to two Individual Lightning Lane selections per day. Individual Lightning Lane purchases give guests the opportunity to access the most popular attraction in each park via the more expedited Lightning Lane. These Individual Lightning Lane selections are not required to be in the same park. The Mousekemoms recommend purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane attraction in your first park for a return time early in the morning, and late afternoon or evening for the Individual Lightning Lane attraction in park two. For a park hopping day, the Mousekemoms also recommend purchasing Genie+ for the day. They don’t always recommend this, but it becomes imperative if you are planning to visit four theme parks in three days. Make a game plan with your Kingdom and Cruise Travel Agent on how to prioritize your must-do attractions in each park!
1. Experience a Character Meal
If character meet and greets are important to you, this is key. Instead of using park time in queues to meet characters, leverage your mealtimes to have multiple characters come to your table while you are eating a refueling with your family.
With all these tips in your back pocket and the proximity of your deluxe resort to the parks, you’ll be able to enjoy eating with your family with your family and make the most of the park hopping upgrade.
Katie is a runDisney marathoner and travel agent with Kingdom and Cruise Travel. Whether you are planning to runDisney or planning a magical vacation, she'd love to help you maximize your time and budget. Click here to send me an email.