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 Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!