It’s Back! Beloved Disney World Park Service Finally Returns

welcome back park hopper
Credit: Disney/ Canva

It’s a new year at Walt Disney World, and 2024 is bringing the magic back full circle with the return of favored Disney experiences that have been missing since the days of COVID-19. With the promised return of the Disney Dining Plan and the exile of the park pass reservation system (for some), the first domino to fall in getting back to the days of old has happened, hopefully acting as a catalyst to that magical park experience from before the pandemic. Welcome back all day Park Hopper; we missed you!

Walt Disney magic Kingdom park hopper

Credit: Disney

The Disney World Park Hopper is the perfect ticket option for guests who want to make the most of their Walt Disney World Resort visit. With the Park Hopper ticket, you have the freedom to visit multiple parks in one day, allowing you to experience the magic of each unique park.

This ticket gives you access to all four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can start your magic morning exploring the enchanting fairy tales and iconic attractions at Magic Kingdom, then venture to the futuristic world of EPCOT in the afternoon for thrilling rides and international cuisine. In the evening, you can catch a spectacular live show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and end your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where you can encounter exotic animals and embark on thrilling adventures.

Related: NEW: Disney Releases Special Pricing for 2024 Park Tickets

The best part, you can now do so without a theme park reservation. That means no more checking into Magic Kingdom so that you can park-hop over to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Although the theme park reservation system served its purpose in helping Disney maintain crowd levels at the peak of the pandemic, its inclusion has done little to avoid confusion and frustration for those visiting Disney World.

But we digress, back to the all day Park Hopper at Disney World. One of the biggest advantages of the Park Hopper ticket is the flexibility it offers. If you find yourself wanting to spend more time in a particular park, you can easily hop back to that park later in the day. This is especially beneficial during busy times when you may want to avoid overcrowded areas or when you have a dining reservation in a specific park.

EPCOT World Celebration Gardens

Credit: Disney

To maximize your Park Hopper experience, it’s a good idea to plan your day strategically. Start early and take advantage of the extra magic hours, when one of the parks opens early or stays open late exclusively for Disney Resort hotel guests. This allows you to enjoy popular attractions with shorter wait times.

It’s also important to note that the Park Hopper ticket does not include access to the water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. If you wish to visit the water parks, you can consider upgrading to the Park Hopper Plus option, which includes admission to the theme parks and water parks.

Related: Disney Announces Price Increases on Park Tickets

As Disney World had allowed park hopping after 2 PM, assuming there was availability at the desired park, this may not seem like good news to some. As park hopping remains a time-honored tradition for many who like to spend their mornings rope-dropping fancy rides at Hollywood Studios, bouncing over to EPCOT for lunch, and finishing their day with “Happily Ever After,” Park Hopper access is a welcome return to what many miss about Walt Disney World.

Although it feels like we’re finally getting back to the Disney World that we all remember and love, it’s important to understand that there are still some limitations, especially for those who have an Annual Pass. Unless the day you’re visiting is considered a “good-to-go” day within the My Disney Experience app, Disney World’s APs will still be held to the rules of old.

hollywood studios entrance

Credit: Disney

Related: January 9 – Disney Ends Theme Park Reservation Requirement For Many

This means that if you have a Disney World Annual Pass, you will still be responsible for a park reservation, and you won’t have Park Hopper access until after 2 PM, but only on days that aren’t considered “good-to-go.” Disney World’s website officially holds the following information:

“In 2024, resolve to be more spontaneous with “good-to-go” days for Annual Passholders! As Passholders prepare for their visits next year, we wanted to share more about how good-to-go days will work:

  • On good-to-go days, Annual Passholders may enter the theme parks without needing a reservation (blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today).
  • The theme park reservation calendar, Annual Passholder admissions calendar, and My Disney Experience app will show days that are good to go. The first good-to-go days will be added to the calendars starting Jan. 11, 2024.
  • Good-to-go days will be added periodically and may be released days or weeks in advance.

These are exciting times indeed at Walt Disney World, as your day ticket just unlocked a ton more magic during your next trip. Bringing back nostalgic feelings is a part of Disney; with that, many are celebrating the return of the Park Hopper option by reminiscing the old days. Scott Gustin on X, formerly Twitter, posted a hilarious call back to the old-school Park Hopper commercials, which feature an actual mascot enjoying rides and experiences at Disney World.

With the upcoming return of the Disney Dining Plan and good-to-go days being released starting January 11, 2024, it’s starting to feel like the less complicated version of Park Hopping at Walt Disney World is returning, and that’s good news!

Related: Disney Annual Pass Comes With More Freedom to Visit Disney Parks

 In conclusion, the Disney World Park Hopper ticket is a fantastic option for guests who want to explore multiple parks in one day and make the most of their visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. With its flexibility and variety of experiences, the Park Hopper ticket ensures that you have a truly magical and unforgettable day at Disney World.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!

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