10 Tips and Secrets for Park Hopping at Walt Disney World


10) Double-check those tickets.

It sounds very elementary, but this simple step can save you time, money, and even keep you from accidentally forfeiting park day entitlements on your tickets. Remember that the Park Hopper option is not included in the base price of a Disney World theme park ticket, and if you enter two different parks on one day without the option, you will have also used 2 days on your ticket entitlements. When you purchase your tickets, you’ll have the choice of a base ticket, a Park Hopper ticket or a Park Hopper Plus ticket. The base ticket entitles you to admission to one Disney theme park per day. The Park Hopper ticket entitles you to same-day admission to all four Disney World theme parks, and the Park Hopper Plus ticket entitles you to same-day admission to all four parks plus visits to Disney’s water parks and other activities. If you’re unsure of your entitlements, open the My Disney Experience app, select “Tickets and Passes,” and you will see any tickets you’ve linked to your Disney account, as well as the entitlements those tickets allow.

9. Be realistic.

Remember to be realistic when planning your day(s) in the parks. While the Park Hopper option allows you to visit all four Disney World theme parks in one day, that doesn’t mean it will be easy or feasible to do so every single day. When you factor in crowds, weather, special festivals and seasons, there will definitely be many days out of the year when it just won’t make sense to try to visit each park within the operating hours of one day at Disney World—but it’s nothing to fret over; you’re at Disney World after all! What could be better?

8. Make dining reservations purposefully.

Dining reservations have a lot to do with planning a trip to the parks at Disney World. When you don’t have the Park Hopper option, having a dining reservation at EPCOT on a Wednesday means that you probably will want to spend that Wednesday at EPCOT. If you have the Park Hopper option, you can visit one park, then hop to another park for a dining reservation. But plan those reservations carefully. Even though you have the entitlement to hop, there are times when weather, crowds, traffic and the like can make getting from one theme park to another very difficult. For example, if you park at EPCOT and enjoy that park in the morning, but you have a dining reservation for mid-afternoon lunch at Magic Kingdom, you can usually hop on the monorail from EPCOT and take it to Magic Kingdom. Simple enough, right? Yes, ordinarily it would be, but if a summer thunderstorm pops up out of nowhere right before you head to the monorail, you may find yourself looking for other ways to get to Magic Kingdom since the monorail may be temporarily disabled because of the weather. Those other ways might be more time-consuming, thus making you late for your reservation. Always give yourself extra time when you’re hopping to another park for a dining reservation.

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7. Parking is important.

If you aren’t staying on Disney property, there’s the chance that you are driving your own vehicle to the parks. Great idea, but be sure to think about where you’re parking, which park you’re visiting first, which park(s) you will hop to and where you plan to end up that night. Thanks to the magic of Disney, there’s never a truly impossible situation at Disney World, but not planning out your day as it pertains to parking and hopping might land you in a very time-consuming predicament at the end of your day in the parks as you try to make your journey back to where you parked your vehicle.

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About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.