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The COVID-Era Policy Disney Refuses to Let Go Of

MagicBand Scanner
Credit: Disney

Disney recently announced the end of several COVID-Era policies that guests hated. Park Reservations are going away* and the Disney Dining Plan is coming back. Masks, limited park capacity, and social distancing are also a thing of the past at Walt Disney World. Almost every attraction has reopened and most restaurants have returned to normal operation. You can even stand in line for Quick Service again (though why you would want to when mobile order is so convenient is beyond me).

Park Hopping at Disney World

Credit: Jill Bivins

There is one COVID-era policy, though, that Disney refuses to let go of: Park Hopping. When Disney World reopened after the pandemic closure, Park Hopping (visiting more than one Park per day) was temporarily suspended. It didn’t return for five months and when it did it was seriously restricted.

In the past, Guests with a Park Hopper ticket were able to come and go as they pleased. I once visited Animal Kingdom until 10:30 am, hopped to Hollywood Studios until 1:00 pm. Jumped over to EPCOT until 5:30 pm and ended my day at Magic Kingdom. Under the re-opening restrictions that’s no longer allowed.

Park Hopping at Disney World

Credit: Jill Bivins

Currently, Park Hopping is only available after 2:00 pm and you cannot Park Hop unless you visit the Park you reserved that day first. That last part has led to many wondering if Park Hopping restrictions will end in the New Year along with Park Reservations. It seems reasonable after all, if there’s no Park to scan into first you should be able to hop around to any Park at any time, right? Wrong.

This is one COVID-era policy Disney plans to keep around according to The Street. Even in 2024, when Reservations are no longer needed for most, you still will not be able to move freely through the Parks. We know, we want it to change too. This means you’ll want to plan carefully because once you scan into a specific Disney World theme park you’re stuck there until 2:00 pm. Parks will still be subject to availability.

This policy is subject to change and we hope it does. It is possible that Disney is waiting until later in 2024 to end this restriction to avoid changing too much at once. As of now there is no official announcement to that effect. We will keep an eye on it and if Disney announces and end to the policy, when we know, you’ll know.

*Park Pass Reservations will no longer be required for Guests with date-based tickets. All other Guests will still require reservations.

 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones โ€” so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.